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Eius vs. Suis

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Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Sat May 29, 2010 10:36 am

I'm hoping someone can help me here. I have two questions about use of Eius vs. Suis.

1) is there a simple rule of when to use one and not the other - e.g. If the thing belongs to the subject of the sentence then it is suis and if it belongs to someone or something else then it is eius??

2) Possibly very dumb question but How do I say 'their son' e.g. Iulius et Aemilia filium (suum? / eorum? ? ?) amant? I've got a blind spot here.
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Sat May 29, 2010 10:52 am

By way of elaboration of the first point of when to use eius or suis - in Lingua Latina at the beginning of Chapter 4 we have:

Sacculus Iulii non parvus est. In sacculo eius est pecunia.

Would it be wrong to write 'In sacculo suo est pecunia'. ???
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby furrykef » Sat May 29, 2010 11:02 am

By "suis" I assume you mean "suus" (of which "suis" is a form, though). The answer is that "eius" means "his/her/its" and "suus" means "his own/her own/its own".

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe the general idea is, whenever it refers back to the subject of the verb, "suus" is required.

Cicerō vīdit medicum eius. -- Cicero saw his doctor ("his" referring to another person previously mentioned, not Cicero's doctor)
Cicerō vīdit medicum suum. -- Cicero saw his [own] doctor.

When the person in question is not the subject of the verb, it seems one usually uses "eius": Sōcratēs erat homō. Platō erat discipulus eius. (Here the subject of the second sentence is "Platō", not "Sōcratēs", so "eius" rather than "suus" is used.)


Sacculus Iulii non parvus est. In sacculo eius est pecunia.

Would it be wrong to write 'In sacculo suo est pecunia'. ???


I think using "suō" wouldn't technically wrong, but it would place undue emphasis on the reflexiveness. "Julius's bag is not small. In his own bag there is money." The extra emphasis on "own" seems odd here. It could probably also be interpreted as "The money is in its own sack", but I think the context and word order would probably suggest that "suō" doesn't go with "pecunia". I'm certainly not an expert on this, though...
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Imber Ranae » Sat May 29, 2010 4:17 pm

pmda wrote:I'm hoping someone can help me here. I have two questions about use of Eius vs. Suis.

1) is there a simple rule of when to use one and not the other - e.g. If the thing belongs to the subject of the sentence then it is suis and if it belongs to someone or something else then it is eius??


That's the general rule of thumb which should serve you well in most cases, at least while you're still at the beginner's stage. Unfortunately the reality, as with most grammatical rules, isn't always quite so simple.

If you list multiple subjects, either with conjunctions or by asyndeton, suus can't be used to modify one of the subjects of a clause while at the same time referring back to another subject in the same clause. For example, "The man and his dog went for a walk," would have to be Homo et canis eius ambulaverunt, not canis suus. But if you wanted to say, "The man went for a walk with his dog," then it would be Homo cum cane suo ambulavit (notice the singular verb: only homo is the subject).

Now so far this still accords pretty well with the rule that suus refers back to the subject(s) of the sentence (taken together), and eius refers back to something other than the subject(s) of the sentence (unless it refers to only a particular subject rather than all of them together). However there are cases when suus doesn't refer to any subject at all, but rather to the principle topic of a clause, or even just of an individual phrase. This is most commonly true when suus actually agrees with the subject of the clause, in which case it would obviously be nonsensical for the reflexive to refer to the subject being modified. Probably the most famous example of this is John 1:11 in the Vulgata: In propria venit, et sui eum non receperunt. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not". Here the nominative sui refers to the accusative eum as its antecedent. But suus can just as often refer to a dative antecedent. Also sometimes when suus doesn't modify the subject, as in this Ciceronian example from in Verrem II: Sed ego Metello non irascor neque ei suam vacationem eripio... "But I am not angry with Metellus, nor do I rob him of his excuse..." (suam refers to the dative ei, as it obviously can't refer to the first person subject.)

