"Many universities are in America."
Translation:Multae universitates in America sunt.
Word order in Latin is pretty fluid so the verb can usually go in the middle or at the end of the sentence and both constructions be grammatically correct.
The "canonical" construction is Subject-Object-Verb.
But a few verbs, called copulative verbs, are exceptions and usually go in the middle. Copulative verbs are usually "verbs of being" (sorry if they are not called that way in English. The latter is not my native language so if anyone cares to correct me on that, feel free to do so) : to be, to seem, to become...
But "sum/esse" ("to be") is a bit more tricky because it can adopt so many "functions". In the sentence at hand, I would be inclined to say that we are dealing with an existential use of the verb "to be" (the implied sense being "There are many universities in America")... which would means that statistically speaking, "sunt" should be at the beginning of the sentence...
Here is a link detailing all that: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_word_order#The_verb_%22to_be%22
In order not to become overwhelmed by all this, maybe what you can take away is that all of these sentences are grammatically correct:
- Multae universitates sunt in America
- Multae universitates in America sunt
- Sunt in America multae universitates
Others in this comment thread have asked about using the locative with America. I don't know if the locative can be used with countries or not but my guess would be no since other exercises specifically use in Germania and in Italia.
However, your suggested sentence (ignoring the typo where it should be multae universitates) would be wrong because the locative would be Americae, not America.
Locative can and must only be used for names of cities and small islands (plus a few common nouns such as "domus"). Therefore, it cannot be used for "America" since it is the name of a country.
As a result, we must use the following construction: preposition "in" + name of the country in ablative case => "in America"
When can I use in Rome or in America as in Multae universitates (in) America or (in)Romae sunt. I always choose the wrong one ! . Also how do I know when to use the masculine ir feminine gender in boats buildings houses ships cars etc ? Is it like french where the buildings are chiefly female? Loving learning this btw! What a great pity Latin isnt taught in schools and college any longer. I wanted to learn in sixth form college in 1972 after taking my two sciences maths and English for my nursing career but was told these subjects werent taught in schools and FE colleges then. My father learnt it for metriculation in 1947 and apparently won the school prize !
To chose between the construction with locative and the one with in+ablative, please read my previous comments.
For knowing the gender of nouns, aside from learning it by heart... Still, there are a few hints:
- nouns whose nominative ends in -us are usually (but not always) masculine
- nouns whose nominative ends in -a are usually (but not always) feminine
- nouns whose nominative ends in -um are usually (but not always) neutral
- nouns of jobs are almost always masculine, even if ending in -a => farmer = agricola => masculine
- nouns of trees are almost always feminine, even if ending in -us => fig tree = ficus => feminine
- neutral nouns always designate things (e.g. not people)
- there are surely other memory tricks but none that comes to mind right now