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Questions tagged [tenses]

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Use of the perfect to indicate "whenever I do someting"

In the following sentence I do understand the reason the perfect is used for veni: rure meo possum quidvis perferre patique; ad mare cum veni, generosum et lene requiro ("In my country estate I ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
627 views

Why is the imperfect tense used here instead of the present tense?

From LLPSI Fabellae Latinae, the 67th story, "Infans Repertus": Dum haec sēcum cōgitat, subitō mulier in viam exit multīs cum lacrimīs clāmāns: “Nūlla fēmina mē miserior vīvit! Melius erat ...
Aries332's user avatar
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2 answers
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Why "fiat lux" and not "sit lux"?

The Vulgate reads: Dixitque Deus: fiat lux. Et facta est lux. But I would have expected: Dixitque Deus: sit lux. Et fuit lux. This is based on scientific texts, where "let x" be is ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Modalities for fictitious past: could have, should have, and would have

In English, the pattern [could/should/would + have done] is used for fictional expressions contrary to the fact, e.g. You could have done your work yesterday (but you have not). How to express such ...
Kotoba Trily Ngian's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
87 views

Frequent changes of tense in Caesar

I am a little bit mystified by the frequent changes of tense in Caesar's prose and am wondering what the rationale is. Should I take from this that it is perfectly fine to just switch back and forth ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
325 views

Change of tense from present to imperfect

In the Metamorphoses there is a line as follows: Nil prosunt artes erat inmedicabile vulnus Why would the first sentence be in the present tense, but the second one be in the imperfect? I would have ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
154 views

Imperfect subjunctive in exclamation

I'm reading Phaedrus's version of Aesop Fables via Ørberg's Lingua Latina per se Illustrata. In Phaedrus, III. 7 (The Dog & the Wolf) : [Wolf:] "Quanto est facilius mihi sub tecto vivere, et ...
Kotoba Trily Ngian's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
80 views

Present tense referring to the immediate past

I recently read Claudian's In Rufinum with Harry Levy's commentary. Towards the end of the poem, Claudian describes the change of fortune of the slain Rufinus (2.451-2.452) . . . iacet en, qui ...
Adeo's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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To talk about repetitive past events (that used to occur regularly), do you use perfect or imperfect tense?

For example, how would you say "He used to come here every evening."? Would you say "Is hic venit quemque vesperem." or "Is hic veniebat quemque vesperem."? Or maybe ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
165 views

Consecutio temporum

In a sentence like scio quid dixeris, is it mandatory to use the subjunctive? Is it a mistake if I use the indicative instead of subjunctive and say "scio quid dixisti" ? Were all/most ...
Dachi Pachulia's user avatar
5 votes
0 answers
82 views

When are deponent perfect forms used with a present meaning?

As Cerberus mentions in this answer: With many (semi-)deponent verbs, the perfect participle often has a present meaning. And in the comments: I thought this was commonly known, but apparently not. ...
Draconis's user avatar
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2 answers
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Why is "Gavisus sum" translated "now I rejoice" instead of "I rejoiced"?

In the vulgate, Philippians 4:10 begins with the following: Gavisus sum autem in Domino vehementer The Douay-Rheims translates this: Now I rejoice in the Lord exceedingly I'm having trouble ...
Josh's user avatar
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3 votes
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Tenses in the Christmas carol "Personent hodie"

There is a Christmas carol called "Personent hodie" written in Latin in Finland in the 16th century. In the third verse the three mages are described: Magi tres venerunt, munera offerunt, ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
208 views

Present used as continuing action in the past?

In Fabulae Faciles, there is an odd construction using the deponent present apparently as action in the past: Dum hīc morātur, Herculēs magnum incommodum ex calōre sōlis accipiēbat; "While he ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
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What are the different ways to express present continuous tense in Latin?

Latin doesn't have present continuous tense. How to express present continuous tense?
Tobey's user avatar
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0 answers
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Did the Romans ever distinguish between present perfective and past aoristic?

