Latin Introductory Phrases: Lesson 5

The Latin word for how is quomodo.

I think of it as saying qwhot mode. A lot of Latin question words begin with q (ain’t that a coincidence)? Also:

Question words go in the beginning of the sentence in Latin.

So, if you wanted to say how do you say it, you would put how in the beginning and therefore you wouldn’t need to switch the verb to the front because you have a question word how there already. You would say how you it say. Try saying that:

?How do you say it?|Quomodo tu id dicis?

In practice, you would probably just omit tu. Also, let’s make it more interesting and say Latinly or in Latin. So, you will be saying how (you) it Latinly say. Try it:

?How do you say it in Latin?|Quomodo id Latine dicis?

Replace "it" with say "dog" (just say it in English) and ask:

?How do you say ’dog’ in Latin?|Quomodo ’dog’ Latine dicis?

To answer your question, canis dico.

Talking about how....

The Latin word for you are in good health is tu vales.

It means something along the lines of you are stong, you are healthy, etc.

If you wanted to say how are you, you would be asking how are you being in good health. Of course, you will omit tu in such a short sentence. Ask:

?How are you?|Quomodo vales?

To answer that, you could simply say I am in good health. You already know that the pair is dico and dicis and scio and scis. For vales, you keep the e in place. Try to guess how you would say I am in good healthy or, as it means, I’m fine:

?I’m fine.|Valeo.

Talking about valeo and vales, if you wanted to say bye, you would simply say be healthy! or be strong which would be simpy vale. Try saying it:


Actually, there is a synonym (word with nearly the same meaning) to the word valeo.

Another word for valeo is salveo.

It also means to be strong or to be healthy or to be well.

So, when you greet somebody in Latin, you usually wish them to be well. If you change valeo to vale which means be in good health, you have the word for bye! so the word for bye is already taken.

However, just like you can change valeo to vale to mean it, you can also change salveo to salve to mean the same thing and it could also be used as a greeting. As you know, the greeting for bye is taken... so, can you guess what other greeting salve could mean?

?Salve means...|Hi!

So, you have salve or be well in the beginning and vale in the end. You now know how to greet in Latin. Let’s now learn how to introduce yourself.

Another question word in Latin is quod which means what.

Latin for name is nomen.

If you wanted to say your name, you would actually be saying name your.

Latin for your is tibi.

So, how would you say:

?Your name.|Nomen tibi.

So, if you wanted to ask "what’s your name", you would be asking what name your is. Say that:

?What is your name?|Quod nomen tibi est?

Latin for my is mihi.

Imagine your name is Tim. If you wanted to say that, you would simply put Tim in the place of what (and also change tibi - your to mihi - my. Try saying that:

?My name is Tim.|Tim nomen mihi est.

So you can simulate a conversation in Latin. Use will be using Latinam to say Latin as an object in the conversation. Also, skip ego and tu and everything else that you can skip to make it more natural. Try this simulation:


?Hi, how are you?|Salve, quomodo vales?

?I’m fine. Do you speak Latin?|Valeo. Dicisne Latinam?

?Yes, I speak and understand Latin.|Sic, Latinam dico et scio.

?What is your name?|Quod nomen tibi est?

?My name is Lucius.|Lucius nomen mihi est.



You can speak it and you have an understanding of what you are saying. For five lessons, that’s not bad at all.

NOTE: You have finished this course. Well done! You can now check out some of the other courses we have:

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