Latin/Common Phrases

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Salvēte omnēs! I hope you are enjoying these lessons in basic Latin. If you are just joining, here are the links that will help you catch up:

Here are some basic phrases of conversational Latin, or “time traveler’s Latin” if you suddenly find yourself whisked back to Ancient Rome. I am not by any means an expert on conversational Latin, but this is certainly enough to get you started. There are whole books and conventions devoted to reviving spoken Latin, though.

New Grammar and Vocabulary

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The grammar required for polite conversation is a little too detailed to study formally here, but you will notice the imperative singular and plural of some verbs, and some of the conjugation of valeō in the present tense. You may also notice that to turn a statement into a question, sometimes the particle -ne is tacked on to the end of a word. There are other ways of asking a question, such as the interrogative pronoun quid. And let’s learn the conjugation of valeō since we will be using it so much:

Latin English Audio (Classical)
valeō I am well
valēs you are well
valet he, she, it is well
valēmus we are well
valētis you all are well
valent they are well

New Sentences

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Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
Salvē! Hello/hi/greetings/hope you are well
addressing one person
Salvēte! Hello, etc.
addressing more than one person
Valē! Goodbye, farewell
to one person
Valēte! Goodbye, farewell
to more than one person
Avē! Hail/hello/farewell   to one person
Avēte! Hail/hello/farewell   to more than one person
Nōmen mihi est ... My name is ...     Literally it is more like “The name for me is ... ” using the dative case, and the blank for your name could be elsewhere in the sentence, i.e., “Nomen mihi ... est”.
Meum nōmen est ... My name is ...   This uses the possessive adjective to modify nomen, so it is closer to a literal translation as we see it in English, but I don’t see it used as frequently in Latin. And again the word placement can vary.
Quid agis? How are you/ what’s up/ what are you doing? to one person
Quid agitis? How are you? to more than one person
Optimē Very well    
Bene Well
Satis bene Well enough
Malē Not well    
Pessimē Very badly    
Valēsne? Are you well?       to one person
Valētisne? Are you well?     to more than one person
Ita vērō / ita Yes indeed, yes, it is so    
Nōn ita/ nōn / minimē No, not at all    
Valeō I am well/ in good health.    
Valēmus We are well.    
Nōn valeō. I am not well.    
Et tū/vōs? And you?    
Quid novī? What’s new?    
Nūllum multum Nothing much    
Mē paenitet/ doleō / mea culpa I’m sorry/ my fault.  
Ignōsce mihi Excuse me, forgive me    
Nōn intellegō I don’t understand.    
Licetne? Is it permitted/ may I?
Placetne? Quaesō Please?   There is no one way to say “please” in Latin, these are just a few
Tibi grātiās agō Thank you   to one person
Vōbis grātiās agō Thank you   to more than one person
Grātiās / multās grātiās Thanks/ thanks very much    

Omnibus vōbīs multās grātiās agō. (Thank you all very much). For the next lesson it is about time to start systematically introducing some 1st declension nouns and a few of the cases. Valēte!


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Practice and learn the words and phrases in this lesson
Step one First learn the words using this lesson:
Step two Next try learning and writing the sentencing using this:
Note that the Memrise stage covers the content for all lessons in each stage.
If you are skipping previous stages you may need to manually "ignore" the words in previous levels (use the 'select all' function)