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"The clothes on the floor are dirty."

Translation:Vestimenta in pavimento sordida sunt.

September 29, 2019



Why not: Vestimenta sordida in pavimento sunt?


To me that changes the meaning to "The dirty clothes are on the floor."


How do you know sordida is describing vestimenta? I know in this case because they're both plural and pavimento is singular. But if I say Vestimentum in pavimento sordidum est, how do I know sordidum applies to the garment and not the floor?


It would have to be sordido to match with pavimento in case (along with number [singular] and gender [neutuer]).

Vestimenta in pavimento sordido sunt would be more 'The clothes are on the dirty floor'

Adjectives must match with the noun they modify in case, number, and gender.


this is not a very good Latin sentence (prepositional phrases don't regularly act as attributive adjectives)


There is nothing wrong with this sentence. How else would specify the dirty clothes that are on the floor?


exactly as you did: with a relative clause. Latin does not normally use prepositional phrases adjectivally, the way English does, so using a relative clause where the prepositional phrase is adjunct to the verb (vestimenta quae in pavimento iacent sordida sunt), or a participle where the prepositional phrase is adjunct to the verbal idea (vestimenta in pavimento iacentia sordida sunt) would be much more normal.


While using the relative clause is common, it doesn't make using the prepositional phrase like this wrong.

Do you really think we should be throwing relative clauses at beginner students?


Not necessarily -- but then don't use English sentences that would require a relative clause to be made into good Latin!


It doesn't really matter if this was done as a habit by the Romans and others who wrote in Latin. As long as it's done correctly in Latin, it's worth learning. The way they phrased things then and the way we phrase things now are different. Vive la différence !

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