Answers to Exercises


1. Queen of the damned. regina damnatorum. By default, with no other grammar going on, regina will be in the nominative (naming) case.The trick here is to realize that "damned" is plural -- she's not the queen of just one damned person, probably. After that, it should be easy to figure out you should use the genitive, the "of" form (don't look up "of" in the dictionary and then string together "regina de damnati" or something wretched like that, because it will go ill for you, very ill indeed), and the masculine, by Latin convention, for a crowd of unspecified gender. And, as always, Latin has no word for "the."

2. Prince of the city. princeps urbis (or civitatis). "Of the city" uses, of course, the genitive.

2a. In the name of the prince of the city. In nomine principis urbis. "In" is in, followed by the ablative case of nomen, nominis, which is, of course, nomine, and I wouldn't be surprised if my audience here is familiar with the phrase "in nomine" anyway. "Of the prince" is genitive, and "of the city" still is, too.

3. Lord of the night. dominus noctis. You should be getting this nominative-plus-genitive construction down, yes?

3a. The peace of the grave. pax sepulcri.

4. House (of the) Black Wolf. domus atri lupi. Now we throw in an adjective! Say your gaming group is called "House Black Wolf." If you just tossed together all three words in the nominative, that would make no sense in Latin; what we seem to be talking about here is the house of the black wolf. "Black" has to agree with "wolf" in case, number, and gender: genitive, singular, masculine. -- Adjectives in Latin often follow nouns, so lupi atri might be even better.

5. The cruel wyrm. vermis atrox [or crudelis or ferox or saevus]. This should be easy. Nominatives all around! And the benefit of using a nice third-declension adjective like atrox or ferox is that the forms for all three genders are mostly the same! Using saevus takes slightly more thought to realize that vermis is masculine, but you're up to it.

6. The raging beast. bestia furiosa. Feminine, nominative, singular.

6a. House (of the) Great Beast. domus bestiae magnae. If you got numbers four and six, you should have this one, too.

7. Bloody tears. lacrimae sanguineae

7a. Tears of blood. lacrimae sanguinis. In the end, really means the same as "bloody tears," though, doesn't it? Pick whichever one you like. If I was going to belong to the "house of bloody tears," I might choose to use the adjective "sanguineus" rather than the noun, because grammatically (if not sensibly) speaking, domus lacrimarum sanguinis could as easily be "house of the blood of tears."

7b. Bloody kisses. basia [or oscula, possibly better because it means "mouth" as much as "kiss"] sanguinea [or cruenta. Incidentally you could use cruentae in no. 7 above, although "gory tears" makes less sense than "gory kisses" from a logical and rational ripping-throats-out-for-your-meal standpoint.]

8. The bitter damned. damnati acerbi. Any questions?

8a. Cruel hunger of the immortal damned. fames atrox [or ferox or saeva] damnatorum immortalium. Right?

9. The lurking-place of death. latebrae mortis. Latebrae is often used in the plural to mean just one hiding-place. You might be tempted to use tenebrae here, also, but without any context a reader would probably assume the meaning "darkness (or gloom) of death," not to knock it as a phrase.

10. Prince of darkness. princeps tenebrarum. Tenebrae is another plural word that has a singular meaning. You will need the genitive plural here. There are other words for "darkness"; tenebrae is just my personal favorite.

10a. Fierce daughter of the prince of darkness. filia ferox principis tenebrarum.

11. To live is sad. Triste est vivere. (Your word order may vary.) Given the hint, it should be pretty clear that the subject of the sentence is "to live": vivere. The verb here is "[it] is," est. Now all you need is "sad": the case is going to be nominative (it's a predicate adjective; in other words, an adjective after a linking verb like "is," and that's always nominative), singular (we're only talking about one "to live"); and neuter (that was a given). That leads us to "triste."

12. Oh, my Marius, I want to be your dark and eternal bride! O, Mari mi [or meus], nupta tua atra et aeterna volo esse. The subject here is "I" and the verb is "want"; you don't need a separate word for "I": so, volo. "To be" is straightforward; the infinitive fills out the meaning of "want" just as in English. "Bride" is a noun after the linking verb (also called "copulative verbs" if that's more exciting for you) "to be"; that's nominative. Now "your," "dark," and "eternal" are all adjectives that have to agree with "bride": feminine, nominative, singular. "Oh, my Marius" is direct address, or vocative: since we have a -ius name, we drop the -us. Meus should be masculine singular and agree with "Marius," so we need the direct-address form, and you have a choice! Go nuts. That leaves "and": et.

-- [Extra confusing information: when you have a string of adjectives like that modifying a single noun, or a couple of things together that form one idea or concept, you can, instead of using et, use -que. This is an "enclitic," a word that "leans on" the end of another word. For -que, that will usually be on the last word in the series: nupta tua atra aeternaque. It means pretty much exactly the same as "nupta tua atra et aeterna" except that it makes "dark and eternal" more of a unit, while (it seems to me, anyway) et puts a little more emphasis on the last word. The same thing goes for nouns and verbs: Marius Camillaque implies that Marius and Camilla are, say, a couple; bibo cenoque, "I eat and I drink," puts together two great tastes that taste great together, or something. But if all of that sounds daunting, just use "et" every time you need an "and," and pretend you haven't read the last several lines.]

