21 Comments

  1. It’s striking how similar it is to the Spanish verb “ser” meaning, “to be”, it’s present conjugations are: soy, eres, es, somos, sois, son and the conjugation box is similar to the graph that I used to learn Spanish conjugations. The curious thing is that Spanish has another verb meaning “to be” – “estar”. Because Spanish evolved from colloquial (Vulgar) Latin, there’s probably at lot more things one can use from one language to learn the other.

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    1. Thanks for the comment, you’re correct in your observation, Spanish is, of course, a direct descendent of Latin being apart of the Romance languages. The other famous Romance languages coming from Latin are French and Italian. So, for example, in Spanish you’ll use “Yo Soy” in French in would “Je Suis,”– and they work very similarly.

      In regards to “estar,” I clarified in my above comment that these are “present” forms of the verb “to be” in Latin. In the “imperfect” forms you get versions that are more similar in the construction of the word.

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      1. I did a little more homework: words meanining ‘to be’ in romance languages are derived from three Latin verbs: sedēre, esse, and stāre. Esse and sedēre became Spanish’s “ser”, stāre became Spanish’s “estar”, it can be seen in the other tenses – which explains why both “ser” and “estar” are considered irregular verbs in Spanish. I was just curious to know if Latin had only one “to be” verb (which seems to be the case.) In which case, is there a nuance to use of “esse”? Is it used to say “I am” to refer to permanent things? temporary things? fixed things? changing things? the essence of a thing? the characteristic of a thing? or can it be used for everything?
        I’m sorry, I guess this is where my Spanish fails me because I’ve gotten used to thinking of “to be” in terms of nuance.as the use of the word isn’t interchangeable.

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      2. I don’t know quite what you’re asking but if I follow you, there are six “tenses” of the Latin verb “to be” which are derived from “Esse, fui, and futurus”

        For example if we’re just using “Sum,” “I am” is the present tense of the word. If we want to say “I was it would change to “eram” or “I will have been” is “Fuero”

        Now, in regards to “Is it used to say “I am” to refer to permanent things? temporary things? fixed things? changing things? the essence of a thing? the characteristic of a thing? or can it be used for everything?”

        If I say “I am happy” which is temporary I would say “Laetus Sum” or if I want to say I am man (which would be a permanent state for those folks) I’d say “ego sum homo.”

        Now there could be exceptions, Latin does have exceptions with rules–like English. I am not aware of any, so again, if there are any Latin scholars out there, I ask to please contribute.

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      3. You answered my question – in Spanish, “I am a man” is “soy un hombre”, and “I am happy” is “estoy feliz” … “soy” (from “ser”) and “estoy” (from “estar”) both mean “I am” but they have different uses depending on the nuance of what you want to say. In Latin, this is not the case, “esse” (in all of it’s conjugations / forms) can be used to describe both the temporary and the permanent.

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    2. Sum, esse, fui, futurus are used for both permanent and temporary things. Spanish is more “corrupted Latin”.

      Interestingly enough, Latin lacks articles whereas Spanish has el la los las un una unos unas.

      In Latin, sum is also used to describe things possessively called the dative of possession. “these things were to blank” better translates as “blank had these things”.

      Filius es patri. A son is to a father=A father has a son.

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      1. Indeed, one of the next couple of lessons is going to address the lack of articles, which is interesting because Greek has articles in their language.

        Thanks for the input on the “to be” verb on temporary and permanent. I had never seen another type of word like he was describing bin Spanish, but again, Latin has weird exceptions that may only appear in a few instances.

        Thanks for bringing up the possession of “to be” as well, this is intricacy of Latin that must be adjusted to as an English speaker.

        I took a look at the book you recommended, if anyone is interested, the publisher has a individual Internet course using the Shelmerdine Latin book.

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      2. I am very thankful for newenglandsun’s insights, I hope that they continue. The trouble with learning Latin that I had in college is that it wasn’t popular. I literally was one of five students in class that was part of a University of 25,000 students.

        I don’t talk to any of these folks anymore, and if you don’t use Latin, you will lose it. The vocabulary will begin to slip away…

        We’re here to help each other, to correct each other, and promote our success together as a community.

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      3. In learning Spanish, I learned conjugation (I am, you are, she is) and tenses (I was, I am, I will be) and moods (indicative – there is no doubt that I saw her there yesterday, subjunctive – it is doubtful that I saw her there yesterday, imperative – bring her to me); so it has helped me to think outside of the ‘English’ box when learning new languages – which is half of the battle … and it can be half the problem every now and then. Concepts sometimes translate well from one language because they’re very similar, and sometimes they don’t because they’re very different. I can’t help but to relate these things to what I know – how they’re alike and how they’re different. It might even be helpful – to understand what the grammar rules are in Latin and what they are not.

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      4. In Hebrew, I learned parsing. I also learned different tenses (future, imperfect, present). And things such as passive as well.

        It seems that ancient languages have a way of making you think more deeply about your own grammar than others.

        English students at my university are required to take non-English languages for the very purpose of developing their English grammar.

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    1. Oh this was more or less a test run good friend. All of these “to be verbs” as you will see when you get Linney text. we will take very very slowly. It will become second nature to use!

      I am glad to see the interest!

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      1. Indeed, thank goodness it was a simple lesson. I used to speak of the you and y’all to my class when distinguishing certain texts in the Bible. The other way to do it is to substitute the Victorian thee and thou.

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      2. I enjoy the Linney text book so much, it really does make it enjoyable to learn Latin as the writer stresses his goal was not to make it seem daunting. If you think this lesson was simple, Linney makes it even simpler.

        Every textbook I used in school had these charts that I showed in the video as an example. It’s how they taught everything, so you learned the language my memorization and then used it that way to translate assignments.

        For example, I remember in class, I’d have to stop and think, “ahhh what is the third person present active plural of “to be.”” So I would have to picture the chart and find it in my head.

        Now, going through the Linney course on my own, I just know “sunt.” It’s weird, I just know it.

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      3. I think my next lesson will work on Ecclesiastical pronunciation as we want for some to get books. During the first lesson of the Collins book, he has students from the beginning work on the “Our Father” pronunciation.

        Again, pronunciation is so key to actually learning the language. Every time you see Latin and read Latin, you should say it out loud.

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