Closing Up - A Grammatical Commentary / by Anthony Gibbins

Today’s page has three sentences. The bare bones of the first sentence are tempus erat revenire It was time to return. Note how the Noun tempus time works with an Infinitive Verb, revenire to return, to say that it is (or was) time to do something. tabernariae, in the Dative Case, tells us for whom the statement is true, namely for the shopkeeper. domum is domus home in the Accusative Case. This is one of the few words that can indicate Movement Towards just by being in the Accusative; so domum means (to) home. sole occidente is an Ablative Absolute, so called because a) both words are in the Ablative Case and b) it is grammatically disconnected (absolute) from the remainder of the sentence. sole is the Noun sun and occidente is the Present Active Participle setting. Together it means something like with the sun setting. deinde is an Adverb meaning then, next or from there. It links this sentence with what has come before.

Then, with the sun setting, it was time for the shopkeeper to return home.

The bare bones of the second sentence are tabernaria dixit The shopkeeper said. In this sentence the Dative avi to the bird tells us to whom the shopkeeper said something. The shopkeeper is described with the Present Active Participle claudens closing. An Active Participle can take its own Object, and claudens has ianuam door in the Accusative Case. So, now to what the shopkeeper said. As she is addressing the bird, she uses the Vocative Case loquax chatterbox. She is telling the bird to sleep, so she could have used the Imperative Verb dormi sleep!, but the Second Person Subjunctive is softer, meaning something akin to may you sleep. The Adverb bene means well, and clarifies how the shopkeeper wants the bird to sleep.

‘May you sleep well, chatterbox,’ The shopkeeper says to the bird, closing the door.

The bare bones of the third sentence are psittacus iteravit The parrot repeated. What did he say? bene dormias May you sleep well.

‘May you sleep well,’ the parrot repeated.