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is and ille

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is and ille

Postby gigas phoberos » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:16 pm

what is the difference between is and ille?
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Re: is and ille

Postby Einhard » Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:34 pm

ille is a demonstrative and can generally be translated as "that". So, ille vir is "that man", illa femina is "that woman" etc.

Is is a personal pronoun. It generally means "He". So you could have is est avarus, "he is greedy". Confusingly though, Is, along with Ea and Id (the fem and neuter parts respectively), can also act as demonstratives. So you could see Is vir which basically is the same as ille vir, "that man". A good rule of thumb is to translate "Is" as a demonstrative (that) when it comes immediately prior to a noun, and as a pronoun (He) the rest of the time.

Obviously, Ille and Is are also declineable according to gender, number and case.

Einhard.
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Re: is and ille

Postby gigas phoberos » Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:45 pm

thanks for clearing that up mate!
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Re: is and ille

Postby spiphany » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:40 am

Einhard wrote:Is is a personal pronoun....A good rule of thumb is to translate "Is" as a demonstrative (that) when it comes immediately prior to a noun, and as a pronoun (He) the rest of the time.

Well, basically, yes, but technically, is, ea, id is not a personal pronoun, it's a demonstrative; that is, it indicates the location of something relative to the speaker (this is called deixis).

English makes a two-way distinction: proximal (indicating objects close to the speaker: This man here) and distal (indicating objects further from the speaker: That man over there).

Latin, however, makes a three-way distinction: in addition to proximal (hic) and distal (ille), it also has a medial demonstrative (is), which is somewhere between the two. Hic and Ille correspond to 'this' and 'that' respectively, but there's no good equivalent in English for is, ea, id. Since is, ea, id refers to something that's somewhat distant but still fairly close, we sometimes translate it as 'this,' sometimes as 'that.' Because it's fairly neutral in comparison with the other two, it can also stand in for the personal pronoun.
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Re: is and ille

Postby Einhard » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:52 am

Hmmm, I was under the impression from Wheelock that is, ea, id are personal pronouns first and foremost, but can also be employed as somewhat weakened demonstratives.
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