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Latin Translation: Eternity

by Joshua
(Modesto,ca.usa)

Dear Latin Teacher,


I've looked everywhere for an answer to my question and I have yet to find it. My question is this: What is Eternity translated into Classical Latin. I've been told it is AETERNITAS but i want to be 100% sure. Thank you in advance. Joshua

Dear Joshua,

Yes, aeternitas means eternity in classical Latin.

In Latin the vowel combination -ae- is pronounced as one sound. We call two vowels together making one sound a diphthong. In most English derivatives, the diphthong -ae- is shortened to just -e-.

For example, aedificatio becomes edification; Aegyptus becomes Egypt; aenigma becomes enigma; and, of course, aeternitas become eternity.

For those who have studied some Latin, the form aeternitas is nominative singular, i.e. it can be the subject of a sentence. The genitive form, meaning roughly "of eternity", is aeternitatis. So the word follows the third declension.

Our adverb eternally would be expressed in Latin by a prepositional phrase: in aeternum or in perpetuum.

Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher.

Sincerely,

John

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