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Definitions and Explanations of Terms used in the following


1. Translation is the rendering of the words of one language into words in another, so as thereby to express the same idea.

2. The construction of a language (generally) is the putting together (literally piling or building up) its words agreeably to the observed usage thereof. The construction of a particular word is the formula it requires to be used in connexion with it: as, dare librum magistro, to give a book to the master; from which it appears that the verb dare is constructed with an accusative of the thing given, and a dative of the person or thing which receives it.

3. A transitive verb (transeo, to pass over) is a verb that expresses an act which passes on to or affects an object : thus, condere lunam, to hide the moon; wherein lunam is the object or the thing affected by the act of hiding. The ear always detects the transitive verb, which leaves a vacuum after it, the sense not being concluded until such vacuum is filled up.

4. The subject of a sentence is the word which is the subject of conversation, that is, the word of which the verb makes the affirmation. This subject is in the nominative case : thus the subject of a verb and its nominative case are identical.

5. The agent is the word which expresses the performer of an act. In an active verb the subject or nominative case and the agent are identical : thus, "I sleep;" where I is the subject or nominative of the verb sleep, and also the agent or performer of the act of sleeping. In the passive verb, on the contrary, the agent and subject are not identical: as, “The house is burned by fire;" where house is the subject, and fire the agent.

6. The complement of a word (compleo, to fill up) is the word or formula of words connected with or appended to it for the purpose of explanation : thus, “The Queen of England, England's Queen;" wherein of England in the former, and England's in the latter expression, is the complement of Queen.

7. A deponent verb (deponere, to lay down) is a verb which, though passive in inflexion, lays down, that is, gives up, the passive signification, and is active in sense.

8. A simple sentence has in it but one subject and one verb. Attention is directed in this definition to the force of and, because a sentence having one subject and two verbs, or two subjects and one verb, is not simple, being resolvable into as many simple sentences as there are either subjects or verbs,

A complex sentence is one which may be resolved into two or more simple sentences.

9. A word is said to be syncopated when a letter or syllable is elided from the middle thereof. The mark (TM) is generally set over the part where the want exists : as, quierant, for quieverant.

10. The context of a word or passage is the sentence or sentences which stand connected with it. The context is frequently the best commentary as to the meaning of a doubtful word or passage.

11. The influence which one word exercises over another is properly called government, inasmuch as the governed word assumes a definite form, in obedience, as it were, to the word by which such influence is exerted : thus, in the expression Britanniæ Regina, the former word explaining the latter is said to be governed by it in the genitive case, according to the principle laid down in Rule 5.

12. Words are said to be disjunctively connected when they are united in the same link by a copula, which shows that the thing asserted is said of one to the exclusion of the other; and copulatively connected when the assertion is made equally of all.

13. The antecedent is the word for which the relative stands, and is sometimes called the correlative.

14. A periphrasis is a form of expression whereby an idea is represented by many words which could be expressed directly by few : thus, " From the rising to the setting of the sun," i. e. from east to west.

15. Attraction is a species of construction which exhibits itself in various forms, the principal of which is that wherein the relative is put in (attracted to) the case of the antecedent, irrespectively of the position of the relative in its own clause.

16. Hendiadis is a figure of speech whereby what is really but one is represented as two things: thus, gemmis auroque, with gems and gold, i. e. with golden gems.

17. Synecdoche is a figure of speech whereby a part is put for the whole.



1. The verb agrees with its subject in number and person.

2. The adjective agrees with the noun which it qualifies in gender, number, and case.

3. Transitive verbs govern an accusative case.

4. Some prepositions require the noun after them to be in the accusative, and some in the ablative case.

5. One noun governs another which explains or modifies it in the genitive case.

6. The word which expresses the instrument with which, the cause for which, or the manner in which an act is performed, is put in the ablative case.

Note. — The first rule means that the subject and the verb must be in the same number and person ; the second that the adjective and the noun must be in the same gender, number, and case; and the third rule states a general principle to which there are many exceptions, which will be considered hereafter. The number of the rule will be appended in the following sentences to the word to which, as illustrating it, attention is directed,

Sentences. 1. Scipio 'fudit' Annibalis copias. 2. 'Lethi vis rapuit, 'rapietque gentes. 3. ? Cita mors 'venit, aut victoria ' læta. 4. Orpheus carmine : sylvas et saxa 'duxit. 5. Concordia 2

parvæ res 'crescunt, discordia ? maximæ 1 dilabuntur.

6. 6 Dente ? tenaci anchora 'fundabat ’naves.
7. Neptunus o ventis ’implevit : vela ' secundis.
8. Extemplo · Libyæ ? magnas 'it fama per * urbes.

9. Homines proniores 'sunt ad * voluptatem, quam ad · virtutem.

10. ? Pallida mors’ æquo 'pulsat o pede pauperum ' tabernas, 6 regumque ' turres.

