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Latin/They Are Carrying Water to the Forest


I need help with this english phrase. I need to translate to Latin, I am not sure that I have it right. any help will be greatly appreciated.  The textbook is not helpful at all.

They are carrying water to the forest.

my translation:

Silvae aquae portant

Are silvae and aquae, genitive, showing possession?

portant is 3rd person plural verb and is transitive?. (They are carrying)

making the water the DO and forest the IO?
or would water and forest both have the accusative AM ending?

would you change portant to porto, and they are to sunt?

If the verb is plural how can you make the nouns plural when they aren't?

However, would I not run into the same problem with the plural/singular translation?

I am just not sure if I understand this.
Thank you for your help in advance

"They are carrying water to the forest."
CORRECT RENDITION:  "Ad silvam aquam portant."

Are "silvae" and "aquae" genitive, showing possession?  NO.
  "Water" is the direct object of the verb "are carrying".
  In Latin, the direct object is expressed by the accusative case ("aquam").
  "To the forest" is a prepositional phrase.
  In Latin, the preposition "ad" is used, followed by the accusative case ("ad silvam").

"Portant" is a 3rd person plural verb and is transitive ("they are carrying"), making "water"  direct object and "forest" the indirect object?
  "Water" is the direct object, but "forest" is not the indirect object because "carry" is
  not a verb that takes an indirect object.  (Usually, these are verbs like "give":  "I give
  the dog to the man," where "dog" is the direct object, and "man" is the indirect object.)

Or would "water" and "forest" both have the accusative -AM ending?  YES.

Would you change "portant" to "porto," and "they are" to "sunt"?  NO.
  The present tense, here expressed in English as "are carrying" is rendered by the
  present tense of the verb in Latin, with the 3rd person plural ending:  "portant".

If the verb is plural, how can you make the nouns plural when they aren't?
  The verb is plural because its subject is "they," which is a 3rd person plural pronoun.
  Nothing else in the sentence has any effect upon the verb form.

It would be profitable for you to review your basic English grammar.  Many students of Latin (or other languages, for that matter) have not received much English grammar, so that makes it difficult for them to understand grammatical concepts in any language.  A review of English grammar will make it easier for you to understand the Latin constructions (and vice versa).  There is an excellent book available for this purpose:  "English Grammar for Students of Latin:  The Study Guide for Those Learning Latin" by Norma Goldman and Jacqueline Morton.


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Classical Languages (Greek, Latin). Conversant with Classical Greek and all forms of the Latin language: classical, mediaeval, and modern.


I have 50 years of teaching at all levels of Latin from high school through university postgraduate. I read, write, and speak Latin daily.

American Classical League.

A.B., M.A., D.Phil. (h.c.) in Classical Languages (Greek, Latin).

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