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  5. "New York is an American city…

"New York is an American city."

Translation:Novum Eboracum est urbs Americana.

August 28, 2019



Why not 'Novum Eboracum urbs Americana est" I'm quickly getting very confused about when not to out the verb at the end.


Generally, Latin word order is extremely flexible. Seeing as this course is in its beta stage, please report the issue when it arises. I have noticed that this course either follows the sentence constructions, "[Subject] [object] [verb]," or the more English friendly, "[Subject] [verb] [object]." Truthfully, both answers are equally valid, but currently, some wrong answers are byproducts of the system. Also, kudos to you for learning Latin!


There is no set order in Latin, though most formal writers used SOV. Just report that it should be accepted and move on


Word order is important in Latin as provider of emphasis.... in fact, classical Latin would be SOV. the inversion would put stress in the part which is "out of place"... so the proposed word order "Novum Eboracum est urbs Americana" would translate with emphasis something like "It is an AMERICAN CITY what New York is", to emphasize the displaced part of the phrase.


@cavdberg Should be definitively included in this course!
I hope they'll fix that.

You are the first one who explained that clearly, and I waited until the level 10 in Latin to understand that thanks to you!


I just used that exact word order and was marked correct


why is urbS and not urbi [


Because urbs is the nominative form of the noun and one uses the nominative either side of "to be"/"essere"

I don't think you would ever get urbi, since urbs is feminine and no feminine declenation ends in "i" (from memory, so please correct if I'm wrong)


Urbi is the dative case. Third declension feminine nouns will have -i for the dative and sometimes the ablative (not all third declension feminine nouns).


Why is is "americanUS iuvenes", but americanA urbs"?

Is the A/US alternation about inanimate/animate? For some reason, I thought it had to do with plural/singular


Urbs is in the feminine gender (urbs, is, f - as you will see it in the dictionary), so any adjective that you ascribe to it should be in it's feminine form too. Americanus has three forms (masculine, feminine and neuter) - americanus, americana, americanum (Americanus, 3 - in the dictionary). So - urbs americanA. Iuvenis as a noun is masculine, so... It goes with americanUS :) I hope that helps.


I cam to the comments to ask this question as well. Thank you for your succinct answer


Oh, noun gender! Duh! How could I forget that? Thank you for the answer


@j11v8: thanks for your clear and succint explanation. Have a Lingot!


When does 'Novi Eboraci' become 'Novum Eboracum'?


'um' is the nominative form of it (what is strange and made me question why was it in accusative at first as nominatives are usually with 'us'). 'i' is locative; 'in Novum Eboracum' becomes 'Novi Eboraci' instead. So it is the other way around and Novum Eboracum is the 'normal' and it only becomes 'Novi Eboraci' with the locative case.


Why not 'Novum Eboracum urbs Americana est" very confusing.


If it's not accepted, please report it.
Your sentence is also correct, and their sentence is correct.
It's not confusing, it's the relatively free order of the verb, taking a little walk in the sentence.

They wanted to show us the more common word order with the copula verb (to be), it's often found in the middle of the sentence (or at the beginning).

When it's the opposite for the other verbs, they are more commonly found at the end of the sentence (but the other word orders aren't incorrect).


In the sentence Marvin provided, which word has a greater emphasis? City or American?


I'm not an expert, but here's what I think. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong:

In this case, neither. He simply moved the verb to the end. In Latin, the common word order does have adjectives placed after the noun being modified, so this is standard, aside from est being at the end. If you put the adjective first, you are emphasizing the adjective. Est is usually put in the middle to distinguish what is part of the subject and what is part of the predicate, as they are both in Nominative case, but here the predicate is a different gender than the subject, so there is no need to make that distinction. It might emphasize being an American city. If you were contradicting someone who said it was a European country, for example, you might say that, but if you were simply stating a fact, you might put est in the middle.


Is it actually correct to start demonyms with a capital letter in Latin?


It's only a convention we use when we, modern people, try to write in Latin.
Exactly like the spaces, the comas, the full stops.
It is because Indo-European languages use this convention now.


So, is "Novum Eboracum" just as valid as "Eboracum Novum?"

In other words, is the order of a multiple-word proper name rigid or flexible?


