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"The sister is in the city; the mother is at home."

Translation:Soror in urbe est, mater domi est.

November 16, 2019



How do we know when we should include "in" and when we shouldn't?


If the noun can use the locative (like domus), you use the locative without in.

Only names of cities, towns, and small islands (have a single city or town) and a handful of other nouns (including domus) use the locative.


Someone (Draconis) posted a mnemonic on Latin stackexchange: "cities, towns, islands smaller than Rhodes, and domus and rus", noting that it was incomplete, as it lacked "humus" and "focus". (https://latin.stackexchange.com/questions/4626/which-common-nouns-have-a-locative)

From time to time I've looked for a complete list of nouns that take the locative, without success, so I'm putting together my own.

nominative locative
bellum bellī
domus domī
focus focī
humus humī
mīlitia mīlitiae
rūs rūrī

bellum (war): https://classics.osu.edu/Undergraduate-Studies/Latin-Program/Grammar/Cases/latin-case

domus (house): https://latin.cactus2000.de/noun/shownoun_en.php?n=domus

focus (hearth): https://enacademic.com/dic.nsf/enwiki/44617

humus (ground): http://www.lingvalatina.com/p/latin-mnemonics.html

mīlitia (military service): http://dcc.dickinson.edu/cicero-de-imperio/48

rūs (farm, countryside): http://dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/latin/3rd-declension-locative-case

Albert Hoefer has a long list, but I'm sceptical of many of them (some look like adverbs (or ablatives of time within which), others look wrong for other reasons), but if you're interested (and can read German),



Wonderful! Thank you!


All of these make sense with the exception of military service' (why this?) and possibly 'war'.


Wait, what is a locative?


The term is explained on this very page, if you scroll up from here (look for a comment by Moopish).


LOCATIVE is a case-form of a proper noun ( = name) of a city, town, or SMALL island ( = an island with only one city or town: coextensive with that city or town), to indicate "location IN" that place.

A few other nouns, listed elsewhere on this page (and domus , "home", is an important one in Duolingo), also have a locative form.

All other nouns, such as the nouns "city" (urbs) and "town" (oppidum), use preposition in + the ablative case to express the "location in" function.

Locative-case endings differ (naturally) according to the noun's declension.

Hope that helps.



So names are locatives?


But the noun 'city' itself doesn't take locative?


Correct. This is a feature only for NAMES of cities, towns, small islands.

And if you use the noun "city" in conjunction with the city name, the locative is suppressed:

They are staying in the city (of) Rome: In urbe Rōmā manent .

(Notice that Rōmā is ABLATIVE, in apposition to the noun urbe , the ablative object of preposition in .)

But: Rōmae manent . "They are staying in Rome." In the absence of the noun "city," we use the locative.


Can it be "soror est in urbe, mater domi est"? If not, why?


I think Latin likes to "compress" where possible (= leave out unnecessary words), so I would expect "Soror est in urbe, māter domī" (with only 1 appearance of "est").

Or maybe: Soror in urbe, domī māter est. (with juxtaposition of the two locations, for better contrast; and the verb appearing just once)


I don't see why not.

It could be considered inconsistent with the verb placement.


Yes, but I don't know if they had rules like inconsitency in word order between two clauses, and for emphasis purpose, I think it was really possible.


What's the difference between "est" and "es"?


es - 'you are' (for one person)

est - 'he/she/it is'


Thanks! i did not get that ether!


Can't we say " soror in urbs est?"


We can only use the form urbs when the word "city" is the subject of the verb: when "city" is or does something. That's the nominative function.


No, urbs is nominative, in takes the ablative when taking about a location where someone/something is or is doing an action.


this is always so confusing because there isn't an and or but or something of the such, so i always get it wrong saying either "soror in urbe est, sed mater domi est" or "soror in urbe est, et mater domi est."


It certainly makes sense to add simple conjunctions like et and sed to the sentence.

However, it's also common, in Latin, to have no connectives (asyndeton), which has the effect of making the message more stark and powerful.


Can you just say "Soror in urbe, mater domi" or is "est" necessary because there is a location involved?


The verb est (or whatever form of it is needed) is often 'ellipted' in Latin literature; it seems not unreasonable for Duo, at this stage of learning, to require it; but only once.


Can you say "mater est domi" since "soror est in urbe" is accepted??


Yes; there's no need for "est" to come at the end of its clause.


Why "soror urbe est ..." is invalid?


Without the in it seems like you are trying to say "the sister is a city" or "the city is a sister". (But with a typo/error urbe in that case needs to be urbs, the nominative)

You need the in just like in English. I guess domi has confused you (it might have been wise for duo to add this later, because now everyone thinks it's the rule rather than the exception.) It's a special case that has a locative em case. Sorry for the double use of case haha


You have urbe alone: the ablative case of the noun "city" (urbs, urbis , f.).

You need a prepositional phrase: in urbe = "in the city." (Preposition in + ablative gives a location, for most nouns.)


how do we know when to include it is/she/he in latin and when we shouldn't?


Normally you can drop it. I sleep can be simply sleep, since the conjugation of the verb makes it clear in which person (1st 2nd 3rd and plural or singular) it is written.

Only when you want to emphasize you might have the need for the personal pronouns.


I'm not sure I understand the question.

But one rule of thumb is, when there's a nominative already (like māter or soror in this sentence) in the sentence, you (obviously) don't need to add a subject like "he, she, it." We wouldn't say The mother, she is in the house or whatever; just, The mother is in the house .

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