certiorem facere / by Anthony Gibbins

certiorem facere is a common Latin expression that means something like inform. Here are two examples from the writings of Gaius Julius Caesar; certiorem me sui consilii fecit he informed me of his plan Helvetii de Caesaris adventu certiores facti sunt the Helvetii were informed about Caesar’s arrival. The Helvetii, by the way, were the first peoples whom Caesar struck against in his ten-year campaign of aggression north of Italy. Even today, Switzerland is officially known as Confoederatio Helvetica, The Helvetian Confederation.

Looking at the two above examples we can learn a little more about how this expression is used. In the first an unknown entity informed ‘me’ sui consilii of his plan. In the second the Helvetii were informed de Caesaris adventu about Caesar’s arrival. ergo therefore, the expression can be used either with a Noun (or similar) in the Genitive Case OR with the Preposition de about, concerning followed – as it always is – with a Noun (or Similar) in the Ablative Case.

On today’s page we find tempus est te certiorem facere de nomine feminae literally: it is time to inform you about the name to the woman. It would have been equally correct, and simply a matter of style, to have written tempus est te certiorem facere nominis feminae literally: it is time to inform you of the name to the woman.

Let’s finish by dissecting the initial expression. facio, facere, feci, factum is a Verb meaning make, among other things. certus is an Adjective meaning, among other things, certain or sure. Like all Adjectives, certus has a Comparative Form, certior, meaning more certain. In the sentence dux Caesarem certiorem sui consilii fecit the leader informed Caesar of his plan, dux is in the Nominative Case - because it is the Subject - and Caesarem in the Accusative Case – because it is the Object. certiorem is also Accusative to Agree With Caesar (whom the leader made more certain).

She was carrying something in her right hand. It was a wrench (lit: mechanical key). (Perhaps it is time to inform you about the name of the woman.)