Vocabulary: I Am Born

by James
(SC)

Dear Latin Teacher: How would you say "I am born" in latin? ego sum prognatus? Is this correct?

Dear James,

The most common verb for "to be born" is nascor, nasci, natus sum. So "I am born" is natus sum (literally, "I have been born"). Use the ego if you would like to emphasize the "I".

The word natus or nata is also used to mean son or daughter. In the Aeneid, one epithet for Aeneas is dea natus, meaning "born from a goddess (Venus)" or "son of a goddess".

To express a person's age in Latin, use the accusative of the number of years together with natus est or nata est. e.g. Barack Obama XLVII annos natus est. Hilary Clinton LXI annos nata est.

Your phrase ego prognatus sum is also correct, but it carries with it the connotation of being descended from a certain person. In Plautus's comedies we find the phrase Herculei prognati, meaning "the descendants of Hercules".

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

Sincerely,

John

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