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use of "quae"

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use of "quae"

Postby learnlatin » Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:28 pm

I am working with Chapter 1 verse 7 in Genesis. I believe that I mostly understand everything except for the use of "quae" in this passage. Can someone try and help me understand?

Thank you.


et fecit Deus firmamentum divisitque aquas quae erant sub firmamento ab his quae erant super firmamentum et factum est ita

And God made a firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament, and it was so.
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Postby Gonzalo » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:00 pm

Hi,

Welcome to Textkit. Well, quæ is here the nominative, feminine, plural form for the relative pronoun quæ (both the singular and plural have the same form). It's naturally nominative because the verb is to be (infinitive esse, erant is imperfect, third person plural). It couldn't be used, for instance, the accusative (quam for singular and quas for plural) because esse isn't transitive (i.e., it doesn't accept any direct object) but copulative. I don't know if I answer exactly what you ask. Ask whatever isn't clear enough.

Regards,
Gonzalo
Last edited by Gonzalo on Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Verus enim amor semper tempore tristi elucescit magis. (Philipp Melanchthon: Decl. de studiis Linguæ Græcæ)
Quin age, si quid habes (P. Vergilii Maronis Ecloga III:52)
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Postby learnlatin » Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:10 pm

Gonzalo, thank you for your help and reply. I am still in the first 6 months of my study of Latin so you probably know how little I really know at this point. I actually understood most of your reply. I am a serious student, but as you likely know, it is a long journey. Since I am a beginner I try and read different Latin texts and get a "feel" for them. I looked up each word in the verse in the dictionary and could understand the verse without looking at the English translation from the Bible except for the use of "quae". It just doesn't fit for me and I am looking for help understanding how it fits into the verse. Does that make sense? Thank you again.
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Postby spiphany » Sun Oct 19, 2008 5:27 pm

It's a relative pronoun, i.e, it agrees with the nound it refers to (aquas) in number and gender, but it takes its case from the clause it's in (nominative, with erant).

Does that help? Are you familiar with relative pronouns? In English we usually use "who/that/which" when talking about them.

...the waters, which were under it...
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)
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Postby learnlatin » Sun Oct 19, 2008 6:06 pm

Excellent, very helpful. Thank you very much.
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