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  5. "I have five students."

"I have five students."

Translation:Ego quinque discipulas habeo.

September 4, 2019



How do I know it's not "discipuli"?


Discipuli would not be the right case (nominative). Discipulos would work (accusative).


I see, thanks. I think I'll have to keep a table of case endings handy and try to remember which case is which since it's not very intuitive for me yet :p


Learn simple sentences to help you.

-- 1 discipulus
-- 1 discipula

[respectively: nominative for a male, nom. for a female]

-- 2 discipuli, et 2 discipulae

(both plural, masculine plural and feminine plural)

-- Habeo 1 discipulum. (acc.)
-- Habeo 1 discipulam.


-- Habeo 2 discipulos (acc. plur.)
-- Habeo 2 discipulas

There are several declensions groups, and this one is called us->i
meaning: us (nominative) -> i (genitive)

It also makes us (singular) -> i (plural)
and us (nominative) -> um (accusative)


This is the most useful post I have ever seen on Duolingo. Thank you!


Useful, yes! but will it help your drunken parrot burn bridges? or prevent your gems from being stolen or old men from becoming senile (sic)? What about going to the market to buy olives? Shall i mention the offerings of sacred bards on the altar? I may lack discernment when confronted by hyperbolic felicitations. but, yes, very helpful, indeed!


It's the distinction between THEY ( = subject-function: discipuli for male students, discipulae for female students), and THEM ( = object-function: discipulos, discipulas).


It's RAther frustrating to try to learn when DuoLingo misleads by offering Discipuli in the hints but not Discipulos. So I get it wrong based on their hints. Thank you for clarifying this in the discussion, but I wish Duo would make the hints context/exercise-relevant.


Yes--in effect, you have to think of the nominative case-form discipulī as "standing in" for all the possible forms of the noun: discipulī = THEY, the students; discipulōrum = OF THEM / THEIR, the students' ; discipulīs = TO/FOR THEM, the students; discipulōs = THEM, the students; discipulīs = (with/about/from) THEM, the students.

Of course, this is only one of a number of patterns for nouns (2nd decl masculine plural).


@SuzanneNussbaum -- You're advice is very good for people complaining about Duolingo ! You wrote : "Yes--in effect, you have to think..."

I would add "and study the charts"

In my experience I find that it is not enough to expect the Apps (Duo or other) or videos to do everything. But I do report positive results from playing vocabulary recordings during sleep.


What is nominative and accusative can you elaborate


NOMINATIVE is the "case" (or FORM of a noun, adjective or pronoun) used when the word is the subject of a verb: HE is my friend. SHE goes to school. THEY are fighting.

ACCUSATIVE is the "case" of the same words when used as a direct object of the verb: I like HIM . Did you help HER ? The teacher scolded THEM.

Notice that HE/HIM, SHE/HER, and THEY/THEM are two forms, in English, of the same word. In Latin, each noun has ten different forms (five cases, both singular and plural).

Just as you can't say, "HIM goes to the store," or "We see HE," so, in Latin, you can only use certain forms of the words (the nominative-case forms) to be subjects, and you can only use the accusative-case forms when you need objects.

Of course, this is oversimplified (you can also use accusatives for objects of certain prepositions, like ad meaning "to, towards"; there are other "cases," such as genitive for possession--it's HIS book; no, it's HERS; who is using THEIR book?--dative for indirect object, and ablative for various uses, including some other prepositions like cum , "with" ; and vocative, for direct address).

I hope that's enough to start with!


I also don't understand why it's not „discipuli“, because there's no mention of the students being male or female. „The student“ is male and more than one and therefore I believe it should be „discipuli“ and not „discipulas“. Additionally to that „discipulas“ sounds pretty female, but as I mentioned earlier, „the student“ is male.

Now one could say that the question being able to put behind it is: „Whom or what do I have?“, so it's not nominative and the more I think about it, the more I guess it's right, but I also need to admit to you that I had no latin lessons for five and a half school years so I've forgotten a very big part of my latin knowledge.


Yes, in this sentence, anything NOMINATIVE must relate to the subject of habeō, which is "I".

Duo wants us to see that "students" could (potentially) be either male or female; discipulōs (meaning specifically MALE, or mixed MALE & FEMALE) or discipulās (meaning specifically FEMALE) could potentially be correct.


Why do I have to add 'ego'?


You don't! Since the verb inflects, you can always tell from the ending that the subject is "I" from the verb ending -o. Probably better to omit the subject pronoun, in fact.


When do I use discipulas, when discipulos?


Either form is acceptable on this question. The only difference being if you are talking about male or female students. I got the answer wrong with discipuli and was corrected with discipulas (feminine, plural, accusative) . I later answered with discipulos (masculine, plural, accusative) and it was considered correct.

