Latin for beginners (1911)/Part II/Lesson I

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19. Subject and Predicate.

1. Latin, like English, expresses thoughts by means of sentences. A sentence is a combination of words that expresses a thought, and in its simplest form is the statement of a single fact. Thus,
Galba is a farmer The sailor fights
Galba est agricola Nauta pugnat
In each of these sentences there are two parts:
Subject Galba Predicate is a farmer
Galba est agricola
The sailor fights
Nauta pugnat
2. The subject is that person, place, or thing about which something is said, and is therefore a noun or some word which can serve the same purpose.
a. Pronouns, as their name implies (pro, "instead of," and noun), often take the place of nouns, usually to save repeating the same noun, as, Galba is a farmer; he is a sturdy fellow.
3. The predicate is that which is said about the subject, and consists of a verb with or without modifiers.
a. A verb is a word which asserts something (usually an act) concerning a person, place, or thing.

20. The Object. In the two sentences, The boy hit the ball and The ball hit the boy, the same words are used, but the meaning is different, and depends upon the order of the words. The doer of the act, that about which something is said, is, as we have seen above, the subject. That to which something is done is the direct object of the verb. The boy hit the ball is therefore analyzed as follows:

Subject Predicate
The boy hit the ball
(verb) (direct object)

a. A verb whose action passes over to the object directly, as in the sentence above, is called a transitive verb. A verb which does not admit of a direct object is called intransitive', as, I walk, he comes.

21. The Copula. The verb to be in its different forms — are, is, was, etc. — does not tell us anything about the subject; neither does it govern an object. It simply connects the subject with the word or words in the predicate that possess a distinct meaning. Hence it is called the copula, that is, the joiner or link.

22. In the following sentences pronounce the Latin and name the nouns, verbs, subjects, objects, predicates, copulas:

1. America est patria mea
America is fatherland my
2. Agricola fīliam amat
(The) farmer (his) daughter loves
3. Fīlia est Iūlia
(His) daughter is Julia
4. Iūlia et agricola sunt in īnsulā
Julia and (the) farmer are on (the) island
5. Iūlia aquam portat
Julia water carries
6. Rosam in comīs habet
(A) rose in (her) hair (she) has
7. Iūlia est puella pulchra
Julia is (a) girl pretty
8. Domina fīliam pulchram habet
(The) lady (a) daughter beautiful has

a. The sentences above show that Latin does not express some words which are necessary in English. First of all, Latin has no article the or a; thus agricola may mean the farmer, a farmer, or simply farmer. Then, too, the personal pronouns, I, you, he, she, etc., and the possessive pronouns, my, your, his, her, etc., are not expressed if the meaning of the sentence is clear without them.