16 votes
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Why doesn't Caesar use the subjunctive consistently?

The answer is perhaps surprisingly simple: they're all indicatives! Commeant is from commeare, which is of the first conjugation: the a is part of the present stem of the verb, so the a does not ...
Cerberus's user avatar
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15 votes
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Use of "sit" instead of "est" in Virgil

The direct question 'What is love?' has been embedded into another sentence, forming an indirect question. An indirect question 'gives the substance of the question, adapted to the form of the ...
cnread's user avatar
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15 votes
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'fuam' and 'forem' not available in first and second person plural?

Why no fuamus? There is an enormous difference in the frequencies of different forms of any word. It is instructive to compare the more common versions first: The form sit gives 6985 hits, while simus ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
14 votes
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Can a subjunctive verb ever be modified by οὐ? (Greek)

A subjunctive is practically never negated with οὐ. The only systematic exception I can find -- and even this is rare -- is in Homer, where the use of the subjunctive is somewhat different from Attic;...
TKR's user avatar
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11 votes

Why is there no future perfect subjunctive in Latin?

It's not just Latin. As far as I'm aware, the only language that has a future subjunctive is Spanish, and it's disappearing there as well. (I don't speak Spanish, so I can't say from personal ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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Subjunctive mood in Latin

The subjunctive in Latin tends to indicate potential, possible, or unreal actions. To my ears, velisne? means something like "potentially, in the future, might you want it?" The indicative, on the ...
Draconis's user avatar
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10 votes

"..so that others may live", future subjunctive?

This is a simple purpose clause, and so you'll want to the present subjective, ut alii vivant. (Note that you'll want to turn the accusative alios into the nominative alii since it's the subject of ...
cmw's user avatar
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10 votes

What's the difference between coniunctivus and subiunctivus?

There's no „classical Latin“ when it comes to grammar, as Latin grammarians flourished during Late antiquity. The most famous of them all (and synonymous with „grammar“ through the Middle Ages), ...
kmlyvens's user avatar
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10 votes
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how to tell when to use cum temporal and when cum circumstantial

Proposal: Stop trying to classify all subordinate clauses. Subordinate clauses with cum can express a number of different things, and they often overlap. Reason, circumstance, and time are very ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
10 votes
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'diceres vocem eius audiri posse' in 'Fabulae Syrae' in the story of Arachne (pag. 83), what is the correct translation of diceres?

The use is the so-called potential subjunctive. The relevant sections of Gildersleeve and Lodge, Latin grammar, are 257ff. 258. The Potential of the Past is the Imperfect Subjunctive, chiefly in the ...
cnread's user avatar
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9 votes

Memento quod <subjunctive>

Let us first look at the Latin Vulgate, which had an enormous influence on medieval Latin. The exact phrase memento quod occurs 5 times (of which 4, interestingly, are in Deuteronomy) and each ...
brianpck's user avatar
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weird pluperfect subjunctive in Eutropius

This is a quirk of conditions in indirect statement: a perfect subjunctive in the protasis of a future less vivid condition turns to pluperfect subjunctive when in indirect statement. For examples see ...
TKR's user avatar
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8 votes
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What is the optative?

Latin as we know it never had an optative mood as distinct from the subjunctive, so this answer will be largely about Proto-Indo-European (PIE), which did. PIE had both a subjunctive mood and an ...
TKR's user avatar
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Why was the subjunctive mood 'so called because the Greek subjunctive mood is used almost exclusively in subordinate clauses'?

Can someone please expound and enlarge on this sentence? Why was the subjunctive mood 'regarded as specially appropriate to ‘subjoined’ or subordinate clauses'? Perhaps you are looking at it the ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
8 votes
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How would to Romans pray to the gods: imperative v. subjunctive

If you're looking for ancient curses, defixiones ("curse tablets") are a good source. For example, here's one from Britain: The reconstructed text reads: Domine Neptune, tibi dono hominem ...
Draconis's user avatar
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What conjunctive function does "ruat caelum" have in "Fiat justitia, ruat caelum"?

