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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

PRONOUNS/ Alius and Alter

315. Alius means simply other, another (of an indefinite number); alter, the other (of two), often the second in a series; cēterī and reliquī, all the rest, the others; alteruter, one of the two:

proptereā quod aliud iter habērent nūllum (B. G. 1.7), because (as they said) they had no other way.

ūnī epistulae respondī, veniō ad alteram(Fam. 2.17.6), one letter I have answered, I come to the other.

alterum genus (Cat. 2.19), the second class.

iēcissem ipse mē potius in profundum ut cēterōs cōnservārem (Sest. 45), I should have rather thrown myself into the deep to save the rest.

Servīlius cōnsul, reliquīque magistrātūs (B. C. 3.21), Servilius the consul and the rest of the magistrates.

cum sit necesse alterum utrum vincere(Fam. 6.3), since it must be that one of the two should prevail.

Note— Alter is often used, especially with negatives, in reference to an indefinite number where one is opposed to all the rest taken singly:—

dum nē sit tē dītior alter (Hor. S. 1.1.40), so long as another is not richer than you (lit. the other , there being at the moment only two persons considered).

nōn ut magis alter, amīcus ( id . 1.5.33), a friend such that no other is more so.

a. The expressions alter ... alter, the one ... the other, alius ... alius , one ... another , may be used in pairs to denote either division of a group or reciprocity of action:—

alterī dīmicant, alterī victōrem timent (Fam. 6.3), one party fights, the other fears the victor.

alteram alterī praesidiō esse iusserat (B. C. 3.89), he had ordered each (of the two legions) to support the other.

aliī gladiīs adoriuntur, aliī fragmentīs saeptōrum (Sest. 79), some make an attack with swords, others with fragments of the railings.

alius ex aliō causam quaerit (B. G. 6.37), they ask each other the reason.

alius alium percontāmur (Pl. Stich. 370), we keep asking each other.

b. Alius and alter are often used to express one as well as another (the other) of the objects referred to:—

alter cōnsulum, one of the [two] consuls.

aliud est maledīcere, aliud accūsāre (Cael. 6), it is one thing to slander , another to accuse.

c. Alius repeated in another case, or with an adverb from the same stem, expresses briefly a double statement:—

alius aliud petit, one man seeks one thing, another another (another seeks another thing).

iussit aliōs alibī fodere (Liv. 44.33), he ordered different persons to dig in different places.

aliī aliō locō resistēbant (B. C. 2.39), some halted in one place, some in another.

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