question about possessive adjectives

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pin130
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question about possessive adjectives

Post by pin130 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:49 pm

At the risk of asking a foolish question I've gotten stuck on a phrase from Nutting exercise 44: "my brothers have come from the boat...". My brothers is translated as "fratres mei" in the key. With 1st and 2nd person I thought you use the possessive adjective, yet "mei" is a pronoun genitive. If it were an adjective it would have to be something like meorum to agree with "brothers"? Where am I going wrong?

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Re: question about possessive adjectives

Post by anphph » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:01 pm

How would you say:

the brothers of my brothers

?

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Re: question about possessive adjectives

Post by bedwere » Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:04 pm

This particular mei is nominative plural masculine of possessive adjective mĕus, a, um, not the genitive of personal pronoun ĕgō

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Re: question about possessive adjectives

Post by pin130 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:13 am

Thanks. Amazing after several years of playing with Latin I still get stuck on these things. Oh well...

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Re: question about possessive adjectives

Post by pin130 » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:40 pm

I came across the phrase "their mother" in Nutting 46, which is translated as mater eorum. Comparing this to
fratres mei, would it be correct to say that with a 3rd person pronoun used as a possessive, the genitive "of" is not implicit and therefore must be added; with a 1st and 2nd person possessive adjective the genitive is implicit and therefore one doesn't need to add the genitive "of"---the adjective just needs to agree with its noun? All this must be very obvious if you've learned it in a classroom, but if you're learning from a textbook, these things are often not spelled out clearly.

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Re: question about possessive adjectives

Post by Aetos » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:26 pm

Are you referring to "(their) mother" in the exercise?
"Meanwhile the boys were carrying branches and leaves from the woods; for (their) mother had sent them to help the sailors."
"Their" does not have to be translated because it is implied that she is the boys' mother; however, if it were to be translated it would take the form eorum. As far as omission of the possessive is concerned, here's what Allen&Greenough have to say:
c. The possessives are regularly omitted (like other pronouns) when they are plainly implied in the context:—
1. socium fraudāvit, he cheated his partner. [ socium suum would be distinctive, his partner (and not another's); suum socium , emphatic, his own partner.]

Implication of possession can be applied to any of the 3 persons, singular or plural.
I hope this answers your question!

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Re: question about possessive adjectives

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:29 pm

pin130 wrote:I came across the phrase "their mother" in Nutting 46, which is translated as mater eorum. Comparing this to
fratres mei, would it be correct to say that with a 3rd person pronoun used as a possessive, the genitive "of" is not implicit and therefore must be added; with a 1st and 2nd person possessive adjective the genitive is implicit and therefore one doesn't need to add the genitive "of"---the adjective just needs to agree with its noun? All this must be very obvious if you've learned it in a classroom, but if you're learning from a textbook, these things are often not spelled out clearly.
It would be more accurate to say that one of the uses of the genitive 3rd person pronouns is to express possession. There are other uses, e.g. the objective, timor eorum "fear of them." For the genitive of the first and second person pronouns, Classical Latin prefers not to use them of possession, so timor meus "my fear" vs. timor mei "fear of me" (=being afraid of me).
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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Re: question about possessive adjectives

Post by pin130 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:14 pm

Thanks to both of you for taking the time to answer my question. It's interesting that Nutting put (their) in brackets, implying that we know it's their mother we're talking about. Yet in exercise 44 "my" in the phrase my brothers is not put in brackets. I don't see why personal possession is more implied in one case than the other. In any case, it's only a textbook.

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Re: question about possessive adjectives

Post by Aetos » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:22 am

Looking at that sentence in Lesson 44, you could probably omit the possessive adjective. It's pretty clear that Marcus is referring to his brothers, and no one else's. Have a look at sentence I.A.3 in that lesson:
you'll notice that he omits the possessive "frater autem noluit..." (my brother however did not want to)

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Re: question about possessive adjectives

Post by pin130 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:44 am

I have another question from Nutting 47, Aetos, If you still have your copy around. "Do you prefer to buy a doll, Claudia?" is translated in the key as Pupamne, Claudia, emere malis? Shouldn't "you prefer" be translated mavis? Malis is present subjunctive but isn't this a simple present tense second person indicative?

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Re: question about possessive adjectives

Post by bedwere » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:55 am

It should be mavis.

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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: question about possessive adjectives

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:37 am

Aetos wrote:Looking at that sentence in Lesson 44, you could probably omit the possessive adjective. It's pretty clear that Marcus is referring to his brothers, and no one else's. Have a look at sentence I.A.3 in that lesson:
you'll notice that he omits the possessive "frater autem noluit..." (my brother however did not want to)
Just to expand slightly on Aquila's explanation, Latin tends to omit the possessive where it is clear from context who the possessor is (though not always). English doesn't like to do that...
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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Re: question about possessive adjectives

Post by Aetos » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:13 pm

Barry Hofstetter wrote:Just to expand slightly on Aquila's explanation
Barry, you've "latinized" me! :lol: I don't know how I'm going to fit Aetos/Aquila on to my license plate, though...

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