"How much do olives cost?"
Translation:Quanti olivae constant?
According to the Gaffiot, both are ok.
But, as a note, "olea" was first the olive tree, and Cicero used "olea" for the tree only, the use of "olea" for the fruit is found in Varro (only?). I've found this info interesting, so I share it here.
I wonder if it was common that the name of the tree was taken for the fruit later?
Olea is from Greek ἐλαία, elaía, meaning both olive tree, and olive it seems.
Olea gave the talian (olio), French (huile), etc... for oil, and even the English "oil" via Old French & Anglo-Norman"olie".
All from Latin oleum ("olive oil", and later "oil"),
I'm not certain about this myself, but there are a couple of paragraphs in Allen & Greenough that might be relevant.
416 - The price of a thing is put in the Ablative
417 - Certain adjectives of quantity are used in the Genitive to denote indefinite value. Such are magni, parvi, quanti, pluris, minoris ...
417 c - With verbs of buying and selling the simple Ablative of Price must be used, except in the case of tanti, quanti, pluris, minoris.
Salvete omnes! I'm having trouble figuring out the declension when a question is asked... In this example, the nominative was used (Quanti olivaE constant?). However, when you say "would you like bread", the accusative was used (Velisne panEM?). I got that "you" is the subject and "bread" is the direct object. However, when you ask "how much", I tend to ask myself "how much WHAT costs" and therefore to think that "olives" in this case is the direct object, which apparently is not. I hope someone could help me with tips or lessons to understand how does work declension with questions, or if there are different approaches according to the type of question. Maybe it's because I was always poor in grammar and fled latin classes at school. Paying the price now...
Not sure if this will help, but maybe if you think that "the olives cost twenty coins," you can see that the olives are "doing" the "action," that is, "costing" money. Another example might be "Who is in the kitchen? Dinah is in the kitchen." "Dinah" is the subject, not the object, in both the statement and the question. The same is true for the olives here.
Regarding quanti, when does one use the genitivus pretii and when does one use the ablativus pretii? Both are used to indicate value or price with verbs of buying and selling, as Vicipaedia instructs, but is there a difference between the two or are they in free variation?
See question by SimonRusht1 and my response. The subject of a sentence is generally in the nominative case, the object in the accusative. Oliva is a 1st declension noun. You can see all the 1st declension endings here. If you're not clear about identifying the subject and object in a sentence this page may help.
You generally find the -es ending in third and fifth declension nouns. The third declension is quite complex, and I wouldn't worry too much about it at this stage but just try to learn the examples as they come up. When you've progressed a bit further in Latin it will pay you to learn the tables of all five declensions by heart.