non debeo

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phil96
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non debeo

Post by phil96 » Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:24 pm

Unit 5, Prelim. Ex., 7. raises an interesting question.
"Patriam populi territi invadere non debetis"

Is it "you ought not invade -- you should stay away from their country" or "you don't have to invade -- there is no obligation to invade"? In other words, does "non" here negate the action or the obligation to act? I _think_ it ought to be the latter but, then, I'm not a Roman.

And if it's the one, how would you express the other?

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benissimus
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Re: non debeo

Post by benissimus » Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:56 pm

phil96 wrote:Unit 5, Prelim. Ex., 7. raises an interesting question.
"Patriam populi territi invadere non debetis"

Is it "you ought not invade -- you should stay away from their country" or "you don't have to invade -- there is no obligation to invade"?
both of those translations are the same negation, you have merely expressed the obligation in different ways.
In other words, does "non" here negate the action or the obligation to act?
I _think_ it ought to be the latter but, then, I'm not a Roman.
it negates the obligation, because non directly precedes the word it negates (debetis) ... usually.
And if it's the one, how would you express the other?
non invadere debetis, probably with the 'non invadere' quite separate from 'debetis' within the sentence.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae

phil96
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Re: non debeo

Post by phil96 » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:18 am

benissimus wrote:
both of those translations are the same negation, you have merely expressed the obligation in different ways
I intended a difference, but perhaps there is a difference in nuance with Australian English (or, more likely, I just wasn't clear!)

To simplify the issue, consider "discedere debeo" I ought to leave (there is an obligation to leave).
I was asking, is "discedere non debeo"
(a) I ought not leave (there is an obligation to stay), or
(b) there is no obligation to leave (I might leave or stay freely, as I wish)?

So to follow the rule, "discedere non debeo" would be (b), while (a) could be "non discedere debeo"?

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paulusnb
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Re: non debeo

Post by paulusnb » Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:25 am

I think you might be reading too much into "ought" as a translation of debeo. How about "should"? I cannot think of any examples where debeo means what you say ought means. I do not think that non debeo discedere can be option B. But I am open to correction.



Are you asking if this would be something like the following?

I ought not to eat this cupcake. Gulp.
When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him. ~Swift

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