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Latin/Translation - Finish what you began


Hi. I really want to know how "Finish what you began" is written in Latin.

I realize that it's already been somewhat asked before, as "finish what you started and never give up," but I thought I'd still ask; since I think word placement is different in Latin depending on the message you wish it to imply? Latin fascinates me, but schools here don't offer language classes like the schools in foreign countries do.
I want to live by these words to force me to keep going and finish my project (novel writing) as well as other future projects, and I also want to make an artwork out of it - but I sort of want to keep it to myself; make it something only I would understand (excluding those who can comprehend Latin) and really know the value of.

Thanks in advance!


“Finish what you began" translates as “Quod incepisti perfice” or “Perfice quod coepisti ” with a different word order and a different verb for “you began”.

Obviously, both “Quod incepisti perfice”  and “Perfice quod coepisti ” are correct and then you can use one of them, according to what you want to emphasize, i.e. the direct object “what you began” or  the imperative “Finish”.

In short, the translation “Quod incepisti perfice” highlights “Quod incepisti” (=“what you began”), whereas the translation “Perfice quod coepisti” emphasizes the imperative “Perfice”, (=“Finish”) which therefore is at the beginning of the sentence.

Read more below.

Best regards,

Note that:

-Finish =  PERFICE (2nd person singular, present imperative of PERFICIO)

-what = QUOD (direct object, neuter accusative of the relative pronoun QUI)

-you  began = INCEPISTI (2nd person singular, past tense of INCIPIO)  or COEPISTI (2nd person singular of the past tense COEPI, defective verb).

As you can see, Latin word order can be different from English, as Latin  is an inflected language where grammatical/syntactical relationships are indicated by the ending, not by the order of the words and then the order of the words is less important than the ending in terms of determining how each word functions in the sentence, even because word order can depend on a personal  choice which has to do with what you want to point out.


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