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Use of punctuation in Latin (course)?

Does any one know how punctuation is to be used in the Duolingo Latin course?

It seems to sort of follow English type punctuation.

But from what I remember learning, quite long ago, Latin did not use punctuation. Nor spaces between words until about the middle ages (I can see why this is not used in Duo. It would be a pain when learning.)

But I am not clear if we are just supposed to insert English punctuation rules into Latin. I know that so far Duo does not seem to mark it wrong if no punctuation is used but I am still wondering what it wants.


September 9, 2019



Duo never seems to care about punctuation or capitalization. It seems that always (or almost always?) they fold the answer to one case, upper or lower, and strip out all the punctuation before doing comparisons with the correct answers.


In line with most textbooks, in order to facilitate learning, Duo spells in a way that is considered by some as anachronistic:

  • English punctuation style (Yes, there was sometimes punctuation in Classical Latin albeit it looked very different)
  • English spaces (Yes, there was sometimes spacing in Classical Latin albeit it looked often different)
  • Moderate use of modern letters - like in the English alphabet. This includes the use of both Uu and Vv in the same text fragments. However Jj like in some Late Latin texts is excluded.
  • lowercase and uppercase letters: capitalization follows English spelling rooms. Besides the usual capitalization of proper names, this includes adjectives like Latina in lingua Latina since adjectives referring to languages are capitalized in English.
  • Use of compound words based on English spelling. This includes e.g. the word paterfamilias that is concatenated in English and thus also written like that in Duo's Latin text fragments (though I'd argue that this doesn't make too much sense in Latin).

PS: Punctuation marks or capital letters may be omitted in your answers.



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