I am looking for the translation of the phrase, "For those I love I will sacrifice". I've seen a few different versions, but fear they are not correct grammatically or proper in conversation. This is for a military related emblem.


first of all I have to point out that “I will sacrifice” has different translations, according to its true meaning. Latin uses in fact different verbs to translate the verb “to sacrifice”.

So, if “I will sacrifice” means “I will devote myself”/”I will be of service”/”I serve zealously”, here’s the correct translation:

-“Iis quos amo deserviam”  as well as “Eis quos amo deserviam”  or “Illis quos amo deserviam”  where I’ve used a verb we find in Cicero, Epistulae ad familiares, 16.18 (Letters to his Friends,16.18).  As for the different versions “iis”/”eis”/”illis” for “those”, please note that they mean  the same (Read more below).

If on the contrary “I will sacrifice” means “I will sacrifice my life”, “I will  devote myself to death”, you should say as follows:

-“ Iis quos diligo me devovebo” as well as “Eis quos diligo me devovebo” or” Illis quos diligo me devovebo”, where I’ve used a verb we find passim in Cicero.


-“Pro iis quos diligo me ad mortem offeram” as well as “Pro eis quos diligo me ad mortem offeram” or “Pro illis quos diligo me ad mortem offeram”, where I’ve used a verb we find passim in Cicero .

Finally I have to tell you that you cannot use the Latin verb “sacrifico” as it means “I make/offer a sacrifice”,  just to say that I’m offering a sacrifice to the gods, according to the heathen rites.

To conclude,  all the  Latin sentences I’ve written are correct and then you must choose the translation  that is more appropriate to your purpose, i.e. to the true meaning of the phrase “I will sacrifice”.

See below for grammatical analysis.

Best regards,

-For those = IIS /EIS  (dative plural  of the personal pronoun IS) or ILLIS (dative plural  of the  demonstrative pronoun ILLE) QUOS (accusative plural of the relative pronoun QUI  whose equivalent  is omitted in English).
Note that “iis/eis/illis quos” literally mean: “for those whom”.
Also note that “For those” can be translated as PRO IIS/EIS/ILLIS with the preposition PRO which takes the ablative. Such a construction depends on the verb OFFERAM in ME AD MORTEM OFFERAM.

-I love = AMO (or DILIGO, meaning the same)

-I will sacrifice = DESERVIAM (1st.person singular, future of the verb DESERVIO, 4th.conjugation) or ME DEVOVEBO (future of the verb DEVOVEO, 2nd.conjugation + the accusative ME).
Note that DESERVIO means  "I am devoted to", whereas ME DEVOVEO means "I sacrifice myself" , "I devote myself to death".
You can also say ME AD MORTEM OFFERAM where  ME (personal pronoun, accusative) means “me”, AD MORTEM means “to death” and OFFERAM (1st.person singular, future of OFFERO, means “I will offer/devote”.

As you can see, Latin word order  is different from English for in Latin syntactical relationships are indicated by the endings, not by the order of the words.


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