Variant and emphatic forms of pronouns and possessive adjectives & the singular nōs
This lesson introduces many alternate and emphatic forms of pronouns and possessive adjectives. Additionally, this lesson covers the singular nōs construction, in which plural forms usually meaning “we” are used where the referent must be understood to be “I”.
The pronouns nōs and vōs each have two forms in the genitive. The forms nostrī and vestrī are regularly used to express the objective genitive (see Assignment 4) whereas the forms nostrum and vestrum are regularly used in partitive expressions.
Habētis ducem memorem vestrī et oblītum suī.
“You have a leader that is mindful of you and forgetful of himself.”
Nēmō nostrum mortālem sē cōgitat. “No one of us thinks oneself is mortal.”
The plural possessives “our” and “your (p.)” are regularly expressed only by the possessive adjective (noster and vester), not by the genitive of the pronoun.
In the declension of is, ea, id, (“he, she, it”) the masculine plural forms include eī, iī (rarely, ī). Likewise, the dative and the ablative plural of forms may be eīs, iīs (sometimes īs). These same variations appear also in the compounds īdem, eadem, idem (“the same”).
Caesar haec facta cognōvit ab iīs quī sermonī interfuērunt.
“Caesar learned these matters from those who were in attendence at the conversation.”
Lūx, tardē discēdere vīsa, praecipitātur aquīs et aquīs ab īsdem nox exit.
Day, seeming to depart slowly, falls into the waters and from the same waters night emerges.”
The regular vocative masculine singular form of meus is mī.
Nunc, mī Attice, tōtā mente incumbe in hanc cūram.
“Now, my Atticus, attend to this concern with your entire mind.”
Additionally, mī is also occurs as an alternate form of mihi.
Achillēs nunc quoque mī metuendus erat.
“Achilles still now ought to have been feared by me.”
There are several emphatic forms of the pronouns and the possessive adjective suus.
The emphatic ending -met appears attached to the pronouns ego, nōs, vōs and rarely ipse. These emphatic forms include: egomet, mēmet, mihimet, vōbīsmet, nōsmet, ipsīmet, etc.
Vōsmet rēbus secundīs servāte. “Preserve yourselves for favorable circumstances.”
Nōbīsmet ipsīs nōs reddidistis. “You have restored us to ourselves.”
Egomet tumulum inānem Rhoetēō in lītore cōnstituī.
“I myself built an empty tomb on the Rhoetean shore.”
The personal pronoun tū usually has the emphatic form tūte in the nominative, but tibimet in the dative and tēmet in the accusative and ablative.
Quid tūte tēcum loquere? “What are you muttering with yourself?”
Hoc optā, ut tēmet ipsō contentus sīs. “Hope for this, that you are self-sufficient.”
(literally, “Hope for this, that you are contented with yourself.”)
The third person singular and plural reflexive pronoun (suī) occasionally has emphatic forms ending in -met (including sibimet and sēmet). In the ablative and accusative cases, however, the emphatic form sēsē is more common.
Reliquae cōpiae prō castrīs sēsē ostendere coepērunt.
“The remaining forces began to show themselves in front of the camp.”
The reflexive possessive adjective suus has emphatic forms ending in -met, and these forms include suōmet, suōsmet, suīsmet, etc. Additional emphatic forms suōpte and suāpte are found in the ablative singular.
Inbēcillum corpus est et fragile, nudum, suāpte natūra inerme.
“The body is weak, fragile, naked, and defenseless by it’s own nature.”
Ducēs ipsī suīsmet corporibus dīmicantēs certāmina miscuērunt.
“The commanders themselves engaged in battle, fighting with their own bodies.”
The demonstative pronoun hic has several emphatic forms ending in -ce and these include: huiusce, hīsce, hōsce and hāsce.
Hāsce eius cupiditātēs aliō locō expōnam.
“I shall expound upon these desires of his in another place.”
Some additional emphatic forms of hic are occasionally found, including haece and the feminine genitive plural form hārunce.
The singular nōs may refer to the tendency in Latin to use the notion “we” where the referent is clearly “I”. This includes pronouns (nōs for ego), verbal forms (-mus for -ō, -mur for -r, etc.), and forms of the possessive adjective (noster for meus).
This feature of Latin is far more common than any comparative use of "we" in place of "I" in English. When the singular nōs is translated into English, it is best to use singular forms ("I", "me", "my"). Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if the singular or plural is meant, as context is the only means to distinguish between an ordinary first person plural and the singular nōs construction.
Nōs Īōnium aequor nōn nostrā sponte findimus.
