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"Ille me servat et ego illum servo."

Translation:He saves me and I save him.

August 27, 2019



This is off topic, but I have to state that I love Duolingo because of the vivid, insightful, astonishing, illuminating and mostly polite discussions of its users. This is one of them!


The Latin forum is especially helpful.


Surely 'is me servat et ego eum servo' would make more sense? Using ille as a personal pronoun was a later innovation.


Why do you say it's a later innovation? There's no writer that doesn't routinely use "ille" to mean "he".


Is ea id, hic haec hoc, and ille illa illud, can all be used, they have different connotations but if that is not important to the writer it is ok to use any of them. And iste ista istud for people you are talking negatively about.


Would you mind explaining the different connotations?

  • is, ea, id : no particular connotation
  • hic, haec, hoc : this one (here), near to the speaker
  • iste, ista, istud : that one (there), a bit further - or that "bad" one (pejorative connotation)
  • ille, illa, illud : that one (over there), further - or that "great" one (laudative connotation)


We save each other. How could I say that in Latin?

Servamus invicem ?


Apparently there was no word for "each other". "Inter se amant" means "they love each other" but I don't know whether that construction is adaptable to the present statement. Still researching. Anyone know?


What you suggested would work if you meant that we are saving one another in turns. If you mean "we save ourselves," you would use the reflexive pronoun: Servamus nos.


Yes, but if it's saving, but not in turn, but reciprocally? As the English "each other".


Hello, for me this is a good sentence for learning pronouns, I was wondering if the following is correct quoque:

"Ille illam servat et illa illum servat."

Edit: Not as an answer for this question, but as something that I can repeat to learn other pronouns.


What part of speech are "me" and "illum" in this sentence? What grammatical case is used?


Me and illum are both pronouns in this sentence, and are both in the accusative case. me is the accusative of ego. Illum is the accusative of ille.


What does "save" (servat and servo) mean in the sentence? I usually think of "saving" as rescuing ("I saved her from an attack") and sometimes as preserving (when dealing with things, like "I saved money to buy a car"). I could not understand the meaning of "save" in this sentence; would it be "watch over"?


How would one say "she saves me and i save her" instead?


Instead of the masculine ille, you'd use the feminine illa.

Illa* me servat et ego illam servo.


Why not "he looks after me and I look after him"?


You're mixing up two verbs. This is to save. See the other posts.


Why is it not dative verb case? Why accusative? In german i guess this verb is "sparen" + dat case


There is no reason to expect it to be dative. We need a direct object, so it's accusative.

There are a handful of verbs that take a dative object when you'd expect an accusative.


No, in German, "sparen" is used with the accusative and this verb only means "to save" in the context of saving money! Otherwise, "servare" would be "retten" or here rather "achten" (auf + AKK.)


On the other hand, the verb "ersparen" can be used with the dative, like "Es wird mir (dat.) arbeit (acc.) ersparen".


You are right, but in your example, "mir" would be an equivalent of the dative of interest in Latin, in my opinion.


can it be "illum le servo"?


Le isn't a Latin word.


Sounds romantic


Yes, but it's rather "Rome antic" (antic Rome)! ;-)
The wordplay works better in French: romantique / Rome antique.


What is the difference between ille and illum?


The difference: "ille" is nominative, "illum" is accusative.
Here the declension:


I'm pretty sure that servo/servas/servat translates to serve, not save.


No it doesn't. You're confusing servare and servire.

See my post above.



servō, servāre: to save
serviō, servīre: to serve


Doesn't servo mean to serve (i.e. like a servant?)


No. See the other commentars...


"servare" translates "to serve" or "to take care of something"


Oh danke, alles klar. Was weiß ein Fremder? Da English schließlich für mich auch ebenso eine Fremdsprache ist, wie Latein, danke ich für diese Aufklärung!


Isn’t it an error servo is more I serve that I save?


No, I've explained above, servo does not mean serve.


Well....... looks like im not the only one... with how the latin phase is set up im confused "He me saves and I him save" is wat it comes to im jus not sure


That's a word-for-word translation; it's not correct English


Not "They save me and I save them"? If I were trying to talk about a person of unknown or unimportant gender, which latin pronouns should I use?


Last time I checked, Latin has no gender-neutral pronoun (or something like that). That idea doesn't exist in Latin. You must assume the gender of people you are referring to all the time. Some schools suggest the use of masculine words like ille or is for a group of mixed gender, following the logic of current Romance languages. But also, it's just a suggestion. Some also suggest to paraphrase the sentence in different way like passive structure to omit using pronoun at all.


Latin does indeed have neuter pronouns. Suum is the nominative neuter of the reflexive, and Id is the nominative neuter of the direct, which you mentioned. (Is is the masculine of Id) Pronouns don't have to refer to people, and the pronoun has to agree in gender, number, and case with the thing that it refers to. You could be talking about a monster, or maybe even an inanimate thing like silver. So "argentium suum" would be "the silver itself"


The original question by Jacob is about Latin equivalence to English gender-neutral pronoun "they" (sometimes called singular they).

