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  5. "The meat is salty."

"The meat is salty."

Translation:Caro est salsa.

September 4, 2019



It looks like caro is a feminine third declension noun.


Yes it is, caro (nominative singular), carnis (genitive singular).


Where can I find all the cases for every noun?


Thank you very much! Do you know where I can find an explanation on when to use each one?


This book gives a very good overview. It's well worth buying a copy but you may be able to find it free online in PDF format.


Note it orders the cases Nom, Voc, Acc, Gen, Dat, Abl which is how they're usually presented in Britain. The British order comes from the 19th century textbook "Kennedy's Latin Primer".

The Dickinson College charts present them in the order usually used in the US. If you're going to commit them to memory (and you really should) it's a good idea to decide in advance which order of cases would be better for you. There's another page here that presents them in the "British" order.


Edit: just noticed that last link has a spelling error: "genative". Elsewhere on this page it's correctly spelled as "genitive".


Thank you very much!


I would just add, "Bonam fortunam!" (Good luck--in the accusative case, because I'm wishing it upon you), and suggest that you also find a detailed beginning-language (college-level) textbook, like Wheelock for English speakers. A discussion of how to use the ablative case, for example, can go on for pages in a grammar book or textbook (since there are so many different types).

I actually teach from Ecce Romani (made by the Scottish Classics Group, I believe), and I enjoy using it with young people--eventually, it winds up providing them with quite a good foundation.


Accusative of exclamation. :-)

I would have suggested Allen and Greenough which you can definitely find freely online, but that could be a bit overwhelming at this stage. The Scottish Classics Group textbook is much more digestible and is certainly detailed enough to be going on with.


Canis, carnis, also 3rd declension feminine also exists and should be allowed.


Canis isn't the dog (and also the white hair)?

Edit: yes, carnis is also a nominative noun for "meat".



Apologies for the typo. Should be carnis, carnis.

Canis is "dog" of course.

Canus, -a, -um white, hoary;


Spanish "carne "is from the carnis case of caro, and French chair is from "caro".


A weird thing, noticeable for French speakers.

There's no macron here, but căro is the flesh/meat, and cārō means expensive (from cārus).(And it's exactly the Spanish word caro = expensive)

căro gave chair (flesh) in French

cārō gave cher (expensive) in French.

And both "chair" and "cher" are homophones in French.
It's the second time I meet this phenomenon, the first time it was with lectus (with French homophones un lit-bed, il lit-read)

For the Spanish căro (flesh) -> carne (they took the ablative, or a word derived from the genitive), maybe because caro (flesh) and caro (expensive) were too close in the pronunciation?


I take it, though, that the different Latin vowels (long a in the word "expensive, dear"; short a in the word "meat") account for the two different outcomes in French (cher vs. chair), which presumably indicate a stage in language development when the sounds were pronounced differently.


The funny thing is the proximity of caro/caro in Latin, and the proximity of chair/cher (pronounced the same) in French.

They evolved from almost the same word (written the same), but not related in the meaning,
to give in French, homophones non related with the meaning.

And they went though different old French words (chier and char), so it's even more a weird coincidence. To be alike, to be not alike, and finally to be alike again.

That's the point.

And the Spanish coincidence is also funny.


Which is important evidence that the difference between Latin long a (in carus, a, um that gives rise to Fr. cher) and Latin short a (in caro, ancestor of Fr. chair) was profound. It doesn't matter how they were written, but rather, how they were pronounced.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative carō salsa carnēs salsae
Genitive carnis salsae carnum/carnium salsārum
Dative carnī salsae carnibus salsīs
Accusative carnem salsam carnēs salsās
Ablative carne salsā carnibus salsīs
Vocative carō salsa carnēs salsae


I think "caro catulina" (meat dog) and "caro putida" (rotting meat) were Roman insults or swearing. For "caro putida" it was used by Cicero to talk about a writer (source: Gaffiot).

But "dog meat", ass it's listed in dictionaries, and I don't think they could eat dog meat. They weren't cynophage, but maybe some barbarians were?


Caro is singular but salsa is plural. Whats going on


Yes; it's important to avoid confusing salsa that's neuter plural (nomin/accus), and salsa that's feminine singular nominative. All the 1st/2nd declension adjectives have this potential 'confusion.' (Prandia sunt salsa, the lunches are salty, a neuter plural example; but Caro est salsa, the meat is salty, a femin. sing. example.)


No, salsa here is the feminine nominative singular form of the adjective to agree with caro in case and gender.


If caro is nominative, what is carnes?


Carnes is the nominative and accusative plural form.


Why is it salsus, -a, -um and not sālsus, -a, um. I am assuming it is because the genitive of sāl is salis, thus its root has a short -a-, but is this an instance of iambic shortening from the nominative, or is it rather the other way around: sal > sāl? If so, what kind of phenomenon are we dealing with?


I'm not sure how you can tell the quantity of the a in salsus, a, um .

When there are two consonants following the vowel (and making it "long by position"), it's not always possible to tell if it is long or short (by nature).

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