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  5. "The wife has a mother."

"The wife has a mother."

Translation:Uxor matrem habet.

October 2, 2019



Latin Word Order Verb PositionsThoughtco

Latin Word Order serves purposeful specific semantics. A random jumbled arrangement of the words from Latin phrases, clauses and sentences, [ Latin Mad Libs ], would only randomly result in expressions with the meaning of the original expression.

Latin grammar, like other Synthetic Language grammar, facilitates flexible word order arrangement but the sensical wording rearrangements don't necessarily preserve identical meaning. Attributive Adjective versus Postpositive may change emphasis or for some expressions, a particular word sequence is nominal or vernacular and the alternative sequences are awkward or the meaning doesn't register with the vernacular in common use.


Dative of possession version: Uxori est mater.


Please explain/translate


The dative of possession uses the dative as the 'possessor' and the nominative as the 'possession'.

If you were to literally translate it: "To the wife is a mother."


"The wife has a mother" is what it means; or, literally, "TO the wife (uxori, dative sing.) there is a mother (est mater--nomin. sing.)."

A not uncommon way for Latin to express possession, especially when the main verb in the sentence is "to be."


the words in Latin sentences can be in a random order right? at least that's what I've learned in my class


Correct. Since Latin is declined sentence order is mostly arbitrary, though there is preferred order. Poetry is where you would see variations. My guess is that the system Duolingo uses can't accommodate variable word order.


I think the more Latin you read, the more you understand how the word order works. It often seems "backwards" compared to English, and indeed you have to free yourself of English suppositions about word order; but it's not actually "random."

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