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  5. "Ubi vos lavatis?"

"Ubi vos lavatis?"

Translation:Where do you wash?

September 2, 2019



In a previous sentence "nos" meant "ourselves" but here "vos" does not mean "yourself" why ?


Vos means yourselves. The translation here is missing it. In English, the verb to wash is almost always used transitively, such as "He washed his socks with soap and water." Or, "Employees must wash their hands after using the bathroom." When it is used reflexively, as in this example, we must use a reflexive pronoun. The correct translation is *"Where do you wash yourselves?" It's been reported and will soon be updated.


Btw, the report box had only the following options:

  • The audio does not sound correct.

  • The dictionary hints on hover are wrong or missing.

  • The Latin sentence is unnatural or has an error.

Why is it that sometimes there are up to five options, but sometimes only three? And of course it's one of the missing options that you need...


Oops, I just reported that "wash yourself" should be accepted here. I'll make sure to report it correctly next time.


Is it possible to revise/correct reports after reporting?


I don't think so. The reports are supposed to be anonymous, so there'd be no way to go back to your own report in order to edit it.


I disagree.

You say: In the morning, I wash.
Not "In the morning, I wash myself". (you could be it's really uncessary)


The Oxford dictionary gives, as an example:
"I washed and changed before going out."

Where is the "myself" here?
Answer: it's implied.

It's specific to the English language, you don't have to use a reflexive pronoun with wash (unless you want to kill an ambiguity), the reflexive pronoun is implied.

In French, you cannot say "Je lave" with this meaning, you need the reflexive.

Both, Where do you wash, and Where do you wash yourselves are okay in English, because of this specificity of "wash".


Yes, you're right.

In fact, I think we're more likely to say something like "I get washed" or "I wash up in the morning", than "I wash myself."

Yes, the Latin student needs to know that there's a reflexive pronoun required (in Latin!) in this situation; but it's stilted to insist on putting the prn. in, in English.


Agreed! If the translation 'wash yourself' is used, it shouldn't be marked wrong.


Disagree with using double standard! If 'nos lavamus' is to be translated as 'we wash ourselves', then the same sort of translation is applicable to 'vos lavatis'. Isn't it?


In English (at least in the area of the world where I live), "wash" without a direct object is usually interpreted as non-reflexive. For example, "I wash" would more likely be interpreted to mean "I wash the dishes" than "I wash myself."

On the other hand, "I bathe" without a direct object is usually interpreted as reflexive. For example, "I bathe" would more likely be interpreted to mean "I bathe myself" than "I bathe my dog."

So I think you're correct in saying that "Where do you wash yourselves?" is a correct translation for "Ubi vos lavatis?" And I think "Where do you bathe?" is also correct.


Love all those comments and new insight to English.

German seems similar but different.
Ich bade - I bathe. Clearly myself if there is no other object.
Ich wasche - I wash. In English seemingly different objects possible. In German I need an object. Even if it is unmistakenly implied by context (I got out of bed, went to the bathroom, turned on the faucet and washed. What did you wash?) it sounds incomplete. Myself or the dishes, clothes, a car, the floor? Even though we can say Ich mache die Wäsche / I make the clothes, I am doing laundry and Ich mach den Abwasch / I make the upwash, I am doing the dishes. So Ich wasche could easily mean myself but it is nevertheless not implied in German.

The grammar of Latin so far is pretty straight forward and not at all a challenge for a German speaker.


Is "Where do you wash yourself" not correct?


"Yourself" is a singular; "yourselves" is a plural.

Notice that the verb (ending in -tis) and the pronoun (vos) are both plural, in Latin.

So, if you put in the direct-object pronoun in your English translation at all, it will have to be in the plural (-selves) form:

"Where do you wash?" (without adding a translation for accus. vos)

"Where do you wash yourselves?" (translating the direct-object accus. vos )


Right. Got it. Thank you.


Or not so soon. 17 Aug 20


(The accusative vos would have to be translated "yourselves," because it's necessarily plural. "Ubi te lavas?" is the form using the singular "you".)


Vos can be either nominative or accusative. So the sentence could mean either "Where do you(subject) wash?" or "Where do you wash yourselves(object)?"


Actually, the verb lavare in Latin needs to be transitive, so the vos here has to be the accusative direct object.

In English, it's also idiomatic to say, "Where do you wash?", so, sententia mea, it's not 'incorrect' to leave out the "yourselves" in English. But the vos in this Latin sentence has to be the accusative.

(Since Latin assumes the subject from the verb ending, it doesn't need the "two pronouns" as in a modern language like French, where "vous vous lavez" occurs, i.e., both the subject and the object pronouns.)


Kali is right - vos can be either nominative (subject, personal pronoun) or accusative (object, reflexive pronoun). There's no way to decide which one it is in this sentence, so both translations ("Where do you wash?" and "Where do you wash yourselves?") should be accepted. Lavare is a transitive verb, that's correct - but that doesn't necessarily mean that it has to have an object in this sentence. For example, if it refers to the general activity of washing, it can stand alone.

Given the fact that Latin usually tends to assume the subject only from the verb ending and to add the pronoun only for emphasising, I'd still say "Where do you wash yourselves?" is the better and more intuitive translation, though.


Everywhere, starting with the hair and face and going south all the way to the toes.


It should be '' where do you wash yourself?''


That's a literal translation of the Latin into English; yes.

The question is whether we need to say the object "yourself" in English, in this sentence. I think it's more idiomatic to leave it out.


That's a literal translation of the Latin into English; yes.

No, it isn't -- "yourself" is singular but vos lavatis is plural.


OK; Ubi tē lavās and Ubi vōs lavātis , the singular and the plural.

The question about translation always is, do we put in the object? It's there in Latin, and doesn't have to be expressed, in idiomatic English.


Using "vos" signifies "you guys/you all" (plural). I'd say translation should be: "Where do you all wash yourselves"?

  • 1045

Is this a request for an actual bath, or an American-like request for a toilet, where the speaker is too precious too ask for what they really need?


The pronunciation of the consonant v in latin should be pronounced as a v in English, not as a w. To pronounce eg lavo as lawo sounds horrible, but is an overcompensation as eg many foreigners prononce we in English as ve, which sounds strange to native English speakers. So please leave the latin v as such and don't make it a horrible w. After all Latin and its dialects such as French are the basis of part of nowadays English and v is preserved in words of Roman origin such as vigil, not wigil, so please do not violate it in Latin


Culum Tuum Sordidum lavas.

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