1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Latin
  4. >
  5. "I am well."

"I am well."

Translation:Me bene habeo.

September 1, 2019

90 Comments


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

flagged as English "I" is the subject and not "of me". Therefore I used latin "ego" rather than "me" because I don't see how the pronoun is declined.

Am I wrong here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexey914898

(ego)=I (not required here)
me habeo = I have/hold (me)/myself
bene=well


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

Ah, I see what you mean with the o/I. But then "me" is still required since we are referring to ourselves with the "o" in habeo?


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

I know this is an old thread, but for any future people seeing it, just to make this very clear, the Latin literally says, "I hold myself well." The initial "I" is implied in the ending of "habeo," and "myself" is stated in the word "me." There are two steps to translation: Getting the sentence out of the original language, and getting it into the target language. If a literal translation would not make sense to a listener, then we need to change it once more, so that "I hold myself well" becomes "I am well," since that makes sense in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexey914898

habeo=I have/I hold
me habeo=I hold myself


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharlieB761347

there is no bene in latin, we use BONUM. And no, ego is right, since in latin meus, mea, meum mio, mia are possessive prnouns and ME does not exsist.


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

Bene is a Latin word, an adverb. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/bene#Latin

Me is the accusative and ablative form of the 1st person singular personal pronoun. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/me#Latin

Please do not spread incorrect information if you do not know even the basics of Latin.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

Magister Daniel has been teaching Latin for many years. I'd listen to him.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christian316186

Why not ego sum bene


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

The Latin listener might assume you are claiming to be a good person rather than saying you are doing well at the moment. Me bene habeo means "I hold myself well" and is the classical Roman convention. The French don't normally say, Je suis bon. in response to question, Ça va? They reply, basically, "It goes" or Ça va. The Spanish say, "¿Cómo está?" or "How is it?" Not "How are you." And the other person replies, Está bien. "It is well", not "I am well."

Etc. and so forth. Different languages/dialects have different conventions. You can't just translate another language word for word into English and assume you have it right.


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

I am a good person = Ego bonus sum


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yevaka-18yo

Correction: "¿Como está?" means "How is he/she?", and "Está bien" means that the subject is good, like "He is fine". In Spanish you skip the subjet pronoun. "¿Como estás?"(How are you) can be "¿Como estás tú?" but it's not necessary because the word "estás" is already referring to 2nd person. Also there is a bifurcation on the definition of "estás" that can mean either "it is " or "you are".


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

Estás never means it is

Está - he/she/it/usted is


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

NOTE we've got our languages confused. This is a thread for discussion of Latin, not Spanish.

(But Daniel is right, of course: ¿Cómo está? can mean "How are you? (formal)" as well as "How is s/he?")

ETA I realize the confusion happens easily if one studies more than one language and follows multiple threads. I do it myself.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

It looks like it started off as a Latin discussion, but in the same comment it shifted to the other Romance languages and it went on a tangent from there. I don't think it was "oops, wrong forum".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Oh, I see. And it was I who took us to Spanish and French to illustrate how different languages vary from the literal "How are you?" Sorry and thanks, Rae. I didn't read far back enough.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

LOL. It happens!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EthanPark565484

Doesn't Habeo, Habere mean to have? "I have good" makes less sense than using sum, esse meaning to be.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

Yes, which is why we use the reflexive "se habere", "to have/hold oneself". Makes a bit more sense now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarlosVill871835

Why not bene me habeo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

That's also acceptable. If that was what you wrote and it was rejected, feel free to flag it and report "My answer should be accepted" next time.

Don't forget that if you're given multiple-choice, you need to select all of the right answers, not just one of them.


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

And bene me habeo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

Yes, that should also be valid.


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

I am well≠Valeo? why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JesseJames17

Difference b/t Habeo, Habet, and the other ones that look like the words?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Habeo = I have

Habes = You (singular) have

Habet = S/He has

Habemus = We have

Habetis = You (plural) have

Habent = They have

This is the present tense of the nominative case of habere ("to have"). There are different endings in different tenses (preterit, imperfect, etc.).

