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alchemy
sacramentalist

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Anyone know Latin?

I'm trying to figure out something about Latin cases.

In a sentence, "The boy sees the girl"

The subject is "the boy" (Nominative) and "the girl" is the object (Accusative). (Puer puellam videt)

Now then: "She is a girl."

Is "a girl" an object in the sentence? Why is it "Puella est" and not "Puellam est"? Is this just something that happens with esse or other "being" verbs?

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Technically, in the second sentence, girl is a predicate nominative - it's accusative in function, but nominative in case. And yes, it's just something that happens with the being verbs.

Ok. That's good to know.

Thanks for the term, I've managed to google some explanations. I will never forget the term, "conjugal verbs" ;)


Yeah, to be is a case where the predicate and subject nouns and pronouns are both nominative because it's an identity (like "equals" in math). This is why "It is I," is actually correct while "It's me," is wrong. In English, a living language, we play very loosely with this rule. Almost no one actually would say, "It was she," to the question "Who stole the cookies?" Latin, as a dead language, doesn't have the luxury of common usage as an excuse, not to mention all those damn cases. :P

Plus, gender changes things. It's been YEARS since I took latin, well over a decade, but I remember having to memorise long lists of suffixes that changed with the gender of the word, where it was in the sentence, first/second/third person, singular/plural, active/passive voice, subject/object... you get the idea. LOOOOTS of lists.

Yeah. I'm amazed at how many endings a verb can have. And there's there's deponents. Passive verbs with active meaning? WHAAAAA?

What I do like is how I understand my own language better as i learn another.



Is Latin your first/only foreign language? Because it's definitely one of the more complicated ones! Especially if you come from a language without "real" cases.

I know a smattering of French from school. It's kind of embarrassing, as I'm an anglophone French Canadian. My parents grew up speaking French but didn't see the need to force it on us. WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE. Heh.

I figured Latin would be safe because there's a limited vocabulary and nobody's going to make me speak it ;)

because there's a limited vocabulary and nobody's going to make me speak it ;)
-- but it has such hard grammar ;)
Though yes, I've actually taken Latin at school because the idea of the alternative, French and its pronunciation, freaked me out. I love Latin though, even if my grammar is incredibly rusty (so I can't comment on you actual question). But it did my understanding of language a ton of good.

I don't know enough Latin to know about the verbs and stuff but in that second sentence "girl" is the subject

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