1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Latin
  4. >
  5. "The girl is hiding cookies u…

"The girl is hiding cookies under her dress."

Translation:Puella crustula sub stola celat.

September 5, 2019



"her" is missing from the Latin


They want to show us that the personal pronoun can be implied.

As you have She.... her....


Doesn't sound acceptable in a basic level of language learning. Duo has a word for word approach, followed closely throughout their Greek course.


I believe that stola is the word for a married woman's dress, worn over her tunica.

I expected that a puella would be wearing a tunica.


"her" is implicit in this sentence(?)


It is, however "Puella crustula sub stola eius celat" is accepted too.


Yikes--but wouldn't "eius" here mean "The girl is hiding (her) cookies under HER (= someone else's) stola?!"

If a 3rd pers. subject is also the possessor, we use the 3rd person refl. possessive adj., suus, a, um (sub stola sua, in other words).


I said it's accepted. I didn't say it was correct!

Anyway, who are we to judge what these girls do with their biscuits?

Crustula concealers of the world, unite.


Can I use the accusative "sub stolam"? Like not "where" (location), but "to where" (process and destination).


You can with a different verb, that implies motion: maybe, "Puella crustula sumit et sub stolam ponit," The girl picks up the cookies and puts [them] under her dress .

If someone should run under the shade of a tree, that's motion moving under: Sub umbram currit.

(The other preposition that will have both accus. and abl. objects is in, with the change of meaning from: motion INTO (= accus), position/location IN ( = abl.).


I've asked about this on the Latin "Stack Exchange" (Q&A site for latin). https://latin.stackexchange.com/questions/15132/can-celare-take-an-accusative


The Stack Exchange question now has an answer. It turns out that you can use the accusative to indicate who you are hiding from. So if I understand it correctly you could say "Puella crustula mercatorem celat" to mean "The girl is hiding cookes from the merchant".


Very interesting. But that would imply that the verb "celat" is actually taking two accusative objects at the same time: "crustula" and "mercatorem". I didn't know that that was possible in Latin, and I would have thought "mercator" would be in either dative or ablative in that context.

If we said "Puella mercatorem celat", would the girl be hiding the merchant, or hiding something from the merchant?

In any case, this is a matter of accusative of an object with respect directly to the verb, not accusative of an object with respect to a preposition that ties to the verb. I don't think this is quite the answer we're looking for. But it does appear from other replies that "celare" is probably best translated as "conceal", not "hide", and that the emphasis is on the fact of concealment from someone rather than the movement into a state of concealment. So it seems that "sub stolam celare" is not acceptable Latin.

Thanks for your efforts on this! Much appreciated.


There are a few Latin verbs which take a double accusative; another one is rogō, rogāre, rogāvī, rogātum "to pray to someone for something."


Similar to rogāre (in taking two accusatives) is ōrāre , to beg (someone for something), to pray (for); and docēre , to teach someone something. I'm not familiar with the use of cēlāre taking two accusatives, but the OLD or Lewis & Short should tell the tale.


Thanks for asking, and for the link. The problem was very clearly stated. So far, it looks like the Latin experts themselves aren't too sure about this.


I wondered about that. There is a difference between hiding something and having or keeping something hidden. If she were in the act of hiding the biscuits (in other words, they were moving) I wonder if the accusative "sub stolam" (movement)) would work. "Sub stola" (location) suggests to me that the biscuits were already concealed by the time the sentence was delivered.


Right, that's my feeling too. The English "The girl is hiding cookies under her dress" is ambiguous. I took it to mean that she is in the process of taking cookies and putting them into her dress, not that she is walking around with the cookies concealed there.

Ironically, I can't report it, because it was only different by one letter, and therefore accepted but flagged as a typo!


"...sub stola crustula celat" should be fine too. Reported.


Yes, many other word orders are not accepted yet here, just report.


whats the differnce between eius and sua?


There's a HUGE difference!

In brief: sua (HER own) is only used when the 3rd person SUBJECT (he/she/it; they) is also the POSSESSOR of something. There's a possessive adjective for that: suus, sua, suum . The form sua is accus plur neuter, agreeing with the noun crustula.

But the pronoun form eius means "belonging to someone else," either HIS or HER or ITS, used only when the (3rd person) subject is NOT also the possessor. (Notice that eius is not an adjective: it's the genitive singular form of 3rd person [non-reflexive] pronoun is, ea, id = "he, she, it.")

SO: "I have HIS (or HER) cookies": Crustula eius habeo .

"She has HIS cookies": Crustula eius habet .

"She has HER (own) cookies" : Crustula sua habet .

(Sorry, I wrote a fuller answer the first time, but it didn't post properly.)


can you elaborate?


Why stola and not stolam


This word following a preposition like sub could be in either accusative or ablative case. In the nominative singular, it is stola. In accusative singular, it is stolam (stola-m). In ablative singular, it is stolā (stola-a). In this course, the creators decided not to put macrons, the long marks, over vowels, since the Romans themselves didn't use them. That means that they cannot distinguish nominative stola from ablative stolā. The stola used here is actually ablative stolā, but without the extra length marker shown.