The exceptions don't end there, either. The reflexive possessive as well as the normal reflexive pronoun in certain types of subordinate clauses, principally jussive noun clauses (also known as substantive clauses of purpose) and indirect statement (acc. + inf.), often refer not back to the subject of the subordinate clause, but to the subject of the independent main clause. This is known as an indirect reflexive, and since se and suus are used for both direct and indirect reflexives, there's a degree of ambiguity introduced by such constructions. There are ways of mitigating the ambiguity, of course, but these are not always consistently applied by Roman writers, who sometimes leave only the context as a way to distinguish between the two uses. I treat on the subject more fully here.

pmda wrote:2) Possibly very dumb question but How do I say 'their son' e.g. Iulius et Aemilia filium (suum? / eorum? ? ?) amant? I've got a blind spot here.


You'd use suum.

pmda wrote:By way of elaboration of the first point of when to use eius or suis - in Lingua Latina at the beginning of Chapter 4 we have:

Sacculus Iulii non parvus est. In sacculo eius est pecunia.

Would it be wrong to write 'In sacculo suo est pecunia'. ???


I believe suo would be incorrect here.
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Sat May 29, 2010 9:06 pm

@ Imber. Many, many thanks for this. Much food for thought. I will study your reply response carefully.

@furrykef many thanks also to you - things are clearer..
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby modus.irrealis » Sun May 30, 2010 1:33 am

To make it explicit just in case, "eorum" and "suus" have the same distinction, so "filium eorum" is not incorrect but would refer to other people's son. The English of course is ambiguous.
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Sun May 30, 2010 10:05 am

Yes but how do I account for the following question and answer in Orberg's Lingua Latina.

1. Cur Aemilia laeta non est? Quia vir eius absest.

Is it not 'vir suus' because he's not there??
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Hampie » Sun May 30, 2010 12:16 pm

pmda wrote:Yes but how do I account for the following question and answer in Orberg's Lingua Latina.

1. Cur Aemilia laeta non est? Quia vir eius absest.

Is it not 'vir suus' because he's not there??

No. If suus would be used, the English translation would be: ’Because the man his own is absent’, rather than ’Because her man is absent’. A suus in that sentence would aim for the ’vir’, because it’s the subject of the sentence, rather than Aemilia. ’Aemilia vocat vir suum, quia vir eius abest’. Aemilia calls the man her own, because her man is absent’.
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Sun May 30, 2010 10:13 pm

OK so if it were: Cur Aemilia laeta non est? Quia rosa sua absest.

it would be OK ...? right? Or does the fact that rosa / vir is subject preclude suum / sua...?
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby furrykef » Sun May 30, 2010 10:49 pm

You mean "abest", not "absest". :) Remember that "abest" is nothing more than ab + est.

pmda wrote:Or does the fact that rosa / vir is subject preclude suum / sua...?

This.

By the way, I have to ask if it makes sense to use 'rosa' with 'abest'... I certainly understand the idea, but the literal meaning of "abest" is "is away", and I wouldn't say "my rose is away". But the Romans may or may not have said such things... can anybody clarify this?
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Hampie » Sun May 30, 2010 11:04 pm

pmda wrote:OK so if it were: Cur Aemilia laeta non est? Quia rosa sua absest.

it would be OK ...? right? Or does the fact that rosa / vir is subject preclude suum / sua...?

Quia rosa sua abest. = Because the rose of itself is away. Sua refers to the rose, and states that the rose is owns by itself :P.
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Sun May 30, 2010 11:16 pm

Thanks. I was grasping for a non human object. It could be her Dog or her Cat... Is what you're saying simploy that the subject of a sentence cannot take suo sua suum ??. Is it because vir is animate....that it can't take suo or is it because it's the subject?
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Sun May 30, 2010 11:22 pm

.....I mean based upon what' been said .... the answer to the question Cur Aemilia laeta non est? Quia vir eius absest. could mean that he's unhappy becvause someone else's husband is away!! :shock:
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Sun May 30, 2010 11:22 pm

I mean of course that 'she's unhappy....'
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby furrykef » Mon May 31, 2010 2:06 am

You're making this way harder than it is... ^^;

pmda wrote:Is what you're saying simploy that the subject of a sentence cannot take suo sua suum ??


That should be suus/sua/suum (suō is the dative and ablative). What we're saying, though, is that "suus" must refer to the subject. If you do not intend to refer to the subject, you use "eius", not "suus". "Vir suus", if we substitute "Iulius" for "vir", then "viur suus" means "the Julius of Julius", if anything... it doesn't make much sense, does it?

Again, I'm not sure that the rule is really as strict as some here have said, but for now it's best to follow it.

pmda wrote:.....I mean based upon what' been said .... the answer to the question Cur Aemilia laeta non est? Quia vir eius absest. could mean that he's unhappy becvause someone else's husband is away!! :shock:


No, because we were using "eius" to refer to somebody other than the subject of the verb. That's different. In the sentence "vir eius abest", the "eius" does refer to somebody else: "vir" (the subject) refers to Iulius and "eius" refers to Aemilia. Since Aemilia is not Iulius, you use "eius" rather than "suus".

Also, remember, "abest", not "absest" (ab + est, not abs + est).
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Mon May 31, 2010 12:04 pm

OK....At risk of provoking impatient ire from those who have taken great pains to explain it to me. Let me walk through an understanding based on Orberg's Exercitia Latina and tell you my understanding of why it's written as it is:

Orberg's Exercitia Latina Capitulum Exercitum 2. Q. 9 asks:

'Estne formosus nasus Iuliae?...

The correct answer is given as:

'nasus eius formosus non est'.

Then Q.13 of the same exercise asks:

'Cur Syra oculos claudit et tacet?'

And the answer is given as:

'...quia nasm suum foedum videt.

Now both of these 'feel' right..... is the latter using 'suum' because it's, in essence, implying the answer begins with 'Syra oculos claudit et tacet quia nasum suum foedum videt'. Which - based on the explanations I've read here - would be correct.

The former..answer 'nasus eius formosus non est' stands alone as a statement with eius standing in for the subject....?

Do I have that right...?
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Mon May 31, 2010 12:06 pm

That should be: ...quia nasum suum foedum videt.
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Imber Ranae » Mon May 31, 2010 1:04 pm

pmda wrote:OK....At risk of provoking impatient ire from those who have taken great pains to explain it to me. Let me walk through an understanding based on Orberg's Exercitia Latina and tell you my understanding of why it's written as it is:

Orberg's Exercitia Latina Capitulum Exercitum 2. Q. 9 asks:

'Estne formosus nasus Iuliae?...

The correct answer is given as:

'nasus eius formosus non est'.

Then Q.13 of the same exercise asks:

'Cur Syra oculos claudit et tacet?'

And the answer is given as:

'...quia nasm suum foedum videt.

Now both of these 'feel' right..... is the latter using 'suum' because it's, in essence, implying the answer begins with 'Syra oculos claudit et tacet quia nasum suum foedum videt'. Which - based on the explanations I've read here - would be correct.

The former..answer 'nasus eius formosus non est' stands alone as a statement with eius standing in for the subject....?

Do I have that right...?


Syra is the implied subject of the clause quia nasum suum foedum videt. That's why it uses suum. The subject carries over from the previous clause: Syra oculos claudit et tacet, quia...videt "Syra closes her eyes and is silent because she sees..." In your other sentence nasus is clearly the subject, therefore eius must be used to refer to Iulia in the previous sentence, as suus could only refer to the nose.

These exercises are hilarious, btw.
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Mon May 31, 2010 1:23 pm

Phew...so I think I got that right. The exercises are definitely funny....but I takes what I gets.. thanks.
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Imber Ranae » Mon May 31, 2010 1:33 pm

furrykef wrote:That should be suus/sua/suum (suō is the dative and ablative). What we're saying, though, is that "suus" must refer to the subject. If you do not intend to refer to the subject, you use "eius", not "suus". "Vir suus", if we substitute "Iulius" for "vir", then "viur suus" means "the Julius of Julius", if anything... it doesn't make much sense, does it?

