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  5. "In bibliotheca proxima tacit…

"In bibliotheca proxima tacite legere possum."

Translation:In the nearest library I can read quietly.

January 13, 2020



How do you read quietly? Or rather, how don't you?


If you read aloud (maybe reading to someone else), you make sound.


Passive voice? I'm confused. The endings look like the active ending for esse.


Not passive voice, just a slightly strange verb.

"possum" indeed conjugates much the same way as "sum", and a handy way to remember this is that a sensible English translation of its infinitive ("posse") is "to be able", with the stem "pot" or "pos" corresponding to "able":

"sum" = "I am"; "pos-sum" = "I am able"

"es" = "you are; "pot-es" = "you are able"


Even works nicely with infinitives in both languages:

"Ire potes" = "you are able to go."


I thought "proxima" could mean "next/nearest" yet my answer "In the next library I can read quietly" was rejected.


"Proxima" does mean "nearest" or "next," but your wording creates a dangling context that implies you are already in one library that is noisy, and that you plan to move to another, quieter one--technically correct, but far-fetched. I got dinged for the opposite reason, for not creating enough context when I translated "proxima" as nearby, thinking of the English "proximate."


This boils down to "proximus" already being a superlative form (of "prope" i.e. "near")..the "nearest" item is the same as the "next" one if you imagine having to go down a sequence of items


Thanks. That explanation helps.

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