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  5. "Marcus is an American young …

"Marcus is an American young man."

Translation:Marcus est iuvenis Americanus.

September 6, 2019



In English, it is more common to say, "Marcus is a young American man." "Young man" doesn't have to stick together. We often refer to young people as "youth."


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
Age (young)
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?


It always makes me sad that schools/ teachers make their language students learn more grammar than native speakers would ever know or need.


Exactly! I had to learn obscure grammar just to get a good score on my IELTS test, but you see native English speakers failing to point out the difference between your and you're everyday...


I see you're point


Although English isn't my Native language, even I didn't realise this until much later.


We just absorb this stuff unconsciously by some sort of linguistic osmosis.


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.


I concur. It is grammatical correct to say "young American man". Still, the context-wise sentence should be "...American youth".


Does anyone know the difference between using "Americana" and "Americanus"? thankss


"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?)


I think the last one shld be "Americana", because "civitas" and "urbs" are both feminine.


Is Marcus iuvenis Americanus est wrong?


No, it's correct, as are correct all the words order in simple sentence (no preposition, no adverb, etc...), so report it if it's not accepted.


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've noticed they can be placed both before and after the described object. I can usually tell which object is being described because the declensions match. But I'm a beginner here too, there may be more complicated rules.


As a fellow beginner, you totally understand my doubt. Have a great day! Obrigado! ;-)


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.


But, if "puerum magnum" is the common word order, how it creates an emphasis or a surprise?

Isn't it the opposite? "Magnum puerum" being emphatic?


Adjectives of size and number usually go before the noun they describe. It is more common to say "magnum puerum." Therefore "puerum magnum )" adds emphasis because it is uncommon.


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.


Could I try to translate literaly "Young man" with "vir"+ iuvenis?

I know it's not the best solution, but I only try to explore all the possibilities in Latin.


No. Vir means man. Iuvenis means young man or youth.


Márcus est iuvenis Americánus.


what is the difference between americana and americanus


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.


What is the difference between Americana nd americanus



"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


make up your mind about word order please



Word order is pretty fluid in Latin so it is normal to find several different correct propositions.


Just a detail: juvenis should be accepted as variant orthography of iuvenis, as it is in Wiktionary, not as typo.

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