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"No one approaches the goddess."

Translation:Nemo deae appropinquat.

August 31, 2019



I would have thought accusativus, so "deam", no?


Well, sometimes things are different in different languages: "appropinquare" asks for the dative, so "deae", dative singular, is correct.


has the course introduced us to the dative case?


Read my comment above, I try to explain why it's dative, and why it seems logical for Romance language speakers.


Wouldn't "deae" be goddesses, plural?


No, "deae" is the dative singular of "dea", because "appropinquare" asks for the dative.



For French speakers "approcher de". Not a direct verb. = Dative. (de = from)

Same thing in Spanish, and I believe (?) in other Romance languages, the fact it is a transitive verb in English, from this same Latin root, seems an exception.

To approach is from French approche (verb approcher), meaning to come closer from... ( "proche" meaning close),

In Latin, close, near = iuxta/juxta (like in juxtaposition), or propinquus. Propinquus is the root of the Latin verb Appropinquare.

French "proche" from Latin "prope", "propius".
Propius is the comparative of "prope", meaning closer.

from French, but it didn't keep its intransitive nature, that is still there in "coming closer from...." An English speaker has to think about it this way: "from".

If you use "from", it's no more a direct verb, a transitive verb, and you can remember it doesn't accept accusative, but dative. The "from" is logical, as it's not a direct action made on someone, but it's a move.


Sidenote, just to be sure my comment doesn't create confusion in some minds:

The "from" is not translated in Latin, as the dative means it's not a direct verb, I don't mean that the dative means "from" though. I only mean "not a direct verb" but requires a preposition (= no accusative).


I tell my students, when they encounter this verb (appropinquāre) and expect it to govern a direct object, based on the way it works in English, to think of it as meaning "come close to ," with the preposition "to" helping to "motivate" the dative, in their minds.

Similarly: nocēre + dative = to harm, do harm TO; favēre + dative = to support, give favor TO; and quite a few others.


Latvian: kam?


En fait, ce n'est pas "from" en anglais, mais plutôt "to" (comme l'explique le commentaire ci-dessous).


Ci-dessus, plutôt (je suis sur mon smartphone, difficile à m'y retrouver dans les commentaires).


Why is "nemo aggredit ad deam" wrong?


If you think it should be accepted, please report it. We are in beta and everything will be crosschecked.


It's a deponent verb, so you'd need "Nemo ad deam aggreditur."


I'm confused about the case too. Does approprinque always go with the ablative? I wish there were grammar notes in the phone version.


Yes, "appropinquare" always asks for the dative.

First declension paradigm: -a

Singular/ Plural
Nominative -a -ae

Accusative -am -ās

Genitive -ae -ārum

Dative - ae -īs

Ablative -ā -īs


In Italian, the verb has survived as «appropinquare» and also in Spanish (although only in literature and as a "festive" verb, according to the RAE) as «apropincuar». Also «appropinquate» (with the accent on the i according to Collinsdictionary) in English, which I never knew existed. At least the verb isn't obsolete in Latin :)


If you know French, remember "appropinquare" as the equivalent of "s'approcher de" rather than "to approach". Then the ablative case for the object will make more sense.


Yes, when I remembered that, all became clearer!


I should not be penalized for word order.


Just report it with the option "my solution should be accepted". Then your sentence will be added to the set of correct solutions.

This is the guide for handling problems in the Latin course: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/33853120

I hope this helps you. Happy learning! :-)


when is it nemo and when polite


Are you talking about nēmō and nōlīte ?

Nēmō is a nominative singular pronoun that means "No one."

nōlīte is a plural imperative meaning "do not ..." or "refuse (to) ...", that needs a complementary infinitive to complete its meaning.

Use _nōlīte deae appropinquāre ! _ when you're telling more than one person not to approach a goddess.

Use Nēmō deae appropinquat when you're stating it as factually true, that no one approaches a goddess.


oh, goodness, yes, the self correction. NOLITE I meant, yes. so nolite is used for an imperativ and demo is used for an indicative. correct? but both mean the same when literally translated: "do not".


No, you're misunderstanding what nēmō means.

It's a pronoun in the nominative case, singular, meaning "No one," "Not a single person." Think of it as a combination of the negative particle and the word for "man," homō . "No one approaches the goddess" -- that's a statement that's presented as true, using the indicative form of the verb.

Only with nōlīte + infinitive (of which the singular is nōlī + infinitive) is there a prohibition, "Do not."


maybe not misunderstanding what it means (no one), but explaining myself not clearly. in any case I use memo in an indicative statement, and nolite in an imperative (what you call prohibition). but both words (memo and nolite) mean "no one". correct?


No. They do not both mean "no one."

Nōlīte is an imperative verb form; it's the command form of the verb (nōlō, nōlle, nōluī) that means "to refuse, NOT to want." When used in the imperative, it means the speaker is telling people NOT to (want to) do something.

_Nōlīte deae appropinquāre, puerī / amīcī / comitēs _ ! "Don't approach the goddess, children / friends / comrades!"

Nēmō is the word that means "No one, nobody" in Latin. Nēmō deae appropinquat , "No one is approaching the goddess." (Perhaps they know what happened to Actaeon!)

"No one" and "Don't!" are very different words in English, and these 2 Latin equivalents are also very different, quite distinct, the one from the other.


Goddess is singular. Why is the plural form used? What is used for goddesses?


Deae in this sentence is indeed singular: dative singular, because the verb appropinquāre requires a dative object (or it can be used with an ad + accusative prepositional phrase). If you want the goddesses to be plural, you'd say, Nōlīte deābus appropinquāre! , "Don't approach the goddesses!" (or, Nōlīte ad deās appropinquāre! ).

This is an unusually-formed dative plural (with ending abus ) rather than the normal 1st declension plural dative ( is ). If you've ever read those stories about gods and goddesses taking offense when someone forgets to sacrifice to them properly, you'd understand why the language couldn't leave the ambiguity of deīs being both "to the gods" and "to the goddesses"--an unambiguous feminine plural dative was created!


I asked my question before reading the comments. Thank you, but my question about the plural should it be in this construction remains.

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