1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Latin
  4. >
  5. "The first book is long."

"The first book is long."

Translation:Volumen primum longum est.

October 11, 2019



Why is 'Librum' not acceptable here?


You would need to the use the nominative form liber (and make sure the adjectives agree).


Indeed, liber primus longus est works fine.


There's nothing making the word "book" accusative: you'd need a verb (like I have, He reads, She looks for, etc.) that controls a direct object; or you'd need one of the prepositions (like ad, per, prope) that govern an accusative object (He puts a pen near the book).


But then why are the adjectives following volumen in the accusative form? Sorry very new to Latin so I am a little confused here


The adjectives "first" and "long" have 30 forms each (3 genders, m/f/n; 2 numbers, sing. vs. plur.; 5 cases, nomin/gen/dat/acc/abl).

They are not in the accusative! It's true that the ending -um is used in the 2nd decl. for "masc sing accus" (as in, "I hold the first long book": Primum librum longum teneo); but the crucial point here is that the ending -um is also used for "neuter singular nominative," as here: Volumen is a neuter noun (of the 3rd decl.), so it is modified by -um adjectives.

The adjectives are listed as: primus, prima, primum; and longus, longa, longum. Those are the 3 nominatives singular, masc/fem/neuter.

(Does that help?)


My first thought with this sentence is that a scroll with a lot of text would be, literally, very long. However I realized that books may also be long, which seems a bit funny, since they are not linear anymore.

Learn Latin in just 5 minutes a day. For free.