The Latin "perfect" forms are a combination of two different tense-aspect combinations: past aoristic ("I ate"), and present perfective ("I have eaten"). The two are generally indistinguishable, but ...
Draconis's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Livy Book 1 27.1 type of subjunctive, sequence of tenses

Invidia vulgi, quod tribus militibus fortuna publica commissa fuerit, vanum ingenium dictatoris corrupit. What kind of subjunctive is fuerit and why. What tense is corrupit — perfect with or ...
Martin O'Reilly's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
160 views

weird pluperfect subjunctive in Eutropius

In Rōma Æterna, p. 239, in a passage from Eutropius, book 28, comes the paragraph: P. Scīpiō in Hispāniā cum Poenīs dēbellāvit quārtō decimō annō eius bellī; et ā Tarracōne in Āfricam ad Syphācem, ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
512 views

How did the "injunctive" work?

According to Wikipedia: Homeric Greek does not have a historical present tense, but rather uses injunctives. Injunctives are replaced by the historical present in the post-Homeric writings of ...
Draconis's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
516 views

Expressing English modalities of advice in Latin

English has expresses advice in the present and past through the use of the following modal constructions: present: You should [...] present negated: You shouldn't [...] past: You should have [...] ...
Ethan Bierlein's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
798 views

Is there an aoristic-perfective distinction in the Latin perfect?

I have just recently learned that the perfect tense in Latin can serve also as an aorist tense as well as a perfect tense and that the perfect tense in Latin is simply the result of the original Proto-...
Ethan Bierlein's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
117 views

Cur coniugationes systematis praesentis sunt tam dissimiles cum eae cum coniugationibus systematis perfecti comparentur?

TL;DR & the actual question For those who don't need an explanation of all verb endings and the ways in which they differ from each other, my question follows below. For those who might need a ...
Ethan Bierlein's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
99 views

Adhibeturne tempus perfectum/imperfectum aut presens cum de homine mortuo loqueris?

In English, when a person who is deceased is being discussed, specifically when ascribing an attribute, concept, thing, etc. to them with a copulative verb, the simple past is typically used. E.g: ...
Ethan Bierlein's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
365 views

habitabat = dwelt?

Estne hic error translationis? Genesis 25:11 (Vulgata) dicit: et post obitum illius benedixit Deus Isaac filio eius qui habitabat iuxta puteum nomine Viventis et videntis. Anglice autem (Douay ...
luchonacho's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
182 views

Saepe eum hic vidi/videbam

Spoiler alert!! This question gives away a plot point from late in the story of Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata. If you're working your way through that book and haven't yet gotten to Chapter XXXI, ...
Ben Kovitz's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
459 views

tense fluctuation in Latin narrative

Are there any guidelines for the fluctuation between past and historical present tense in Latin narrative other than "it's used for vividness"? I'm writing my first multi-scene narrative and so I'm ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
102 views

Future actions happening in sequence

Description of wanted meaning: First thing will be described by me. After first description is completed second one gets done. Then I will be describing fourth thing but not before I spend at least ...
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
266 views

Is active periphrastic conjugation compulsory in consecutio temporum?

There is a rule which I have learned to know and love by the name consecutio temporum, and it governs the tense of a conjunctive predicate in (many) subordinate clauses. All three Latin Grammars I ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

The use of subjunctive in the future

I came across the usage of subjunctive the other day. I read that if the main verb is in the present, future or perfect with have, the subjunctive is in the present whereas if the main verb is in the ...
Himal's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
148 views

Using two future tenses together

I was trying to translate something to Latin, and I ended up writing something that made me feel uncertain. For the purposes of this question, I stripped all unnecessary content to focus on what ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
397 views

Can a subjunctive verb ever be modified by οὐ? (Greek)

I'm working on an exercise where I translate this Greek sentence to English. οὐ θαυμάσῃ εἰ θεός τις φανεῖται ἀπὸ τῆς μηχανῆς; My translation: Won't you be amazed if some god will appear from ...
ktm5124's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
774 views

What is the difference between present and perfect conjunctive in hesitation?

I recently said this in our chat room: Ita crediderim, sed certus non sum. A brief discussion ensued about my choice of tense. I wanted to express hesitation, and my gut feeling says that the ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar