1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Latin for Duolingo: Family


Latin for Duolingo: Family

Salvete omnes!

Welcome back to Latin for Duolingo! If you’re just joining us and want to catch up, here are the links you will need:
- Directory of Lessons
- Vocabulary List
- Memrise course

Note: Although we have learned many of the family/relationship nouns, we haven’t necessarily studied them together. This lesson will give us the chance to study the old and a few new words side by side. Remember the basic endings for the first 3 noun declensions, and review those lessons if necessary. Because these are commonly used terms, there are many synonyms. For example, a child can be puer, puella, natus, parvulus, infans, liber, and probably others. And frequently plural masculine nouns are used to refer to a mixed group (in essence, many masculine nouns can be considered common gender, or may be representative of both males and females).


avia, ae = grandmother
familia, ae = family, household
filia, ae = daughter
avus, i = grandfather
filius, i = son
liberi, liberorum (m. pl.) = children
maritus, i = husband (vir is also used)
conjunx, conjugis (c.) = spouse, bride, consort (plural conjuges = a married couple, lit. “yoked together”)
frater, fratris (m.) = brother
infans, infantis (c.) = baby, infant
mater, matris (f.) = mother
parens, parentis (c.) = parent
pater, patris (m.) = father
soror, sororis (f.) = sister
uxor, uxoris (f.) = wife (femina or conjunx is also used)

New Sentences

Magnam familiam habeo. = I have a large family.
Est frater meus, quod est filius patris mei. = He is my brother, because he is the son of my father.
Vestri parentes in Italiā habitant. = Your parents live in Italy.
Avus et avia tua in Hispaniā habitant. = Your grandfather and grandmother live in Spain.
Gaius et Lucia sunt conjuges. = Gaius and Lucia are a couple.
Gaius est maritus, et Lucia est uxor. = Gaius is the husband, and Lucia is the wife.
Gaius pater infantis Luciae est. = Gaius is the father of Lucia’s baby.
Mater Lucia infantem amat. = The mother, Lucia, loves the baby.
Infans Gaii est filia, non filius. = Gaius’ baby is a daughter, not a son.
Parentes mei agricolae sunt. = My parents are farmers.
Habesne maritum? = Do you have a husband?
Cum parentibus meis habito. = I live with my parents.
Sumus soror et frater; non sumus conjuges! = We are sister and brother; we are not a couple!
Liberi crustula amant. = The children like cookies.
Frater meus multos liberos habet. = My brother has many children.
Avus meus cervisiam bibit. = My grandfather drinks beer.
Avia mea cervisiam avi bibit. = My grandmother drinks grandfather’s beer.
Pecuniam liberis tuis das. = You give money to your children.
Sorori meae librum do. = I give my sister a book.
In loco parentis. = In the place of a parent.

Next lesson, we’ll look at some of the complex terms for grandchildren, aunts, uncles and cousins... unless I decide to leave it for a more advanced lesson because it really is more complicated than in English! Also, you may enjoy this site for a Family Tree in Latin

Valete et bonam fortunam!

September 23, 2015



God I love this language! It's so beautiful to convey so much information in such little words.

[deactivated user]

    Thank you so much for these


    I think there's a typo in '"Frater meus multos liberos habent." And a question about word order: If I want to say the same thing, but have the verb in the last place in the statements "Gaius is the husband, and Lucia is the wife.", am I right to think that "Maritus Gaius est, et uxor Lucia est." is the better translation?


    Thank you for catching that habent; corrigendum est! As to word order, my understanding is that sentences with a linking verb do not necessarily follow the guideline of putting the verb at the end; my personal preference is to keep the linking verb in between subject and predicate adjective or predicate noun, just to clarify which is which. This isn't a hard and fast rule by any means, but it's important to recognize the distinction between a subject-object-verb sentence and a subject-predicate noun/adjective-linking verb sentence, and word order is one way of making that more accessible to English speakers without deviating from what was accepted practice in classical times as well. Just to illustrate: "Fratres mei multos liberos habent. = My brothers have many children." is a SOV/SVO sentence, requiring the accusative for the direct object. But "Fratres mei sunt pueri mali. = My brothers are bad boys." is a S-LV-PN sentence, requiring nominative case for the predicate noun, qualitatively different from the first pattern. I can't cite a rule for this, but it's a courtesy to the reader to make the distinction between predicate and attributive use, just for clarity, when the cases are the same. The position of the being verb is one way to do this. I hope that helps. Now off to make that correction!


    Thank you, that makes sense, but I had this question specifically because I've been adding the alternative accepted answers to the sentences in the Memrise course, and I always try to add the (kind of) SOV word order as a "safe choice" for recalling most of the examples in case I feel wouldn't differ too much in meaning. But in this case I was wondering if I should add "Gaius maritus est..." at all, because it sounds to me like it was saying "Gaius is a husband", and in the English sentence "Gaius is the husband..." I feel the real predicate is 'Gaius' and 'the husband' is the subject (though I may be wrong on this one, because I don't know much about grammar and English isn't my native language either), that's why I felt "Maritus Gaius est..." closer in meaning to your original (though without context it could also sound to me like "It is the husband, Marcus." which is again a completely different sentence). So with respect to your comment, do you think it would be better if I didn't add any of these as alternatives, and I also left these kind of sentences (containing a predicate noun/adj and linking verb) with only one accepted solution (your original), in order to avoid confusion? (I did that for example with the sentences containing "there is", the only accepted solutions in those cases are the ones starting with 'est'.)


    I see. You are probably giving it more thought than I gave the original sentences, honestly! Any alternate renderings you want to put in would be fine. Bear in mind I teach kids of an age where the basic difference between SOV and SLVPrN is the key point I want them to remember, and any variation that is still grammatically correct within that basic framework I tend to accept. I think the predicate and attributive positions are difficult to convey at the beginning level, and for most Americans, even at the intermediate level. Ultimately, if Latin ever makes it into the incubator, all of these sentences would need to be reviewed by several eyes to catch the shades of meaning. Then a decision would have to be made about which sentences would be acceptable translations, which would count as wrong, and how many alternatives there would be. That's more than I can handle at this time, without being in the incubator, mainly because it's a huge programming job. I applaud your efforts to bring the sentences to Memrise, as many of them as you want to. You will know best which ones will work for you to put in, and you can always go back and add more in later.


    What about gens? I remember that being family along with familia. (I'm doing Latin in middle school, and this is my last year :( )


    Good question! I think gens has more the sense of a very large extended family, like a Scottish clan. It is also sometimes translated "tribe" or even "nation." I would like to introduce it eventually, but maybe a little later.


    Oh Okay! Tibi gratio! (I think that's right, either te or tibi)


    Realise I have a question about this sentence--

    Avus et avia tua in Hispaniā habitant. = Your grandfather and grandmother live in Spain.

    Why "tua"? Why not "tui" because your refers to grandfather and grandmother (so pl) and masculine grandfather presumably dominates?


    It's kind of a confusing sentence, now that I think of it. Maybe I should have written "Avus tuus et avia tua". But, where there is one adjective agreeing with multiple nouns, the rule is to make it agree with the noun closest to it. Since it isn't obvious we are talking about "your" grandparents, there needs to be at least one adjective to clarify that, but having both might be repetitious. You could say "parentes tui" or "progenitores tui" about either parents or grandparents, and masculine plural is representative of both genders. Anyone older than your grandparents' generation is "majores" = ancestors, "greater ones."

    Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.