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"My name is Marcus."

Translation:Nomen mihi est Marcus.

August 29, 2019

39 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteffiKnapp

Latin is an SOV language and an acceptable translation should be Nomen mihi Marcus est.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Sum/to be is a bit of a special case. It's the copula and therefore takes a subject complement rather than any kind of object. Think of it as like an equals sign. "Nomen mihi Marcus est" is acceptable, but it has everything in the nominative on one side of "est".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/elishasimche

I keep getting shifted between Marcus and Marce?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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"Marce" is the vocative. You only use it when you are calling out to him, addressing him by his name.

"Marcus" is the nominative. It is used when it is the subject or subject complement.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LexiBlakeley

So does that mean that his name is Marcus and that's What you call him when you're talking about him, but when you're talking to him you call him Marce?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobAdsett

Basically, yes. But be aware that while his name is 'Marcus', all nouns (including names) in Latin can have several different forms. So his name is 'Marcus', but it's also 'Marce', 'Marcum', 'Marci', and 'Marco'. This is because nouns (and adjectives) DECLINE--that is, they change form depending on what grammatical case they appear in.

The Latin cases are nominative (subject), accusative (direct object), dative (indirect object), ablative (various uses), genitive (possessive), vocative (addressing someone directly) and some nouns also have a locative case (denotes location).

Here's some example sentences using the word 'Marcus':

  • Marcus in urbe studet. (Marcus [nominative] studies in the city.)
  • Ego Marcum in urbe uideo. (I see Marcus [accusative] in the city.)
  • Ego Marco* in urbe eo. (I go to Marcus [dative] in the city.)
  • Ego cum Marco* studet. (I study with Marcus [ablative].)
  • Tu discipula Marci es. (You are the student of Marcus [genitive].)
  • Marce, tu magister meus est. (Marcus [vocative], you are my teacher.)

*note that 2nd declension nouns like 'Marcus' have identical forms in the dative and ablative, i.e. 'Marco' (singular) and 'Marcis' (plural... 'Marcuses'?) Sometimes you will get a word like 'cum' (with) which goes with an ablative noun (e.g. 'cum Marco' = with Marcus). At other times you just have to work out what case is being used from the context.

It can be daunting for new Latin learners when they figure out that there are multiple forms of every single noun and adjective! But don't worry, you'll get a feel for it sooner than you think. If you're not familiar with grammatical cases, just think of the difference between 'he', 'him', and 'his'. It's exactly the same kind of system. Indeed, 'his' is nominative, 'him' is both accusative and dative, and 'his' is genitive.

Fun fact: The difference between 'who' and 'whom', which so many English speakers struggle with, is that 'who' is nominative and 'whom' is both accusative and dative!

Hope this helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katja-z

Because you would be leaving out the "is". As in "my name Marcus" instead of "My name is Marcus"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christos970882

I meant the word order, mihi nomen instead of nomen mihi. Obviously est should be included.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Quidam_Homo

"mihi nomen est..." is good. In fact, when Quintilian wrote about this expression, that's the way he ordered it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Adam634435

Why does it sometimes require you to translate Marcus into Marce, and sometimes it does not accept Marce it wants Marcus


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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  • 2613

Marcus is nominative, Marce is vocative.


Here is a plain-English overview of what the cases are and how they work:
Latin cases, in English

Here are the noun and adjective declension charts:
declensions 1-3
declensions 4&5

Adjectives must agree in gender, number, and case with the nouns they modify, but they have their own declensions. Sometimes you get lucky and the adjective just happens to follow the same declension as the noun, but that is not a guarantee.

