How do you translate the following sentence:

What things, then, will you do?

I am particularly doubtful of the translation of "things" here. Would we use res, rei?

  • Can you tell us some more context for this question? For example, do you mean a situation like at the end of the movie Rambo 2, or Lyndon Johnson being sworn in as President, or, say, fixing a broken cartwheel? Depending on the situation, a word for "things" may or may not be necessary.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 20:20

4 Answers 4


There is often a temptation to translate word-for-word; as the Romans used fewer words than we do, to express the same meanings, this can be frustrating. Here they might well have said: "quae facies?"; "actiones" would have been understood; "then" unnecessary as, by definition, it is referring to the future, leading to an alternative: "quae facias?" a pres. subj., "what (things) might/ would you do; or, even some imperative force--demanding to know as in "habeas corpus" a pres. subj., not: "you may have a body"; but "you HAVE a body". Jerky & clumsy to us; but, not them.


The neuter plural of the Interrogative Pronoun is simplest.

'Then' can be translated in a number of ways:
prorsum means 'then,' 'next,' 'straightaway.'
igitur (usually placed second word) 'then,' 'therefore.'


Simply put:

Quas [actionēs] tum (ergo/igitur) faciēs (agēs)?

Tum was the go to word for "then" in out Latin text books at school; facere means to do or make, while agere means do or drive. Actions might be the better word here than things, but I would rather leave it out. In such case use the pronoun, Quae.

  • I would honestly leave out things/actions out altogether, though. Commented May 10, 2019 at 1:00
  • 1
    Just one additional note. Tum fits if "then" is to be taken temporally, but something in the realm of igitur makes sense if "then" is drawing a logical consequence. Commented May 10, 2019 at 12:23
  • 2
    You would need to modify it to quas actiones, for agreement. But I really don't think tum or actio is appropriate at all.
    – brianpck
    Commented May 13, 2019 at 13:48
  • 1
    Words in brackets are best left out. Words in parentheses are other words that might better fit. I would still prefer Quae tum faciēs or Quae tum ages Commented May 13, 2019 at 14:16

Rēs gestae, literally "things accomplished", is the term for a record of an emperor's life achievements. Most famously, the funerary inscription of Augustus is called the Rēs Gestae Dīvī Augustī, the "Things-Accomplished of the Divine Augustus".

So if you want to use an explicit noun for "things", I would use the verb gerō, in reference to this:

Quās rēs igitur gerēs?
What things are you going to accomplish, then?

However, I find it more idiomatic to leave out rēs altogether. In that case, I'd use the verb agō, a very general-purpose word for "do":

Quod igitur agēs?
So what are you going to do?

You can also use faciō for "do" if you prefer; the differences aren't huge:

Quod igitur faciēs?
So what are you going to do?

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