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having trouble with this imperative

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having trouble with this imperative

Postby dssgavoodoo » Sun Feb 15, 2004 10:11 pm

Hi guys, I am a third year latin student in virginia. We are translating hercules, and havn't been putting english into latin since latin II for grammar structure, so i'm a bit rusty on it.

I've been trying to make some sentances latley on my own, and i'm having some trouble with this one:

Remember the past.

Remember is "memini" (1st pp) and "meminisse" (2nd pp), and to make the imperative of remember, you usually just drop the re, and that works for 1st 2nd 4rd and 4th conj, but what is this? Meminisse? How do you work with that?

So once I get my imperative, the sentance would just be:
(remember) praeterita (past, nom.) ?

But when I put that into blitz latin, it gave me this (I know it isn't a perfect translation with that program, but it should be closer than this):

Memini praeterita:
I remember the pasts.

I know memini isn't the imperative, and that is why it says "I remember", but why does it say past is plural?

Any help woulf be great. Thanks!
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Postby Ulpianus » Sun Feb 15, 2004 10:38 pm

The 2 sg imp of memini is regularly memento.

Praeterita when used of the past is actually a neuter plural (sg praeteritum): it's perfectly acceptable and regular to use this plural ("past events") though it would also be OK to use a (neuter) singular. The answer you're getting from your crib is therefore right, though one would translate in English "the past" despite the plural.

Then, however, there is case. It certainly should not be nominative: the past is not the subject but the object of the remembrance (though as it happens, for a neuter plural noun your form chosen as a nominative is also the accusative). Your choice is between the accusative (praeterita) or (more usually with memini) the genitive. So: memento praeteritorum.
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Postby dssgavoodoo » Mon Feb 16, 2004 12:55 am

if the 2nd pp of memini is memento, wouldn't writing memento be an infinitive, to remember, rather than an inperative?
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Postby benissimus » Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:05 am

the form memento is actually a future imperative based off of an extinct present stem, probably originally memino(memeno), meminere(memenere), memini (compare reminiscor and mens, -ntis and present participle meminens), although the doubling memeno looks distinctly like a perfect tense formation, so the original forms may actually have been similar to meno(mino), menere(minere), memini. Thus, this imperative may actually be an unusual addition of imperative endings to the perfect stem, but I am only speculating.
Last edited by benissimus on Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:23 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby benissimus » Mon Feb 16, 2004 3:11 am

Also, it should be noted that while memini takes the place of the 1st principal part and meminisse is put as the 2nd, in reality the principal parts are as follows:
–, –, memini, –

Since the imperative is formed off the present stem and the present stem no longer exists, it is completely severed from the actual verb and thus the imperative has become irregular (related only via a defunct 1st principal part).
Last edited by benissimus on Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby sesquipedalianus » Tue Feb 17, 2004 11:50 am

I'm glad someone else has problems with weird imperatives, like me!!
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