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  5. "The brother writes at home."

"The brother writes at home."

Translation:Frater domi scribit.

August 27, 2019



Macrons are missing for all options; this is a problem, as it teaches students that vowel length doesn't matter (which it does). This point is well made by the superb contributions above, discussing vowel length in second and third conjugations. There should be no doubt that including such information is an important tool to use for pedagogical reasons, but also because it simply is correct. More and more publications are being revised now to include macrons where they should be, such as the open access online editions of the Aeneid. ‘Frāter domī scrībit’ is correct; ‘Frater domi scribit’ less so. There is no way to report this with the options provided when flagging.


CannedMan: Did you report it? I noticed there are no macrons on the first lessons and I am an absolute beginner. I would report it, but for some reason I never get the option to report.


Why is Frater scribit domi not accpeted?


This was frustrating for me. It is actually a big problem in the program's ability to teach Latin. Because Latin is a synthetic language that uses inflection as its primary syntax, the endings of the words--not their order-- are simply how meaning is made within the language. Latin word order, as written by Romans, is often very different from the word order we are accustomed to in many modern languages, so counting something as wrong because it doesn't fit Duolingo's exact, restrictive word-order template seriously misrepresents the language. Romans constantly played with word order to convey stylistic nuance in their sentences. I am a Latin teacher myself, and "Frater scribit domi" is a perfectly correct way of writing that sentence. Duolingo is just wrong on this one. I realize that it's in Beta at this point, but if they can't figure out how to fix this part of their programming, it will be virtually worthless as a tool for learning Latin. Perhaps this is part of the reason why google translate is so bad with Latin? I don't know enough about computer programming to be able to tell if the syntax required for computer programming just isn't sufficient for dealing with a synthetic, inflected language like Latin, but it seems like this may be part of the issue. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to program a computer to be able to catch meaning the way it is made in Latin (and other ancient languages like it). There's a reason why many of the modern versions of these ancient languages dropped inflection in favor of prepositions and word order . . . they're easier to speak conversationally that way. I suppose that's good for me, though--maybe we will always need non-virtual teachers of Latin!


The authors of this course are convinced by what you said. They know the word order is more flexible than in our modern languages. The only thing, is that it takes time, and reports (not here, but with the "report" button, on the exercise page), to include all the possibilities.

We will always need real life Latin teachers, we are a lot to use this program, because we are not in school anypmore, and we do not have a Latin teacher!

In France, the silly governments removed the teaching of Latin in public schools, almost totally!!!


You can also not use it, or help fix it by reporting right answers marked as wrong


Of course I'm aware that I "can not use it." I don't really need it, at least at the basic level it is currently teaching. I tried it out from pure curiosity, and I was just surprised that for such a basic sentence, a perfectly correct answer would be marked wrong. I wanted to point that out so that people wouldn't get discouraged. Frustration was probably a bit premature. I do help try to fix it by reporting right answers that are marked wrong, and so far Duolingo has been very responsive--all of the suggestions I have made have been implemented (duolingo sent me messages telling me that my corrections were accepted, so good for them). I wasn't taking into account enough the Beta form of this course when I made my comment. I was also used to other languages where Duolingo is very accurate. I do remain concerned about how Duolingo will handle more complex Latin sentences where the sheer number of possible word orders can be mind-boggling. . . . but hopefully it will work out!


Grammatically, it is correct, since word order typically does not matter in Latin. However, their could be multiple ways to rearrange the sentence which may be difficult for the creator/computer to have as correct. But, your translation still works, just not the way they want it.


Oh! When teaching Latin, they prefer the verb to be at the end of the clause for easier understanding.


I can see that. Thanks.


I think it depends on ur mainlanguage


It was accepted for me


I type "Frater scribit domi" and it is accepted.


The grammar rule is; 'Topic Location Verb' Topic (or noun I guess) is who, so 'brother', the location- where- is 'home', and the verb is 'writes'.


Why is 'in' not necessary here? I would have thought it would be "Frater in domi scribit".


"Domus," along with other words (cities, towns, "rus"), actually have a Locative case; here, domi. Further, in scenarios where "in" is equivalent to "in" (without motion), the noun would take the ablative case "domo," not the genitive/locative "domi."


I believe the use of the ablative is correct, but most dictionaries give the ablative form of domus as "domu." I used "Frater domu scribit," only to have it marked wrong; domi is a special usage and could be used, but I don't think "domu" should be excluded. 29 August 2019


My Lewis and Short notes "domu" but says "usually domo."

The Ablative without "in" doesn't mean something static, but instead implies movement away from. "Frater domu scribit" is something a little confusing in this case. The ablative can be use to indicate the place where something took place, but in that case it would need "in" in front of it.

Domus/rus/Cities, though, are special cases.


Your intuition is correct about the ablative. In almost every situation like this one, the ablative would be used. However, when the locative is taught in Latin classes, the rule is that "cities, small islands, 'domus' and 'rus'" all take the locative case rather than the ablative case. The locative case is a weird exception to the normal usage of the ablative. Supposedly, what little we have of the locative case is a leftover vestige of an earlier time in Latin in which the the locative case was a flourishing case of its own, and was used for location in general (hence the "loc" of "locative"). Now, however, there are just these weird situations that seem completely arbitrary and which go against what one would expect given the normal usage of the "ablative of place." When I was teaching Latin, the kids always found the locative's usage to be a humorous side note to the already complex Latin grammar they were learning.