The order of adjectives in relation to nouns is flexible to a degree; so, yes, "Eboracum Novum" should be a completely valid translation. Since both words have been put the in the accusative case, the linguistic use of a noun as an object or indicating motion towards (at least for Latin), swapping the position of the adjective to be after the noun is more than acceptable. I am not sure if the course will currently or eventually accept "Eboracum Novum" as a correct answer, but I hope it does eventually.


Except if it's the name of a city! (or the name of something used by everybody)

I guess that if the name of the city is "Novum Eboracum", it becomes an expression, and you can't change the name and say "Eboracum Novum". See on the New york motto.


Thank you. I'll have to try reporting it once or twice to see if they'll eventually accept it.


Why Americana and not Americanus ?


Because it is female.


Not female, but feminine.


Are all cities feminin then? I am still confused. Doesn't the ending "um" of Novum Eboracum indicate the gender Neutrum?


It is not about Novum Eboracum, but 'city'.

'Urbs' is a feminine noun.

Urbs est americana.

Puer urbs americana servat.

"The boy saves an american city."

Puer urbs americana est.

"The boy is an american city."

The boy, or a 'he', is clearly masculine, however the point is the genre of 'city' as it is the noun the adjective is applying to.

Therefore: Novum Eboracum urbs americana est.


Thank you very much for the great explanation.


How does urbe changed to urbs?


Urbs is the nominative so it's used for the subject or with the second clause when the verb is simply 'est'. Urbe is the ablative, meaning 'by, with or from the city.


Super confusing. Can you please provide some examples with the explanation?


It's REALLY early to be getting into the ablative, which is why they probably didn't get into that. It's sort of a catch-all for whatever isn't caught in the other cases such as the accusative, or dative. (with regard to objects)... Latin can seem quite intimidating looking at all the declensions and verb conjugations etc., but once you get rolling in it... it'll come a bit easier.


In reality, Urbe doesn't change in Urbs, but the "normal" word is Urbs.

Urbs = nominative = meaning it's the "normal" case. Like when something is subject. The cities are beautiful = nominative.

Accusative is when the word is grammatically a complement to the verb. I make a cake. "a cake" would be grammatically accusative, as it's the result of the action verb, or the "thing" that receives, benefit or suffer from the result of the action.

To make it very simple, the ablative case can be used when you have a preposition like "by" + the word.

For instance:
"Occidit hostem gladio"
Occidit means to "He kills". "Hostem" means the ennemy, and "gladio" means by or with the glave.

If you had the "normal" word, it's not glavio, it's gladius.

I would use the nominative "gladius", if I wanted to say "The glave is very sharp" for instance.


Ok, but...

You say ”Ubs = nominative”. Did you mean”Urbs”?

If Urbs is 'normal' then why is it ”in urbe” when we talk about being ”in the city”?

Doesn't the form ”urbe” tell us it is the locative? (I'm using the word locative but I'm not 100% sure I'm using it correctly). Isn't the ”in” redundant? I think I recently learnt to use ”Romae” to be ”in Rome”... and that we have to say ”in Italia” because there is no locative form for ”Italy”. So why the redundancy of ”in” with ”urbe”?


Yes, it's a typo of course. I skip letters by typing very fast (I'm not as good as I've been once in typewritting.) Thank you for your attentive correction. That's a chance I've typed the word correctly in the rest of my comment, so it hasn't been to confusing. Fixed now.

The locative is absolutely not with "in". In fact, the locative is *never" with a preposition.

"in urbe" is not the nominative, as it's not anymore the subject, or the isolated word, as I said in my comment.

If you check in a declension table "urbe" is the ablative case.

"in + ablative" is often used to mean a static place. This thing is in this place. (without any idea of moving, just "to be", "to sit", etc...)

The locative is very very rare in Latin, it's only used for cities, towns, small islands and exception words (domi, ruri, humi).

With the copular verb "to be", (it's linguistically its name), note that in linguistics it is considered that this verb has no complement, but a copula, and therefore, no direct complement means no accusative. So, we use (as an exception) the nominative with it.


