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Latin for Duolingo: Relative and Indefinite Pronouns, lesson 3

Salvete omnes! Welcome back to Latin for Duolingo. This is an ongoing, unofficial course in Latin; if you would like to catch up with previous lessons, you can find a directory, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses at these links:
- Directory of Lessons
- Vocabulary List
- Memrise course for vocabulary
- Memrise course with complete sentences
- Previous lesson: Relative & Indefinite 2

The vocabulary list linked above is the new link: for some reason the old link had become inaccessible to most people, so I went ahead and created a new post.
This lesson continues with some new Latin pronouns and adjectives. We have learned the relative pronouns (qui, quae, quod) and interrogative pronouns (quis, quis, quid). Now, we will explore the indefinite pronouns. Most of them are formed as compounds of other pronoun forms that we have studied. It’s a little complicated because there are multiple ways of expressing similar ideas in Latin, and there are adjective forms as well as pronoun forms, but I will try to give some simple examples that cover the basics. There is a very helpful and thorough explanation here that might help as well.

I’m introducing a few new adjectives in this lesson as well: they have some irregularities in form and they also are used in some interesting constructions. We are overdue for a more in-depth study of adjectives, so I may just have a few sentences this lesson and save more for later on. We are in an area of Latin where there are many possibilities when it comes to syntax. The same thought may have many equivalent translations in both English and Latin.

New Vocabulary
aliquis, aliquid (indef. pronoun) = someone, somebody, something, anyone, anybody, anything
aliquot (indecl. adj.) = a number, some, a few
alius, alia, aliud (adj.) = other, another (of more than two)
alter, altera, alterum (adj.) = the one, the other (of two)
ambo, ambae, ambo = both
nullus, a, um (adj.) = no, none
nonnulli, ae, a (adj.) = a few, some (lit. “not none”)
pauci, ae, a (adj.) = few
quidam, quiddam/ quidam, quaedam, quoddam = a certain one, a certain thing (used like the indefinite article in English)
quisquis, quidquid (indef. pron.) = whoever, whatever, everyone who, everything which
(unus)quisque, (una)quaeque, (unum)quodque = each one, every one
uterque, utraque, utrumque = each, either, both (of two)

New Sentences
Aliquis venit. = Someone is coming.
Aliquis aliquid edit. = Someone is eating something. Marcus aliquem videt. = Marcus sees someone.
Paula aliquid vidit. = Paula saw something.
Aliquis ex vobis debet hoc facere. = One of you should do this.
Dixistine aliquid? = Did you say something?
Aliquid boni invenerunt. = They found something good. (Frequently the genitive is used to complete the meaning).
Lucia alicui pecuniam dedit. = Lucia gave someone the money.
Ab aliquo factum est. = It was done by someone.
Gaius aliquos libros volebat. = Gaius wanted some books.
Nemo ambulat (nulli ambulant), sed aliqui currunt. = No one is walking, but some are running.
Aliqui mortui sunt. = Some people died.
Aliqui credunt terram esse planam. = Some people believe that the earth is flat. (accusative with infinitive construction)
Hoc fit in aliquibus locis. = This is done in some places.
Quisquis in viā ambulat, altus est. = Whoever is walking on the road is tall.
Quidquid agis, bonum est. = Whatever you do is good.
Luciae nulli liberi sunt. = Lucia has no children. (literally, no children are for Lucia)
Dicunt “pax, pax,” sed nulla est pax. = They say “peace, peace,” but there is no peace.
Nullus puer cafeam bibit. = None of the boys drink coffee. (lit. No boy drinks coffee).
Nemo vestrum in scholā erat. = None of you were in school. (note singular in Latin, plural in English)
Ubi sunt alii? = Where are the others? (alii masc., aliae fem.; presumably other people: alia neut. implies other things)
Aliam viam habemus nullam. = We have no other way. (from Caesar’s Gallic Wars, where the Helvetians try to convince Caesar to let them trek through Roman territory)
Alii vixerunt, alii mortui sunt. = Some lived, others died.
Alter mansit, alter abiit. = One remained, the other went away.
Uterque canis felem videt. (Ambo canes felem vident). = Both dogs see the cat. (with a form of uterque, the translation could be in the singular: each dog sees the cat).
Ambas puellas cognovi. (Utramque puellam cognovi). = I know both girls.
Utraque filia mea fortis est./ Ambae filiae meae fortes sunt. = Both of my daughters are strong.
Aliquis aliquot annos in illā casā habitat. = Someone has been living in that cottage for some years.
Unusquisque pro se. = Every man for himself.
Pauci discipuli erant parati. = Few students were ready.
Quidam vir tres filios habebat. = A certain man had three sons.
Alter ego est amicus. = A friend is another (a second) self.
et al. (et alii, aliae, alia) = and others
Cuique suum = To each his own.

If you are starting to feel that indefinite pronouns (and adjectives) are quite confusing, I can’t say I disagree. I tried to keep the sentences simple; comment below if there are questions and I will do my best. Next lesson we’ll move along to adjectives, including some of the irregular ones we have seen this lesson, and comparative and superlative forms as well. Thank you all for your patience as this lesson took a long time to prepare, and best wishes in your studies. Valete et bonam fortunam!

Next Lesson: Adjectives 2, lesson 1

June 28, 2017



Even with the new vocab link I'm still getting the same 404 error :S The only browser capable opening it is Internet Explorer. I cleared cache, disabled the antivirus protection, but nothing helped. It must be something in the text itself causing this, some coding issue maybe, but I have no idea what exactly.

Anyway thank you so much for the new lesson! This looks like a tough one for sure :)


Oh no! If it's a coding issue, I'm probably hopeless to fix it. It's a very long file. I'm hopeful that Duolingo will complete its overhaul of the discussion forums soon, and maybe some of the problems will be fixed then.

Indefinite pronouns were a challenge, but they do mostly follow the logical rules of Latin. I had never taught them before because they are used in conversational Latin but not so much in textbooks. Tatoeba.org is a great resource for sentences but it was down for more than two weeks... hence the long delay in getting this lesson posted. I hope to do better with future lessons.


That's fine, it's summer vacation after all :))

The site Clozemaster (https://www.clozemaster.com/ which I greatly recommend to learners of any language by the way) also uses tatoeba.org as the source of its Latin sentences, and for me it's a great indicator of just how much we've learned through your course here. Lately it's getting more and more rare that I encounter sentences with grammatic concepts I don't recognize and it's mainly just the vocabulary which is new in the practices. So it's really amazing how much you've already covered and conveyed of the language even in this awkward format!


Yes, I think Clozemaster is a great way to practice a language! When I first heard about it, they didn't have many Latin sentences, so for a year or so now I have been contributing sentences to Tatoeba. There are a lot more English/Latin sentence pairs now, I think. I've also learned a lot about sentence construction and some of the modern Latin vocabulary. We are really fortunate to have so many resources available now. And I truly enjoy sharing what I can and helping others learn. So glad to hear that people are finding it helpful!



I have a minor quibble with this sentence: "Quisquis in viā ambulat, altus est. = Whoever is walking on the road is tall." "Altus" is not really used to describe people. Magnus or celsus would probably be better.

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