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The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

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The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

Postby Vitance » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:20 am

Of course it has been made obvious that 'ut' is used to mean 'so that', insofar as "Cucurrit ut superet" may be translated as "he ran so that he would survive" (or as I like to translate 'ut' with the subjunctive: 'that he may survive'—it helps me remember the Latin syntax). However, what bothers me is how difficult it is to find an answer to which word would be used to convey the meaning...well, what about that: "It bothers me that it is difficult."

If one were to say, "I love that it's raining," is it a pronoun, maybe the relative pronoun, that is used there, like in English, and in the Romance languages (French: j'adore qu'il pleut)? Or is 'ut' somehow stretched to mean the same thing? Or could it even be the Subjunctive voice without a pronoun?

I think that's as clear as I can make it. In summation, how would one translate 'I love that it's raining', 'I hate that it's difficult', or even 'It upsets me that he does such things'? 'Amo ut pluat'? But no, that would mean 'I love so that it may rain'; 'amo pluat'? Surely not?

Sorry for sacrificing conciseness, but I wanted to make my question as clear as possible. Perhaps you can help? Many thanks!
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Re: The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

Postby Hampie » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:57 am

Vitance wrote:Of course it has been made obvious that 'ut' is used to mean 'so that', insofar as "Cucurrit ut superet" may be translated as "he ran so that he would survive" (or as I like to translate 'ut' with the subjunctive: 'that he may survive'—it helps me remember the Latin syntax). However, what bothers me is how difficult it is to find an answer to which word would be used to convey the meaning...well, what about that: "It bothers me that it is difficult."

If one were to say, "I love that it's raining," is it a pronoun, maybe the relative pronoun, that is used there, like in English, and in the Romance languages (French: j'adore qu'il pleut)? Or is 'ut' somehow stretched to mean the same thing? Or could it even be the Subjunctive voice without a pronoun?

I think that's as clear as I can make it. In summation, how would one translate 'I love that it's raining', 'I hate that it's difficult', or even 'It upsets me that he does such things'? 'Amo ut pluat'? But no, that would mean 'I love so that it may rain'; 'amo pluat'? Surely not?

Sorry for sacrificing conciseness, but I wanted to make my question as clear as possible. Perhaps you can help? Many thanks!

Perhaps an explicative quod would be used? Amo quod pluit. At least that is what I get from reading my grammar.
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Re: The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

Postby thesaurus » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:41 am

As you've indicated, most sentences that use "at" will probably need to be re-casted to match Latin idiom. This is part of the problem with translating: it's hard to break out of the structures of our native language.

For "I love that it is raining," part of the problem may be the idiomatic use of "love," which seems to mean more generally "I am happy (for some reason)" or "I like something or other." I would probably translate this as "Cum pluat, gaudeo." I wonder if you could use something like reported speech, as in "gaudeo iam pluere"? "Gaudeo quod pluit" makes sense to me. "Laetor" could come in handy as well.

For "I hate that it's difficult," you might say "Cum difficile sit, irascor," or maybe "Irascor id difficile esse."

I have no luck at translating from English to Latin, so I'd love to hear other suggestions. I see why they say that you should only translate into your native language--once you've captured the sense of a sentence, you can rephrase it naturally. Going the other way requires one to possess significant linguistic copia (an ability that Renaissance educators really tried to drill into their students with Latin).

Edit: I see this for gaudeo in Lewis and Short--"usually constr. with an object-clause, quod, the abl., or absol.; less freq. with the acc., cum, quia, the gen., si, etc."
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Re: The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

Postby Vitance » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:38 am

Thank you for your suggestions. I think I understand now the recurring role of 'cum' with the subjunctive. It is almost redolent of the possessive + gerund in English, where one might substitute "I like that it rains" with "I like its raining." Obviously that particular sentence sounds absurd—there are better gerundive forms, such as: 'If you don't like my sleeping past ten, then wake me up...", where "my sleeping past ten" can be substituted for "that I sleep past ten."

