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189, page 81 key translation

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:29 pm
by vastor
Salve,

I was translating the english to latin exercise 189.
"There will be no danger, if we are (shall have been) careful".

When I noticed my translation was slightly incorrect compared to the key you guys here at textkit wrote. I think my problem lies in understanding the declination of adjective Attent-

My translation:
Erit non periculum, si attentum fuerimus

Key translation:
Non erit periculum, si attenti fuerimus

I wasn't entirely sure how to decline the adjective as it seemed to have no corresponding noun. I therefore decided it could be used substantively as a noun and rested on the neuter nominative -um.

I've seen adjectives used substantively before, but I can't explain how and why the key declines it as: Attenti ; Except perhaps if it is agreeing with the copula verb fuerimus, which is plural in number; thus declining as nominative plural -i . Although that doesn't explain the assignment of a masculine gender.

Perhaps someone more experienced than me can explain my confusion?

Re: 189, page 81 key translation

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:00 pm
by modus.irrealis
Hi,
vastor wrote:I've seen adjectives used substantively before, but I can't explain how and why the key declines it as: Attenti ; Except perhaps if it is agreeing with the copula verb fuerimus, which is plural in number; thus declining as nominative plural -i . Although that doesn't explain the assignment of a masculine gender.
That's right, it's agreeing with [the subject of] fuerimus. The masculine is used because it's the "default" gender. If it specifically referred to a group of women, then the feminine would have to be used.

About the position of non, I'm not sure if it can go after the verb like that. I think you'd use nullum if you wanted to modify the noun directly as in the English original. [Edit: I think I should turn this into a question instead of a statement, because I'm *not* sure here.]

Re: 189, page 81 key translation

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:03 pm
by spiphany
vastor wrote:I've seen adjectives used substantively before, but I can't explain how and why the key declines it as: Attenti ; Except perhaps if it is agreeing with the copula verb fuerimus, which is plural in number; thus declining as nominative plural -i . Although that doesn't explain the assignment of a masculine gender.
You got it. The adjective has to agree in case, number, and gender with the noun it is modifying. In this case it is the understood subject of fuerimus, nos, hence nominative and plural.

The use of the masculine is called a generic masculine. It occurs in many languages (including English) and is used when the gender is unspecified or when a mixed group of males and females is involved.

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:25 pm
by vastor
Thanks guys for clearing that up.