"Domi" is locative/adverbial, so it doesn't need a preposition.


Ok, but is it (in domi) wrong?


Yes, that would be the incorrect way of saying it. When you use either the ablative of place or the locative, there is no need for the "in," and the Romans wouldn't use it. For us, it would be a little like saying "at at home"


That is a good explanation


How can I say I am your sister in Latin?


I am typing "Frater scribit domi" and it is also accepted (Feb 19, 2021). Why it is marked right?


As a beginner, I am on first and second conjugations. -a verbs and -e verbs. What is scribit?


Hi . . . "scribere" is neither a 1st conjugation nor a 2nd conjugation verb . . . it is a 3rd conjugation verb. There is also a 4th conjugation that ends in "ire." So the second and third conjugation both have endings of "ere" in the infinitive form, but for the second conjugation the "e" is long and has a macron over it, while for the third conjugation the "e" is short and has no macron when written. Scribo, scribere, scripsi, scriptum for the four principle parts of "to write," while a typical second conjugation verb would be something like video, videre, vidi, visum (sorry . . . I'm not sure how to put macrons on here, but pretend like there is a macron over the 1st e in videre). Even though on the surface they look similar because they both have 'ere' endings, 2nd conjugation verbs and 3rd conjugation verbs have different conjugation paradigms and thus have different endings from one a another. It can get a bit tricky and so it is important to know which conjugation a verb belongs to . . . the second person singular present active indicative form of a 2nd conjugation verb looks like the second person singular FUTURE indicative of a 3rd conjugation verb. Hope that helps.


Thanks for your answer have a lingot. I understood in Chapter 1 of Wheelock's Latin that the -a and -e verb present tense personal endings are the same that is, -o or -m -s -t -mus -tis -nt. So I was confused when I found that the -e endings are -o -is -it -imus -itis and -unt. I couldn't find where they talk about the e personal endings. Am I right?


Hi . . . I'm not sure I completely followed what you meant, but I'll do my best. I think part of the problem is that you may not have learned the 3rd and 4th conjugations yet (if I understood you correctly). Once you do, it will fall into place for you. The 3rd conjugation is the trickiest in my opinion for two reasons: (1) The infinitive looks a lot like the 2nd conjugation, and (2) there are actually two ways of conjugating 3rd conjugation verbs, depending on the verb--the regular way that simply converts the "e" into and "i," and the less common "i" stem forms, where the "e" turns into an "ie." You basically have to memorize which 3rd conjugation verbs are regular that way and which ones are i-stem. But your original instinct is correct . . . for a regular third conjugation verb, you actually have to change "e" on the verb stem to an "i" when conjugating it. So, even though it's an "ere" verb, it is conjugated differently from a 2nd conjugation "ere" verb where you simply add the personal endings to the verb stem without changing the "e." Even though 2nd conjugation verbs look similar to 3rd conjugation verbs (especially if someone doesn't use macrons when writing them), they in fact are different from one another in how they are conjugated. It would actually be more obvious in spoken Latin since 2nd conjugation verbs are pronounced with a long 'e,' while 3rd conjugation verbs are pronounced with a short 'e.' So, to give an example--Videre is a 2nd conjugation verb and it is conjugated "video, vides, videt, videmus, videtis, vident. A third conjugation verb like "scribere" would be "scribo, scribis, scribit, scribimus, scribitis, and scribunt. " Notice that the "e" of the stem changes in each of the personal inflections for the third conjugation verb, while for the second conjugation verb the "e" from the "ere" doesn't change. When learning the verbs, the best way to keep track of whether an "ere" verb is 2nd conjugation or 3rd conjugation is to memorize them with the correct pronunciation of the infinitive . . . 2nd and 3rd conjugation verbs sound different from one another when spoken. Whew! That was a lot of words! I hope you were able to make sense of that. It's so much harder to explain these things in writing. Good luck and thanks for the lingot! Let me know if you have other questions.


You are right, I have not learned all my declensions. I'm a total beginner on Chapter 1 of Wheelock's Latin and was suddenly stopped by the confusion of how to decline the e verbs without the macron.


Brian, I did find where Wheelock's Latin talks about the third declension in Chapter 8. Sometimes I don't know whether they're talking about noun or verb declensions. Anyway, now I know that the -e verbs (with the macron) and the e verbs without the macron are declined differently. Thanks.


Makes perfect sense to me. One thing I want to point out, which may help you keep things straight--when noun endings change, that is called "declining" . . . and there are 5 Latin declensions. When verb endings change, it is called "conjugating" . . .and there are 4 Latin conjugations. Latin is quite a bit more complicated to learn (imho) than all the Romance languages that come from it because of the way it declines nouns (you can understand why the Romance languages dropped the noun declensions, presumably because changing all those noun endings is harder to put into practice when speaking) . I learned Spanish before learning Latin, and I remember being similarly confused by what seemed to me "conjugating" of the nouns. It's a different thing, though. If it makes you feel better, when I was teaching Latin, most of my students confused conjugating of verbs with declining of nouns, even well into their 2nd year sometimes. Keep at it! Learning Latin improved my command of language in general (including English grammar) immensely and it was worth the toil.


I want to thank you for telling me that nouns decline and there five declensions - and that verbs conjugate and there are four conjugations. That is extremely important information. Nobody has ever explained that to me.


I'm glad that was helpful for you! My hat's off to you for putting forward the effort to learn Latin on your own. It's hard enough with a teacher.

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