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  5. "Flumen rapide fluere vis."

"Flumen rapide fluere vis."

Translation:You want the river to flow rapidly.

September 1, 2019



This an example for accusativus cum infinitivo (note that flumen is neutrum).


Interesting. My Latin is terribly rusty but I would have translated the English sentence into Latin by using a construction with "ut". I see after doing some reading that the accusative+infinitive construction works just as well here. I'm so glad this course is giving me the opportunity to brush up on these things.


This is really interesting!! I always thought English was "odd" in the sense that it used this construction with the infinitive, since in Spanish, Catalan, and other romance languages you'd say something like "I want that the river flows rapidly". Now I wonder why these languages translate these phrases in the way that they do, instead of the Latin way...


In fact, I opened this page for the same reason. In Romance languages this utterance would trigger the subjunctive. I thought it was odd that it didn't in their parent language, and odd also because it seems Latin usually has more complicated grammar, not simpler!


The Romance languages seem to have replaced the infinitive construction (except when the same person is subject of "want" and "to (flow)") with a subordinate clause (starting with a descendant of "quod") that needs a finite verb.


also in other languages of non-Latin origin. Like in Dutch: "Ik zie hem lopen".


Is there any reason why this could not be interpreted as 'O river, you want to flow rapidly'?


No grammatical reason, but you should use both a vocative comma (in order to show that the river is an addressee, not an object) and an exclamation mark. Your phrase should then be: „Flumen, rapide fluere vis!”


Thank you for confirming. What you suggest would certainly make the grammatical intent clearer; however, in Classical times, I don't think either of these punctuation marks existed.


But using the vocative marker "o" with "flumen" (not required) would help underscore the 'vocative' intention.


Great observation! (I like the way you think.)

I like it when it's discovered that one sentence can have two totally different meanings (whether it's in English, Latin, or any other language).


A few questions back this same format was translated, "You want to climb the tree rapidly." Yet here it's not, "You want to flow the river rapidly." Is it a poor choice of examples or what?


What does "flow the river" mean?

Since fluere (to flow) is a verb of motion, and intransitive, it's not an action that someone can "do to" someone or something else.

In this sentence (strange as it is), the only thing capable of "flowing" is flūmen , the river.

"You want the river to flow rapidly," so maybe you don't dam it up (?).

By contrast, ascendere (to climb) is a transitive action, so "climbing" is something that "you" (the subject of vīs = you want) can do to the tree.


Thanks for responding.


Thank you; my pleasure!


Can the translation be "The river wants to flow rapidly"?


Almost, but not quite - the verb is in the 2nd person singular ("you want"), so that interpretation doesn't work. Your sentence would be something like "flumen rapide fluere vult".


I had this answer with an audio prompt and it was a little muffled, and the fluere and vis run together (I understand that that happens in normal speech, but it confused me on the parsing) - the 'play slowly' does not work, it replays at the same speed. I could not make sense of it, in part because of the audio and in part because ... well, it's just a weird sentence.


Alright, I've heard it more than once now, and now that I know what it says it seems much more clear. I could not make heads nor tails of it on the first hearing!

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