“Not of my own accord do I swim the Ionian sea.”
Quid cōgitēs dē adventū tuō, scrībe ad nōs.
“Write to me what you have in mind with regard to your return.”
Adjectives will also decline as plural with the gender of the adjective in agreement with the gender of the subject.
Certī sumus omnia perīsse. “I am sure that all is lost.”
The singular nōs regularly occurs in close proximity to ordinary singular forms.
Melitam igitur, opīnor, capessāmus. “Therefore, I think, I should go to Malta.”
Some additional notes
The possessive adjective vester, vestra, vestrum sometimes appears as voster, vostra, vostrum.
Maiōrēs vostrī hoc saepe fēcērunt. “Your ancestors often did this.”
Likewise, the genitive forms of vōs sometimes appear as vostrī and vostrum.
Quis vostrum servitūtem recūsāre audēbat? “Who of you dared to reject slavery?”
The pronoun ille, illa, illud sometimes appears with the initial syllable ol- as in the form ollī.
Ollī somnum ingēns pavor rumpit. “A huge dread burst his sleep.”
(literally, “A huge dread burst sleep for him.”)
Sometimes quibus appears as quīs.
Mīlle sunt ūsūs arbōrum, sine quīs vīta dēgī nōn possit.
“There are a thousand uses of trees, without which life would not be able to be lived.
Sometimes the ablative singular quō or quā appears as quī.
Quid dulcius quam habēre, quīcum omnia audeās sīc loquī ut tēcum?
“What is sweeter than to have one with whom you dare to discuss all things as if with yourself.”
In addition to sēsē, the forms mēmē or tētē are rarely found.
Nōsce tētē. “Know yourself.”
The emphatic form of tū is rarely tūtemet in the nominative.
Tūtemet mīrābere. “You yourself will be amazed!”
The emphatic ending -pte occasionally appears attached to other possessive adjectives, including the forms: meāpte, tuōpte, nostrāpte.
Sciō tē nōn tuāpte sponte errāvisse. “I know that you have not erred of your own accord.”
Supply the correct emphatic form(s) for each of the underlined phrases. If multiple possibilities exist, supply all possibilities (for this activity, ignore any additional forms introduced in the additional notes).
Sample: I will follow nothing more gladly than what you yourselves propose.
Sample: Sabinus was gentle by his own natural disposition (m.).
Sample: They wasted their strength by fighting among themselves.
Answer: sēsē, sēmet
Sample: Sulla spoke a few words of this sort (m.).
I alone did this.
On what occasion have you have you tested yourself?
I understand that it is necessary for me to speak about these matters (n.).
The senators feared not only the enemy but feared also their own citizens (m.).
The remainder entrusted themselves to flight and hid in the nearby woods.
The suburban character of this province (f.) is pleasing to the Roman people.
Brevity is required, which this is most pleasing to me.
The philosophers have learned the causes and remedies for diseases by their own study (f.).
Come with me, you who wish to see yourselves and the Republic safe!
Latinus called the Trojans toward himself.
Convert the following sentences to be expressed with the singular nōs.
Sample: Nōn haec in meīs hortīs, ut quondam, scrīpsī.
Answer: Nōn haec in nostrīs hortīs, ut quondam, scrīpsimus.
Sample: Nēque ego tē fruor et tū mē carēs.
Answer: Nēque nōs tē fruimur et tū nōbīs carēs.
Sample: Moriar (fut.) inulta, sed moriar (subj.)!
Answer: Moriēmur inultae, sed moriāmur!
Vīve memor meī!
Error partem meī crīminis habet.
Vēnī in Geticōs fīnēs.
Genitor, nē subtrahe tē amplexū meō.
Tū Luccēiō meum librum dābīs.
Ego dabō quod amēs.
Ad omnia parātus sum.
Utinam ego in istō numerō nōn essem!
Nōn sum hīc odiō nec scīlicet esse mereor.
Violentō ēnse fortiter utar (fut.).
Ego bene emisse iūdicātus sum.
Nēmō audeat narrāre ea mihi cum Rōmae sum.
Contentus tacitā pietāte sum.
Ephesō conscendēns hanc epistulam Lūcio Tarquitiō dedī.
Dummodo īra Caesaris hoc mihi nōn negāverit, fortiter in Euxīnīs aquīs inmoriar (fut.).
Translate the following sentences using grammar from this assignment.
Egomet mī ignōscō.
Cūrā, mī frāter, ut valeās.
Haec properantēs scrīpsimus.
Eam nāvem egomet nūper vīdī.