Again, I'm not sure that the rule is really as strict as some here have said, but for now it's best to follow it.


I already explained that the rule isn't always that strict and provided examples of exceptions, though I fear I may have just muddied the waters in the process. Suus does not absolutely require its antecedent to be the subject of a clause, though it usually is. When suus agrees with the subject of the clause, as you will sometimes see, it logically cannot refer to the subject itself as that would just produce gibberish. However, it must always refer to some word in the clause which acts as the virtual subject or "topic". That's why I believe In sacculo suo est pecunia doesn't work unless it means "the money is in its own sack": there's nothing else in the clause to act as the antecedent of suo except the subject pecunia. (This is of course ignoring indirect reflexives in subordinate clauses, which just adds more confusion.)
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Hampie » Mon May 31, 2010 2:47 pm

Uhm.. I came to think of that I cannot in my head make up where suus would ever be used in nominative, can someone give an example of that? Ea est mater sua amica optima, is like the only thing I cane come up with :S..
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby furrykef » Mon May 31, 2010 3:04 pm

It's nominative in "Suum cuique pulchrum est" (typically abbreviated to "suum cuique"), i.e., "To each his own".
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Imber Ranae » Mon May 31, 2010 3:06 pm

Hampie wrote:Uhm.. I came to think of that I cannot in my head make up where suus would ever be used in nominative, can someone give an example of that? Ea est mater sua amica optima, is like the only thing I cane come up with :S..


John 1.11: In propria venit, et sui eum non receperunt. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not". (eum acts as the virtual subject/topic of the clause)

in Verrem II,2,164: Sed ego Metello non irascor neque ei suam vacationem eripio... "But I am not angry with Metellus, nor do I rob him of his excuse..." (suam must refer to ei since the subject of the clause is first person, not third)
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Hampie » Mon May 31, 2010 4:34 pm

Imber Ranae wrote:
Hampie wrote:Uhm.. I came to think of that I cannot in my head make up where suus would ever be used in nominative, can someone give an example of that? Ea est mater sua amica optima, is like the only thing I cane come up with :S..


John 1.11: In propria venit, et sui eum non receperunt. "He came unto his own, and his own received him not". (eum acts as the virtual subject/topic of the clause)

in Verrem II,2,164: Sed ego Metello non irascor neque ei suam vacationem eripio... "But I am not angry with Metellus, nor do I rob him of his excuse..." (suam must refer to ei since the subject of the clause is first person, not third)


But suam is accusative, is it not? And sui is genitive?
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Interaxus » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:04 am

Whitakeräs Words is eminently useful as always:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
su.i N 2 1 GEN S M
su.i N 2 1 LOC S M
su.i N 2 1 NOM P M
su.i N 2 1 VOC P M
suus, sui N (2nd) M [XXXDX] lesser
his men (pl.), his friends;

su.i N 2 2 GEN S N
su.i N 2 2 LOC S N
suum, sui N (2nd) N [XXXDX] lesser
his property (pl.); [se suaque => themselves and their possessions];

su.i ADJ 1 1 GEN S M POS
su.i ADJ 1 1 GEN S N POS
su.i ADJ 1 1 NOM P M POS
su.i ADJ 1 1 VOC P M POS
suus, sua, suum ADJ [XXXDX] lesser
his/one's (own), her (own), hers, its (own); (pl.) their (own), theirs;


su.i V 3 1 PRES PASSIVE INF 0 X
su.i V 3 1 PERF ACTIVE IND 1 S
suo, suere, sui, sutus V (3rd) [XXXDX] lesser
sew together/up, stitch;

su.i N 3 3 LOC S C Early
su.i N 3 3 DAT S C
su.i N 3 3 ABL S C
sus, suis N (3rd) C [XXXDX] lesser
swine; hog, pig, sow;

s.ui PRON 5 4 GEN X C [XXXAX]
him/her/it/ones-self; him/her/it; them (selves) (pl.); each other, one another;
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The eius (pronoun) vs suus (ADJECTIVE) problem is obviously what the original questioner had in mind ...

So Hampie's right, no? No nominative.

