"Marcus is an American young man."
Translation:Marcus est iuvenis Americanus.
I'm not a native, but according to what I learnt in school, it's more grammatically correct to say "... is a young American man"
As the rules for the place of the English adjective are:
Quantity or number
Quality or opinion
Proper adjective (often nationality, other place of origin, or material)
Purpose or qualifier
So age first, nationality second:
Young American man.
Maybe if you change the word order in English, it changes where the emphasis goes? But I doubt of it, as no English teachers never explained us that. Other adjective orders were always considered as wrong.
Funny, as a native English speaker, I never even realized there were rules regarding the order of adjectives until I started learning other languages. I just knew that If you didn't say it a certain way it just didn't 'sound right.' Who knew that these things were subject to rules?
The "rules" for sequencing of adjectives are absorbed at a very young age by native speakers. As another native speaker, I agree with jaiirapetjan that "an American young man" does not flow well. It seems to break the hidden rules of ordering. After all, I would have no problem with a young American businessman or a young American priest. But I think there is something else going on here. To some native speakers young man is not perceived as a bound unit (expressing youth, or teenager). The adjective young is thus free to adopt its expected place in the unconscious order that puts age before nationality. There will be some (many fewer, I suspect) native speakers who perceive young man as a bound unit, and for those speakers American young man would seem to make sense. I tried it out on a random group of friends and family, and the majority (13-2) went with young American man, so there is clearly room for both lines of thought.
"Americana" or "Americanus" is latin for "American". Which to use? It depends on gender of the subject.
In this case, the subject is "Marcus", obviously a masculine subject, because of the "us" at the end. Therefore we use the masculine "us" ending on "Americanus".
If the subject were feminine, for example, if it were "Livia" instead of "Marcus", we would use the "a" ending for "Americana".
It even applies to the neuter gender. "Novum Eboracum est et civitas et urbs Americanum."
(is that last one constructed properly?)
Is there any specific order regarding adjectives in Latin? I'd imagine so. In English and German, the adjective comes first (ex: big house). However, in Latin-derived languages (Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian, Catalan etc), the noun comes before (ex: casa grande (pt) = "house big" (en). So I'm guessing there's an order to follow in Latinno matter how flexible it can be.
I find this link most useful when answering questions of Latin word order: http://rharriso.sites.truman.edu/latin-language/latin-word-order/
Common order is: noun – adjective
(except: demonstrative/adjective of quantity/size – noun)
N.B.: adjectives have “bungee cords” (endings) and can jump over other words (especially verbals) separating them from their nouns).
Some examples: Parvus puer magnum puerum pugnat. (The small boy fights the big boy). Puer stultus non docet (The stupid boy does not learn).
Adjectives are also often split by a preposition: Puer magnam ad urbem ambulat. (The boy walks toward the big city)
And always, the order can be changed to add emphasis or surprise. Rewriting the previous example: Parvus puer puerum magnum pugnat.
Here placing magnum after puerum adds a bit of suspense/surprise. If you read it in order you get something like: The small boy, a boy (oh a big one) fights. Even more emphasis could be: Parvus puer puerum pugnat magnum. That would really emphasize that the other boy is big.
Descent languages: In French and Spanish, for instance, the adjectives can be either after or before the noun, grammatically.
But the rule is that adjectives follow the noun, more often.
(Same common order than in Latin)
Un chat noir. A black cat.
Une jeune fille. A young girl.
The English word order is awful. No native speaker would ever speak like that. This is a pattern in many of the sentences, so far. There are so many that sound unnatural or downright wrong. The course is clearly written by a non-native whose English is not of a high-enough standard and if they're getting that wrong, what else are they getting wrong?
I suspect that they are writing the Latin, then translating the Latin text into English; thus iuvenis=young man (one inseparable unit) and Americanus=American ending up as American young man rather than the more proper young American man.
And, yes, it is somewhat grating on the eye/ear.
"Americanus, a, um" is an adjective. Therefore, it takes the gender of the noun it is attached to. So when said noun is masculine, we use "americanus" (and its declensions), when it is feminine we use "americana" (+ declensions) and when it is neutral, we use "americanum" (+ yes, you guessed it, its declensions).
For example (in nominative):
- an American boy => boy = puer (masculine) => americanUS puer
- an American girl => girl = puella (feminine) => americanA puella
- an American temple => temple = templum (neutral) => americanUM templum