No ellipsis of cum needs to be assumed. A bare subjunctive can also be used with concessive force. One example is Cicero, In Verrinem 2.5.4: sit fur, sit sacrilegus, sit flagitiorum omnium ...
cnread's user avatar
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7 votes
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Using subjunctive in relative clause linked to indirect command

The basic sentence structure can broken down into three component parts: imperavi militi, "I ordered" - main clause, indicative ut flores conligeret, "the soldier to collect flowers&...
cmw's user avatar
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What mood should the verb of a relative clause within a purpose clause be?

Indicative seems to be correct for both languages. It's true that Latin has a so-called "subjunctive by attraction", whereby a verb in a subordinate clause that depends on a subjunctive will itself be ...
TKR's user avatar
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7 votes

Passive Subjunctive Translated as Active

The verb in question (minor, -ari, -atus) is a deponent verb, which means that it has a passive form but an active meaning. There are many such verbs in Latin. Consider the following cases: Multa ...
brianpck's user avatar
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Why is there no future perfect subjunctive in Latin?

Latin does have something that resembles future and future perfect conjunctive (subjunctive): the periphrastic conjugation in conjunctive. The periphrastic present forms are formed from the present ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
7 votes

Why is there no future perfect subjunctive in Latin?

Alongside Joel's and Nick's answers, I'd like to call into question your English presumptions. To my ears, there's no different between "were to have" and "had", i.e. the pluperfect. Consider the ...
cmw's user avatar
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Use of subjunctinve in a North & Hillard translation exercise

You do need a subjunctive, but here the pluperfect diminutus esset rather the imperfect that you propose provides the correct sequence of tenses. Just as the English omits the auxiliary verb, so has ...
Tom Cotton's user avatar
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Accusative in genitive relative clause with verb finiebat

There aren't any special uses involved here; your incorrect assumption is that embolum (navis) aeneum is accusative -- in fact it's the nominative subject of finiebat. Literally, "one part of which a ...
TKR's user avatar
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Why would the subjunctive be used when the indicative seems to be required?

In Latin, cum is a standard way to introduce a dependent clause. These cum clauses can indicate circumstance ("when he saw it"), cause ("because he saw it"), or adversity ("...
Draconis's user avatar
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Why subjunctive in "Cumque transissent septem dies..."

(Disclaimer: The answer to Vulgate questions is often found in the original text. I know no Hebrew and will just attempt an answer from an inner Latin point of view.) In historical narration, if an ...
Sebastian Koppehel's user avatar
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Why is this indirect command not expressed with "ut" + subjunctive?

iubeo is generally followed by accusative of the person ordered and an infinitive for the order itself, whereas impero is usually followed the dative of the person ordered plus by ut + subjunctive for ...
Acervus's user avatar
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6 votes

Consecutio temporum et praesens historicum

In English, your consecutio temporum is usually called the ‘sequence of tenses’. There is a general rule that in the principal sentence (i) a primary tense is followed in the subordinate clause by a ...
Tom Cotton's user avatar
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6 votes

Choosing conjunctive tenses in a clause subordinate to a subordinate clause

This is what Adolf V. Streng (Latinan kielioppi, 5th edition, 1936) says in §161.2: Finnish: Toisen tahi kolmannen asteen konjunktiivinen sivulause mukautuu predikaattinsa tempuksen puolesta sitä ...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar
6 votes
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The difference between coniunctivus and imperativus when expressing commands

Hmm. My understanding is that the bare subjunctive as a positive request/command is actually rather rare in classical Latin. Woodcock's New Latin Syntax, p. 97, after a discussion of noli, nolite + ...
Joel Derfner's user avatar
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6 votes
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The use of subjunctive in the future

Tenses of the subjunctive The subjunctive is also known as conjunctive — these two words are synonymous in Latin grammar. The subjunctive mood has four tenses: present (faciam), imperfect (...
Joonas Ilmavirta's user avatar

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