I have to translate this sentence for homework:

si verba patris a liberis non audita essent, timerent.

I believe the verb form in both the protasis and apodosis is imperfect subjunctive. I am really struggling trying to work out how to put this into english. This is what I've got so far (I know that the tense/aspect is not correct):

If the words from the books of the father would not be heard, they might have been afraid.

Any help would be appreciated.

  • 'Books' would be in the abl. pl. libris. Here we have a liberis, 'children'.
    – Tom Cotton
    Sep 6, 2018 at 9:36
  • Also, note that verb in the protasis is audita essent, not just essent. So the tense in that clause isn't actually imperfect.
    – cnread
    Sep 6, 2018 at 16:44
  • 'If the father's words had not been heard by his children (back then), they would be afraid (now).'
    – Anonym
    Sep 9, 2018 at 2:28


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