Plural for Singular Singular for Plural

A common feature of Latin verse is the use of the plural form of a noun instead of the singular, with no difference in meaning.

Iacuit... languida dësertts Cnôsia lïtoribus. Propertius Elegies 1.3.if. The Cnossian [woman] lay exhausted on the abandoned shore.

Rumpit... silentia voce Pyrrha prior. Ovid Metamorphoses i.384f. Pyrrha first broke the silence with [her] voice.

Sometimes, the opposite occurs.

Postis ... à cardine vellit. Vergil Aeneid 2.480 He wrenched the rails from [their] hinge pins.

Omnis et insànâ sëmita voce sonat. Propertius Elegies 4.8.60 And the whole alley rang with frenzied voices.

Similar to this is the use of the first-person plural pronoun or possessive adjective (or a first-person plural verb) for the corresponding singular form.

Et nos ... manum ferulae subduximus. Juvenal Satires 1.15

I too have withdrawn [my] hand from the rod.

Të ... aspectû në subtrahe nostrô. Vergil Aeneid 6.465 Do not withdraw yourself from my sight.

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Responses

  • j
    Can you have singular for plural in latin poetry?
    2 years ago

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