The noun following a preposition is usually either ablative or accusative. Some prepositions always require ablative, others always require accusative, and some take either ablative or accusative, depending. When there is a choice, ablative generally implies stationary position, or motion away from the thing. Accusative implies motion toward, through, or into the thing.

The preposition sub is one of the ones that allow a choice. So "Puella crustula sub stolā celat" means that the girl is walking around with cookies concealed under her dress. "Puella crustula sub stolam celat" would mean that she is sticking cookies under her dress to hide them, i.e. that she is moving cookies into position under her dress, rather than that she already has them there hidden.

The translation given, "The girl is hiding cookies under her dress" is ambiguous in English: we can't tell from that sentence whether she is putting them there now to hide them, or whether she already has them concealed there and isn't letting anyone know. The course creators who came up with this sentence were apparently thinking of the second meaning. Some of us guessed the first.


That said, please check the discussion above, especially Suzanne Nussbaum and Paul704844, and the responses to Paul's posting on the Latin "Stack Exchange" site. There is some doubt as to whether the motion principle applies for the Latin verb cēlāre or the English verb "hide". After all, we can "put" something into a closet, but we cannot "hide" something into a closet. Perhaps cēlāre implies static position only, and therefore must use ablative for the object of the preposition.


Each time I come to share an apparent error I find that the next item in the list is making exactly the same complaint - and did so some months before.


Why is the Direct Complement not in accusative? Wouldn't it be "crustulam"?


No--please notice that there are two different types of "nouns that end in -a."

You're thinking of a 1st declension noun like puella or vīlla ; yes, this type of noun would have accusative singular ending in -am, and accusative plural ending in -ās.

However, the word for "cookie" is a neuter 2nd declension noun: crustulum, crustulī , n.

The plural ("cookies") accusative form of that noun is crustula . As a rule, neuter plurals, in both nominative and accusative, end in -a.

(But let's not confuse the PLURAL -a nouns with the SINGULAR -a nouns.)


Is it a dress, the dress or her dress ? If I translate from Latin to English I’d never use her!


As far as English goes, "under her dress" seems most natural to me, if it's the dress she's wearing.


It’s not a very hygienic way!


It’s not a very hygienic way!


Is it stola or stolam?


In this example, eius (her) is not required. But in another example, "The gods kill their enemies", it required the use of eorum (their) and marked it wrong when I did not put it. Why? I figured that if "her dress" was understood here, "their enemies" would be understood there. Which way is it?


If we put in the word HER here (She hides cookies under her dress), the form needed would actually be suā (sub stolā suā). We use the possessive adjective suus, sua, suum and its forms when the 3rd person subject (SHE) is doing something to HER (OWN) things. If we used eius in this sentence, the subject would be hiding the cookies under someone else's dress.

In the sentence about the gods, the possessive genitive eōrum stresses that the gods are destroying some other people's enemies, not their own .

(If you didn't include eōrum , you would be suggesting--as seems logical to me!--that the gods are killing their (own) enemies.)

Hope that makes sense.


I don't know enough about Latin yet to say whether I agree or disagree with your analysis. When I learn more, I shall say more. The Duolingo course so far has given me no grounds to make such a distinction. From my general knowledge of languages, it seems that with no further context, the natural understanding would be that "The gods killed their enemies" refers to the gods' own enemies. Now if the sentence was "The soldiers prayed to the gods, so the gods killed their enemies", then it would sound like it refers to the enemies of the soldiers, not of the gods. Again, I will say more when I learn more.


This much is clear:

Deī īnimīcōs suōs dēlent = The gods kill their own enemies. The possessive (3rd person reflexive) adjective suus, sua, suum typically refers back to the subject of the sentence, which is "the gods," here. If the adj. suōs is deployed, then we are being told for sure that "the enemies" in question are those of the gods themselves.

If we write Deī īnimīcōs eōrum dēlent , then we're saying "The gods are destroying THEIR (= some other group's) enemies." The plural genitive pronoun, eōrum , is used precisely for non reflexive, 3rd person possession. ("I'm carrying THEIR packages," for example.). This would exactly fit the scenario you've envisioned, of "The soldiers prayed to the gods, so the gods killed their enemies."

The singular of eōrum is eius , used when "You are reading HIS books" or "They are singing HER song," and so forth. (Notice that these words are genitive-case forms of the 3rd person pronoun, and not adjectives.)

The only interpretation comes in when the enemies are not qualified, by a possessive adjective or a possessive genitive; and then interpretation is necessary. Since Duolingo sentences are devoid of context (as well as being created today, not in antiquity!), trying to come up with a "context" that would allow one to judge whether 'the enemies' are the gods' own or some other group's is nothing more than an idle exercise. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)

This is not a matter of 'analysis' so much, as knowing how possession works, in Latin--sometimes via the genitive case (of a noun or pronoun), sometimes via a possessive adjective (when these exist).

We say, in English, "the senate and people of Rome" (with a genitive, "of Rome"); but the Latin formula was Senātus Populusque Rōmānus , using the masculine nominative singular form of the possessive adjective, "Roman."


Susan, I agree what you wrote Dative word’s use is hard to catch for us

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