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So... this came up in the reports

Here I am clearing reports, and I see this come up in a sentence involving 'natus est'

'est is not past tense. this should be "bat". perfect active indictive of esse'


First of all, you're right, est is not past tense. est is present tense. But natus est is actually perfect passive indicative (well technically it's active because the verb is deponent). However -bat is not perfect either, it is the imperfect ending of verbs of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th conjugation. If you want the perfect active indicative of esse, that would be fuit, the imperfect (which I assume is maybe what you meant) would be erat however natus erat is pluperfect and would actually translate to he had been born.

If you have questions about why something is the way it is, please ask us. Post questions in the forums, I love to explain the how and why of Latin grammar.

September 24, 2019



"Romae needs to be in the ablative (Roma) since its indicates rest rather than motion which would use the accusative."

Excellent point, except Romae is in the locative, denoting place where. It's an archaic Proto-Indo-European (PIE) case which is only used in city names and islands smaller than Rhodes. Also used in Domi (at home), Ruri (in the countryside, Humi (on the ground), Militae (in the military service) and foci (at the hearth).


Poor fellow, I guess you must have a lot of those "life of Brian" moments. Latin seems to be perfect for things like that.


Romani ite domum. Now, write it out a hundred times. Hail Caesar.


"Post questions in the forums, I love to explain the how and why of Latin grammar"

That is so refreshing. Have a lingot!


I always report this phrase ;-)

Let me start by acknowledging that was born is a suitable and common translation for natus –a –um est. That's just the natural way English speakers would state the mere fact that someone was born in a particular country right now, days ago or years ago. There are only some situations where is born or has been born would sound about right. Hence it's absolutely reasonable to consider was born a correct translation.

That being said, I don't like that you don't accept has been born or even is born (which would be nascitur really) as an alternative. I'd argue both mirror the Latin perfect tense way better. And sometimes that's what you'd like to do: mirror the Latin tenses:

  • nascitur --> is born
  • natus est --> has been born
  • nascebaris --> was born
  • natus erat --> had been born

I know that's the old question: how close should one stick to the Latin tense structure? Plz consider to add alternatives here, though.


Well, your tense translations seem a little off compared to what I learned. i.e. Pluperfect: had been born, Perfect: was born, Imperfect: was being born, Present: is born, Future: will be born, Future Perfect: will have been born.

The difference between the imperfect and the perfect is that the perfect demonstrates a completed action (hence perfect) while the imperfect shows an ongoing action (but in the past).

It really shouldn't be present, as I've consulted the OLD to be sure, Natus -a -um (the 4th principle part separating and becoming an adjective) does not exist as it's own entry, meaning that in the Classical period, it was used only as part of the Perfect system of it's verb. (compare this to Paratus -a -um, which does have its own entry even though it comes from Paro, Parare, Paravi, Paratum).

And as far "I don't like that you don't accept has been born or even is born" Why should we put is born? That is an incorrect answer. puella in Germania nascitur is a different sentence than puella in Germania nata est.


"There is a typo. Est is present tense (is). Erat is the imperfect for she was."

Someone still hasn't seen this post.


'I would suggest using "Schola, -ae" for "school", since "Ludus" primarily means a form of game/jest.'

From the OLD: Ludus: A place of instruction or training; (esp.) an elementary school (in full -us litterarum, litterarius) (in full -us gladiatorius) a gladiatorial school.

While the first couple definitions refer to games (including festivals) the Romans used this term to describe what we would think of as primary school. Where young students were managed by magistri and taught the Alphabet, grammar, arithmetic, etc.

Schola: A place or establishment in which a teacher expounds his views, school: (of philosophy, science, etc.). (of rhetoric). (applied to a school run by a grammaticus or ludi magister).

Schola is more so a follow on school, more like a modern trade school.


L&S says:

  1. A place for learned conversation or instruction, a place of learning, a school (cf. ludus): “toto hoc de genere, de quaerendā, de collocandā pecuniā, commodius a quibusdam optimis viris ad Janum medium sedentibus quam ab ullis philosophis ullā in scholā disputatur,” Cic. Off. 2, 25, 90: “qui cum in scholā assedissent,” id. de Or. 1, 22, 102; 1, 13, 56; Suet. Gram. 17; Quint. 3, 11. 26: “politus e scholā,” Cic. Pis. 25, 59: “e philosophorum scholis tales fere evadunt,” id. Or. 27, 95; Quint. 1, prooem. § 17; “12, 3, 12: rhetorum,” id. 12, 2, 23: “potiorem in scholis eruditionem esse quam domi,” id. 2, 3, 10; 5, 13, 45; so (opp. forum) id. 5, 13, 36: “ut ab Homero in scholis,” Plin. Ep. 2, 14, 2.—

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