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Word placement in a sentence

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Word placement in a sentence

Postby Joementum » Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:25 pm

Is there a certain rule for placing words in a certain order. I know subject and direct object and such are determined by their ending, but I am speaking more in jus any order. For example, "Portat saxa peulla in aqua" meaning- The girl in the water carries rocks. Must you write it as first shown or could you write it as - Puella in aqua portat saxa. This seems to resemble a more English style of sentence structure. If you must write it as first shown please explain the reasoning behind it. Thanks

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Postby Dingbats » Mon Sep 13, 2004 4:45 pm

You can write it almost as you want, as long as there isn't a risk of getting confused. If there are two or more adjectives in a sentence, you should write the adjectives next to their respective nouns to aviod confusion, for example.
Puella parva et femina magna eunt domos is better to write than Puella et femina magna parva eunt domos, since you cannot know which adjective is modifying which noun in the latter sentence.
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Postby cweb255 » Mon Sep 13, 2004 7:32 pm

although it can be written in any form, it does have usual patterns. The common way to write your sentence would be "puella saxa in aqua portat."
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Postby Magistra » Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:05 pm

although it can be written in any form, it does have usual patterns. The common way to write your sentence would be "puella saxa in aqua portat."

Some of these basic sentence patterns can be found at the Scope & Sequence section of


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Postby Timothy » Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:20 am

Keep in mind that sentences in a textbook are instructional; they are intended to highlight a language point more often than to present common speech. "See Spot run. Run, Spot, run." gets a message across to the intended audience. The word order fits the purpose.

I think of the Roman word order as practical: Who, what, where, when/how. The girl, the rocks, in the water, carries. From what I've read (little) some of it relfects Roman ordered thinking. However, what has been said here about the flexibility of word order is very true.

- tim
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