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The year: around 33 AD. The place: Palestine (under Roman occupation). Brian is a young Jew who has recently joined one of the many fringe, left-wing Jewish parties. His new comrades have given him a mission, namely to awaken his compatriots’ national fervor by scribbling on various walls the slogan ‘Romans Go Home’. Unfortunately, his Latin is not exactly up to par; worse still — he gets caught red-handed by a Roman patrol! Is he going to survive the experience??!? A fantastic scene from the brilliant Monty Python movie ‘The Life of Brian’. Level: B2 — C1 Topic: Language / Grammar / Errors
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C: What’s this, then? ‘Romanes Eunt Domus’? ‘People called Romanes they go the house’?
B: It– it says, ‘Romans, go home’.
C: No, it doesn’t. What’s Latin for ‘Roman’? Come on! (Aah!) Come on!
B: ‘R– Romanus’?
C: Goes like…?
C: Vocative plural of ‘annus’ is…?
B: Eh. ‘Anni’?
C: ‘Romani’. ‘Eunt’? What is ‘eunt’?
B: ‘Go’. Let–
C: Conjugate the verb ‘to go’.
B: ‘Ire’. Uh, ‘eo’. ‘Is’. ‘It’. ‘Imus’. ‘Itis’. ‘Eunt’.
C: So ‘eunt’ is…?
B: Ah, huh, third person plural, uh, present indicative. Uh, ‘they go’.
C: But ‘Romans, go home’ is an order, so you must use the…?
B: The… imperative!
C: Which is…?
B: Oh. Oh. Um, ‘i’. ‘I’!
C: How many Romans?
B: Ah! ‘I’– Plural. Plural. ‘Ite’. ‘Ite’.
C: ‘Ite’. (Ah. Eh.) ‘Domus’? (Eh) Nominative? (Oh) ‘Go home’? This is motion towards. Isn’t it, boy?
B: Ah. Ah, dative, sir! Ahh! No, not dative! Not the dative, sir! No! Ah! Oh, the… accusative! Accusative! Ah! ‘Domum’, sir! ‘Ad domum’! Ah! Oooh! Ah!
C: Except that ‘domus’ takes the…?
B: The locative, sir!
C: Which is…?!
C: ‘Domum’. (Aaah! Ah.) ‘Um’. Understand?
B: Yes, sir.
C: Now, write it out a hundred times.
B: Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. Hail Caesar, sir.