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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby adrianus » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:49 am

Furrykef already gave a nominative example of "suum" (albeit a substantive).
Iam dedit furrykef exemplum sui (etsi substantivi) nominativo casu.

There's also "Paetus omnes libros, quos frater suus reliquisset, mihi donavit" (apud dictionarium de L&S)
"Paetus gave me all the books his brother had left."
"Mary and her own father saw it." "Maria et pater suus id viderunt."
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Imber Ranae » Tue Jun 01, 2010 3:59 am

Hampie wrote:But suam is accusative, is it not?

Oops. That second example wasn't supposed to be there; I copy-pasted the wrong text. Here are some better ones:

    Hunc sui cives e civitate eiecerunt "His fellow citizens threw him out of their state/community" Cic. Sest. 68, 142

    Nemo enim est cui felicitas sua, etiam si cursu venit, satis faciat "For there is no one who is contented with his own prosperity, even if he gets it along the way" Sen. Ep. 115, 17

    Utrumque regem sua multitudo consalutaverat "Each had been considered king by their respective crowds [of followers]" Liv. 1, 7, 1
Hampie wrote:And sui is genitive?


It's nominative. There's no genitive in the sentence. The KJV translation is pretty literal: sui = "his own [people]".

Interaxus wrote:Whitakeräs Words is eminently useful as always:


Whitaker's Words is useless if you can't read and understand the Latin. I've bolded the correct forms:

Whitaker's Words wrote:su.i N 2 1 GEN S M
su.i N 2 1 LOC S M
su.i N 2 1 NOM P M
su.i N 2 1 VOC P M
suus, sui N (2nd) M [XXXDX] lesser
his men (pl.), his friends;

su.i ADJ 1 1 GEN S M POS
su.i ADJ 1 1 GEN S N POS
su.i ADJ 1 1 NOM P M POS
su.i ADJ 1 1 VOC P M POS
suus, sua, suum ADJ [XXXDX] lesser
his/one's (own), her (own), hers, its (own); (pl.) their (own), theirs;


Interaxus wrote:The eius (pronoun) vs suus (ADJECTIVE) problem is obviously what the original questioner had in mind ...


I'm not sure what you're talking about. It's pretty clear that pmda already realizes eius is a genitive pronoun and suus is a possessive adjective. He's asking when to use which.

So Hampie's right, no? No nominative.


Yes, nominative.
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Hampie » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:48 pm

The use of suus in nominative is, however, pretty infrequent compared to it's use in the other cases, true?
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby adrianus » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:46 pm

Difficult to say, but what matters is it can properly be said in the nominative. There are many things in English that are hardly ever said but it can be lovely, nonetheless, when an opportunity arises once in a blue moon to say them.

Difficile dictu. At hoc quod refert: benè possible et legitimum id nominativo casu dici est. Multa sunt anglicé quae rarò dicuntur at quam dulcis tamen est copia eorum dicendorum tàm infrequentissimè sensa.
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Smythe » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:09 pm

So, I was asking similar questions about the same chapter a few weeks ago in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=10714

ptolemyauletes listed some pretty good rules:

I appreciate your problem with wanting the 'suus' to modify the maids. After all, it is 'their' mistress.
Another way to think of it is to understand that the word itself 'suus' takes care of who it belongs to, that the maids are taken care of by the very choice of the word 'suus'.
Using 'suus' tells you that something in the sentence is belonging to the maids. Now the question is, what is it that belongs to the maids? The only way to answer this is to find out which word in the sentence agrees with 'suus' (suam in this case).
Therefore, 'suam' will agree with 'dominam' in number, case and gender.
If it agrees with the maids, then you will have no idea what belongs to the maids.

Wheelock in my opinion does a poor job of explaining 'suus' and 'eius'. I say this because I learned Latin with Wheelock, and I was confused about this point for a long time, until I worked it out for myself.

Caesar canem suum amisit. = Caesar lost HIS dog.
Caesar canem eius amisit. = Caesar lost his (someone else's) dog.
Caesar canem eorum amisit. = Caesar lost their dog.
Caesar ipse canem amisit. = Caesar himself lost the dog.
Caesar canem ipsum amisit. = Caesar lost the dog itself, or Caesar lost that very dog.

