This is a sentence in Caput V, Liber II of Confessiones of Augustine: Cum interea non satageret idem pater qualis crescerem tibi.

Here what's the case of qualis? According to the declension table it can only be nominative singular, genitive singular or accusative plural. But if it's a relative pronoun, shouldn't it be in the ablative case, with "qualis crescerem tibi" meaning "how I would come forth to you?".

1 Answer 1


It is nominative singular.

Literally translated, your phrase (which is subordinated to a larger sentence) means:

. . . though meanwhile this same father did not busy himself over what kind [of person] I was growing [up] to be for you.

Qualis modifies the understood ego, the subject of crescerem.

Augustine's point is that his father was admirably occupied with providing for his studies and material needs, but paid no attention to the kind of person he was becoming in God's sight.

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