Latin/Lesson 2-Subjunctive Use

.The subjunctive mood has several uses in Latin, the most notable of which are:

  • First Person Exhortations
  • Purpose Clauses
  • Result Clauses
  • Indirect Commands
Intro: 12
Chapter 1 123456
Chapter 2 12345678
Chapter 3 12345678
Chapter 4 12345678910
Chapter 5 123456789

First Person Exhortations (Hortatory Subjunctive) edit

Definition, Common Usage and Expression in Latin edit

An exhortation is a statement which expresses a wish. In English, the most common exhortation is "let's go". Other possibilities are "would go", "should go" and "may go". In Latin, these statements are equally as often used and are expressed in the present subjunctive active tense.

Examples edit

  • Festinemus ad forum
    Let's hurry to the forum
  • Roma discedamus
    Let's leave Rome
  • Roma non discedam, nam mea familia ibi vivit.
    I should not leave Rome, for my family lives there. (Also, "I will not leave" -- the form is ambiguous.)
  • Cenemus!
    Let us dine!
  • Cenarem tecum si laborem perficerem[1]
    I would dine with you if I should finish my work.

Purpose Clauses edit

Definition, Common Usage and Expression in Latin edit

A purpose clause is a clause which expresses that someone did something in order that something else might happen. In English they usually contain the words in order to or so that. In Latin this concept is expressed by the words ut and ne followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood. Ut means "so that" or "in order to" and ne means "lest." In purpose clauses, only forms of the imperfect (following the secondary sequence of tenses) and present (for the primary sequence) are used.

Examples edit

  • Quintus donum Scintillae dedit ut se amaret
    Quintus gave Scintilla a gift so that she would love him. (The imperfect subjunctive is used after a past main clause verb, i.e. imperfect, perfect or pluperfect, while the present subjunctive is used after a main clause verb in the present, future, future perfect, perfect with 'have', or imperative. The reflexive se is used instead of eum as it refers back to the subject of the main clause — otherwise it means that Quintus gave Scintilla a gift so that she would love someone else, not Quintus.)
  • Fabius equos domum duxit ne tempestate timerentur
    Fabius brought the horses home lest they be frightened by the storm.
  • Marcus Graeciā fugit ut matrem suam Romae inveniret
    Marcus fled Greece to find his mother in Rome.

Result Clauses edit

Definition, Common Usage and Expression in Latin edit

Result clauses state that something occurred as a result of something else happening. For a positive result, use ut. For a negative result, use ut... non.

Result clauses are normally recognisable by a signpost word in the main clause:

tam = so (with adjective or adverb) tantus, -a, -um = so big, tot (indecl) = so many talis, -e = such, of such a sort adeo = so much, to such an extent (with verb) ita = so, in such a way (with verb) totiens = so often, so many times (with verb)

Examples edit

  • Sextus tam iratus erat ut fratrem interficere vellet
    Sextus was so angry that he wished to kill his brother.
  • Horatia tam laeta erat ut lacrimaret
    Horatia was so happy that she cried.
  • Caesar tam potus erat ut Galliam oppugnare non posset
    Caesar was so drunk that he couldn't attack Gaul.
  • Milo tam defessus erat ut in via dormiret
    Milo was so tired that he slept on the road.

Indirect Commands edit

Definition, Common Usage and Expression in Latin edit

An indirect command is a statement like the following: "He ordered her to do x". The English equivalent words are "to" or "that they should" It can also take the form of "I am ordering you to do x", as opposed to the imperative "DO X!". Several verbs in Latin take the subjunctive mood with indirect commands:

  1. rogo, rogare, rogavi, rogatum - to ask
  2. persuadeo, persuadere, persuasi, persuasum - to persuade
  3. impero, imperare, -imperavi, imperatum - to order
  4. peto, petere petivi, petitum - to seek, ask for

These verbs use an ut/ne + the subjunctive construction.

Examples edit

  • Imperator militibus imperavit ut castra caperent
    The general ordered the soldiers to capture the camp.
  • Eum rogo ut navem emat
    I am asking him to buy the ship.
  • Mater liberis imperavit ne in horto currerent
    The mother asked her children not to run in the garden.

Indirect questions edit

Definition, Common Usage and Expression in Latin edit

The subjunctive is used in indirect questions. For example, the question 'What are you doing?' is direct, while "He asked what I was doing" is indirect. In Latin, the verb in the clause containing the indirect question must be in the subjunctive.

Examples edit

  • Imperator milites rogat si castra ceperent
    The general asks the soldiers if they captured the camp.
  • Eum rogo quid faciat
    I am asking him what he is doing.
  • Magister pueros rogat utrum laborent an ludant
    The teacher asks the boys whether they are working or playing.

Notā bene! edit

  1. Note that in si... (if...) clauses, the future perfect is often used where the present is in English. "I shall dine with you if I finish my work" would be "I shall dine with you if I shall have finished my work": Tecum cenam si laborem perfecero.