Conor facire eum it dormire

Multiple verbs in a sentence always confuses me. Does this makes sense? Is the order correct?

2 Answers 2


"To try to make to go to sleep" is straightforwardly hierarchical, so you can pretty much translate from left to right.

Conor 'I try' is indeed followed by an infinitive. You presumably meant facere rather than facire; it does have a 1sg facio, but it's irregular.

Facio ut 'I make that' is a standard construction (especially, but by no means exclusively, in imperatives). It's followed by a finite verb in the subjunctive. "To make him go" i.e. "to make that he go" could be facere ut eat.

"To go to sleep" can indeed be translated literally with the verbs eo and dormio, but dormio doesn't go in the infinitive; the required form is dormitum, the supine.

So your whole sentence, "to try to make him [go to] sleep", could be conari facere ut eat dormitum.

(If you literally mean "trying" as a present participle, that's conans with no further changes.)

  • 1
    Wouldn't conari be in indicative since that's what I'm trying to do? Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 11:58
  • 3
    @JohhanSantana If you want to say "I am trying", then yes, conor (present indicative for present continuous) is appropriate. You asked about a sentence fragment in your title so I kept the main verb in the infinitive.
    – Cairnarvon
    Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 12:03
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    @JohhanSantana Trying buying itself would be a participle. To try is the infinitive. I am trying is different from trying in a sentence like, "The parents, trying to get their child asleep, tried every trick in the book."
    – cmw
    Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 12:40
  • ahh sorry. Bad English habits. Updated title. Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 12:53
  • "it does have a 1sg facio, but it's irregular" <-- nothing irregular about that, though. Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 16:07

When several verbs come together in a sentence, there is usually a main verb, and the others are somehow connected to it. How do you connect them? Latin has several methods, in particular: the main verb may be combined with an infinitive or an Acc + Infinitive construction (better known as an AcI). Or the main verb may be combined with a subordinate clause with ut or ne. There are actually many more ways, but these two are pretty common.

You are not free to choose how to combine verbs. The ancient Romans already decided that for every verb and we must learn by heart how it works. If we don't remember it, we can look it up in the dictionary.

So in your case, it all starts with conor. If you don't know how to proceed, look up conor in the dictionary of your choice, but I am going to spare you the trouble, especially since you did get that right :) Conor takes a plain infinitive. Now what you did not get right was the infinitive of facio, that would be facere. So we get:

Conor facere
I try to make

So now let's play the game again, this time with facere as the main verb. When we want to say "to make something happen," we use ut + subjunctive:

Conor facere ut dormiat
I try to make it so that he sleeps (= make him sleep)

Actually, with facio, it would also be possible to use a plain subjunctive, and other things, but I think this is basically the "standard" way.

Now this is a somewhat impersonal construction, it does not emphasize that you are influencing him -- you just cause it to happen somehow. If you don't like that, you may prefer the verb adduco (to lead someone to some act or feeling or opinion). It takes the other person as an accusative object and can be used with ad + a gerund:

Conor eum adducere ad dormiendum.

But it is also regularly found with ut + subjunctive:

Conor eum adducere, ut dormiat.

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    "If we don't remember it, we can look it up in the dictionary." Solid advice!
    – cmw
    Commented Sep 3, 2021 at 0:10

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