Essentially, 'suus' works exactly the same as 'meus', 'tuus', 'noster,' and 'vester'. The difference being it is used for the 3rd person possessive, both singular and plural.
if 'meus liber', becomes 'meum librum', then 'suus liber' becomes 'suum librum'
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Interaxus » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:48 pm

Imber Ranae:
1.
My apologies. In fact I mainly wished to point out that the nominative ‘sui’ in

John 1.11: In propria venit, et sui eum non receperunt. "He came unto his own, and his
own received him not".

was the m. pl. NOUN form, not the adjective form under discussion in connection with Familia Romana. That’s precisely why I included that bit of text which you so kindly bolded.

I can understand your confusion, because in my haste to make that particular point I jumped to the outrageous conclusion that there was no equivalent adjectival form, totally blind to the Whitaker line “su.i ADJ 1 1 NOM P M POS” staring me in the face even as I pasted and highlighted that section of text. Personally I think failing eyesight or transitory loss of concentration or too much country air is a more likely diagnosis than inability to read or understand Latin. Anyway, that line certainly rubbishes whatever I was trying to say. So yes, there is a reflexive nominative. I’m a believer. :oops:

2.
Interaxus wrote:The eius (pronoun) vs suus (ADJECTIVE) problem is obviously what the original questioner had in mind ...

I'm not sure what you're talking about. It's pretty clear that pmda already realizes eius is a genitive pronoun and suus is a possessive adjective. He's asking when to use which.

I never implied pmda had any difficulty recognizing the genitive pronoun ‘eius’ and the possessive adjective ‘suus’. If you re-read what I wrote: ‘the eius (pronoun) vs suus (ADJECTIVE) problem’ – which problem? why, when to use which. I’m afraid even my saner comments are useless if you can’t read and understand English. :D

pmda:
A link I cited in a thread on the same subject back in April 2007 contains further simple examples and attempted explanations:
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Latin-2145/Struggling-sentence.htm

The 2007 thread itself goes on to discuss Caesar’s idiosyncratic use of se, suus, etc, and gets a bit turgid:
http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5499&hilit=+swedish

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Int
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Imber Ranae » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:03 pm

First of all...

Imber Ranae wrote:Whitaker's Words is useless if you can't read and understand the Latin.


That probably came off sounding snottier than I intended. My apologies.

Hampie wrote:The use of suus in nominative is, however, pretty infrequent compared to it's use in the other cases, true?


True, though it is more frequently found in Latin than we find its equivalent in English. But anyway, I now feel this whole tangent concerning the non-subject reflexive suus is liable to just confuse pmda and others asking the same question. I would recommend they follow the simple rules put forth by ptolemyauletes in the section quoted by Smythe, and worry about these exceptions later.

Interaxus wrote:Imber Ranae:
1.
My apologies. In fact I mainly wished to point out that the nominative ‘sui’ in

John 1.11: In propria venit, et sui eum non receperunt. "He came unto his own, and his
own received him not".

was the m. pl. NOUN form, not the adjective form under discussion in connection with Familia Romana. That’s precisely why I included that bit of text which you so kindly bolded.

I can understand your confusion, because in my haste to make that particular point I jumped to the outrageous conclusion that there was no equivalent adjectival form, totally blind to the Whitaker line “su.i ADJ 1 1 NOM P M POS” staring me in the face even as I pasted and highlighted that section of text. Personally I think failing eyesight or transitory loss of concentration or too much country air is a more likely diagnosis than inability to read or understand Latin. Anyway, that line certainly rubbishes whatever I was trying to say. So yes, there is a reflexive nominative. I’m a believer. :oops:


Ah, OK. I should probably have mentioned that sui was being used as a substantive in that verse, or just have chosen a better example. I can now see how that might cause even more confusion on top of the earlier confusion. Mea culpa, everyone.

