The Latin ‘I’

Semi-consonant. Glide. Approximant.

These are all terms befitting the Latin i, which operates as both a consonant (Iūlius) and a vowel (iter) within the language. The precise rule is this:

The Latin i is a vowel (pronounced long /i/ as in the English feet /fit/ or short as in the English tittle /ɪ/), yet operates as a glide as in the English yes /y/ when placed before another vowel (so with iacet, Iūlius, and Io! Io!).

Recall that Latin didn’t differentiate between these variants within its written script. They are both I.

The Essential AG: 5 and 5n1

(also, for those curious, a ‘tittle’ is the dot over an i)

More Adjectives as Adverbs

There are two additional means to gather adverbial force from an active adjective within a sentence: (a) with a neuter accusative and (b) with a ablative neuter or feminine singular.

The neuter accusative of nouns.

  • He thinks a great deal of you: tibi multum probat.
  • She will accomplish it easily: id facile perficēbit. (note, facile, with id, not facilē)
  • What are you doing: quem facis?
  • Why are you doing that: quid istud facis?

The ablative neuter or plural.

  • This option generally has some noun implied.
  • She spoke falsely: ea falsō (verbō) locūta est.
  • Let us continue straight: rectā (viā) permaneāmus.
  • Rain fails frequently: imber crebrō (tempore) cadit.
  • She is commonly known as the Witch: Malefica volgā (famā) nōtā est.

The Essential AG: 214d-e