1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Latin
  4. >
  5. "Do you like my new gems?"

"Do you like my new gems?"

Translation:Placentne tibi novae gemmae meae?

October 22, 2019



Different word-order shouldn't matter: Tibi placent gemmae meae novae? (Or maybe it's the lack of the -ne !?) I was imagining a 'rising intonation' to carry the question, here.


Yes, it's the lack of the -ne, the guilty.

We don't know how they rose intonation for questions. They probably did. But in their texts, without "?", without "." , without any mark for a question, the -ne, was, ipso facto, necessary.


Yes, except when they left out the -ne, because it was obvious (as in a whole string of questions, one after the other).


A whole string of questions is a different thing. It's not the case here.


Speaking of word order: "gemmae novae meae" is accepted, but "novae gemmae meae" is preferred. Why? (Word order is flexible, but should I know about some stylistic convention or preference here?)


Can't "meae" be implied ?


Yes, in context, the 'obvious' possessive can always be understood.


"In context." But here.... "Do you like new gems?" (What, as opposed to scratchy old ones?) It gives a different meaning. So, no.


"But here..." I don't see a context, so, of course, each of us can make up a context for this sentence.

It's worth learning, for English speakers, that Latin didn't pepper sentences with "my" and "your" and "his", etc., when the all-important context (the thing not supplied in these discrete sentences!) makes it obvious.


When do we use placet vs placent?


If something plural (like "gems," gemmae) is "pleasing," then the verb will be plural: placent .

If it's just one singular item (like "a gem," gemma ) that is "pleasing," then the verb will be singular: placet .

There are lots of sentences of the type, "It pleases (someone--dative case) to do something (infinitive form of verb)," in which case we use singular verb placet , since the infinitive is considered a singular noun:

"It pleases me to wander in the streets": Mihi placet in viīs errāre .

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