Interaxus wrote:2.
Interaxus wrote:The eius (pronoun) vs suus (ADJECTIVE) problem is obviously what the original questioner had in mind ...

I'm not sure what you're talking about. It's pretty clear that pmda already realizes eius is a genitive pronoun and suus is a possessive adjective. He's asking when to use which.

I never implied pmda had any difficulty recognizing the genitive pronoun ‘eius’ and the possessive adjective ‘suus’. If you re-read what I wrote: ‘the eius (pronoun) vs suus (ADJECTIVE) problem’ – which problem? why, when to use which. I’m afraid even my saner comments are useless if you can’t read and understand English. :D


Well, I must confess that the way you wrote the underlined sentence, and your reason for emphasizing it in such a way, is still puzzling to me. Your mentioning that eius is a "pronoun" and suus an "ADJECTIVE", a distinction I thought was clear all along and never in question, makes it seem to me like that was the "problem" you felt pmda had in mind. The fact that one is the genitive of a pronoun and the other a fully inflected adjective just doesn't seem pertinent to the question of the OP, though I suppose it is worth pointing out for the benefit of other beginners who may be reading the thread. Moreover, the tone (viz. "obviously" and the ellipsis at the end) suggested to me that your were being corrective, as if I and others hadn't been addressing the right question at all. Can you see how it might be interpreted that way?

Interaxus wrote:pmda:
A link I cited in a thread on the same subject back in April 2007 contains further simple examples and attempted explanations:
http://en.allexperts.com/q/Latin-2145/Struggling-sentence.htm

The 2007 thread itself goes on to discuss Caesar’s idiosyncratic use of se, suus, etc, and gets a bit turgid:
http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5499&hilit=+swedish

Cheers,
Int


Looks interesting. Thanks for the links.
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quam ex bona malo
malo malo malo.
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Interaxus » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:13 pm

Imber Ranae:

Thanks for letting me off the hook!

I see that your skills extend beyond teaching Latin. Your gracious response is an object lesson in civility.

Cheers,
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:18 am

This got kind hifalutin' and I shall read it all in detail later in my studies. In the meantime in answer to the question:

Ubi sunt margaritae Aemiliae?

I have suggested.

Margaritae eius in collo suo est.

Does that look OK?
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:58 am

furrykef wrote:By "suis" I assume you mean "suus" (of which "suis" is a form, though). The answer is that "eius" means "his/her/its" and "suus" means "his own/her own/its own".

I'm not 100% sure, but I believe the general idea is, whenever it refers back to the subject of the verb, "suus" is required.

Cicerō vīdit medicum eius. -- Cicero saw his doctor ("his" referring to another person previously mentioned, not Cicero's doctor)
Cicerō vīdit medicum suum. -- Cicero saw his [own] doctor.

When the person in question is not the subject of the verb, it seems one usually uses "eius": Sōcratēs erat homō. Platō erat discipulus eius. (Here the subject of the second sentence is "Platō", not "Sōcratēs", so "eius" rather than "suus" is used.)


Sacculus Iulii non parvus est. In sacculo eius est pecunia.

Would it be wrong to write 'In sacculo suo est pecunia'. ???


I think using "suō" wouldn't technically wrong, but it would place undue emphasis on the reflexiveness. "Julius's bag is not small. In his own bag there is money." The extra emphasis on "own" seems odd here. It could probably also be interpreted as "The money is in its own sack", but I think the context and word order would probably suggest that "suō" doesn't go with "pecunia". I'm certainly not an expert on this, though...


The trouble I have with the explanations is that when I see here and elsewhere statements like 'eius' means someone else's thing / dog / etc... and then above you indicate a reason for using eius which is more nuanced - depending on the context of what's just been said in the previous statement.
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Sun Jun 06, 2010 12:00 pm

Hampie wrote:
pmda wrote:Yes but how do I account for the following question and answer in Orberg's Lingua Latina.

1. Cur Aemilia laeta non est? Quia vir eius absest.

Is it not 'vir suus' because he's not there??