My grammar is awful enough in English - thus harder to understand re another language - wish there were much better introductions/tips at the begining of lessons instead of relying on help/explanations in the forums/comments sections. Also i cannot cut & paste answers that are helpful & once a lesson is completed - i cant go back to find these responses/comments. Please DL could you allow for the cut/paste function so i can at least take the helpful explanations from here & look at them again? Coming back to the lessons after a break ive forgotten much that I gleaned from the last lessons.


while the overall value of DL is unquestioned and the programming is superb, there are odd little things, such as the inability toput things like being able to create one's own file of notes. I cannot fathom whyI need the Latin word parrots and peacocks. I never use them in English conversation! And then so many sentences are non-sensical; the old man eats fish in the grave? And, me being old the whole framework of rewards is inane. Do any users actually care? But whoever codes the program is a genius. The timing of bringing back a word from 6 lessons back is uncanny. My big question is why not use examples and vocabulary from the context of where Latin is used? Why not sentences from Cicero? or adapted from the great Latin writers? No one but Cardinals speaks Latin in conversation. Let's get real.


I put Novum Eboracum est urbs Americana ' and got it wrong. It said the correct answer should be 'Novum Eboracum Americanum oppidum est.' where did oppidum come from? It is not even in the drop down boxes.


You probably had a typo. Thank you for the confirmation about the accepted use of "oppidum" here. I'll try to reuse it in one of the next sentences...


Duolingo does not accept above Latin translation as correct


Why is it a wrong answer with verb at end of sentence


Hi! When do I use Novi Eboraci istead of Novum Eboracum?


Novum Eboracum is Nominative case. Novi Eboraci is Locative case. You use it to say that something happens in New York.


Americana vs Americanus? Which, why, when, whither, how so... ?


Different gender. Urbs is femenine so we use americana


If novum eboracum is not locative, what is?


It is nominative.


What is the difference between urbs and urbe?


Novum Eboracum vs Novi Eboraci... Why?


Nouns in Latin change grammatical case (their endings change) based on how they are used in the sentence. Novum Eboracum here is in the nominative case and is used since it is the subject of this sentence, it is the city we are talking about.

Novum Eboracum could also be the accusative, the direct object of a verb, the thing a verb is being done to (or since this noun can take the locative, an accusative of place to where).

Novum Eboracum amo -> 'I love New York'

You will see Novi Eboraci in this course as the locative case, which is only used with names of cities, towns, small islands and a handful of other nouns. The locative specifies the location something is located, occurs, etc.

Novi Eboraci sumus -> 'We are in New York'

Novi Eboraci habito -> 'I live in New York'


i agree this discussion over place-names is ridiculous. But I disagree with about using Latin only for contemporary events. Roman civilization contributed much to civilization. Logically, no historic people or era should be used because there has been and is evil in every era. So that leaves us writing in Latin about science, My beef is with the stupid vocabulary used. I do not need to learn the Latin word for parrot and peacock before I learn the word for bird.


Why not: "Novi Eboraci est urbs Americana" ?


What is the difference between Americanus and Americana?


Grammatical gender. Americanus is a masculine form while americana could be feminine (as it is here to work with urbs) or neuter (should the noun it is with be neuter).


why would novi eboraci urbs americana est be wrong?!


Since we are describing New York we must use the nominative (Novum Eboracum) so we can link Novum Eboracum with urbs Americana using est.

Novi Eboraci could be the genitive or locative case which would give a different translation. Novi Eboraci urbs Americana est could be translated as 'In New York is an American city'.


do you have software of the dictionary (Latin - English and English - Latin) for PC (win 7, 8, 10, etc.)?


Why is urbs in the middle? Wouldn't it be at the end?


In latino il verbo viene posto a fine frase


Sì, a volte, ma non sempre. Cf. Michael von Albrecht, Masters of Roman Prose. From Cato to Apuleius (Francis Cairns, 1989) o l'originale tedesco: Die Meister Römische Prose (Lothar Stiehm, 1979).


Why Novum Eboracum and not Novi Eboraci?


Since we are describing New York we must use the nominative (Novum Eboracum) so we can link Novum Eboracum with urbs Americana using est.

Novi Eboraci could be the genitive or locative case which would give a different translation. Novi Eboraci urbs Americana est could be translated as 'In New York is an American city'.


Why is it Eboracum and not York?


Because Eboracum was the Roman name for the city now known as York (in England) which in turn gave its name to New York.

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