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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GuyMcAulay1

Clarification: when is "in" necessary?

I am still very early into the Latin course, but it seems rather unclear and inconsistent to me when questions/statements require "in", such as "Habitasne Romae?" vs "In Romae habit."

Could someone more advanced clarify this for me?

August 11, 2020

2 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GScottOliver

The real question should be, "when is 'in' unnecessary?" It is unnecessary when the noun uses a locative case, which happens mainly with cities, small islands, and some special locations such as home (domi). DarkLordBaudfish left a helpful comment on the very Sentence you use as an example. Have fun learning!
Timor mortis conturbat me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuzanneNussbaum

Yes, well said: but let's specify that names of cities (small islands) are the ones with the special "locative" case that obviates the use of "in."

You say in urbe (preposition in + ablative case), "in the city," because urbs is a "normal" noun.

However, you say Rōmae (in Rome) / Brundisiī (in Brundisium) / Carthāginī (in Carthage) / Athēnīs (in Athens) , etc., because those are all the names of cities or towns. So, they use the "locative" case and dispense with any preposition.

(For plural names: locative looks the same as the dative/ablative plural;

for singular names of 1st/2nd declension, locative looks the same as the genitive singular form;

for singular names of 3rd declension, locative looks the same as the dative or sometimes ablative singular.)

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