Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: QUANTUS

Today's word is the adjective QUANTUS which is how you express quantity and size in Latin. There are many different ways that this adjective can be used.

One of the most common uses of this adjective is in the form of an exclamation, as you can see in these examples: O Cupido, quantus es! - "O Cupid, how great you are!" and Quanta stupiditas mea! - "How great is my stupidity!"

In addition, you can find quantus used in correlation with the adjective tantus, as you can see in this example: Quantum potes, tantum aude, "Dare to do as much as you are able."

You will often see quanto... tanto... used to express the degree of difference in a comparison, as in this example: Res quanto est maior, tanto est insidiosior, "The greater a thing is, the more treacherous it is."

In addition to agreeing with its noun and expressing the degree of difference, quantus can also be used in the genitive to express the value of something; you can think of it as "(of) so much (value)." So, for example, here is the genitive used in an exclamation: Quanti est sapere! - "How valuable it is to be wise!"

Here are some examples of today's word in Latin sayings and proverbs; for more information, see the page at the Scala Sapientiae, which contains notes on some of the proverbs cited below, as well as additional proverbs:

Tanti eris aliis, quanti tibi fueris.

Non quantus, sed qualis.

Quantum est quod nescimus!

Nemo scit quantum nescit.

Quantum potes, tantum aude.

Tanti est exercitus, quanti imperator.

Tanto gratius quanto citius.

Tantum scimus, quantum memoria tenemus.

O Cupido, quantus es!

Quantum sufficit.

Quanta est vis eloquentiae!

Nulla valet tantum virtus, patientia quantum.

Quanti est sapere!

De tanta laetitia, quanta tristitia!

Quanto plus bibunt, tanto magis sitiunt.

Quanto plus biberint, tanto plus sitient Parthi.

Crescit amor nummi quantum ipsa pecunia crevit.

Dives marcescit quanto plus copia crescit.

Quanto maior eris, maiora pericla cavenda.

Crescit avara sitis, quanto tibi copia maior.

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