If that's the case, would a gerundive/possessive form work as a substitute in Latin, do you think? It doesn't sound plausible to me, but then I'm quite inexperienced with Latin. [After looking up uses of the gerund in Latin, this seems exponentially less likely.] I'll construct a sentence I've been struggling with, and I wonder if any mistakes to the grammar (by way of using 'that') may be corrected?

Cum omnes libri quos ea amat res tales contineantur, me dolore adficit.

It saddens me that all the books which she loves contain such things.


I THINK that sentence is constructed tolerably. I just want to know whether I may have gotten the hang of your "cum + subjunctive" advice, and whether it is appropriate in the above example?
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Re: The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

Postby Nooj » Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:04 am

Vitance wrote:However, what bothers me is how difficult it is to find an answer to which word would be used to convey the meaning...well, what about that: "It bothers me that it is difficult."


Quod difficile est, molestum mihi est.

Or hoc fero moleste (I take this badly), quod difficile est.

In the first example, the quod-clause is the extended subject - the fact that it is difficult, bothers me.

In the second example, quod is in apposition to the neuter demonstrative pronoun. I take this badly, that it is difficult.

Vitance wrote:If one were to say, "I love that it's raining," is it a pronoun, maybe the relative pronoun, that is used there, like in English, and in the Romance languages (French: j'adore qu'il pleut)? Or is 'ut' somehow stretched to mean the same thing? Or could it even be the Subjunctive voice without a pronoun?
I'd say gaudeo quod pluit.
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Re: The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

Postby Nooj » Fri Jul 30, 2010 6:49 am

Vitance wrote:Cum omnes libri quos ea amat res tales contineantur, me dolore adficit.

It saddens me that all the books which she loves contain such things.


I THINK that sentence is constructed tolerably. I just want to know whether I may have gotten the hang of your "cum + subjunctive" advice, and whether it is appropriate in the above example?


Contineantur here is passive, so it cannot take an object. You must say contineant if you want to say that all the books contain res tales. Otherwise, and someone please correct me, it looks good to me. I think also that amat could be attracted into subjunctive amet, because the relative clause is so important to the sense of the cum clause.
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Re: The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

Postby Vitance » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:47 pm

Nooj wrote:Contineantur here is passive, so it cannot take an object. You must say contineant if you want to say that all the books contain res tales. Otherwise, and someone please correct me, it looks good to me. I think also that amat could be attracted into subjunctive amet, because the relative clause is so important to the sense of the cum clause.



Thank you. I changed it to the passive at the last second (trusting in my dictionary that the passive also contained a transitive meaning "consist of, rest on, control"). Now, even so, I see the folly even in using that definition, and I figured that my using the passive would be corrected, but thanks again for assuring me of it. You've all been very helpful!
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Re: The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

Postby Imber Ranae » Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:37 pm

Vitance wrote:Cum omnes libri quos ea amat res tales contineantur, me dolore adficit.

It saddens me that all the books which she loves contain such things.


In addition to what Nooj rightly remarks, I don't think adficit can be used impersonally like this. I'd use the passive instead, i.e. dolore adficior. I'd also replace res tales with just talia, as this is more usual for "such things".

What you have here is actually a cum causal clause, which works well enough for the sentiment you're trying to express: "I am grieved, because..." You could still express it more directly, however. As already mentioned, verbs of emotion frequently take quod, as well as sometimes an accusative + infinitive construction. So you could just say Doleo quod omnes libri quos mea filia amat talia continent.
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Re: The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

Postby Vitance » Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:59 am

Imber Ranae wrote:In addition to what Nooj rightly remarks, I don't think adficit can be used impersonally like this. I'd use the passive instead, i.e. dolore adficior. I'd also replace res tales with just talia, as this is more usual for "such things".

What you have here is actually a cum causal clause, which works well enough for the sentiment you're trying to express: "I am grieved, because..." You could still express it more directly, however. As already mentioned, verbs of emotion frequently take quod, as well as sometimes an accusative + infinitive construction. So you could just say Doleo quod omnes libri quos mea filia amat talia continent.



