1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Latin
  4. >
  5. "Plurimae piscinae in urbe no…

"Plurimae piscinae in urbe non sunt."

Translation:There are not very many ponds in the city.

September 7, 2019



Yes, it's rare to have any ponds in the city at all; they are usually in the countryside. There may be many swimming pools though.


In reality, "piscina" was used for all kinds of artificial bodies of water, even water tank (for drinking for instance) according to Gaffiot. It wasn't for swimming, it was for all kind of uses.

They translate it by "pond", because it can be a swimming pool or a fish pond, but it can be really more, (and it was common use)


I wrote "many pools are not in a city" and it was accepted. This is different in meaning from the default answer. Is there no distinction between the two meanings in Latin?


They seem to be sticklers for the difference between multae and plurimae.


Sorry, I had a typo, my answer was accepted. I was drawing the distinction between saying that there do exist many pools outside the city, vs there do not exist many pools in the city


Yes, it was a good question, Tom, and one that occurred to me too. I wonder if anyone can answer it.


It's a mistake. They shouldn't accept "many" here.

The difference is: plurima > multa

great many/very many/very large quantity = plurima
..........many/..........many/........a large quanitty = multa

"Very many pools are not in a city" is less natural, in my opinion, than "There aren't ..."


Although the latin translates as written it would be more idiomatic english to say there are few ponds in the city


Venice: am I a joke to you?


wtf is a word "very many" - do you use this in english VERY MANY times?


NO. In english, at least USian English, we would be more likely to say "so many". I understand the course wants us to distinguish between plurima and multa, but it's been annoying me since the very beginning.


It sounds awkward to me too (native British English speaker) over here we would normally say Multiple.


Yes, or numerous.

  • 297

There is a difference between the following two, no? Why should the first be the preferred translation over the second?

  1. There are not very many ponds in the city.
  2. Very many ponds are not in the city.


On the one hand, the first is more natural English. On the other hand, the second suggests something unintended, that there are very many ponds somewhere specific, just not in the city. I hope that makes it a bit clearer.


why is: "In the city are not very many ponds" not right?


Because of the accusative case of "plurimae piscinae", "very many ponds" needs to be at the beginning of the sentence in English. So your sentence means the same thing, but it isn't really a good translation of the Latin sentence.


Plurimae piscinae is in the nominative. The accusative would be plurimas piscinas. You wouldn't need an accusative with the verb to be.


In questa sezione vi è una buona pronuncia del latino anche se di tipo mitteleuropeo e non italiano.


I wrote the same translation, but the system did not accept it. Weird.


So what's wrong with "There aren't very many lakes in town"?


isn't lake lacus?


My mental categorizations are based on a language (Hungarian) that doesn't have separate words for "lake" versus "pond", so I know the deliniation can be a whole lot less precise than that. Lewis & Short gives the following main translations for lacus: I. basin, tank, tub; II. a lake, pond; III. a large reservoir for water, a basin, tank, cistern. For piscina, the translations are: a pond in which fish are kept, a fish-pond; a pond for bathing or swimming, a basin, pool; a flood-gate, sluice, lock; a cistern, tank, reservoir.


I don't remember seeing any mention of swimming pools in any of the roman ruins, so that would be an interesting translation, and in my readings piscina was always a small pond in the garden area of a house, so didn't think piscina could be translated as lake, but guess not important. thanks again for your insight


The english sentence is poor, not only for using "very many" and unspecified "ponds", but also for using "there are", which is always lame.

I'd say "The city has hardly any fish ponds or swimming pools", but obviously that is too far afield.

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