5

In North & Hillard, Ex 215, the following sentence:

There can be little doubt that the guides, whether through treachery or ignorance, were mainly responsible for the disaster.

is translated by the answer book as:

parum quidem dubitari potest quin huius cladis, seu proditione seu inscientia, auctores in primis fuerint duces.

Why deploy the future-perfect, fuerint ("they-will-have-been the creators of the disaster")?

The English requires "were....responsible"; for me, there is a credible case for:

  • sunt ("they are the creators"), even though the disaster has already happened;
  • erant, giving the English: "they were"; and, presumably, continue to be responsible;
  • yet again: fuerunt ("they were"): a completed process, in the past, now finished.

Any thoughts on why fuerint is used?

  • @JoonasIlmavirta Looks like our edits collided: I rolled back and added the tags – brianpck Nov 30 '17 at 16:03
  • @brianpck Thanks! Dealing with and even detecting edit collisions on the phone is confusing. – Joonas Ilmavirta Nov 30 '17 at 17:47
4

It's actually perfect subjunctive following quin, which is permissible since it's a doubting clause. The two forms do look alike, but the quin is your giveaway. See A&G 558 for more examples.

  • Thank you C.M. Weimer; thought of perf. subj., but, without ut/ne present dismissed this. – tony Nov 30 '17 at 17:43
  • 1
    @tony The perfect subjunctive (conjunctive) does not require any particular conjunctions, so even adding quin and quominus to your list is not really sufficient. – Joonas Ilmavirta Nov 30 '17 at 17:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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