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Latin/Grammatical Gender & Learning Latin


I was wondering if Latin is like Spanish where you have to conjugate withfem or masculine?
And if like you can look up a word and then put your own phrase together or if it is like Spanish and that can turn into a completely wrong meaning!?

And if you could tell me what "fortior me facias" means  It was written in my moms yearbook and i googled it and looked for it and I couldn't ever find a translation that was even close!!!
Are some Latin phrases just made up??
Like on Pinterest I saw an image with vos servo Mihi fortis on it and said it meant "in life you make me strong" something totally different than when I found a website with wrong phrases and the correct and proper ways and it made me wonder because people repinned it like crazy! How would you say that phrase if you know? If it's a real one?
Latin is so fascinating and I hope to study it in school! And I want to thank you in advance because I know you are a volunteer and you answer these on your own time just to
Help out!! :-)

Yes, Latin has "grammatical" gender just as do Spanish, French, Italian, and the other "Romance" languages derived from Latin.  Latin, however, has a neuter gender as well.  I say "grammatical" gender because the gender is not determined by the natural gender of the word, as in English, but by a grammatical gender that is learned with the word.  For example, "porta" (door) is feminine in Latin and in the Romance languages, not neuter as in English.

Yes, if you don't know a language well, you can easily fall into error.  "Fortior me facias" is a good example.  Apparently, the writer intended "fortiorem me facias" (make me stronger), but because of a grammatical error ended up writing something nonsensical.

"Vos servo mihi fortis" is nonsensical.  It isn't even grammatical at all.  Apparently, somebody merely looked up words in a dictionary and strung them together without having any concept of Latin grammar.  The only way to write Latin properly is to study Latin.  The same thing is true of any language.  There is no short-cut to knowledge.

I hope that you do have the opportunity to study Latin in school.  It is the best language to learn.  In addition to being able to read the great authors, it will be of significant assistance to you in expanding your English vocabulary (as 80% of English words are based on Latin roots), in writing, in speaking, in critical thinking, and in taking tests.  Latin students score about 100 points higher on the SAT tests than those who study other languages.  After you learn Latin, Spanish, French, and Italian, if you want to learn them, will be much easier.  


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Ph.D. Cand. in Classical Languages. Conversant with all forms of the 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, American Philological Association

A.B., M.A., Ph.D. Cand. in Classics.

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