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Hi Maria

I would like to know whether the following is correct order of the words?

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Latin-2145/Latin-proverb.htm

I want "Live your own life, for you die your own death" in latin and the following was your answer

Tuam ipsam vive vitam quia tuam ipsam oppetes mortem

Is the order of the words correct?

It will be engraved and I dont want it wrong so I am double checking

Kind regards,

Steve

Answer
Hello,

Firstly I have to point out that my answer (on 8/2/2006)  was addressed to a question where I was asked how to translate  the sentence “Live your own life, for you will die your own death“ with the future “you will die”, whereas you are asking me how you must translate “Live your own life, for you die your own death “ with the present indicative which however seems to be a typo.

So, “Tuam ipsam vive vitam quia tuam ipsam oppetes mortem”, whose word order is correct, corresponds exactly  to “Live your own life, for you will die your own death“ with the Latin  future “oppetes”(= you will die).


Anyway, if you want to use the present indicative in “for you die your own death”, you must say:“Tuam ipsam vive vitam quia tuam ipsam morĕris mortem” where “morĕris” is the 2nd person singular, present indicative of the deponent verb “morior”.

Also, you could say “Tuam ipsius vive vitam quia tuam ipsius oppetes mortem” or “Tuam ipsius vive vitam quia tuam ipsius morĕris  mortem” where I’m using the genitive “ipsius” instead of the accusative “ipsam”, since Latin often uses this genitive with the possessive adjective just to express the sense of the adjective “own” as belonging to a particular person or thing.

Please note that this Latin maxim sounds as an admonishment which wants to emphasize that no one dies our death with us nor can tell us how to die, simply because my death will not be like your death, and thus  my death is my own.

To conclude, you can say:

1)“Tuam ipsam vive vitam quia tuam ipsam oppetes mortem” or better “Tuam ipsius vive vitam quia tuam ipsius oppetes mortem” [“Live your own life, for you will die your own death”]

or:

2)“Tuam ipsam vive vitam quia tuam ipsam morĕris  mortem” or better “Tuam ipsius vive vitam quia tuam ipsius morĕris  mortem”  [“Live your own life, for you  die your own death”].

Best regards,

Maria
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Note that:

-Live = VIVE (2nd person singular, imperative of the verb VIVO)

-your = TUAM (feminine accusative singular of the possessive TUUS, agreeing with VITAM )

-own= IPSAM (accusative feminine singular of the pronoun/ adjective IPSE) or IPSIUS (genitive of the pronoun /adjective IPSE)

-life= VITAM (direct object, accusative singular of the feminine  noun VITA, 1st declension)

-for = QUIA (conjunction)

-you  will die =  OPPETES (2nd.pers. sing., future of OPPETO) or MORERIS (2nd person singular, present indicative of MORIOR)

-your = TUAM (feminine accusative singular of the possessive TUUS, agreeing with MORTEM)

-own = IPSAM  or IPSIUS (see above)

-death= MORTEM (direct object, accusative singular of the feminine noun MORS, 3rd declension).

As you can see, Latin word order is different from English, as Latin is an inflected language where grammar relationships are indicated by the ending of the words, not by their order, and then the order of the words is less important than the ending in terms of determining how each word functions in the sentence.

For example, in “Puella canem amat”(The girl loves the dog) the first noun,"puella"(the girl ) is a singular noun in the nominative case, so it is the subject; the second noun, "canem" (dog) has an accusative singular ending, so it is the direct object; the verb “amat” (loves) has a third person singular verb ending, so it goes with the subject of the sentence.

To sum up, since the ending on the nouns tells their roles in the sentence, I could also say:”Canem puella amat”, “Canem amat puella”, “Amat puella canem”, “Puella amat canem”, according to my choice.

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Maria

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

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

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