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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

NUMERALS/ Distributives

137. Distributives are used as follows:—

a. In the sense of so many apiece or on each side: as, singula singulīs, one apiece (one each to each one); agrī septēna iūgera plēbī dīvīsa sunt, i.e. seven jugera to each citizen (seven jugera each), etc.

b. Instead of cardinals, to express simple number, when a noun plural in form but usually singular in meaning is used in a plural sense: as, bīna castra, two camps (duo castra would mean two forts). With such nouns trīnī, not ternī, is used for three: as, trīna (not terna) castra, three camps; terna castra means camps in threes.

c. In multiplication: as, bis bīna, twice two; ter septēnīs diēbus, in thrice seven days.

d. By the poets instead of cardinal numbers, particularly where pairs or sets are spoken of: as, bīna hastīlia, two shafts (two in a set).

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