12a. Alas, my beautiful Camilla, I am not able to love. Woe to us! Eheu, mea pulchra Camilla, non possum amare. Vae nobis! "I am not able" is the important part of the first sentence: non possum. The infinitive amare fills out possum. "My beautiful Camilla" is direct-address, or vocative, which except when we're dealing with a word that ends in -us is going to be exactly the same as the nominative, so "mea pulchra Camilla." "Alas" is easy; just look it up: "heu" or "eheu." "Woe" is "vae," and if we want to say "woe to us" (and we do, oh yes) then we add the dative: nobis.

13. I hunger for the flesh of the living. carnem vivorum esurio. Verb plus direct object in the accusative plus a genitive (whose flesh?).

14. Beneath Lucretia's beauty lurks a savage thirst. sub forma (or pulchritudine) Lucretiae latet sitis saeva. Start with the verb: "[it] lurks," latet. The subject is "thirst," sitis, in the nominative because it is the subject; saeva has to agree with sitis. Then we have the prepositional phrase "beneath Lucretia's beauty"; the object of the preposition "beneath" is "beauty," so whichever word you use, put it in the ablative case; then, since this is the beauty of Lucretia, the genitive Lucretiae is necessary.

15. Die, unspeakable monster of unending night! morere, nefandum monstrum noctis infinitae! Morere is the imperative, the command-giving form, and it's listed right there with the verb in my little glossary, so that should have been pretty easy. "Unspeakable" has to agree with "monster," which is nominative (technically "vocative"), singular, and neuter. "Of unending night" should be a breeze by now.

15a. Why can't I kill you with sharp stakes? cur non possum te necare palis acutis? The sentence has as its base "I am not able to kill you"; throw a "why" in front of that. "With sharp stakes": this is one of them there situations where you use the "instrumental ablative," as I mentioned under the glossary entry for "with," so palis, "with stakes." Naturally then you must pick a form of acutus, -a, -um that agrees: ablative, plural, masculine.

16. I am in truth neither living nor dead. sum vero nec vivus neque mortuus This should be fairly easy. The adjectives are going to be nominative (after a linking verb "am") and singular. Your gender will vary according to personal circumstances.

17. The black-clad queen wants to conceal her insanity. regina atrata insaniam [suam] celare vult The verb is "wants," the subject of which is "queen." "She wants" = vult, and the subject must be nominative; the adjective "black-clad" must agree. (Agreeing with the insane queen is a good idea, anyway.) What does she want? "To conceal," the infinitive; what is she concealing? "Insanity," the direct object of "conceal," and thus accusative. If you use a form of suus here to translate "her" -- and you don't really need to, since if she were concealing someone else's insanity I would have said -- it must agree with insaniam: feminine, accusative, singular.

17a. The bitter poet conceals unspeakable crimes. poeta acerbus scelera nefanda celat. Remember that poeta is one of the few first-declension nouns that is actually masculine! After that, if you got the one just above, this should be pretty easy. The verb construction is slightly easier, since there's no "want to" involved; "unspeakable crimes" is the direct object and thus accusative plural. -- Now, be honest: did you look at scelus and make the accusative plural scelos (or something even further off)? Pay attention! I even put a warning in red there!

18. I want to consume the blood of the prince. sanguinem principis haurire volo. You could also say "drink" (bibere), but haurire is "drinking it all gone." Our word "exhaust" is related. The subject and verb are "I want," haurire the infinitive filling out the meaning of "want," "blood" the direct object, "prince" the owner of the blood (for now).

18a. I want to consume his blood. sanguinem eius haurire volo. Did you say sanguinem suum? Naughty you!

19. Only the light of the sun can kill the monster; therefore, it lurks in its dark hiding-places. solum lux solis monstrum necare potest; latet igitur in latebris atris (suis) -- The subject of the first clause sentence is "light," the verb is "can." lux potest. Whatever it can do, it needs an infinitive to do it: "to kill" = necare. Monstrum is the direct object of the infinitive. Throw in an adverb "only" (solum) and, not to confuse you, the genitive of the unrelated word "sun," solis, and we're golden as far as the semicolon. "It lurks" is the important part of the second clause; we don't need a word for "it." As for where our monster is lurking, it has sensibly chosen dark hiding-places, a location which will be expressed with the Latin preposition "in" (meaning "in"!) plus the ablative form of latebrae. The adjectives "ater" and "suus" (if you want to use the latter at all) must be feminine, ablative, and plural, just like latebrae. This leaves us with "therefore," igitur, which takes its usual place near, but not at, the front of its clause. -- Also possible instead of "latebris atris" simply "tenebris."

20. The hungry ghost wants to live among men (humans), but it cannot. larva esuriens vivere vult inter homines, sed non potest Poor ghosty. If you said inter viros, that means it doesn't want to live among women. You might also (with differing meanings) play with inter vivos or inter mortalibus. Oh, the fun you'll have!

21. Camilla cannot break the chains of love. Camilla non potest rumpere catenas [or vincula] amoris. You should be pretty clear on "can/be able" by now; the most annoying part is probably just jumping back and forth between the sentences and the vocabulary lists.

22. "Sibylla, what do you want?" "I want to die." "Sibylla, quid vis?" "Mori volo."

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