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Locus Madness

by Steve
(San Francisco, CA)

Dear Latin Teacher,

I am confused by the word locus, -i. Is it masculine or is it neuter? I have seen plural forms of this noun with an -a and with an -i?
Please help!

Thank you, Steve

Dear Steve,

Locus, loci (m) and locum, loci (n) both mean a seat, a position, or a place.

The distintion in meaning is apparent in the plural: loci are single places while loca are places connected, i.e. a region.

For example, loci communes are public places or parks. While ea loca incolere means to inhabit that region.

To be honest, unless a particular occurrence of the word is singular nominative or plural nominative or accusative, it is often nearly impossible to tell them apart.

An adjective may help determine the gender, too.

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



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