No. If suus would be used, the English translation would be: ’Because the man his own is absent’, rather than ’Because her man is absent’. A suus in that sentence would aim for the ’vir’, because it’s the subject of the sentence, rather than Aemilia. ’Aemilia vocat vir suum, quia vir eius abest’. Aemilia calls the man her own, because her man is absent’.


But OK...what if Aemilia is fond of her neighbor's husband who is away. How would you write .....Because her (neighbor's) husband is away. ?
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby Hampie » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:01 pm

pmda wrote:
Hampie wrote:
pmda wrote:Yes but how do I account for the following question and answer in Orberg's Lingua Latina.

1. Cur Aemilia laeta non est? Quia vir eius absest.

Is it not 'vir suus' because he's not there??

No. If suus would be used, the English translation would be: ’Because the man his own is absent’, rather than ’Because her man is absent’. A suus in that sentence would aim for the ’vir’, because it’s the subject of the sentence, rather than Aemilia. ’Aemilia vocat vir suum, quia vir eius abest’. Aemilia calls the man her own, because her man is absent’.


But OK...what if Aemilia is fond of her neighbor's husband who is away. How would you write .....Because her (neighbor's) husband is away. ?

That's not a suus.
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby furrykef » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:40 pm

pmda wrote:and then above you indicate a reason for using eius which is more nuanced - depending on the context of what's just been said in the previous statement.

I don't know where I've indicated that the previous statement has anything to do with it. I've always insisted that it depends on the subject of the verb in the same statement. If the subject of the verb is not the same as the possessor, you always use "eius". Otherwise, if the subject of the verb is the same as the possessor, you use the appropriately inflected form of "suus".

"Cicerō medicum suum videt. Medicus eius est bonus."
First sentence: 'Cicerō' is subject; possessor of 'medicum' is 'Cicerō'; subject and possessor are the same; use 'suum'.
Second sentence: 'Medicus' is subject; possessor of 'medicus' is 'Cicerō'; subject and possessor are different; use 'eius'.

In the first sentence, 'eius' instead of 'suum' would indeed mean another man's (or woman's) doctor. That's because you use "eius" when the subject and possessor are not the same. In the second sentence, you would use 'eius' in either case because whether it's Cicero's doctor or another man's doctor is irrelevant; the subject and the possessor are different either way.


pmda wrote:But OK...what if Aemilia is fond of her neighbor's husband who is away. How would you write .....Because her (neighbor's) husband is away. ?

"Because her husband is away" has the same ambiguity in English as it does in Latin. So you resolve it the same way: either hope that it's obvious in context, or, if it isn't, be more specific: "Quia vir vīcīnae abest." (Vīcīnus, fem. vīcīna, means "neighbor".)
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby adrianus » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:18 am

columbula wrote:1. Is that a correct usage of the difference between eius and suus?

Well I think so, columbula.
Ego equidem sic puto, columbula.

columbula wrote:2. Does the placere + dative make things muddled in this because she is no longer the grammatical subject?

I doubt it. See A&G §300.2 Note.
Id dubito. Vide commentarium in grammaticâ de A&G post partem secundam sectionis trecentesimae.

A&G, §300.2 Note, wrote:[*] Note.--Sometimes the person or thing to which the reflexive refers is not the grammatical subject of the main clause, though it is in effect the subject of discourse: Thus, “—cum ipsī deō nihil minus grātum futūrum sit quam nōn omnibus patēre adsē plācandum viam” (Legg. 2.25), since to God himself nothing will be less pleasing than that the way to appease him should not be open to all men.


You have also // habes etiam "Aemiliae ipsius vir placet" "To Aemilia her own husband is pleasing//Aemilia is fond of her [own] husband." (A&G §300b)
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Re: Eius vs. Suis

Postby pmda » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:05 am

Just to cofirm my understanding I posted this earlier in the thread but then posted something else immediately under it so it got lost. I have revised it slightly also.

In answer to:

Ubi sunt margaritae Aemiliae?

Could I write:

Margaritae eius in collo eo est.

Does that look OK? The subject is Margaritae and NOT Aemilia and so it's gotta be eius...eo.... and not sua .....suo right?
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