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"You want the river to flow rapidly."

Translation:Flumen rapide fluere vis.

December 30, 2019



Is that how Latin speakers would have expressed this? Not with a subjunctive after 'quod'? i.e.: Vis quod flumen rapide fluat.


I had the same question. In the other forum for this question, there's a good string about the "LATIN INFINITIVE CONSTRUCTION" or something like that. It allowed an infinitive, instead of the subjunctive. I don't know how frequent either construction was; I would have thought subjunctive is much more common since all the Romance languages use subjunctive there.


What is the difference between this sentence and "Arbores rapide ascendere vis"? The same latin sentence constructions but different translations.


According to grammar alone, you could translate either sentence either way. "Flumen rapide fluere vis" could mean either "You want the river to flow rapidly" or "You want to flow the river rapidly." "Arbores rapide ascendere vis" could mean either "You want the trees to ascend rapidly" or "You want to ascend rapidly."

But for each of those, we're choosing the translation that makes more sense. You can't flow a river, and you most likely aren't wanting trees to ascend. So these sentences are most naturally interpreted as the river flowing and you climbing the trees.


Thank you!

Does it mean that if the verb is both transitive and intransitive (like 'fly'), then both translations make sense, so this latin construction is ambiguous?


More or less, yes. I wouldn't say both translations generally "make sense," though, just that they're possible based on the sentence structure. As you can see here, often only one reading will actually make any logical sense.


The ambiguity... What are the translations of "I want him to kill her" and "I want her to kill him"? Thanks.


Volo eum eam interficere... Volo eam eum interficere...


Why fluere vis instead of fluit vis?


You don't tend to double up finite verbs in Latin. Often only one is finite (vis) while the other is non-finite, like an infinitive form (fluere). The finite verb already carries most of the needed information for tense, person, number, etc. and the other verb doesn't have to hold that information.


For the same reason we don't say "You want the river flows rapidly" in English. We use the infinitive "to flow," which corresponds to "fluere."


I thought that fluvius is a river is there some difference? Like in size of given river?


As far as I know, there is not a difference. However, Lewis & Short's entry says it is much less frequent than flumen.

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