Ego, ut tūte arguis, agricola et rūsticus sum.
Omnēs in fūgam sēsē effūdērunt.
Tē valdē amāmus et nōs ā tē amārī volumus.
Vestrī inmemor umquam nōn erō.
Quae caedēs per hōsce annōs sine Catilīnā facta est?
Īsdem temporibus Gaius Cūriō in Āfricam ex Siciliā profectus est.
Examples in Context
Translate the following modified examples.
n) Context for the sentence(s)
Modified example sentence(s)
[grammatical and contextual notes, if any]
1) Medea recalls her love at first sight when Jason visited Colchis.
Tuī oculī lūmina nostra abstulerunt.
[Tuī oculī, nom. subject; lūmina, here "sight" or possibly "life"]
2) Cicero writes to Trebatius and notes his own fervor in recommending the young man to Caesar.
Quam dīligenter et quam saepe ego dē tē ad Caesarem scrīpserim tūte scīs.
3) Seneca discourages violence, arguing that we all possess the same origins.
Nātūra nōs cognātōs ēdidit, cum nōs ex īsdem et in eādem gigneret.
4) The inhabitants of Corfinium have resolved to surrender to Caesar.
Corfīniī lēgātōs ad Caesarem mittunt: sēsē parātōs esse portās aperīre.
[sēsē... aperīre, the content of their message to Caesar, expressed as an indirect statement]
5) Seneca reflects on how each of us change continuously.
Nēmō nostrum est īdem in senectūte quī fuit iuvenis; nēmō nostrum est īdem māne quī fuit prīdiē.
[iuvenis, nom. in apposition]
6) Livy introduces a Scipio into his historical narrative, the very man who will go on to become Scipio Africanus.
Hic erit iuvenis penes quem perfectī huiusce bellī laus est.
[penes, preposition w/ the accusative “belonging to”]
7) After being routed by Curio, many of Varus’ troops feign injury.
Multī per simulātiōnem vulnerum ex castrīs in oppidum propter timōrem sēsē recipiunt.
8) Ovid laments his eventual death in exile.
Nōs moriēmur in hīs arvīs, sī gravis īra laesī deī perstiterit.
[laesī deī, refers elliptically to Augustus]
9) Cicero reflects on Pompey's advice in light of the threat posed by Clodius.
Pompeius dē Clōdiō iubet nōs esse sine cūrā et summam in nōs benevolentiam omnī ōrātiōne significat.
10) A stoic advisor suggests that Marcellinus consider suicide on account of his pernicious illness.
Stōicus sīc coepit, “Mī Mārcelline, nōlī torquērī tamquam dē rē magnā dēlīberēs.”
[Stōicus, “the Stoic”; coepit, here “began to speak”; torquērī, “be tortured” or perhaps “torture yourself”; nōlī + infinitive expresses a negative command “don’t”; tamquam, “as if”]
11) Aeneas responds to the Sybil’s mysterious utterances about his future.
Nūlla faciēs labōrum, ō virgō, nova inopīnave mī surgit.
[faciēs, here perhaps “manner” or “character”; nova inopīnave, adjectives in apposition to faciēs; mī, dative with the adjective inopīna]
12) Cicero brags about the happiness he finds at his villa in Tusculum.
Nōs Tusculānō ita dēlectāmur ut tum dēnique placeāmus nōbīsmet ipsīs cum illō vēnimus.
[Tusculānō, “Tusculan villa”; placeāmus nōbīsmet, placeō with a reflexive dative object “satisfied with oneself”; illō, “to that place”]
13) A consul chastises the tribunes of the plebs for appearing to support a slave revolt.
Sī vōs nūlla cūra urbis aut vestrī, Quirītēs, vōs tangit, vōs verēminī deōs vestrōs ab hostibus captōs.
[verēminī, here a deponent imperative “revere!”]
14) A duel has been arranged between three Roman brothers (Horatii) and three Alban brothers (Curiatii) to settle the outcome of the war.
Ferōcēs suōpte ingeniō et plenī vōcibus adhortantium in medium inter duās aciēs prōcēdunt.
[suōpte ingeniō… vōcibus, ablatives of cause “from” or “due to”; aciēs, “battle lines” of each opposing army]
15) Achaemenides recalls the encounter of Odysseus’ crew with Polyphemus.
Vīdī egomet cum Polyphēmus duo dē numerō nostrō resupīnus in mediō antrō ad saxum manū magnā frangeret.
[cum, circumstantial "when"; duo, acc. direct object; resupīnus, “laying on his back”]