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English to Latin translation assistance requested

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English to Latin translation assistance requested

Postby Rhuiden » Sat Nov 20, 2004 4:43 am

I have a question about a translation from Wheelock's workbook, page 65, #2. The english sentence is:

The state will never thank the Greek tyrant.

My translation is: Civitas Graecum tyrannum numquam gratias aget.

My problem is with the phrase "the Greek tyrant". Should this not take the accusative, thus the ..um ending. The answer key says that this should be "Graeco tyranno" which is either the dative or ablative.

Does anyone see something obvious that I am missing?

Rhuiden
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Postby benissimus » Sat Nov 20, 2004 4:52 am

Hi Rhuiden,

you have to understand the literal meaning of the Latin phrase gratias aget. In English, we can just use a transitive verb "to thank (someone)", but in Latin we use this phrase gratias agere "to give thanks (to someone)". gratias is the direct object so tyrannus cannot also be the direct object; and of course you cannot say "will gives thanks a tyrant" - you have to give thanks to the tyrant, hence the dative. The vocabulary entry that introduces the phrase gratias agere should say gratias agere + dative = "to give thanks".
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby Rhuiden » Sat Nov 20, 2004 5:02 am

I knew it would be something obvious. I never even considered gratias as the direct object. Sometimes I feel quite stupid.

Thanks for your help,

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