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Latin/Postpositive Conjunctions (Enim)


I just read your response dated 10/27/2012 about Postpositive Conjunctions, and it enlightened me.  In my 9th grade Latin textbook, I just learn "enim," indicated as the postpositive conjunction "for."  Following your examples for "autem" and "tamen," I can't figure out an example of using "for" in a sentence and where its placement would be.

In English, "for" as a conjunction introduces a clause that explains the reason for the preceding statement (causal).  Note that "for" in English can also be a preposition taking an object ("for the public good," Latin "pro bono publico"), but that is an entirely different usage -- English is so confusing!)  For example:

Caesar is dead, for Brutus killed him.
Caesar mortuus est, Brutus enim eum necavit.

Latin has other conjunctions that serve the same function, which are NOT postpositive.  For example:  "nam" and "namque" (the latter being a little more emphatic than the former).  You might ask, What is the difference?

"Enim" tends to emphasize the word that it follows.  So, in the example above, "Brutus" is emphasized.  "Nam" tends to emphasize the sentence as a whole, in the example above, emphasizing the killing itself rather than Brutus.

Caesar mortuus est.  Nam(que) Brutus eum necavit.

You are so fortunate to be getting your start in Latin in the 9th grade.  I hope that you will be able to take four years of Latin through high school.  That way, you will reap the benefits of your earlier study and have the opportunity to read some of the greatest authors and personalities in Western Civilization:  Julius Caesar, Cicero, Vergil, as well as (one would hope) Horace, Ovid, the Latin Vulgate, and all the great literature not only of the Classical period but also of the Mediaeval, Renaissance, and Modern periods.  Translations just aren't the same because no language can adequately be expressed in another.


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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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