I think you misunderstand the meaning of gender-neutral personal pronoun which is semantical and NOT always the same as grammatical neuter gender pronoun. Gender-neutral here is for human and it means "covering both male and female gender (of human)".

I don't think neuter pronoun id or illud should be used to refer to person as it serves the meaning of a thing not a person. Using id to refer to person seems very dehumanizing and inappropriate as the word itself is not ment to refer to person but rather 'that thing' or 'this thing'. Same analogy as the difference between quid (neuter = thing) and quis (mas/fem = person). Like you don't use it to refer to a person in English.


Being a speaker of a language with a gender-neutral singular pronoun, Norwegian, (den/denne) I can testify that the rise of the number of women involved in society did necessitate putting this pronoun to new and unusual uses, due to how rarely it had been used before. After all, earlier nearly all adult women were classified as wives, a known quantity. Whereas these days it's anybody's guess what the sex of the next professional you meet is. Naturally, you deal with that, but it does leave the problem of speaking accurately about people whom you only know are working for a specific place. So you use the neutral masculine/feminine pronoun, which previously was only used to vary expressions. We also use the neuter pronoun, (det/dette), which, counter to expectations, is in fact used for people, as it's tied to grammatical gender, not biological sex. Grammatical gender is arguably arbitrary, and not necessarily tied to sex. For instance, child is neuter in Norwegian, and car is masculine. So both pronouns are used for things. There has in fact been a lot of speculation as to what to do in those circumstances. And if we didn't have the option of combined masculine/feminine, we would likely have used the neuter. We might have made up a category to justify it, but instead we go with the gender of the professional title, or the gender of the business they're in. In real terms, though, it's more of an issue for academics than it is in real usage, as it still only comes up in edge cases. The second sex is known, you switch to specifics. Indeed the awkwardness of using den/denne in speech (it's mostly a formal phenomenon) generally leads to the knowledgable supplying the information necessary to switch.


Ille is masculine. Your question about unknown gender is a heavily debated one in Latin speaking circles.


The idea of unknown gender is unknown in French. (at least, before the debate about the genders, and I don't say the neuter, the neuter does exist in French, but it's not the same thing.)

So I really think an unknown gender is a specificity of the English language (I don't say English language is the only one). And I think there's probably there a trend to anglicize the Latin language with English concepts.

When referring to an unknown gender in French, one would say "Cette personne" (this person), because it could be a male or a female. And the pronoun would be grammatically feminine "elle, la", if we use "personne", because of the feminine gender of the word "personne", but knowing that the real gender could be masculine or feminine.

There is a neutral pronoun in French "ça", but it's used for things. If you'd wanted to use it for a person, it would mean this person is not quite human, but a kind of monster, or an object.

If there's no explicit neutral (in the meaning of unknown) pronoun in Latin, it's really probably that it's the same thing in Latin. So I don't understand the need to bring foreign concepts, from other languages with other logics, to this language.
Languages are diversity, in the concepts.


I think it's an attempt to bring in the modern concept of gender neutrality. For example, until recently mainstream society thought many professions were only done by males. Using "they" instead of "he" or "she" is a recent attempt to make English gender-neutral.


Gender neutral they is not new in English. It was used through the Medieval period.


Ille is a demonstrative masculine pronoun meaning "that". Given that it is masculine, we have to infer that it refers to a masculine person. In Latin masculine is the collective gender (And generally in Latin literature most active agents are men anyway), so when in doubt I would use that personally.


"They save me and I save them" → Illi/ii me servant et ego illos/eos servo.


Servare = to save? What an odd translation! Besides the pronunciation of the readers is terrible. As I know, ae and oe are pronounced as [e:]


No, it's not an odd translation, it's a correct translation. Please read the other posts before posting. We've discussed this.

The pronunciation is correct. This is the Classical pronunciation, where ae and oe are not the same as e.


According to my dictionary this should be serve, not save.


I think (as someone stated above) there is a difference between "servo" and "servio"


Why servo is translated as save? Shouldnt it be serve?


Servare - to save

Servire - to serve


I can't but admire your patience, as you keep responding questions of people who didn't read your previous posts...


I'm a teacher. My entire day is repeating myself to students who don't listen :)


I laughed out loud :)


I was trying to conjugate these verbs: Servare - servo Servire - sirvo?? If so, it would be the same as my native Portuguese.


No, sorry. The conjugations are not the same as Portuguese.








The verb servare means to save. It gives us such words as conservation, preservation, to preserve, to conserve. You're thinking of servire, which means to serve. It's a completely different word. :)

Double check on William Whitaker's Words to make sure: http://archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/wordz.pl?english=serve


Volgav vitsenanieff nivya kevach varatsach.


That female speaker makes me crazy: Servat pronounced like serwuat and Servo like serwuo...


The v is pronounced like a W. It's the Classical pronunciation.

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