For good measure, here are the verb conjugation charts:
1st Conjugation
2nd Conjugation
3rd Conjugation
3rd i-stem Conjugation
4th Conjugation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AaronD.2

Nómen mihi est Márcus.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Macropicid

I know it's not technically supposed to matter, but Duolingo seems to prefer "nomen mihi" sometimes and "mihi nomen" others. Is there a difference in tone?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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I think it's just a matter of the course contributors arbitrarily selecting a translation to be the default in each sentence's database individually.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YiddishSingerMax

"Nomen est mihi marcus" should also be accepted no? Since word order of a sentence isn't strict in latin...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Perhaps. However...

There are many misconceptions surrounding the slight misnomer "free" word order. After all, linguists were able to categorize Latin as a generally SOV language.

"Free" word order is best interpreted as "relatively flexible" word order. There is a preferred default, and some sequences don't happen at all, not even in poetry. For example, Latin does not have definite or indefinite articles ("the" or "a"), but it does have demonstratives ("this/that/these/those") and you would not separate a demonstrative from its noun.

On a larger scale, you would never say "Frater mater dormit scribit Romae in urbe." Who is doing what where?

I believe it is relevant to why it's possible to separate "mihi" from "nomen" that "mihi" is not the genitive "my/mine". It literally means "to-me" and I believe it is the ablative case it is the dative case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hamakatsu

Is "Nomen meum Marcus est" incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anthony322785

Nomen mihi is acceptable, but mihi nomen also works??? Help?????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Yes. Latin syntax is a little bit flexible.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rainbow_6_Siege

Google translate does NOT work with latin


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Oh, heavens no! You know how it's important to never trust machine translation? Well, that goes 100x over for Latin.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rainbow_6_Siege

How do you know so so many languages??!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RuthieMW

Daft question. Why is it "est" not "sum" if its 1st person? Is est doing a different job here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
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Because it's "my name is", not "my name am". It's 3rd person, not first.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobAdsett

Not daft at all. :) The clause is in third person because the subject head noun is 'name'. It's actually the same in English. We say 'my name is Marcus' ('is' = 3rd person), not 'my name am Marcus' (1st person). I hope that helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaziarMehr4

SOV is the most used form but latin language is more flexible than other languages even 7 Latin based languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aGnn18

What about 'Ego sum Marcus'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobAdsett

Although it means the same thing, that is technically 'I am Marcus' rather than 'My name is Marcus'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Katja-z

@ aGnn18

That would be "I am Marcus".

"Ego sum" = "I am"; "sum= I am" as well

*"Ego" = "I"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oscar82020

Why 'Mihi nomen est Marcus' is correct too?. Thanks.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hamakatsu

Latin has a relatively free word order. Therefore, both “nomen mihi” and “mihi nomen” are correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobAdsett

Yes, that would also be correct. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tdjewlienn

When is it marce and when is it Marcus? This is ridiculous


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobAdsett

'Marce' is the vocative case form of 'Marcus'. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Khushi162048

Why can't it be "Nomen mihi agit marcus?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobAdsett

'ago' is a different verb. It has many potential meanings, but this isn't one of them. 'Nomen mihi agit Marcus' would be something like 'My name does Marcus', or even 'The name Marcus does to me'.

Also, because it is not a copular verb, even if 'ago' was appropriate then it would have to be in the accusative case, i.e. 'Nomen mihi agit Marcum'.

Hope this helps! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacobAdsett

Actually, now I think about it, 'Nomen mihi agit Marcus' would more correctly be either 'Marcus does my name' or 'Marcus does the name to me'. This is because, as I said, 'ago' is not copular so the object of the clause cannot be in the nominative case. 'Marcus' can only be nominative, but 'nomen' can be either nominative or accusative. In this case, because there can only be one nominative noun phrase, which is 'Marcus', then 'nomen' must be accusative in order for the clause to be grammatically correct. Therefore, 'Marcus' is the subject (nominative) and 'nomen' is the direct object (accusative), so 'Marcus' must be doing something to 'nomen'.

If you're just starting to learn, this may all go above yoyr head. Don't worry. YouTube 'Latin cases' and you will understand. It's not as scary as it sounds. :)

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