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  5. "Aqua poculum implet."

"Aqua poculum implet."

Translation:The water fills the cup.

September 30, 2019

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuzanneNussbaum

Since Duolingo doesn't use long marks (macrons), it's impossible to distinguish ablative and nominative aqua. I construed this as "She fills the cup with water," and it was not accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stivusik

I agree with SuzanneNussbaum. Even though the ablative of means may not have been introduced, it's a valid translation of the Latin sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IrieKoen

I think that if you would want to translate it as "She fills the cup with water", you would have to say: "Poculum cum aqua implet."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuzanneNussbaum

Actually, you don't use "cum" at all, when you're speaking of a THING with which / by means of which you are doing the action.

"Cum", in that case, is actually incorrect.

This structure is called the ablative of means/instrument.

It's quite common with sentences like (please pardon the violence!): Milites gladio necat, "He kills soldiers with a sword " (< gladius, gladii, m., sword). Servum baculo verberat, "He beats the slave with a stick" (< baculum, baculi, n., stick).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SlavaBob

in English the translation makes sense because water fills the cup means the cup is filled with water (by someone). But does this really make sense in Latin? The sentence sounds to me like it is saying water is actively filling the cup, as if water were an animate being that can fill cups (with something). This does not intuitively make sense to me. If so, the translation suggested by Suzanne would make more sense.

On the other hand, my question is, is Latin like English, where you can say this sentence this way to mean "water fills the cup" and have it mean the same thing as in English? Does this make any sense?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuzanneNussbaum

There are examples, in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, of subjects such as nomin. aqua , water, and sanguis , blood, used with the verb complere .

So Duolingo's "Water fills the cup" is okay.

Most of the examples, from what I can see, have people as subjects (sometimes as a crowd, turba ) filling up a place, or "filling" a place with noise.

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