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How does one change the person of a latin noun?

 
 
John M
 
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 11:37 am
Hi, my name is John. I'm in 9th grade and this is my first year taking Latin. I'm using Wheelock's Latin (6th Ed. Revised) text and workbook, and I have encountered a problem. One of the exercises ask me to "Supply the correct form of the words shown in parentheses in the nominative case, and translate."

The first exercise looks like this: "__________ (Poeta) non Cogitat." (without the macrons, as there is no key for them on my keyboard).

According to the text, "A verb must agree with its subject in person and number", so, as my thinking goes, I need to change the person of the noun. Problem is I have absolutely no idea how to do that, or even if I'm barking up the right tree. I can someone help me out?
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Feb, 2011 11:39 am
It requires very difficult and expensive surgery.
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George
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Feb, 2011 09:03 am
@John M,
John,

Simply put, the noun does not change by person.
Whether poeta refers to me, you, or him, it is still poeta if it is the subject.

I hope you enjoy the study of Latin. Best of luck!

George
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Edward Reinhart
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2016 02:55 pm
@John M,
Glad to help. Your grammar text should have several places where you will find how the various congregations of verbs are given. Generally each congregation is dealt with in separate chapters and then the Index will give a summary of all the congregations. The same for nouns and the other parts of speech. Wheelock is a good text, so this should be true of it as well.

Your verb ( cogitat ) is third person, singular, nominative case. ( he thinks or he is thinking ). The person of the verb, its number, and its case is found by looking at the verb ending. In this case the ending is " ..at..." which means " he is. " So we know that the subject must be singular in number, it is in the nominative case because " thinking " is what the subject is doing.

You have to supply the correct form of " Poeta " The ending tells us that the verb is in the nominative case because the nominative case tells us what the subject of the sentence is doing. In this case the subject ( poet ) is thinking, so we know we must use the nominative form of the noun. We also know that
we need the singular from of " ...Poeta..." because the verb ending tells us the subject is singular ( he ), one person. We don't have to worry about gender because all Latin nouns come with their own gender.

So the form of the noun you would use is " Poeta. " So your sentence would read " Poeta cogitat...; " translated as " the Poet is thinking, meditating, pondering, reflecting, etc.

Nouns are inflected according to case and number. These are known by the ending of the noun. In your case the " ...a..." at the end of Poeta tells us
that we are dealing with a noun singular in number, in the nominative case. As far as gender is concerned, that simply has to be memorized. Case is determined by the use of the noun in the sentence- as the subject, object, etc.

Nouns are not inflected according to person except in a general way. For example; we know that " Poeta " is a masculine noun, but we also know that a poet may also be a woman, a " she." And although " animal " is neuter, animals are either he or she, they are not " it. "

On the other hand, If a singular noun is the subject, the verb must have a 3rd person singular ending.
If a plural noun is the subject, the verb must have a 3rd person plural ending.
If two singular nouns joined by "and" are the subject, the verb must have a 3rd person plural ending. ( If a singular noun is the subject, the verb must have a 3rd person singular ending.
If a plural noun is the subject, the verb must have a 3rd person plural ending.
If two singular nouns joined by "and" are the subject, the verb must have a 3rd person plural ending. )

Latin is a great subject, it can provide a lifetime of interesting study and reading. I often wished I had majored in Latin and Greek and then gone on to graduate studies.
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