LATIN: The Easy Way, part 4

1999 by C.J. Cherryh

All right, you can now frame a basic interaction of people. You can state what's going on. There are a number of ways to go from here, depending on need. Let's, however, keep it simple. Let's add other people to the mix. Let's!

How do you do that?

Marcus Brutus Caesarem occidit, eheu!

Marcus Antonius Marcum Brutum occidit.

Poor Caesar!

But let's say, without getting too complicated, that YOU see, you catch, you understand, you do an array of things.

Easy done!

Remember how you add -it, -et, or -at to say: HE does it?

To say you do it, add -is, -es, or -as.

"YOU" has become the <ACTOR/*> in the <actor/actee> transaction. Since you is YOU, the <actor> is taken care of, done, all handled!

<[you]/Caesarem occidis!>

Someone might say that to Brutus. As a matter of fact, if poor Caesar had gotten a chance to finish his sentence, [Et tu, Brute,] the rest of it would have guessed it.....Caesarem occidis! And the complete meaning would have been, "Even you, Brutus, are murdering Caesar!"

Unfortunately the assassins gave him no time to be grammatical.

Oh. What's that funny form of Brutus? It's actually pronounced at both ends: BROO-tay. It happens to be a special form of the word for male names when you talk TO men. No other type of word does that. Just men's names. It was actually rude to start a sentence with a man's name in that form. It had the effect of "Hey! You!"

So you can see that Caesar, who was a very fine writer, instinctively remembered to stick SOME word in front of Brutus' name to prevent it being first in the sentence! I always said, hey, if poor old Caesar can remember to be polite under such circumstances, so can I.

In English, if we use a word that way, we set it off in commas.   Hey! Mark! You have a cow!

In Latin, Heus! [HAYoos!] Marce! Vaccam habes!

Cenam amas. You like the dinner.

Carrum tenes. [carrus/carrum: cart/wagon/car] You have a car.

As you can see, conversations involving only 'you' are pretty limited.


The second person singular, "you", is done by adding -is, -es, or -as. End report.

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