Quick Latin question

In the phrase “in loco parentis”, what case is “parentis” in?

genitive, I think. “In the place of the parents.”

parens (nominative)
parentis (genitive)
parenti (dative)
parentem (accusative)
parente (ablative)

Yep. Genitive. “[of] the parents.”


Alright, people. Don’t everybody just shout out the answer. If you know, put up your thumb and we can give everybody else a chance to think about the question.

Actually, that should be “in the place of the parent” (singular). Plural would be in loco parentum.

I just checked back into this thread to correct myself on this – but you beat me to it. :mad:


In loco parentorum surely?

Now I’m curious, having never heard the phrase, in what context is it used?

Oh, despite not knowing my American legal phrases, I had enough Latin to answer this one - DtC was right, in loco parentum. It’s 3rd declension.

In the teaching profession. A teacher is regarded as being in charge of pupils’ safety etc. while the parents are absent, so they are acting “in place of the parents”.

If I remember my secondary school latin, Parens is a third declension noun. This group forms the gentitive plural by adding -um to the stem of the genitive singular (Parent-). Most second and first declension nouns form genitive plural by adding -orum or -arum to the genitive singular stem. For example Dominus (lord or master) is conjugated thus:
Singular Plural
Nominative Dominus Domini
Vocative Domine Domini
Accusative Dominum Dominos
Genitive Domini Dominorum
Dative Domino Dominis
Ablative Domino Dominis

Wheras Parens goes like this:

                   Singular            Plural

Nom Parens Parentes
Voc Parens Parentes
Acc Parentem Parentes
Gen Parentis Parentum
Dat Parentis Parentibus
Abl Parente Parentibus

Apologies for the wonky typesetting, I’m new to this game

Quartz: No. Third declension; Dio would be right.

Actually, the singular is correct, because there’s a nuance of meaning to the phrase not carried in the literal translation.

In loco parentis means “in the place of a parent,” i.e., acting with the authority and responsibility of a parent for his/her child. It’s not getting into who has authority as between a set of potentially disagreeing parents; it’s referencing that the person with in loco parentis authority has the delegated authority proper to a natural parent vis-à-vis third parties with reference to the child in question.

Hayser1982, if you enclose a table in [co****de] tags, the formatting will be preserved.

And shame on you for leaving out the locative! :wink:

As long as we’re “chattin’ Latin” here, let me ask: altthough it’s traditional to regard the “fossil locatives” as a separate case, are there any instances in which the actual word form differed from the ablative? My impression was that all instances of the locative were simply the use of the noun, in the same ending as it would have with in-plus-ablative, without any introductory preposition. In this it differs from the other “odd” case, the vocative, which had separate endings in one or more declension (I’m certain of the second, and have a vague memory that there was another instance as well).

No, sometimes the locative is different in form. My Latin book has a few examples listed, one of which I’ve actually seen used - ‘Romae’ is the locative form of Rome, but is very very rare (instead of Roma, the ablative). Other examples are ‘domi’, actually used, and Athenis, Rhodi, etc.

You mean it’s not “Romani eunt domo”? Man, I’ll need to write over this…

Heh. Fallen between two stool there, dude. Brian’s original stab was “Romanes eunt domus” and the centurion corrects it to “Romani, ite domum”.