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  5. "I am a man, but I am not a w…

"I am a man, but I am not a woman."

Translation:Ego sum vir, sed non femina sum.

August 27, 2019



I thought the position of the verb wasn't fix so I tried to answer "Ego vir sum, sed non sum femina".

What determines wether a statement is verb-object or object-verb?


Go ahead and report it as correct. I put in "Vir sum, sed femina non sum" - which is also correct - and it didn't accept it. :)

Latin is predominantly an SOV language, so typically the verb goes at the end. But Latin being a heavily inflected language means that word order is relatively loose - so SVO sentences, like what's often presented in the course, are also correct.

Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.


¿Why does it need the ‘Ego’? Couldn’t we say just ‘Sum vir, sed non femina sum.’? Also the logic of the sentence sounds convoluted, as ‘but’ should join opposite phrases, not phrases with the same sense.


I agree. The conjunction isn't really suitable here because the first part implies the second. I suppose saying "I am a man, not a woman" would make more sense, but I guess they wanted to fit in 'sed' into the sentence.


I think Latin is a strain for Duolingo's engine, since it's a synthetic (rather than analytic) language, and the word order isn't really fixed. There is a sort-of standard "classical" Latin -- really arbitrary rules made up for school children -- that they used to teach in Latin composition classes 100 years ago, and maybe they're following those here. When you look at medieval Latin, or even (what we know of) spoken/vulgar Latin during the classical period, there really aren't many word-order rules; ditto for poetry, where the word order changes according to the demands of prosody.


Hmm, so Latin must be quite useful for rhyming poetry? Can't think of a rhyme, just change the word order around until it does :)


Of course, Latin poetry didn't really rhyme words; it had a particular meter, but your point is the same.


Well, that is the question. Teaching Latin is making a choice on Latin you teach. Otherwise almost anything would be ok, in the over 2000 years someone should have said it. As to the word order: in classical Latin the neutral order is SOV, but it can be anything else.


Can you have the verb do double duty? Vir sed non femina sum?


You can, the second sum is entirely unnecessary for the same basic meaning, but consider this - without the second sum, the sentence would instead be translated as, "I am a man, but not a woman."


I tried "Sum vir, non femina", but no...


*sed non femina

Gotta be safe


Really confusionary when you speak Italian and you have to convert all these word Latin to English and reconvert to italian, your brain will explode :(


Agreed. I am Brazilian and it's very hard for me to translate it tree times: english-latim/english-portuguese/portuguese-latim. But I am happy of the fact that they are making possible for us to learn Latin here, even with all the trouble.


If anyone could check this, I just want to know if this is right or actually wrong. "Vir sum, sed non femina" Thanks!


Looks right to me. I've noticed a lot of my suggestions being accepted today, so I think we're helping them refine the options by reporting.


Correct! ( apart from the ‘sed’ discussion) A good Roman would say: ‘Vir sum, non femina.


Agree--economy of language. No repeating words unless necessary or for emphasis.


That is my answer.


¿Why not ‘Vir sum, sed non femina sum.’?

  • 2611

That's what beta testing is for. Please flag it and report "My answer should be accepted."


"Ego vir sum, sed non sum femina" Please remember Latin language has freedom in words order, so "Ego vir sum, sed non sum femina" is also correct.


So then does the "non" have to come right after the "sed"? I keep getting it wrong, or why do they insist 'verb at the end' - 'verb not at the end'? Anyone have some light to shed? Thank you!


I wished I could enlighten you...I am reporting all the mistakes. The verb at the end is correct but it will take them some time to adjust the system. Until that you will get anomalies.


In classical Latin, generally the verb is at the end with adverbs nearby. But there are lots of changes made to "expected" word order in order to draw emphasis to different parts of the sentence.


It is perhaps a bit heavy like this. It should be possible not to repeat the verb, and even omit pronoun. Something like, «Vir, (sed) non femina sum».


Ego sum vir, sed nōn fēmina sum.


When I learned Latin at school personal pronouns were not used in verb conjugation except for emphasis. The verb "to be" was conjugated as :

sum es est sumus estis sunt not "ego sum" "tu es" "is, ea, id est" etc.

Also, the verb was the last word in the sentence. "Vir sum", not "Ego sum vir".

Have the Romans told us we were wrong, from beyond the grave?


They're not forbidden, but you generally use them only to be emphatic (as is still the case in modern Spanish and Italian):

"Venis." - "You're coming"

"Tu venis." - "YOU are coming."

This is just a beta version of the Duolingo Latin course, and we're all testers. I'm getting marked wrong on a lot of questions when I don't make the right guess about whether the author included or didn't include the pronoun (it's entirely random), but they're accepting my suggestions as fast as I can report them, so it should all get sorted out before the end of the beta period.


En Latín, el verbo que sigue a "femina" se puede omitir, ya que la función semántica recae en el primer "sum".


Starting with "sum vir" is not accepted?

  • 2611

It's not wrong. You can flag it in-lesson and report "My answer should be accepted."


The audio does not work for all the chosen words, only "ego" and "sum" work.


She only utters "sum", so it's like she's sneezing.

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