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  5. "Multae urbes sunt in America…

"Multae urbes sunt in America."

Translation:Many cities are in America.

August 30, 2019



Isn't this better translated "There are many cities in America"?


No it's correct. Its classical latin. Not modern english translated into latin. The english sentance is correct, it just not common dialect.

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I agree, but I wonder whether the Latin has a meaning we're missing? The current 'correct' English translation seems to be sensible when you say: "The Earth has cities. Many (of the) cities are in America." I wonder if the Latin version of "America has many cities" might be different??


Why multae instead of multi?


Urbes is a feminine plural noun so the adjective also has to be feminine plural. (Multi - masc. pl, multae - fem. pl, multa - neuter plural).


How do you know if something is masculine or feminine, is there a way to know without looking it up?


Basically, words ending in "-us" is masculine, "-a" is feminine, and "-um" is neuter. (Of course, there are exceptions: e.g. "vīrus" n.)



Yes, for example, many professions end with -a but are masculine. For example, "agricola" ("farmer") belongs to the first declension but is masculine.

There are other memory-tricks : trees are always feminine, even when not ending in -a => "Ficus" ("fig tree") is feminine and belong to the second declension.


I have the same problem. I have to understand which nouns are feminine and which are masculine. Very much like French or Welsh. I livevin Wales and have studied the Welsh language.


that's what i was wondering


I am confused about something. I think (but might be wrong) that if I wanted to say "There are many girls in Rome", I would say "Multae puellae Romae sunt". It seems that here, the equivalent of "Romae" is "in America", rather than "Americae".

Is it because America is a special word that does not have declensions like regular Latin words, or am I missing a subtle difference?


According to the notes, city names receive the locative ending, whereas countries receive the ablative ending and are preceded with the preposition "in." The word "urbs" itself receive the ablative as well, "in urbe," and the word "domus" receives the locative, "domi."

Also, to say "There are many girls in Rome," it is better to say "Sunt multae puellae Romae." Putting "sunt" at the end makes it sound like you're saying "Many girls are in Rome."


Hey thanks, this was helpful.


Good question and good answer. Why not domusi instead of domi? -us is a suffix of simple case?


Strictly speaking, /-us/ is not a suffix, it is a so-called 'desinence', which is an inflectional ending (and not to sound overly pedantic, but unfortunately even some dictionaries get this wrong, no wonder people get confused). 'Suffix' is a morphological element that attaches to a stem. The difference is primarily relevant in cases in which a set of suffixes blends together due to historical sound changes, so much so that they cannot be clearly analyzed or distinguished or separated. Understanding this may definitely help everyone in learning the forms of a language.

For illustration, (the desinence) /-us/ is actually two suffixes, i.e., /-u-s/; thus, the root here is /dom-/ "house", which is the stem for the thematic suffix /-u/, which in turn make the stem /dom-u-/ to which you may add the nominative singular ending /-s/. In historical analysis, only /-u/ would be considered a suffix: i.e., /dom-/ is a root, /-u/ is a thematic suffix, /-s/ is an ending.

Next, dom-ī "at home", the desinence /-ī/ signals locative singular and is historically made of the suffixes /-o-i/ (or strictly one suffix /-o/ and the ending /-i/ = locative singular). In other words, /dom-o-i/ (root-suffix-ending) > Latin dom-ī "at home".

Fun fact, /dom-ī/ "at home" is not the locative of /dom-u-s/ "house"; these only share the same root /dom-/, true, but the first one continues /dom-o-i/, the other is build on the stem /dom-u-/ (which is a feminine and the genitive of which is domūs; its genitive singular desinence /-ūs/ is made of the full grade of the suffix /-u/ and the genitive singular suffix /-s/, i.e., /dom-ūs/ < /dom-eu-s/). In historical analysis, domus "house" is technically a consonantal stem (because /-u/ was an analog of /-w/, cf. already mentioned gen. sg. /dom-eu-s/ = /dom-ew-s/).

The ancestral form of domī continues a vocalic stem (because /e/ or /o/ were considered vowels). The forms domī, domō (< dom-o-ad 'from home'), and domum (dom-o-m 'towards home (acc.sg.)) are all that's left of the vocalic stem. Apparently the semantics shows that /dom-u-s/ referred (as it still does) to the physical structure (= "a house"), whereas /dom-o-s/ was more abstract (hence "home", as a place, not necessarily a "house", you consider, well, your "home".


Why sunt isn't in the end of the sentence like the previous one: -MULAE UNIVERSITATIS IN AMERICANA SUNT. -Mulae urbes sunt in Americana. What is the difference????? SORRY IF I HAVE GRAMMAR MISTAKES.


There is no difference. In Latin, the usual sentence structure is subject-object-verb, but you can use subject-verb-object (or even others) if you like.


Why wouldn't it be "Multae urbes in America sunt"? That seems to match better with other similar statements.


You're right. Both forms are valid.


Whats the literal difference between multi and multae please ?


Multi is male plural. Multae is feminine plural. "Multi viri", "multi pueri" but "multae feminae", "multae puellae".


Why not multi urbes in America sunt?


"Multi" is the male plural; "urbs" is a feminine noun (like "femina"). You can say: "Multi viri" and "multae feminae", but not "multi feminae" or "multae viri".


what is sunt? pls explain its usage and it is not in the tips section of the lesson


"Sunt" = "they are". "Una urbs est", but "Multae urbes sunt".


More are not... Could we have Eboracum, Londinium, Aquae Sulis...?


I know the word and what it means the spelling that screws me up every time. I just started copying and pasting the words. the funny part is I know how to read it but not how to write it. But it's not like I'm going to write records for the pope or anyting. So I'm fine with just knowing how to say the word and how to read the word.


I know how to read and say the word I know the meaning. But it's the spelling that screws me up every time. I just started copying and pasting cuz I don't know how to spell these words. It's not like I'm going to write records for the pope or anyting; so I'm completely fine just knowing how to say and read the word.


Why sometimes urbe and sometimes urbs?


"Urbs" is the subject in a sentence (nominative case.) Ex: "Urbs magna est". "Urbe" is a complement (ablative case) Ex: "Puella ab urbe venit".


I believe the former is feminine and the latter is masculine; Although, I am not sure.


I’m sorry it’s not true.


Both are feminine.


why is "there are many cities in the America" wrong?

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