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  5. Iuvenis cum psittaco irato in…


Iuvenis cum psittaco irato in forum est.

Duolingo accepts "The young man is in the forum with the angry parrot" or "The young man with the angry parrot is in the forum."

Now, although I'm sure both are right, in the English sentences there is a slight difference in meaning - the first being that the angry parrot is in the forum and the young man is with him, and the second being that the young man has an angry parrot and they're both in the forum.

Slight difference, but my question is whether you could change the Latin sentence to convey one meaning or the other? Without, that is, re-phrasing it completely?

September 22, 2019



Position in Latin usually provides emphasis, on occasion it is done to echo another sentence or clause nearby. But if it's SOV the placement of prepositional phrases and adverbs can either be neutral or providing extra emphasis, depending on what the speaker/author wants to draw attention. Sort of like "WITH A PARROT, the young man is in the forum" vs, The young man is in the forum, also I suppose, I should inform you, he's with a parrot."


And how about "There is a young man with an angry parrot in the market"?


My understanding is that it should only mean that he is in the forum with the parrot, not that he is a boy-with-a-parrot.

Proportional phrases, like "cum psittaco", generally modify the verb, and not a noun.

If we want to give more information about which boy is in the forum, either we should use an adjective (like "puer laetus", "the happy boy") or a genitive ("puer principis", "the emperor's boy") or a relative clause ("puer qui laetus est", "the boy who is happy").

In this case, that latter would be used to say that "the boy with the angry parrot is in the forum": e.g., "puer qui psittacum iratum habet in foro est", "the boy who has an angry parrot is in the forum", or "puer quem psittacus iratus comitatur in foro est", "the boy whom the angry parrot is accompanying is in the forum", or "qui puer cum psittaco irato est, is in foro est", "the boy who is with the angry parrot is in the forum", and so on.

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