Basic Sentences

Welcome to the first tutorial!

Before going into Latin, it's useful to begin with an English sentence and understand how it is put together. In Latin, if you know how the sentence is structured, translating it will become much easier.

To begin with, let's take the following example:

The boy kicks the football.

In both English and Latin, there are three parts to this sentence:

Subject This is the thing that does the action. In this example, the subject is the boy, because it is the boy who is doing the kicking.
Verb Every sentence contains a verb. A verb is a "doing word". In this example, the verb is "kicks". The verb can be seen as the "action" in the sentence.
Object The object in the sentence is the thing that the action is being done to. In the sentence, the football is the object, as it is having the action being done to it i.e. it is being kicked.

Now, a Latin sentence can be examined in a similar way. but firstly, some vocabulary will be necessary:

Latin English
Lucuis Lucuis (a Roman citizen)
amat loves
puellam girl

Now we have the vocabulary, we can start with the sentence:

Lucuis puellam amat.
Lucuis loves the girl.

It is worth analyzing how the sentence has been put together.

In Latin, often it is best to start by looking for the verb, which is almost always at the end of the sentence or clause. Here, the verb is "amat" meaning "loves".

Next, you should look for the subject, which tends to be at the start of the sentence. Here, it is "Lucius", as he is doing the action (loving). The object is "puellam" meaning "girl", as it is the girl who is being loved.

Try finding the verb, subject and object in the following sentence. The following vocab. will help:

Latin English
servus slave
vinum wine
portat carries

servus vinum portat

Key points

  • A verb is a doing word. It is the action of the sentence, such as "amat" meaning "loves".
  • The subject is the thing that does the action.
  • The object has the action done to it.
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