After reading the comments in this question, I wanted to clarify whether a certain proposed usage of tam is appropriate. In it, tam was proposed as an emphatic alternative to sic, when correlated with ut, e.g.:

Tam enim eam amabam ut omnia ei darem.

For I loved her so much that I gave her everything.

(If this was not the proposed construction, please let me know!)

My question: Can tam be correlated with ut in this way? Seeing tam used "alone" with a verb strikes me as strange: I am used to seeing it used with an adjective or adverb ("tam bonus sum") and/or correlated with quam.


2 Answers 2


Well, Lewis & Short (way down the page) rule this possibility out:

III. As demonstr. adv. of intensity, correlative with ut, that, and its equivalents (qui, quin); so only with adjj. and advv. (not with verbs).

Other answers have shown uses of this with adjectives and adverbs, and it is easy (e.g. in the same L&S entry) to find examples of tam alone with verbs but without consecutive ut. However, it seems that what you are looking for (tam + verb + ut) is not attested. Of course, L&S might have overlooked some obscure passage, or some long-lost attestation might have been discovered in the last decades, but I’d bet against it.

As for Latin used in the Renaissance and later, it is very unlikely to find a counterexample there; the traditional teaching is/was that you don’t use tam with verbs alone, without adjectives or adverbs: “Plautus could, you cannot” would say my late teacher.


Yes, tam can be correlated with ut. Here are some examples:

Plaut. Rud. 756-757: ni erit tam sincerum, ut quivis dicat ampullarius / optimum esse operi faciundo corium

Ter. Hec. 108-109: numquam tam dices commode ut tergum meum / tuam in fidem committam

Caes. Gall. 1,44,9: non se tam barbarum neque tam imperitum esse rerum ut non sciret ...

Cic. Arch. 17: quis tam animo agresti fuit ut non commoveretur?

Liv. 5,51,4: tamen tam euidens numen hac tempestate rebus adfuit Romanis ut omnem neglegentiam diuini cultus exemptam hominibus putem

Sen. nat. 1,15,5: caelum ardere uisum, cuius nonnumquam tam sublimis ardor est ut inter sidera ipsa uideatur

Tac. ann. 4,11: neque quisquam scriptor tam infensus extitit ut Tiberio obiectaret

Iuv. 8,211: quis tam / perditus ut dubitet Senecam praeferre Neroni?

  • 1
    I apologize because my question title was not clear: I am primarily curious about whether it can be correlated alone, I.e. without an adverb or adjective
    – brianpck
    Feb 9, 2017 at 0:30
  • Sorry, it was my fault. I realized the point of your question just after have posted the answer. However, tomorrow I will look if I could find some examples of the use you are looking for
    – qwertxyz
    Feb 9, 2017 at 0:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.