Every verb is conjugated like the above EXCEPT different categories of verbs have entirely different endings. You're going to want to find a way to look up a conjugation. In this case I googled "Latin conjugate habere" and got a chart.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

Most regular verbs will follow this pattern:

pronoun verb suffix
ego -o
tu -s
id -t
nos -mus
vos -tis
ea -nt

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xshane360

I know this was 3 months ago, but thank you so much. This comment and the comment above helps out a ton. Am I missing something on this site, or did i skip a lesson? This stuff seems pretty important, but is this site not teaching it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

This site captures all of the lessons, so you can refer to it to see if you missed anything:
https://duome.eu/tips/en/la

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/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

Guillermo8330

You haven't seen me when my patience has been pulled to its limits.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xshane360

Thank you so much for all of this info. This isn't the first time I've seen you in the comments helping people out. You are quite a contributor, i just want to say I appreciate what you are doing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Rae is a wonder, isn't she? Smart, generous and patient are a potent combination!


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

I think the way Duolingo works is that the user has to figure out the conjugations from repetition and familiarity/pattern spotting, unless you realise there are things (patterns) to learn, which can be found set out in tabular form elsewhere, and then seek them out to learn in order to avoid the frustration of knowing there is a logic to the pattern, but Duolingo does not set it explicitly for you in tabular form.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

My impression as a user of a few years is that DL tries to avoid a lot of grammatical explanation or identifiers (gender, number, verb tense) that tend to stand between a user and the target language.

If one gives up worrying about being marked wrong, knowing that one will get another chance to get it right, it's really not a bad way to learn a new tongue. I'm still not convinced one can learn Latin this way, but I have to admit I've learned a lot more Latin from the DL beta program than I expected to do. (And I have textbooks that give me the formal explanations.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Spicytaco87

I'm really new so excuse my igorance, but when do i use Me vs Ego?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

Ego is the subject pronoun "I".
Me is the object pronoun "me".

Subject pronouns are optional in Latin.

This sentence is a reflexive construction. It literally says "I hold myself well".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jchap29

I said, "Ego sum bene" and it was incorrect


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

That's right. "Bene" is an adverb. "Me bene habeo" is literally "I have myself well". "Ego sum bene" is not something they said in Latin, that's just a word-for-word swap with English, which can use "well" as an adjective in the context of health and wellness, and which uses "to be" in many different contexts that other languages do not.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Travis601489

Why is it incorrect to use "sum," the verb "to be" in this sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

Because they did not say "I am well" in Latin. They said "I hold myself well".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Travis601489

That's interesting... Thanks for the info.


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

I was always taught that "I am well" can work as "Sum bene" as "Sum" means 'I am' and "bene" means 'well' Why is this incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

It's only in English that we can use "well", which is usually an adverb, in the context of health and wellness as an adjective. You can tell "bene" is an adverb by the way it is unchanging.

Also, "Sum bonum/bona" is not idiomatic in Latin and would mean more like "I am a good person".

The idiom in Latin is "Bene me habet" (literally "I keep myself well") and "Bene ago" (literally "I am doing well" -- literally do-ing)

http://latindictionary.wikidot.com/verb:habere

http://latindictionary.wikidot.com/verb:agere


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Prasidha7

difference between habet and habeo?


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

doesn't "ego" just really signify that you are talking about yourself?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

"Ego" is literally just the pronoun "I". And in Latin, the subject pronoun is generally optional.


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

Does me habeo mean I am as well as Ego sum? :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

No, it means "I hold myself". Me habeo bene is an idiom by which people speaking Latin can say, "I am well."


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

Why not Me bene 'se' habeo


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yevaka-18yo

Me: Reflexive pronouns of the 1st Per. Sing. Se: Refl. Pron. of the 2dn Per. Sing. & Pl. They work the same as their counterparts in Spanish


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Put another way: se means "himself" in this context and there is no reference to "him" in the sentence.