Someone pleas correct me If I am wrong. I haven't had my morning coffee yet.


Why is the pronoun placed at the beginning of the sentence with the verb at the end?


In Latin, an (action) verb at the end of the clause is pretty typical. There does not need to be a pronoun (ego) at all, because the verb (habeo) shows that it's restricted to the 1st pers. sing. subject (I). The pronoun does not need to be at the beginning, either. If it's used at all, it's emphatic (" I _ have students; what do _you have?", etc.), and need not be so far separated from the verb.

Possibly the ego is there, as a prop for students beginning the study of this language, to signal "1st person singular verb form coming up."


Would it be allowed to leave the "Ego" out of this sentence; Quinque discipulas habeo since habeo shows the "I have" inherently?


Yes, definitely; leaving out the "ego" makes it a better sentence.

There's only need for the "ego" if we have another sentence or clause with a contrasting subject:

Ego quīnque discipulās habeō; tū tamen nūllōs [habēs] . (I have five female students; you, however, have none.)


This sentence really ought to use the dative of possession. Quinque discipuli mihi sunt. Habeo suggests that I physically possess them.


It can be expressed with the dative, but no, habere doesn't just mean physically possessing them.


I'm not aware of lots of uses of habēre governing PEOPLE, unless it's 'have power over' them, or 'keep them in a certain status,' or treat them (+ an adverb), regard them (+ a predicative accusative).

Isn't the dative of possession more simple and natural, despite the fact that English uses "have" for relationships like parent/child, siblings, teacher/student?


yes, but one can also assume -- as you probably did -- that we are at the beginning of a course where simplicity is the rule for Duolingo's choice.

BTW, thank you very much for all your helpful comments.


Why discipuli is not correct?


"I have students." In this sentence, if you use the verb habeō for "I have," you must express in the accusative case, as the direct object of the verb, "what" you have:

You would say, "I have THEM" (rather than "I have THEY").

THEY the students = discipulī (if they're masculine), discipulae (if they're feminine).

THEM the students = discipulōs (if masculine), discipulās (if feminine).


Only when I have made a mistake & lost one heart I reach this nice & helpful dialogue, thanks to everyone! But sometines I guess & miss this charming dialogue and remain clueless! My question was why do you mean the students are female, but now I know.


When do you use discipuli, discipulos, and discipulas? Also, why did we not use discipuli here?


Discipuli (from what you will see in this course currently) is the nominative case, the case used when 'the students' are the doers of the action. Discipulae would be the equivalent for a group of all female students.

  • Discipuli magistrum habent -> "The students have a teacher."
  • Discipuli libros legunt -> "The students are reading books."

Discipulos is used when the action is being done to 'the students'. Here, where the subject, the person doing the action, is ego ('I') and the persons being had are 'the students', the action of 'having' is done to them. Discipulas is the equivalent for an all female set of students.

  • Magister discipulos docet -> "The teacher teaches the students."
  • Mater discipulos videt -> "The mother sees the students."

Hope this helps, but there are also other good posts in this discussion that may also help you if you need some more explanation.


In Latin, mixed gender will be expressed with a masculine plural.

All boys - discipuli

All girls - discipulae

Mixed - discipuli

In this sentence, they need to be accusative, since they are the direct object.


I put 'quinque discipulas habeo' doesn't 'habeo' suggest the 'ego' so what im asking is, is it certain 'ego' is required?



The ego is definitely not required for this exercise. I just checked the database.


ok nm. Same question was asked in the comments and I am correct.

But it still registered incorrect :( im not actually sad, this site is great!


I am so frustrated with discipula. The correct answer for this is "discipulas," but that means FEMALE students. Why wouldn't "I have 5 (non gendered) students" be Ego quinque discipuli habeo." And while we're at it, why do i need the pronoun ego when the verb habeo conveys that?


Both discipulos and discipulas are accepted here.

Edit: you need to use the accusative form.

And the ego is not required.


You're right, you don't need ego , since (as you say) the verb habeō indicates the subject.

However, there's no possibility of using discipulī in this sentence, since it's nominative (and, in this sentence, where the subject is the 1st person singular "I", only "I" can be nominative).

"I have 5 (male and female) students" = Quīnque discipulōs habeō , where the students ("I have THEM," not "I have THEY") are in the accusative plural.

Yes, the masculine gender is used in Latin, both for specifically masculine, and for mixed-gender masculine and feminine groups.


Thank you. That helps a lot.


Grātiās tibi!! So glad to hear it.


I wrote discipuli , why wouldn't that also be correct?- you didnt specify they were female students


You need to use discipulos the accusative plural form. This has been explained in greater detail in other responses.

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