One can certainly use volo with an infinitive to express a wish:

Volo amari!
I want to be loved!

A future sense is often implied, as one would probably interpret that I'm not loved now if I wish that. Are there any examples of similar wishes with a future infinitive? I mean something along the lines of:

Volo amatum iri!
I want to be loved [in the future]!

On its own it strikes me as unidiomatic, but I can imagine use cases. Perhaps something like:

Volo amari hodie, cras auditum iri!
I want to be loved today and be heard tomorrow!

Of course, I could be completely off the mark, but I would be glad to see my intuition proved wrong. The infinitives can be active or passive; volo amaturus esse would be an equally interesting find. Has anybody come across a wish with a future infinitive or something comparable? (I will let you judge what counts as comparable.)

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    The same question could be asked of active infinitives, e.g. Volo amaturus esse. (These all sound weird to me, but who knows...)
    – TKR
    Dec 27, 2019 at 20:50
  • @TKR Indeed! I had no specific reason to pick passive examples.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Dec 27, 2019 at 21:03
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    Your examples Volo amatum iri and Volo amaturus esse are ungrammatical in Latin (at least, in Early & Classical Latin). But note that this is not an idiosyncratic property of the verb volo: i.e., future infinitives are not possible in so-called "control structures" (e.g. Spero amatum iri. // Spero amaturus esse are also ungrammatical). In contrast, note that verbs like sperare, censere, credere, etc. do take future infinitives in so-called "AcI" structures: e.g., Speravi ego istam tibi parituram filium (Pl. Amp. 718); Censet eo venturum obviam Poenum (Naev. Bell. 40).
    – Mitomino
    Dec 28, 2019 at 5:49
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    Joonas, my comment was not intended as an answer. I thought it can just help you to (re)frame your interesting question: note that all of your examples above involve "control structures". Perhaps you omitted examples involving "AcI structures" because they sound better to you... In my opinion, we should distinguish two questions: (1) whether velle can take a future infinitive in an AcI structure like sperare, censere, etc. (cf. the two examples above) and (2) why all these verbs (velle included) can take present but not future infinitives in "control structures".
    – Mitomino
    Dec 29, 2019 at 0:50
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    Joonas, the first line of your last comment, as it stands, is not correct since the verb velle does take AcIs: e.g., apud me te esse volo (Pl. Bacch. 58), hoc volo scire te (Pl. Cur. 133), i.a. As pointed out above, one of the problems/questions at issue here is whether velle can behave like sperare: the latter often takes AcIs with future infinitive (e.g., Speravi ego istam tibi parituram filium (Pl. Amp. 718)).
    – Mitomino
    Dec 31, 2019 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


Has anybody come across a wish with a future infinitive or something comparable?

It is certainly not easy to come across an example of a future infinitive with the verb volo, since there are other and more common ways to express a desire for the future in Latin. Nevertheless, the construction you propose is correct, at least in Medieval latin, and here is an example:

enter image description here

The example comes from the Remigii Autissiodorensis In Artem Donati minorem commentum ad fidem codicum manu scriptorum, a work by Remigius (Remi) of Auxerre, who lived in the 9th century (841 – 908).

As @Mitomino suggested, here is the source for the document: warburg.sas.ac.uk/pdf/nah173b2327146.pdf (the quote is taken from page 56, 72 of the pdf).

Edit: there are actually many other examples of this (Medieval) construction that can be found in more or less recent documents, here I add some of them from Google Books...

enter image description here You can find this here (p.59)

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enter image description here

(yes, another grammar >:)

As far as now, examples in Early & Classical Latin miss.

  • Any idea what the .i. means in the quote?
    – TKR
    Dec 28, 2019 at 4:39
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    Your claim "the construction you propose is perfectly correct" does not apply to Early & Classical Latin (e.g., see my comment above). In any case, for relevant searches, it could be useful for you to add the following link of this Medieval document: warburg.sas.ac.uk/pdf/nah173b2327146.pdf (e.g., see page 59).
    – Mitomino
    Dec 28, 2019 at 6:12
  • @TKR, ".i." appears to mean something like "i.e.".
    – Mitomino
    Dec 28, 2019 at 6:13
  • @Mitomino True, I should have specified Dec 28, 2019 at 8:23
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    Oh, it looks like there are two relevant passages; the one you quote is on p. 56 in the section on active forms, the one in my comment is on p. 59 in the section of passive forms. But the "active" examples are puzzling. He's calling lectum ire a future active infinitive, which I've never seen before; and what is a me doing in lecturum esse a me volo, which isn't passive?
    – TKR
    Dec 30, 2019 at 23:45

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