I know that "thank you for your help" could be translated by "gratias tibi ago ob/propter auxilium (tuum)" but I can't figure out how to deal with a preposition with a verb in it as in

Thank you for having told me the truth.

2 Answers 2


The most obvious approach is the conjunction quod + indicative, which is frequently employed after gratias agere, so you'd get:

Gratias tibi ago, quod verum mihi dixisti.

Examples for this are all over the place, e.g. in Cicero: tibi ago gratias, quod me omni molestia liberasti (ad fam. 13,62) and countless other examples.

Another option would be to use a relative clause in the subjunctive:

Gratias tibi ago, qui verum mihi dixeris.

This makes sense and is suggested by Georges (German-Latin), but I could not immediately find any examples.

By the way, while I see nothing wrong with ob or propter, the usual preposition of choice seems to be pro.

  • By the way, you could also say: Vere locuto tibi gratias ago, or, if we want to get real fancy: Veridico tibi gratias ago. Jan 2, 2022 at 19:45
  • In "gratias tibi ago, qui verum mihi dixeris", what benefit is conferred by using a subjunctive? Relatives usually take the indicative unless there is a specific need for a subj., at least, that's my understanding. I recall "servum misit quem fidissimum haberet", TKR's translation of, "He sent the most loyal slave whom he had." (North & Hillard) and A & G secct. 278 (b): "servum misit quem secum habebat" = "He sent the slave whom he had with him.". I did ask if both subjunctive & indicative uses were correct but didn't get a reply (2019). Any thoughts, please?
    – tony
    Jan 5, 2022 at 13:07
  • @tony The function of the subjunctive here is to confer a causal sense on the relative clause. (The subjunctive might just as well confer a concessive/adversary sense, e.g. … qui numquam verum mihi dixeris = “… even though you never told me the truth.” Which is it? You have to infer that from context. So really the function of the subjunctive in relative clauses is simply to say: “This clause does not just add some information about something in the main clause. There is some deeper connection, though you have to guess what it is!”) Jan 5, 2022 at 20:24
  • In that 2019 Q: latin.stackexchange.com/q/11316/1982, referred to above, I tried, "servum misit, qui fidissimus esset, quos possidebat (omnium servorum)." = "He sent the slave, who was the most faithful, (of all the slaves) whom he owned." I used "possidebat", indicative, because it refers to the antecedent (the slave-owner), not the most faithful slave. In this dual relative-clause structure, is the subjunctive, "esset", correct? What if indicative, "fuit", had been used?
    – tony
    Jan 16, 2023 at 14:23
  • The subjunctive, "esset", is required because it is a quality of the antecedent that is being described, A & G section 535.
    – tony
    Sep 27, 2023 at 12:24

Hmmm. - It's been more than 50 years since my high school Latin classes, but I'll take a stab at it. Here goes ...

Dictu mihi veritatem tibi gratias ago.

Just sayin'.

  • 2
    What is dictu supposed to be? It looks like a supine, but that wouldn't exactly fit grammatically. Jan 2, 2022 at 18:39
  • Yes, "dictu" is a supine form, as in "mirabile dictu" - that last phrase is usually translated into English as "wonderful to say". My old Latin text mentioned that a more literal translation might be "wonderful in the saying", although it is awkward to express it that way in written or spoken English. I took the old textbook at its word in its explanation. So, a nearly verbatim translation - and following its word order from Latin, an awkward translation into English would be: "In saying to me the truth, to you thanks I give." Again, awkward English, but I believe it is good Latin. Jan 2, 2022 at 20:22
  • I am also making the assumption that it's OK for the supine form "dictu" to have an object in the accusative case, namely "veritatem". After more than 50 years, I do try to remember the correct vocabulary and grammar. Jan 2, 2022 at 20:30
  • I believe it cannot have an object, but the real problem is that the second supine is extremely limited in how you can employ it, it is basically restricted to adjectives like your mirabile dictu, turpe factu etc., plus the nouns fas, nefas and opus (e.g. fas est memoratu, it is allowed to bring up). Jan 3, 2022 at 20:19
  • in saying - you'd actually want a gerund for that, not the supine. That would make this grammatical.
    – cmw
    Jan 17, 2022 at 1:55

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