In Keller's Learn to Read Latin:

The conjunction dum, sometimes strengthened by the adverb modo, "only", may introduce a subordinate clause stating a provision under which the event of the main clause can occur. Such a clause is called a proviso clause.

In a conditional sentence, the conditional clause

states the condition that must occur in order for the main clause to occur.

and is introduced by si or nisi.

My questions are:

  • What are the differences between conditional and proviso clauses? How different are they in terms of logic?

  • Can a conjunction that introduces one be used for introducing the other?


  • Latin tutorial(YouTube)has a video about that.
    – user11898
    May 30, 2023 at 0:46
  • could you summarize it here? Thanks
    – Tim
    May 30, 2023 at 6:45
  • My grammar basically says(about the conjunctions Dum/dummodo and modo)hat the proviso clause introduces a conditional clause of final value. I didn't understand at all, but, woud be a conditional that has a meaning of a final clause. It's the first time i hear abou that.
    – user11898
    May 30, 2023 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


I suppose they're pretty similar: dum here means 'provided that'/'so long as'; si just means 'if'. They might sometimes be interchangeable, but not always: imagine Caligula saying oderint si metuunt? [If you're not familiar - his catchphrase was oderint dum metuant - 'let them hate me so long as they fear me'.]

Bear in mind dum here takes ne as a negative.

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