Thank you, this is very informative. I actually saw the expression rem talem in a Latin translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; is it that tale by itself could replace rem talem (I'm assuming, from the plural form -ia that talia is neuter, and like mare/maria would have -e in the singular?), or is the plural, talia, the only time it is used as a stand-alone? I guess that's kind of a side-question, but it is interesting, now that it's come up. I can see why they might be different, why the plural might be the only form used, but I'm curious.

If you truly think adficit should not work in that context, then maybe I'd best trust my Collins Latin dictionary a little less. Or perhaps, as you say, speak more directly, and say, "I suffer" instead if "it brings me suffering" (since the attempt to conjure something which a Latin speaker would never have said that way, will naturally result in an uncommon or downright false use of certain words). If custom and syntax in a particular language dictate more direct speech, then I shouldn't let my wont to speak indirectly in English affect proper use of Latin.

But, could you tell me why it might be a bad thing to express it indirectly with a 'cum' causal clause? Of course meaning, why would you (if it is a personal preference of strength of expression) prefer your example to, "Cum omnes libri quos mea filia amat talia contineant, doleo"? Is it a preference of concision, or maybe of some prosaic quality which the latter may not possess?
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Re: The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

Postby adrianus » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:12 am

I think "[me] dolore adficit quod" and "tales res" (for "talia") are fine, by the way.
Obiter, licet tibi "[me] dolore adficit quod" atque (pro "talia") "tales res" dicere, ut opinor.
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Re: The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

Postby Imber Ranae » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:40 am

Vitance wrote:Thank you, this is very informative. I actually saw the expression rem talem in a Latin translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; is it that tale by itself could replace rem talem (I'm assuming, from the plural form -ia that talia is neuter, and like mare/maria would have -e in the singular?), or is the plural, talia, the only time it is used as a stand-alone? I guess that's kind of a side-question, but it is interesting, now that it's come up. I can see why they might be different, why the plural might be the only form used, but I'm curious.


You'll see tale occasionally, but not so frequently as talia. The reason for this is that Latin, when one means to express "things" in a very general and indefinite sense, prefers the use of neuter plural pronouns and adjectives. So, for example, it is common to see vera dicit "he speaks true things", i.e. "he speaks truly" or "he speaks the truth (in general)". But you'll also see the neuter singular used when talking about some one thing in particular, as verum dicit "he speaks the truth (on a particular matter)". Neuter singular demonstrative pronouns are especially common in proleptic constructions, where they "look forward" to a noun clause which they are in apposition to, as in this random example I took from Cicero: Mea lenitas adhuc si cui solutior visa est, hoc expectavit, ut id, quod latebat, erumperet. "My leniency thus far, if to anyone it has seemed too remiss, has only been waiting for that which lay hidden to break forth." (He's speaking of the proof of Catiline's treachery being revealed by his actions.) Notice that hoc, the direct object of expectavit, merely affirms beforehand the consecutive clause introduced by ut: "My leniency...awaited this, that that which...[etc.]"

Now, res (pl.) can also mean "things" in general, and in many cases it is interchangeable with the neuter plural. Notice I didn't say res tales is wrong here, only that I would find talia more usual. One thing to keep in mind is that res has a myriad of other meanings besides "thing" (e.g. matter, affair, event, fact, circumstance, occurrence, deed, condition, case, business, property, etc.,etc.) and is a very context dependent word.

Vitance wrote:If you truly think adficit should not work in that context, then maybe I'd best trust my Collins Latin dictionary a little less. Or perhaps, as you say, speak more directly, and say, "I suffer" instead if "it brings me suffering" (since the attempt to conjure something which a Latin speaker would never have said that way, will naturally result in an uncommon or downright false use of certain words). If custom and syntax in a particular language dictate more direct speech, then I shouldn't let my wont to speak indirectly in English affect proper use of Latin.