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

Why not "Me bene 'se' habeo?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abrahamoca16

Can it be also "bene me habeo" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/violetgirl3

What is My name is in latin?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

You're asking in the wrong thread, but "My name is X" is "Nomen mihi est X". Literally "The name to me is X".


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

I am well = Ego bene sum = Io sto bene [Italian] I am a good person = Ego bonus sum = Io sono buono [Italian]


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

That doesn't sound quite right. Bene is an adverb, well. When you say I am well, it's an adjective meaning not sick. I don't recall seeing bene used in this way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Link969795

How about "Sum bene"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

No. In English, "well" can be used as an adjective in the context of health and wellness, but in Latin "bene" is strictly an adverb and therefore you cannot say "ego=bene". It is either "bene ago" (literally "I am doing well") or "bene me habeo" (literally "I hold myself well").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

No, and please read the other comments on this page where it has already been explained more than once.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharlieB761347

Not to mention if you wanna teach latin you have to start with the declinations... which are literally the basis of latin and even ancient greek.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

Yes, the declensions are being taught, a little at a time.


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

The solution said "bene ago". Why is it not "bene ego"?


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

"Bene ego" doesn't have a verb. While colloquial, classical Latin sometimes omits "to be," the sentence "bene ago" ("I am faring well") is more grammatical.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kelly-Rose

But why doesn't "Ego est bene" work?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

A few reasons:

  1. "est" is the 3rd person conjugation. You need to say "ego sum". It's "I am" after all, not "I is".

  2. "bene" is strictly an adverb. It does not compare with the English "well" which is an adjective when used to discuss health.

  3. "Me bene habeo" is idiomatic in Latin. It's literally "I hold myself well", thus "bene" is an adverb modifying "hold," which is an active verb.

  4. Stative verbs such as "esse/to be" take adjectives because as verbs of state, anything in the predicate is a subject complement, meaning it directly modifies the subject, not the verb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Rae, I understand that Latin doesn't use sum in this idiomatic phrase. But why would Ego bene ago. be wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

As far as I know, it should be fine.


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

That was my inclination as well. seemed to take after the greek Εγω.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmandaSton759465

Habeo, habere, habui, habitus means to have, hold, possess, consider, regard. So, idk how habeo is working in this sentence. It should be, "Sum bene" or "Bene sum." Sum meaning "I am" and "bene" being well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

Amanda, yes, the literal translation is Bene sum, but listen to Rae: that isn't how Romans actually stated their health.

Compare to the Spanish, ¿Qué pasa?, which became English slang back in the 1970s. Now one can ask and answer the question literally--¿Cómo estás tú? "How are you?" Estoy bien. "I am well."--but in various places at various times, the expression ¿Qué pasa? actually elicits the response Pasa bien. "It goes well."

Compare also to current American slang: "How's it hangin'?" "Whaaaaaat's up?" and "How they treatin' you?" Now all of these CAN be answered with the literal, "I am well" (Estoy bien or Bene sum), but they can just as well be answered without the use of any form of "I am". "Hangin' to the left like always." "Nothing's up!" "They treat me fine."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
Mod
Plus
  • 2609

You are missing the reflexive pronoun "me". I hold myself well.


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

Okay, but without the 'me', could "sum male" work? I think that /because/ 'me' is included it's including "myself" in the sentence, so as I understand it, "male me habeo : I have myself poorly"?

Sorry, trying to get to grips with the whole declensions and cases, it's quite a head-scratcher!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guillermo8330

I believe a fluent speaker of Latin would understand Sum male and maybe even say it in some contexts. Me male habeo is merely the more common idiomatic convention in everyday greetings. Habere means "to hold" as well as "to have". I don't know why Me male habeo is translated "I hold myself", but it usually is, as Rae pointed out immediately above.

Learn Latin in just 5 minutes a day. For free.