You are here:

Latin/Latin Pronouns


Hello Maria,

Could you please help with translation of saying: "Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art"?

Ama artem in te, non te in arte. Should I use  teipsum in the second part of saying? Here is an example: Alios docendo teipsum docebis = By teaching others you will teach yourself. Or, me lavo = I wash myself. I am confused. All I know is:
Ama (verb) - imperative;
artem (noun) - accusative (because it is the object of the verb ama);
in (preposition with acc. or abl.);
te (pronoun) - accusative singular and ablative singular;
non (adverb) - not;
arte (noun) - ablative (I associate with ablative such English prepositions as by, in, on, at, with).

Oh, I know one more thing: it's Russian saying and it sounds in Russian like Ama artem in "sebe", not "sebya" in arte. Can you see the difference? "Sebe" and "Sebya" are the different forms of reflexive pronouns. So I think it should be the different types of pronouns in Latin, but on the other hand: me lavo = "sebya" lavo. I am totally confused! Please, help me!

I thank you, Maria!


the correct  translation of  Konstantin Stanislavsky’s saying: "Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art" is the following:

“Artem in te ipso ama, non te ipsum  in arte”.

You must, in fact, use “te ipso” in the ablative and “te ipsum” in the accusative, since the 2nd.person singular pronoun TU (nominative case), whose genitive  is “tui”, dative  is “tibi”, accusative  is “te” and ablative  is “te”, must be followed by the pronoun/adjective IPSE(nominative singular), whose genitive singular is “ipsius”, dative singular  “ipsi”, accusative masculine singular  “ipsum”, ablative masculine singular “ipso” - just meaning “self”.

As for your analysis of the Latin sentence, whose word order is different from English, note that:

-ARTEM (noun) - accusative  of the noun ARS, 3rd.declension, direct object depending on the verb “ama” =the art

-IN (preposition which takes the ablative in this context, as it is an indirect object of Place Where) = in

-TE IPSO (pronoun) -  ablative singular of the pronoun TU + the ablative masculine singular of the pronoun IPSE= yourself

-AMA (verb) – imperative, 2nd.person singular = Love

-NON (adverb) = not

-TE IPSUM (pronoun) -  direct object  depending on AMA; accusative singular of the pronoun TU + the accusative masculine singular of the pronoun IPSE= yourself

-IN (preposition which takes the ablative in this context, as it is an indirect object of Place Where) = in

-ARTE (noun) - ablative  singular of the noun ARS, 3rd.declension= in the art

As for the  Russian saying which  sounds  like  “Ama artem in "sebe", not "sebya" in arte”, I’m sorry, but I do not know Russian and then I can only suppose that  “sebe”  is an ablative like Latin TE IPSO, while “sebya” is an accusative like Latin TE IPSUM: hence the difference, exactly as in Latin.

Finally, note that word order in Latin differs from languages like English as Latin is an inflected language where synctatic relationships are indicated by the endings, not by the order of the words.

Moreover word order  often depends on writing style of an author. This however is not a problem  as Latin declension by case gets everyone (i.e. a reader or listener) to  discern the case of a word.

Hope all is clear enough. Feel free however to ask me again.

Best regards,


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.