Latin course for the Virtual School of Languages

Lesson 1: Marcus has to wait

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Hic est Marcus, ibi est Titus.
Titus in Colosseo sedet et gaudet, nam Aemilia iam adest.
Marcus dolet, nam Cornelia cessat.
Iam Aemilia rogat: "Ubi est Cornelia?"
Et Titus: "Cornelia cessat."
Subito Marcus vocat: "Ibi Cornelia est, ibi stat!"
Ridet et gaudet.
Reading vocabulary you needn't learn:
in Colosseo: in the Colosseum
cessat: (she) has people wait for her

est he/she/it is F: est
adest he/she/it is there  
rogat he/she/it asks interrogate
stat he/she/it stands (there) static
vocat he/she/it shouts, calls vocation
dolet he/she/it feels pain, regrets dole, condolence
gaudet he/she/it is happy D: Gaudi
ridet he/she/it laughs deride, risible
sedet he/she/it sits seat, sedentary
et and; also F: et
hic here  
iam already; now EO: jam
ibi there  
nam because; namely  
subito suddenly I: subito
ubi where ubiquitious
Practise the vocabulary of this lesson by matching it.

Please note: the grammar explanation assumes that you already know basic grammar terms. 
If you don't know a term, also in the later lessons, consult this page with explanations.
If you have read the vocabulary for this lesson carefully, you will have noticed that all verbs end in -t. 
The -t is the ending for the 3rd person singular. The corresponding personal pronoun in English would
be "he", "she" or "it". In Latin, personal pronouns are not usually used; you have to add them yourself,
based on the verb. So if you see the word "ridet", you should translate it as "he laughs" or "she laughs",
based on the context. That way, a single word can, on its own, be a complete sentence! If you really
must know, the personal pronouns in Latin are "is"(he), "ea"(she) and "id"(it). If you don't
think this lesson is hard enough, memorise them now. They will become important later on.
Actually, there are even more possibilities of translating "ridet": "he is laughing" or "she is laughing". That 
is because Latin, like most Romance languages, does not see any difference between simple and 
progressive tense, between what is usually happening (e. g. "he plays tennis") and what is happening
right now (e. g. "he is playing tennis"). 
Be aware of these two differences when translating Latin.
Another particularity of Latin is that the verb is often put at the end of a sentence, in contrast to English, 
where it follows the subject. 
An example:
  Titus        in Colosseo              sedet.
Subject         Place            conjugated verb
  Titus     in the Colosseum         sits.
Don't worry, you're not supposed to write that way in English.

To check whether you understood this lesson, please do the following exercises. You will find the right answers 
beneath the Information part, at the bottom of the page, so you can correct yourself.
I) Read through the following sentences and note down the numbers of those that are wrong or don't make sense.
  1. Cornelia hic et ibi sedet.
  2. Et Titus iam adest.
  3. Titus rogat: "Ubi est Marcus?"
  4. Titus dolet et gaudet.
  5. Subito Cornelia vocat: "Ibi Marcus stat!
  6. Ibi cessat!"
  7. Cornelia ridet et gaudet.
  8. Subito Titus iam gaudet.
II) Find the opposites of the following words:
  hic -
  sedet -
  cessat -
  gaudet -

Information : The Colosseum
The Colosseum is an amphitheatre in Rome, built on the order of the Flavius family of emperors. The building was completed
around 80 AD and it's original name was "Amphitheatrum Flavium", because of its owners. Later a huge statue of Sol, the
sun god, was placed in front of it, for which the theatre received the name "Colosseum".
Reconstruction drawing of the Colosseum, click to enlargeReconstruction drawing of the Colosseum 

An amphitheatre is a facility where the crowd sits in an oval around the arena (fighting place), very much like modern stadiums
but used for fights between gladiators and wild animals or gladiators amongst themselves. The Colosseum is the biggest
amphitheatre that was built in Roman time. Its arena is 3600 square metres and it had room for 55,000 spectators.

Amphitheatre of Nîmes (Southern France)

Huge image of the Colosseum nowadays
Huge reconstruction image of the ancient Colosseum

Exercise answers:
I) Sentences 1, 4, 6 and 8 don't make sense.
II) hic - ibi
    sedet - stat
    cessat - adest
    gaudet - dolet