You are here:

Latin/Latin Pronouns


Hello Maria,

Can you help me again with Latin pronouns?

So if I want to say:
1. I did it myself.
2. I did it for myself.

1. Feci id ipse. (ipse - the nominative case, because it refers to the subject Ego, it could be as Ego ipse id feci).
2. Mihi id feci. (mihi - the dative case, because it is the indirect object)
Am I right, no?

And one more question, for example:  "mihi ipse numquam satis facio." Fam. 1.1&getid=0

Why is "ipse" in the nominative case? I think mihi and ipse come together, no?

Latin pronouns are killing me, please help, while I am alive and well :))



If you want to say:” I did it myself”, you must write “Id ipse feci” as well as “Id ego ipse feci”, where “ipse” in the nominative singular, masculine gender, refers to the subject “Ego” that can also be understood as in "Id ipse feci".

If you want to say, “I did it for myself”,you must write “Mihi ipsi id feci", with the dative singular “mihi ipsi” meaning  “for myself” used as an indirect object.

Therefore you are right, apart from the adjective “ipsi” (dative singular  of “ipse”) that you omitted in the second sentence.

As for  the phrase "mihi ipse numquam satis facio" we read in Cicero, Epistulae ad Familiares,1.1, in the following context:”Ego  omni officio ac potius pietate erga te ceteris satis facio omnibus, mihi ipse numquam satis facio”[meaning:”I satisfy all the others  for my  attention and devotion  to you, but I never satisfy myself”), the pronoun  “ipse” (nominative masculine singular) is in the nominative case simply because Cicero wants to emphasize that HE himself  never satisfies  himself, that is to say that Cicero wants to point out the subject of the phrase instead of  the indirect object, i.e. the dative case.

Therefore” mihi” and “ ipse“ do  not come together as in "mihi ipsi", since the Demonstrative/Reflexive Pronoun IPSE  is used to point out or designate a person or thing for special attention, so that “Ipse usually agrees with the subject, even when the real emphasis in English is on a reflexive in the predicate” as in “ me ipse consolor ” ( I console myself), not “me ipsum consolor”, as the English would lead us to expect.

Hope all is clear enough.Feel free however to ask me again.
Best regards,
As you can see, Latin word order can be variable as a Latin is an inflected language where synctatic relationships are indicated by the endings, not by the order of the words.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2017 All rights reserved.