Kasper wrote:I was working through exercise 42 of NH and this one has really got my puzzled. I just can't figure out the grammar of it.
"Relying on his wings Mercurius had no need of a ship."
Key: "Mercurius alis freto nullum nave opus erat."
Nullum doesn't match nave and does 'opus erat' mean he had a need? I really don't get it. To me opus erat would mean that there was work/task.
is in agreement with opus
should be matching with freto
in the dative. Thus written Mercurio alis freto nullum nave opus erat
= "Mercury, relying on his wings, had no need of a ship", but literally "For Mercury, relying on his wings, there was no need by means of a ship". Genitive could also be used with navis
opus est (esse)
is an idiom meaning "there is need / it is necessary"
is far more common as an ablative of navis
, though I doubt most textbooks would mention this.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae