non certus|certa sum or how to sound wise in Latin / by Anthony Gibbins

True wisdom, it has been said, lies in knowing what you do not know. So, here are three expressions that will help you seem wise when speaking or writing Latin. All three make the point clearly - that you are not 100% certain of what you say - and all three are grammatically unobtrusive. By which I mean that they do not affect the words around them, the way a Verb like puto, putare, putavi, putatum I think might. They are;

mea sententia in my opinion. Note, both words are in the Ablative Case.

nisi fallor unless I am mistaken.

ut opinor as I suppose

So, let’s see each of the three expressions in action.

Marcellus sarcinam habet. Marcellus has the suitcase.

mea sententia, Marcellus sarcinam habet. In my opinion, Marcellus has the suitcase.

nisi fallor, Marcellus sarcinam habet. Unless I am mistaken, Marcellus has the suitcase.

Marcellus, ut opinor, sarcinam habet. Marcellus, as I suppose, has the suitcase.

Now, compare that with a Verb like puto.

puto Marcellum sarcinam habere. I think Marcellus to have the suitcase.

I’m not suggesting for a second that you should actively avoid Verbs like puto, but I do like the ease of using these others expressions. Now, go forth and be uncertain.

But, unless I am mistaken, what is situated on the second floor is completely unknown to you. It is now time, as I suppose, to make you more certain about that floor.