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  5. "Marcus et Livia nunc ab urbe…

"Marcus et Livia nunc ab urbe veniunt."

Translation:Marcus and Livia are coming from the city now.

August 28, 2019



It's funny how nunc in Latin means now and in Spanish nunca means never.


Spanish nunca is from the Latin numquam.


Ne (no) +unquam (once, sometimes) = nunquam (never)

Once in English is often said to come from "one", but I think it could rather come from the old French "oncques/onques" (meaning one day), and it's directly from the Latin "umquam/unquam"


Voltaire used to say that "English is ill-pronounced French".


Yea, so does Portuguese.


The pronunciation of veniunt (as "vAY-niunt") is undesirable. The present tense of the verb has a short e; the lengthening comes in the perfect.


I agree, I've reported it as "The audio does not sound correct."


What is the difference between "ab" and "a"?


"Ab" is used when the following word starts with a vowel.


Why do we use ab urbe, but then we use ad urbem?


They are opposites: preposition a/ab = (away) from, and governs nouns in the ablative case: ab urbe, from the city.

The preposition ad = to, towards; at (with 'non-motion' verbs), and governs nouns in the accusative case: ad urbem, towards the city.

Both preposition and noun-form have to change, when we distinguish between FROM the city and TO the city.


Which prepositions take ablative case? And is it used very much outside of those?


Ablative has MANY uses, aside from being the object of some very common prepositions.

All the "FROM" prepositions (ab/ā; ex/ē; dē) control ablative objects. "WITH" (cum) and "WITHOUT" (sine) control ablative objects. "ON BEHALF OF" (prō) is another that controls ablative.

There are many purely ablative constructions:

ablative alone, without a preposition, can mean BY MEANS OF or WITH X as an instrument (instrumental ablative): Mīles hostem gladiō necat , The soldier kills an enemy WITH A SWORD.

Ablative alone can express a point in time: Prīmā lūce necesse est surgere , It's necessary to rise at first light.

Ablative alone (also with prepositions) can express SEPARATION: Herculēs omnēs metū līberat . Hercules sets everyone free from fear.

Grammar books will probably list more than twenty different 'types' of ablative.


Thank you very much for the thorough answer! I think I'll have to move on to a serious textbook after Duolingo, but this is a great way to start. I have started memorizing declensions, but I was not learning the ablative case because I didn't think it was used much.

Separate question, in case you're someone who knows, are they planning to add to the Latin course on Duolingo?


Thank you, you're more than welcome! (It struck me as a really good question!)

I always recommend the beginning textbook by Frederic Wheelock--it's pretty comprehensive, and served me as a reference grammar in my undergraduate years.

One of the commonest prepositions that governs ablative case is in the meaning "about, concerning," and as such used in ancient book titles:

Cicero's Dē rē pūblicā , "About the Republic" (or "ON the republic")

Lucretius' Dē Rērum Natūrā , "Concerning the Nature of Things"

Cicero's Dē Natūrā Deōrum , "On the nature of the gods"

Cicero, again: Dē Senectūte , "On old age"

and lots more!

I don't know about the Duo course, except what I read in the comment pages--I think they've said they're planning to expand the course eventually, but that this all takes time, and that the recent virus complication has slowed the process even more...


Hi Suzanne, For some reason it's not letting me reply to your comment below (the reply option is not appearing and I'm on my laptop) so I'll reply here: Good to know about the textbook and that other useful ablative preposition. In fact I have read De Rerum Natura twice, and love it. I want to learn Latin to be able to read classics such as that in the original, and perhaps also some Roman history or other interesting documents. Plus everyone continued to write in Latin throughout the middle ages so it would make reading lots of medieval history better.


'Marcus and Livia are now coming from the city.' is flagged as incorrect - this is smoother English.


Please use the Report Button. Posting it here doesn't help us to add the translation.


Marcus and Livia now come from the city. Why is this wrong


It looks correct, as far as I can tell.


Marcus and Livia are coming to the city now.----Is it correct?


TO the city = ad urbem. That's the opposite of "ab urbe," FROM the city.

"Marcus and Livia are coming FROM the city now."


Marcus et Livia ab urbe nunc veniunt marked wrong????? why


Probably because this is a "type what you hear" exercise - in which case the word order should be precisely the one you hear.


That's odd, since the default position for the adverb (nunc) is right in front of the verb--just as you did.


Oh dear: Marcus and livia come from the city now - is wrong! How so? Any ideas? Thanks


No idea why--"come" versus "are coming" ? "from the city" and "now" both follow the verb in your sentence; but Duolingo wants one of them ("now") to precede the verb? Not sure what's "wrong" here, in the English sentence.


Thanks sounds like you agree!


@SuzanneNussbaum i had plural come but was ,marked wrong :(


So how is ex used as in "ex tempore/tempora (?)"? What is the difference between ex and ab?


It's ex tempore, by the way: "from the occasion" (and not from an earlier time). An ex tempore speech was composed as it was delivered, not composed at a previous time, written down, and then delivered. As if you were calling it a "spontaneous" speech.

ex can have the meaning of "from the inside out," i.e., if you're in the house and you go out of it, that's ex .

Whereas ab is more general: "away from."


But what is she doing with her microphone??? She seems to be tampering with it all the time!


I guess users don't realize how we record the audio. We have to use the tool built into the incubator. We have to hit record and then hit the stop button. There is no way to clean up the audio. We cannot record with another program, clean it up, and then upload. That means you'll here us click the mouse.

That's the best we can do with the tools that we are given.


You're doing an amazing job. Thank you for this course.


The pronunciation of this guy is just horrible


I wrote, "Marcus and Livia now comes from the city". I was marked wrong, but I'm not entirely sure why I was wrong. I believe it means the same thing?


It looks as though you have the verb in English as "comes" (3rd pers. sing., the "he/she/it" verb form), whereas in Latin there's a 3rd pers. plural "they" verb, veniunt (which should be translated "they come").

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