1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Latin
  4. >
  5. "Saepe ambulare volo."

"Saepe ambulare volo."

Translation:Often I want to walk.

March 21, 2020



There is a subtle difference in English between "Often I want to walk." and "I want to walk often." -- in one case it is the wanting that occurs often, in the other case the desire is for the walking to occur often. Does this Latin sentence cover both of those meanings?


It's an astute question. I'll try to provide a succinct response, but Latin syntax defies simple descriptions for those interested in going deeper. Adverbs can appear in variety of locations and it can sometimes be difficult to determine a precise valency free of ambiguity, while other times context allows a precision. There is a discussion of adverbs of manner in Devine and Stephens, Latin Word Order. Structured Meaning and Information (Oxford, 2006) 101ff, who have a section on saepe (pp. 250ff). They argue (252) that clause initial saepe, as we have here in this DL sentence, has the sense "It is often the case that,""it often happens that." The DL sentence is short and devoid of context and the purpose at this stage has to be to assist with vocabulary and help students get a feel for the language. See the examples Devine and Stephens provide of saepe after a scrambled phrase on p. 254.


Please answer the question, if you can.


The difference is hardly "subtle". In one case, it is the wanting that happens happen and in the other it is the walking that is desired to happen often.


Usually and often are not interchangeable here?

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