Saturday, April 30, 2011

Verbum Hodiernum: VIS

Today's word is the noun VIS, which is usually found only in the nominative (singular vis, plural vires) and in the accusative (singular vim, plural vires). You can sometimes find the ablative (singular vi, plural viribus). You can see the other forms in the dictionary entry. The form vim seems to be used in the English phrase "vim and vigor" (although the actual origin of that English phrase is not entirely certain!).

In addition to being a noun found in only a few forms, it's important to recognize the noun vis as opposed to the verb vis, the second-person singular form of volo. In context, it will be easy to tell the two apart - but you need to be prepared that vis could be either a noun or a verb!

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:

Vi verum vincitur.

Naturae vis maxima.

Non vi, sed virtute.

Fit via vi.

Magna vis auri.

Ratione, non vi.

Qui timet amicum, vim non novit nominis.

In corde spes, vis et vita.

Non vi, sed iure.

Contra vim non valet ius.

Vires hominis breves sunt.

Magna vis pecuniae.

Melior est sapientia quam vires.

Artem natura superat, sine vi, sine cura.

Ratio contra vim parum valet.

Vis legibus est inimica.

Magna vis necessitatis.

Contra vim mortis nulla herba in hortis.

Non prodest ratio, ubi vis imperat.

Magna est vis consuetudinis.

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