The More, The More

The two phrases quō..eō (hōc), tantō…quantō (hōc) can be broadly translated as ‘the more…the more.’ They are ablatives of degree of difference used to correlate to comparatives.

  • quō minus cpiditātis, eō plus auctōritātis, the less greed, the more authority
  • quantō erat gravior oppūgnātiō, tantō crēbriōrēs litterae mittēbantur, the severe the siege was, the more frequently letters were sent

The third variation is simply emphatic.

  • quantō plus crustulōs murī dabis, tantō hōc plus crustulīs eget: the mouse’s desire for cookies will increase in exact proportion to the number of cookies that you give him.

A&G note that this correlative construction later mutated to describe Cause instead of Degree of Difference.

  • eō mē minus paenitet, for that reason I regress less.

(Severe addicts should check out A&G’s note on this section 414an1, which details how the English ‘the…the’ is actually a direct descendent of these expressions, emerging from the instrumental case of a pronoun in Angle-Saxon, thȳ.)

The Essential AG: 414a, 414an


Weather Expressions in Latin

Some of the more common impersonal expressions in Latin are those that describe the weather.

  • grandinat, it’s hailing
  • pluit, it’s raining
  • ningit, it’s snowing
  • fulgurat, there’s a lightning bolt! (A&G have ‘it lightens’)
  • tonat, it thunders
  • rōrat, there’s dew on the grass

Note that these verbs can take subjects (Iupitter tonat) but they don’t have to. A&G are incomplete here, so let’s try to extrapolate on other ways the Romans might have describe the weather. I’m working with the assumption that these impersonal expressions are much like those of modern Romance languages (hace calor, fa caldo, it’s warm). The Latin expressions ought to cover the same range, right?

  • calidum est, it’s warm
  • frigidum est, it’s chilly
  • hūmidum est, it’s humid
  • nubiliōsum est, it’s cloudy
  • partim nubiliōsum est, it’s partly cloudy
  • ventōsum est, it’s windy
  • lūcet, it’s sunny
  • partim lūcet, it’s partly sunny

The impersonal list in A&G technically covers ‘verbs expressing operations of nature and the time of day,’ so here are two more entries in the list:

  • vesperāscit, it grows late
  • lūcīscit hōc, it grows light

The Essential AG: 208a

Demonstrative Pronouns (Hīc et Ille)

There’s a self-effacing story behind every post I offer–some mistake I made in class that demonstrated (pun intended) my need to review a specific topic. This one started with the ‘cell tag’ that ends the messages I send from my smart phone, which began as:

-haec litteras mittae ex mobile

I sent a message to a professor and she politely suggested I fixed it. The disconjunction here was brutal. I have no idea what I was thinking when I designed the damn thing. It now reads:

-hae litterae missae ex mobile

Review carefully and avoid my mistake–

Summary of Use

“Demonstrative pronouns are use either adjectively or substantively” (AG, 296)

As pronominal adjectives, the agree with their corresponding noun

  • With this battle fought, he went out: hōc proeliō factō, proficīscēbātur
  • They died in the same battle: eōdem proeliō periērunt.

In moments of apposition, the pronoun agrees with the appositive, not the antecedent

  • This was the head of things, this the source: rērum caput hōc erat, hīc fōns

As substantives, they are personal pronouns, frequently in the  oblique cases

  • Hostages ought to be given by them: Obsidēs ab eīs dandī sunt.
  • Let the songs be sung by them: carmina ab eīs ca canātur.
  • His army went out: exercitus eius prōfectus est.
  • Those men are the first across the Rhone: hī sunt extrā prōvinciam trāns Rhodanum prīmī 

Hīc, Haec, Hōc

Hīc, Haec, Hōc is referred to as the ‘demonstrative of first person,’ and implies something near the speaker

  • It should be translated this or these
  • These are cats she was seeking: hīs sunt gattī, quōs petēbat.
  • This standard is our own: hōc signum nostrum est.

Hīc, Haec, Hōc originally developed from the stem ho- and the enclitic -ce, hence the ‘c’ in many forms of its declension

Hīc, Haec, Hōc may refer to the speaker himself

  • I, this man, am unwilling: hīc nolō.

Hīc, Haec, Hōc generally refers to ‘the former,’ when two things are apposite in a piece of writing, since ‘the former’ denotes what is “nearer the speaker in time, place or thought; often it refers to that which has just been mentioned” (AG, 297a)

  • You did the former and set the latter aside: hōc fēcistī, illud reservāvistī

Hīc may also scan short (hic) in poetry

Hīc, ‘this one,’ should be carefully distinguished from the adverb hīc, ‘here’

  • These words have the same etymology, but different syntax
  • Adverbs don’t decline, and vary more widely in word order

Ille, Illa, Illud

Ille is attached to objects remote from the speaker, and is referred to as the ‘demonstrative of third person’

  • It should be translated that or those
  • That man is guilty: ille obnōxius est.
  • Those women were washing at the spring: illae in fontem sē lavābant.

Ille often appears as that famous or that well-known

  • That famous archer appeared: ille Architenens adfuit.

Ille generally refers to ‘the latter,’ paired with hīc, haec, hōc, as above

  • You did the former and set the latter aside: hōc fēcistī, illud reservāvistī

The neuter illud may mean ‘the following’

  • I told him the following thing: eī narrābō illud.

A redundant ille may be attached to relative pronouns in colloquial language

  • He who carefully guards, may long enjoy what he has well obtained: ille quī cōnsultē cavet, diūtinē ūtī licet partum bene. 

The Essential AG: 146, 296, 297a-b

Famous Phrase: in hōc sensū / in sensū hōc / s.h. (in this sense)

[an emerging academic notation]