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Puellae aquam poetae portant.

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Puellae aquam poetae portant.

Postby solitario » Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:56 am

I'm looking at my grandfather's first year Latin book, and I'm confused with one of the sentences:
Puellae aquam poētae (for the poet) portant.
Now I think this sentence could mean either:
The girls are carrying water to the poet. Using the Dative declension.
The girls are carrying the poet's water. Using the Genitive declension.
But I don't understand how it could mean for the poet.

Unless, "Puellae" and "aquam" are going together, in which case it would mean:
They are carrying the girl's water to the poet.
Right? Ideas?
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Postby benissimus » Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:13 am

For clarity's sake, you should probably say "The girls are carrying water for the poet". Your first sentence was good but using the preposition "to" is ambiguous in this case. The girls are carrying the water for the poet's sake if you use the Dative, but if they were actually carrying it "to" the poet, that is... the poet as a location, then there would be the preposition ad. The book probably put those parentheses in there to make sure you didn't meet this confusion between the meanings of "to" but you had to disobey eh?
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby tdominus » Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:38 pm

Motion towards uses the accusative.

The dative is used for the indirect object, not the object of travel.

So "to the poet" in the sense of motion would be "ad poetam".

In addition to what benissimus said, the parenthesis should indicate that the genitive is not meant. If it were it would be "the water of the poet", ie, the poet's water.
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Postby solitario » Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:17 pm

Thanks folks. I think I'll stick with Wheelock's Latin for now.
I've learned more from a week of Wheelock than the whole of last year with these old books. :)
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