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Latin Word Order

by Steve
(San Francisco, CA)

Dear Latin Teacher,


I have this exercise assigned to me from the Henle Latin book: The sailor does not praise the province. Where is the best location for "non." Should the sentence in Latin read, Nauta provinciam non laudat or Nauta non provinciam laudat?

Thank you


Dear Steve,

Both possible answers are correct, with the slight difference being one of emphasis.

In your first example the non negates laudat, and so means the sailor does not praise the province. This would be the word order most likely used in an answer key or by your teacher.

In your second example the non negates the provinciam, and so means the sailor does not praise the province. That is, he might praise something else.

In English you might convey this change of emphasis by shifts in word order or tone of voice. For example, you might say, "It is not the province that he praises."

A third possiblity is non nauta provinciam laudat, which would mean the sailor does not praise the province. Or something like, "It is not the sailor who praises the province."

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

Sincerely,

John

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Thank you
by: Steve

Dear Latin Teacher,
Your explanation really helps. Thank you.
Steve

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