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  5. "Red wine costs thirty coins."

"Red wine costs thirty coins."

Translation:Vinum rubrum triginta nummis constat.

October 19, 2019



Shouldn't 'nummis' be in the accusative tense and be 'nummos' because it's the direct object for the verb 'cost'?


I had the same thought at first. Duolingo doesn't do a good job of explaining that for a few verbs, what looks like the direct object is dative case instead of accusative. "Consto" (cost) is one of them; other are "studeo" (study), near the beginning, and "appropinquo" (approach), which shows up a bit later on.


This is not a dative but an ablative, genitive is also possible: "it costs twenty coins" viginti nummis constat or viginti nummorum constat.


Ah, good to know. Thanks.


Thanks. Maybe someone would know where to find a list of THOSE (unknown to us, simple mortals) verbs.


There's a list at the bottom of


A little more context can be found at


Even more context at


Edit (21 April 2020)

On reflection, I'm pretty sure that "constant" in this sentence is taking the ablative, not the dative.

(The ablative plural and dative plural of "nummus" look the same: "nummīs".)

Cōnstō, -āre, when it means "to be consistent with" can take the dative.

Cōnstō, -āre, when it means "cost" can take the ablative of price.



Cōnstō, -āre, when it means "cost" can take also take the genitive of indefinite value, as in Cicero's letter to Atticus:

"prope dimidio minoris constabit isto loco." -- "it will cost hardly more than half as much in that locality." ("minoris" is in the genitive)

Anticipating the question, here's a list of verbs that take the genitive:


May as well mention that there are a number of verbs that regularly take the ablative of separation:



stupid question but what is the difference between constat and constant?


Constat is used for third person singular subjects such as discipulus or amica, while constant is used for third person plural subjects such as discipuli or amicae.


Use "constat" for singular things, like this:

  • Quanti constat oliva? (How much does an olive cost?)

Use "constant" for plural things, like this:

  • Quanti constant olivae? (How much do olives cost?)


Is "vinum rubrum"nominative in this sentence? If so, why isn't it " vinum ruber"?


Red wine is a nominative in the sentence, it is just a neuter second declension noun. Being neuter changes the endings as such.

<pre> Singular Plural </pre>

Nominative -um , -a

Dative -i , -orum

Genitive -o , -is

Accusative -um , -a

Ablative -o , -is

The endings for the accusative and nominative are the same, so you have to decide what fits best in the sentence. Nominative nouns can either be the subject or predicate nominative, and Accusative nouns can either be the direct object (or recipient of an action) in a sentence or an object of the preposition (it is that form with certain prepositions). In this case, 'vinum rubrum' or red wine is the subject of the sentence, so it is nominative.


why isn't it "vinum ruber" then?


It is not vinum ruber because ruber is an adjective (meaning red) and it takes the same gender, case, and function as the noun it influences. To show this, people use the line 'ruber, -a, -um' to show the way the adjective is changed in ending based on the gender of the noun it modifies. The adjective would be seen as ruber for masculine nominative form, rubra for feminine nominative form, and rubrum for neuter nominative form. Ruber would modify a nominative masculine subject. Vinum is a neuter noun though, so the adjective must be changed to agree with the noun it modifies. 'Rubrum' is the neuter nominative adjective, and it agrees with the subject. It is the correct form.


Thank you, I understand now. Your answer was very clear. Thank you so much for your time.


What would the singular of nummis be?


What would the singular of nummis be?

nummis is ablative plural here.

The nominative singular is nummus, the ablative singular nummo.


'triginta nummis vinum rubrum constat ' not good?

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