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Ch. 36 HELP

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Ch. 36 HELP

Postby tbearzhang » Sat May 28, 2016 9:54 pm

I'm working on the Sententiae Antiquae for Chapter 36 (6th Ed. Revised) and am having trouble with this sentence:

Omnia fient quae fieri aequum est.

Could someone explain the grammatical structure to me? I have a rough idea of what it is trying to convey but am not sure how the grammar works.

What is the function of the infinitive "fieri"? And why does aequum take a singular form?

Thanks!
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Re: Ch. 36 HELP

Postby bedwere » Sun May 29, 2016 1:24 am

Adapted from Terence's Adelphi

aequum est is impersonal and followed by accusative and infinitive. Or you can think that the fact (i.e. singular) quae fieri is the subject.

See examples in Lewis and Short.

Hence, aequum est, it is reasonable, proper, right, etc.; constr. with acc. and inf., in good prose also with dat. pers. and ut, Rudd. II. p. 235, n. 21: nos quiescere aequom est, Enn. ap. Diom. p. 382 P. (Trag. v. 199 Vahl.): “quae liberum scire aequom est adulescentem,” Ter. Eun. 3, 2, 25: “significant Imbecillorum esse aecum misererier omnīs,” Lucr. 5, 1023: “non est aequum nos derelinquere verbum Dei,” Vulg. Act. 6, 2: “aequius est mori quam auctoritatem imperii foedare,” Aur. Vict. Epit. 12, 7: “ut peritis? Ut piscatorem aequomst (sc. perire), fame sitique speque,” Plaut. Rud. 2, 2, 7; so, “sicut aequum est homini de potestate deorum timide et pauca dicamus,” Cic. Imp. Pomp. 16, 47.—In Plaut., with abl.: “plus vidissem quam med atque illo aequom foret,” would be becoming in me and him, Plaut. Bacch. 3, 3, 84; id. Rud. prol.
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Re: Ch. 36 HELP

Postby tbearzhang » Sun May 29, 2016 7:38 am

So what is the function of the infinitive here?

Is the infinitive an indirect statement or an object of the verb fient?
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Re: Ch. 36 HELP

Postby mwh » Sun May 29, 2016 2:13 pm

It works like an indirect statement, acc. & inf.
Dico haec fieri.
Aequum est haec fieri.
Omnia fient quae aequum est fieri.
(If only that were true!)

fient can’t take an object, any more than est can.
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Re: Ch. 36 HELP

Postby tbearzhang » Sun May 29, 2016 5:46 pm

I'm still confused...

Omnia fient quae fieri aequum est.

My understanding is that the main clause of this sentence is "Omnia fient". So I think "quae" functions as a relative pronoun, representing "omnia" in the subordinate clause. But I'm not clear on the "quae fieri aequum est" part of the sentence, as it has two verbs and I'm not sure what the relation between them is.

Individually I can understand that "aequum" is linked to "quae fieri" by "est", so it agrees in number, case, and gender. Thus "aequum" in this sentence should be nom. sg. neuter?

Is it some particular sentence structure in Latin that does not exist in English and that's why the literal translation sounds very strange in English? (All things will happen which to happen is just/reasonable/right.)

Thank you all for taking time to help me!
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Re: Ch. 36 HELP

Postby seneca2008 » Sun May 29, 2016 6:49 pm

fient can’t take an object, any more than est can.


Try figuring this out first. ( hint what is the exact form of this verb?)

When you translate a Latin accusative and infinitive do you normally use an infinite in English?

It will help you most if you try to think about it a bit more. let us know if you still cant figure it out.
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Re: Ch. 36 HELP

Postby tbearzhang » Sun May 29, 2016 10:24 pm

The textbook doesn't really provide a whole lot of information about the verb fio, fieri, factus sum.

It provides one example: "Periculum fit gravius." Which translates as "The danger is becoming greater."

So I guess the hint is that "fieri" has a similar function as "esse" and can serve as a "linker" verb to connect the subject to the predicate?

I've thought about that, and in the case of "Omnia fient quae fieri aequum est." then one would expect that "Omnia", the subject, is linked with the subordinate clause "quae fieri aequum est". Within the clause, "est" further functions as a "linker verb" to connect "quae fieri" with "aequum".

However, the examples given in the textbook only deals with the situation where the linking verb connects the subject to another noun or adjective, and it is unclear to me how that works when connecting a subject to a clause (or if I'm even on the right track).

Where translation is concerned, it is hard for me to understand in English how this would work. In the subordinate clause, you have "which (thing) to happen is right/reasonable/just", and when you put that back with the main clause, you get "All (things) will happen/become [which to happen is right/reasonable/just]." I can appreciate that the subordinate clause is describing an attribute of the subject (that it is right/reasonable/just for it to happen), but in literal translation it seems a rather convoluted way to convey that sense in English. So that's why I'm curious whether this is some sentence structure that you normally don't see in English but is regularly employed in Latin, and there may not be a way to literally translate the sentence into English.

I've thought long and hard about this and scoured the textbook for relevant information, but was still stuck. I would greatly appreciate someone explaining the sentence structure and grammar uses to me in great detail, thank you!
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Re: Ch. 36 HELP

Postby Hylander » Mon May 30, 2016 12:38 am

fieri can serve as a "linker" verb, but it doesn't here. It functions as the passive of facere, "to make," so that it can be translated as "become" (linker verb) or "happen." Here it means "happen."

Start from two sentences: omnia fient and haec fieri aequum est.

Haec fieri aequum est should be intelligible as a sentence on its own. Haec fieri is an infinitive phrase which is the subject of est. Recall that infinitives function as verbal nouns. Aequum is a predicate adjective "linked" to haec fieri by est. To translate this into English we would have to write: "It is reasonable for this [these things] to happen," but this doesn't translate the Latin word for word. We need "it" and "for," and the structure is different from the Latin.

Then turn haec fieri aequum est into a relative clause : quae fieri aequum est.

Then tack the relative clause onto omnia fient, "all things will happen," making omnia the antecedent of quae: Omnia fient quae fieri aequum est.

That should make the structure clear to you. I think part of your problem is that you are trying to understand the structure of the Latin by translating the Latin word for word and then parsing the English. You need to understand the structure of the Latin without reference to English. You can't necessarily understand a Latin sentence by trying to map it word for word onto English.

I can't quite make up my mind whether *?"All things will happen which it is reasonable to happen" is a good English sentence. Somehow I feel this isn't quite grammatical. If you find this sentence ungrammatical, you'll have to resort to more elaborate circumlocutions.
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Re: Ch. 36 HELP

Postby tbearzhang » Tue May 31, 2016 5:32 am

Thank you! This is exactly the type of information I was hoping to get.

As a novice I do realize that I am relying too much on English to understand Latin. I will need to work on that. But at least English is better than Chinese in aiding my study of Latin :D :P
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Re: Ch. 36 HELP

Postby Hylander » Tue May 31, 2016 1:04 pm

Glad to be of help. Don't hesitate to post when you have questions.
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