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Henle Latin 1st year

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    Henle Latin 1st year

    Exercise 436, # 5 the Answer key used "esse" and I used "fuisse" in my translation. Are both answers acceptable in this case or am I wrong?
    Maureen

    #2
    Maureen,

    In indirect statements the present infinitive is used to show action happening at the same time as the main verb. Using esse would literally mean "Do you judge that Lincoln is a better man...."

    The perfect infinitive is used for action completed before the action of the main verb. Using fuisse would literally mean, "Do you judge that Lincoln had been...."

    The "to be" verb makes this confusing because "Lincoln was" makes more sense in English. In Latin, however, the present infinitive makes more sense so I would go with esse instead of fuisse.
    Michael
    Memoria Press

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      #3
      I am struggling with the "Do you judge" being in present time and "Lincoln was" being before my time (way before) since esse means to be that would make it at the same time as the "Do you judge" part maybe? This is "Tense By Relation," right? Sorry to be so technical this time, but I have struggled to understand some of these before and just recently learned about this forum.
      Maureen

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        #4
        You're fine! I think Henle is using "was" because technically Lincoln isn't a better man because he isn't alive today. He was a better man. The thought "Lincoln was a better man," however, is taking place at the same time as the act of "judging" Thus the present infinitive is used.

        Another way to think about it is to rewrite the sentence. It is better to say "Do you judge Lincoln to be a better man..." than to say "Do you judge Lincoln to have been a better man..." An English speaker would understand what you mean by the second sentence, but the first sounds better.

        This is a very confusing topic. Does this help?

        P.S. Yes, the rule is tense by relation.
        Michael
        Memoria Press

        Comment


          #5
          It really helps to know that I am not the only one confused by this
          Thank you.
          Maureen

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            #6
            Henle Latin 1st year, ex. 436, #5

            The simplest explanation is that the Henle answer key is wrong in this instance. Look at Ex. 428, #6: it's almost the same sentence, and "fuisse" is used. If the answer in the key for Ex. 436, #5 is not a mistake, it contradicts what is taught in the lesson about tense by relation. Ex. 436, #5 is also testing knowledge of comparative adjectives and use of "quam" -- the mistaken verb could be just an oversight. There aren't many mistakes in the Henle key, but there are a few, and I think this is one of them.

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              #7
              I looked at Ex. 428, #6 and the translation of that sentence (according to the key) is "Do you judge Lincoln to have been braver and nobler than Washington?"

              I spoke with a colleague here to get a second opinion and it really comes down to a matter of nuance. Esse and fuisse would both be correct in Ex. 436, #5. It is the difference between "to be" and "to have been," but the basic meaning would be correct no matter which one you use.

              Personally, I do feel that since Henle used "was" it would be clearer if he had used fuisse in the answer key. However, as I said above, either esse or fuisse is okay. Henle wrote the key for teachers who have a Latin background, which can cause a few difficulties (such as here).

              I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any other questions or comments.
              Michael
              Memoria Press

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