I don't mean to suggest that Latin always expresses things more directly, and so you should take this as a general rule. It's not. Latin, in fact, often uses impersonal expressions that are impossible to convey in English with a literal translation, and many Latin verbs are exclusively impersonal (and just to be clear, I mean impersonal in the strictly grammatical sense, i.e. without a subject). This is just a matter of idiom, and each verb must be considered on its own in this regard.

My only problem with your use of adficit is that, when looking through its entry in Lewis and Short, I can see no examples of impersonal use, unless I am missing something. I don't have your Collins dictionary, so I can't really comment on its accuracy. If it does cite an impersonal use of adficere I'd certainly be interested in seeing it, or else what it says that suggested to you this use was proper. I can't make a judgement otherwise.

Vitance wrote:But, could you tell me why it might be a bad thing to express it indirectly with a 'cum' causal clause? Of course meaning, why would you (if it is a personal preference of strength of expression) prefer your example to, "Cum omnes libri quos mea filia amat talia contineant, doleo"? Is it a preference of concision, or maybe of some prosaic quality which the latter may not possess?


It's simply more direct, as I said before. The choice depends on whether you wish to emphasize the fact that you are saddened (with cum) or to emphasize what it is you're sad about (with quod). A causal cum clause, like most other cum clauses, simply clarifies the circumstances of the independent clause which contains the main idea.
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Re: The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

Postby Vitance » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:56 am

Thank you so much, Imber Ranae; your answers have been extremely thorough. I completely understand that now, of Latin using the neuter plural in so many instances, to convey a general idea. It's no doubt the same principle by which the Latin expression for "the past" would literally mean "things past"—praeterita.

I also appreciate that you haven't said those certain expressions are never used, but are simply less common.

As for that use of adficio, it's actually listed in my Collins dictionary as that exact phrase: dolore adficere; under sadden, so I actually took it directly from them, not forming it based on an explanation as to why it might be used that way. Whether it is accurate has become somewhat inconsequential through all this, but that's where it is. It's a very recent dictionary, so that may mean something for an interpretive view of the Latin grammar.

As well, you've helped me by distinguishing between the understood meanings of "quod" and a "cum" causal clause, and to know that "cum" is exactly which form I'd like to use there, since it really is the verb which I wish to emphasise; in the event that the clause, cum libri quos ea amat talia contineant, is information which is already understood, or else happenstance to be remarked upon by one's reaction to it.

In fact, the English contains the word 'actually,' in that one might expect an overjoyed reaction, but is met with sadness: "It actually saddens me that..." If there's any way that would change the Latin drastically, that would also be interesting.
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Re: The uses of 'ut,' and other translations of 'that'.

Postby thesaurus » Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:57 pm

Vitance wrote:As for that use of adficio, it's actually listed in my Collins dictionary as that exact phrase: dolore adficere; under sadden, so I actually took it directly from them, not forming it based on an explanation as to why it might be used that way. Whether it is accurate has become somewhat inconsequential through all this, but that's where it is. It's a very recent dictionary, so that may mean something for an interpretive view of the Latin grammar.


I don't think that people have a problem with the phrase "dolore adficere" per se, but using it impersonally (grammatically speaking).

Me dolore adficis = You sadden me.
Cum haec dixerit, uxorem dolore adfecit. = Since he had said these things, he saddened his wife.

These are examples of my creation that use the phrase in a non-impersonal construction; i.e., someone or something specific is the subject of the sentence and the one saddening someone. When you you just have "me dolore adficit" referring to the preceding cum-clause, there is no clear subject of the verb adficit. This is why English inserts an "it".

I can't say whether this impersonal usage would have struck Romans as odd (perhaps this sort of thing was said, but wasn't considered literary), but it is generally preferable to follow established usage so long as the sentiment can be rephrased without much difficulty. As has been mentioned, "dolore adficior" conveys the same meaning without needing to specify some external subject for the verb.
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