11. Nox erat, et placidum 'carpebant ' fessa soporem corpora per * terras, silvæque et 'sæva quîerant æquora.

12. Navita de * ventis, de “ tauris 'narrat arator.
13. Cantabit ’ vacuus coram * latrone viator.
14. "Tres Eurus ab * alto in “ brevia et “syrtes 'urget.



Sentences. 1. The first thing to be done in translating a sentence is to look out for all the words thereof in the index or dictionary.

The parts of speech to which each belongs, and the case, number, &c. &c. of a noun or pronoun, with the conjugation, number, person, mood, and tense of the verb, can be thus acquired. This done, the subject of the sentence and the verb are next to be found out, and then the other words must follow in translation as the construction or sense, or both together, will dictate. In the case of the present sentence, there are three nouns, one only of which, Scipio, is in the nominative case. This, therefore, may at once be concluded to be the subject of the only serb in the sentence, fudit, which will be found from its inflexion to be in the indicative mood, perfect tense, third person singular. The translation in English of these two words is, therefore, “Scipio has routed (or routed).” This is evidently a transitive verb, as indicated by the ear, because a man cannot rout without routing something. The next thing is to find out that something. The only noun in the sentence which can express the something routed is copias, because it is the only one in the accusative case, and by Rule 3 transitive verbs govern the accusative.

The sentence thus far is in English, “Scipio routed (the) forces ;" and the remaining word, Annibalis, being in the genitive case, belongs to copias in construction, and so in translation, by Rule 5; and the whole sentence, therefore, when rendered into English, is, I“ Scipio routed the forces of Annibal.” In addition to this, the particulars of the declension of each word inflected are to be ascertained ; and as far as the sentence in question is concerned, all is known concerning it which can be exacted from the learner.

2. The subject, according to the principles enunciated under Sentence 1, is vis. The complement of vis is lethi, because lethi can be joined as the genitive complement to no other noun in the sentence so as to make sense. The verb is rapuit, which is connected with rapiet by the conjunction que. The object of these transitive verbs evidently is gentes, and the sentence translated is, “The force of death has carried off, and will carry off nations."

3. Herein are merely involved, in addition to the preceding principles, the concord or agreement between the noun and the adjective, which is laid down in Rule 2. Mors is the noun, citus the adjective. On looking to the index, citus is perceived to be an adjective of three terminations, like bonus. Mors is the nominative case, singular number, feminine gender; and citus declined will be found in these three parts to be cita : hence cita, not any other part of the adjective, is properly used to qualify mors. The same principle regulates læta, which qualifies rictoria, which latter is the subject of the verb venit as well as

mors. The sentence translated therefore is, “ Quick death comes, or joyful victory."

Note.-An adjective in Latin, as in English, sometimes qualifies a noun in the place of the adverb of that adjective qualifying the verb: thus the above sentence is equivalent to “Death comes quickly."

4. Orpheus is evidently the subject (Rule 1), because the verb is singular; and though saxa may be elsewhere the nominative, yet, because it is plural, it cannot be the nominative to duxit in the singular. Sylvas and saxa are in the same yoke or link, as connected by the copulative que ; and carmine, as the ablative, expresses the instrument (Rule 6). Thus the sentence translated will be, “ Orpheus led (after him) the woods and rocks by his verse," i, e, by the power of his song.

5. In the first clause there is a subject, which cannot be concordia, the verb being plural, and concordia singular (Rule 1): hence it must be res. This is qualified by parvæ, and concordia, in the ablative, expresses the instrument, as does discordia in the next clause, of which res understood is the subject, qualified by maximæ (see Comparison of Irregular Adjectives). Dilabuntur is a deponent verb, and to be translated as if it were active. The sentence, therefore, stands thus when translated : “Small things increase by concord, the greatest dwindle away by discord.”

6. The instructions already given are quite sufficient to enable the learner to translate this sentence: “ The anchor moored the ships with its fast-holding fluke.”

Note.- Tenax means tenacious, i. e. fast-holding, and dens, which literally means a tooth, i. e. any thing which bites or holds in its gripe, is translated fuke, the name of that part of the anchor which catches the bottom and holds fast. Care must be taken to render one language by such words in another as will most neatly and correctly express the sense.

7. The subject is at once seen to be Neptunus. The verb implevit is transitive' in signification, and must govern vela, not ventis, as the object; the latter is the instrument, and is qualified by secundis. The sentence, therefore, translated means, “ Neptune filled the sails with favourable blasts."

Note.-The adjective, in Latin, does not immediately precede or succeed the qualified word, as it does in the English language.

8. Fama, tried by the preceding principles, is the only subject; it, the verb. Extemplo, an adverb, qualifies this verb. Per, a preposition, cannot govern Libyæ in the genitive (Rule 4); therefore it must govern urbes, which is qualified by magnas, and which has Libyæ as its genitive complement (Rule 5). This

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