Saturday, July 31, 2010


The notes here are taken from the actual Scala, so be warned that references to the "previous" proverb refer to its order in the Scala, not its order here. You can read more about the word at the Verbosum blog: ET. Note that there are literally hundreds of examples to choose from; this is just a few of the proverbs that contain et.

Vivamus et amemus. ~ Note: These are the words of Catullus to Lesbia: Vivamus mea Lesbia, atque amemus (5).

Audi et alteram partem. ~ Note: Here you have "et" being used not as a conjunction but as an adverb, meaning "also," "even," "too," etc. - Listen to the other side too.

Erunt novissimi primi, et primi novissimi. ~ Note: These words come from the Gospel of Matthew, 20; the saying is included by Polydorus in his Adagia, B359. Notice that novissimus here can be translated as "latest" in a series, as opposed to the first in a series (primus) - hence the King James rendering of this verse: "So the last shall be first, and the first last." The Greek reads: οὕτως ἔσονται οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι. Someone's "last words" in Latin are verba novissima.

Date, et dabitur vobis. ~ Note: For this expression, see the Gospel of Luke, 6.

Habet et bellum suas leges. ~ Note: This saying shows up in the English verse emblems of Whitney.

Reddite quae sunt Caesaris Caesari, et quae sunt Dei Deo. ~ Note: This refers to the famous testing of Jesus in the Temple, which you can read about in the Wikipedia article entitled "Render unto Caesar."

Qualia verba viri, talis et ipse vir est. ~ Note: Note the adverbial use of "et" here - et ipse - meaning something like "also," "likewise," etc. It may look like "talis et ipse" is a phrase where two things are being joined, but that is not the case; "et" here is not a conjunction, but an adverb.

Qualis mater, talis et filia. ~ Note: Note that "et" is being used adverbially here. It does not connected two equal things, but instead means something like "even" or "also" in English: As the mother, so too the daughter. (Compare the English saying, "Like father, like son.")

In corde spes, vis et vita. ~ Note: You can see this motto on a memorial medallion here: image.

Fugit gloria sequentem et sequitur fugientem. ~ Note: This proverb uses a very elegant parallelism to express this paradoxical situation: fugit-sequitur and sequentem-fugientem.

Breves dies et horae omnia sunt. ~ Note: Notice the subject and predicate of this sundial motto: the subject is "omnia," everything - while "breves dies et hora" is the predicate, "short days and hours." In other words, the world is made up of time - the days and the hours - which pass by so quickly!

Qui potest maius, potest et minus. ~ Note: Note the adverbial use of "et" here, meaning something like "even" or "also." Note also that maius the neuter singular form of maior (plural: maiora), while minus is the neuter singular form of minor (plural: minora).

Si portari vis, porta et alium. ~ Note: Note the adverbial "et" here - rather than connecting two things as a conjuction, et here is an adverb, equivalent to English "too," "also," "even," etc.

Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. ~ Note: Notice the distinction between the indicative amat (he who loves me), and the subjunctive amet (let him love my dog too).

Sapientissimus et peccat. ~ Note: Note the adverbial use of "et" here, meaning something like "even" or "also." So "et peccat" here would mean something like "also makes mistakes."

Habet deus suas horas et moras. ~ Note: This proverb also plays on the nice rhyme of "hora" and "mora."

Vitium est et omnibus credere et nulli. ~ Note: Here the infinitive credere is being used as a noun: It is a fault both to believe everybody (omnibus credere) and also to believe nobody (nulli credere).

Utrumque vitium est: et omnibus credere et nulli. ~ Note: Note that the two verb phrases, "omnibus credere" and "nulli credere," are acting as nouns here, coordinated by (both... and...).

Homo ad laborem natus, et avis ad volatum. ~ Note: The words are adapted from the Biblical book of Job, 7. Compare the version included by Polydorus in his Adagia, B226: Homo ad laborem nascitur.

Videte, vigilate et orate. ~ Note: You can find these words in the Gospel of Mark, 13.

Ubi thesaurus tuus, ibi et cor tuum. ~ Note: You can find these words in the Gospel of Matthew, 6.

Se ipsum vincere maxima et optima victoria est. ~ Note: Compare the saying you saw earlier: Est difficillimum se ipsum vincere. Notice that this proverb also plays on the etymological connection between the verb vincere (participle, victus) and the noun victoria.

Divide et impera. ~ Note: This is the Latin saying closest to the English "Divide and conquer." For a history of the use of this political principle, see the Wikipedia article.

Nihil est simul et inventum et perfectum. ~ Note: Notice the construction, equivalent to English "both...and..."

Sit pax et veritas in diebus meis. ~ Note: You will find this sentiment expressed in the Biblical book of II Kings, 20.

Veritas est super omnia amanda et sequenda. ~ Note: Note that the gerundives here express necessity or a command, and they agreed with the subject, veritas: You should love and follow truth...

Tu dormis, et tempus ambulat. ~ Note: This is adapted from the commentary by Saint Ambrose on Psalm 1.

Amicitia et prodest et delectat. ~ Note: Here you see the construction, equivalent to both... and... in English.

Pulvis et umbra sumus. ~ Note: You can find this in Horace's Odes, 4.7.

Multi multa sapiunt, et seipsos nesciunt. ~ Note: These are the words of Saint Bernard, famously included in Langland's Piers Plowman. Compare the saying you saw earlier: Frustra sapiens qui sibi non sapit.

Homines vitia sua et amant simul et oderunt. ~ Note: Homines can be nominative or accusative, as can the phrase vitia sua; it is the meaning which lets you know that homines must be the subject of the verbs, and vitia sua the object.

Separa et impera. ~ Note: Compare the English saying, "Divide and conquer."

A paupere et amici separantur. ~ Note: Note the adverbial use of "et" here: "even his friends." You can see how this usage evolved - the idea is that there is some implied and unsurprising companion to the "et" but only the surprising member of the pair is expressed: (strangers) and even his friends.

Et arma et verba vulnerant. ~ Note: Here you have the construction in Latin, which is equivalent ot the English "both...and..."

Esto leo ubi oportet, esto et simia interdum. ~ Note: Note the adverbial use of "et" here, meaning something like "even" or "also" - you might even have to play the monkey every once in a while.

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