1. Horatory Subjunctive
2. Potential Subjunctive (Potential, Deliberative, and Optative Subj. Handout)
3. Deliberative Subjunctive (Potential, Deliberative, and Optative Subj. Handout)
4. Optative Subjunctive (Potential, Deliberative, and Optative Subj. Handout)
5 . Concessive Subjunctive
1. Relative Clauses
2. Concessive Clauses
3. Purpose Clauses (Purpose and Result Clauses Handout)
4. Result Clauses (Purpose and Result Clauses Handout)
5. Indirect Questions
6. Fear Clauses (Fear Clauses Handout)
7. cum Clauses (cum Clauses Handout)
8. Contrary-to Fact Conditions (Conditional Sentences Handout)
(***THE TENSE OF THE SUBJUNCTIVE IN ALL DEPENDENT CLAUSES WITH THE EXCEPTION OF CONDITIONAL SENTENCES FOLLOWS THE RULES FOR THE SEQUENCE OF TENSES)
The hortatory subjunctive has the sense of an exhortation or command, the kind usually introduced in English by “let” or “may”:
Let us see what’s
Let a hundred flowers bloom.
Let him be given whatever he needs.
Let me be brave.
May you be happy.
May all your efforts achieve success.
“What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.”
There is some possibility of confusion, since English let also has the meaning “permit, allow” but in Latin the hortatory subjunctive simply expresses a strong desire for someone to do something, or for something to happen. In fact, the hortatory subjunctive is very similar in meaning to the imperative.
Let me be brave.
Habeas bonam fortunam.
May you have good luck.
Pecunia a civibus detur.
Let money be given by the citizens.
While the imperative is usually used in Latin for commands in the second person, the subjunctive is usually used in the first and third persons, or for negative commands in the second person. A negative command is expressed by ne plus the hortatory subjunctive.
Ne simus stulti.
Let’s not be foolish.
Ne festinetis, amici!
Don’t hurry, friends.
Ne credant se fortiores esse nobis.
Let them not believe that they are stronger than we.
The hortatory subjunctive occurs almost exclusively in the present tense, but the imperfect or pluperfect subjunctive can be used to express unfulfilled obligation in past time (e.g. mihi dixisset aliquid = she should have said something to me).
The subjunctive can be used independently in the concessive sense, in which case it has the same meaning as it would if it had appeared in a concessive clause. In these cases, you have to translate it by supplying "although," "even though," or some comparable expression:
Andromedan Perseus nigris porta[ve]rit
raptaque sit Phrygio Graia puella viro
brought Andromeda from the black Indians
and even though the Greek girl was seized by the Phrygian man
Verbs in a relative clause (introduced by a form of qui, quae, quod) will often be in the subjunctive if the relative clause is used primarily to characterize of the antecedent, i.e. to tell the listener or reader what sort of person or thing the antecedent is.
Marcus est vir qui numquam de aliis cogitat.
Marcus is a man who never thinks about others.
Marcus est vir qui numquam de aliis cogitet.
Marcus is the sort of man who never thinks about others.
The subjunctive is very likely to be used in a relative clause whose antecedent is either not stated or not well specified, as in Ovid, A.A. 9:
ille quidem ferus est et qui mihi saepe repugnet
He is indeed fierce and the sort who often resists me.
The subjunctive is used in some clauses to indicate a concession, an acknowledgement that something is true even though it might seem to undercut or strongly contrast with the assertion in the main clause.
Concessive clauses are introduced in English with words and phrases like “although,” “though,” “even if,” “even though,” etc.
they were guilty, they went free.
Even though you’re a horrible person, I still love you.
They refuse to listen even if what he’s saying is brilliant.
In Latin, concessive clauses with the subjunctive are often introduced by quamvis (“although”). Other “particles of concession” (which we will talk about in more detail later) are ut, licet, etsi, tametsi, etiam si, quamquam, and cum.
Ovid, A.A. 21-22:
et mihi cedet Amor, quamvis mea vulneret arcu
pectora, iactatas excutiatque faces
and Love will yield to me, even if
he wounds my breast with (his) bow
and shakes (his) brandished torches
The subjunctive can be used after ut or ne to indicate a purpose, usually (but not always) the purpose of the action expressed by the verb in the main clause.
*A positive purpose is expressed by ut +
*A negative purpose is expressed by ne + the subjunctive.
A purpose clause may be translated in a variety of ways, but the most "canonical" English translation would involve the phrase "so that" or "in order that" with the English verbal auxiliaries may (in primary sequence) and might (in secondary sequence):
Senatus convocatur ut consilia imperatoris audiant.
The senate is being summoned
so that they (the senators) may hear the emperor’s plans.
Cicero coniuratos necavit ne rem publicam tollerent.
Cicero killed the conspirators so that they might not destroy the republic
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II.4 RESULT CLAUSES
The subjunctive can be used after ut indicate a result that follows from the action of the verb in the main clause.
*A positive result is expressed by ut +
*A negative result is also expressed by ut + the subjunctive, with a word expressing negation (like non, nihil, nullus, -a, -um etc.) appearing somewhere in the result clause.
A result clause will usually be distinguished from a purpose clause either by context or by the presence of certain words (specifically, demonstrative adjectives and adverbs like tam, ita, tot, tantus, -a, -um, etc.) in the main clause that signal an emphasis on the result of a quality or action:
Illud flumen tam cito fluit
ut nautae timeant.
That river is flowing so fast that the sailors are afraid.
Sic dixit ut crederetur ab omnibus.
He spoke in such a way that he was believed by everyone.
Ita desiderabant divitias ut cogitarent
de nullo alio.
They so desired riches that they thought about anything else.
Tot amicos habuit ut numquam solus
He had so many friends that he was never able to be alone.
Tales versus scribit ut rex ipse eos
He writes verses of such a kind that the king himself praises them.
Scelera eius tanta erant ut tota civitas
vellet eum expellere.
His crimes were so great that the whole city wanted to drive him out.
Latin uses the subjunctive as the standard mood in indirect questions.
Quot ursi sunt in his silvis? How many bears are in these woods?
Rogant quot ursi sint in his silvis. They are asking how many bears are in these woods.
*A positive fear clause, expressed by ne + the
subjunctive, expresses fear or anxiety that something will
Fear clauses most commonly follow one of these three verbs, all of which mean "fear." (But they may follow other verbs too, and also phrases expressing anxiety, fear, danger, risk, etc.)
timeo, timere timui, ------
Timemus ne mox moriamur.
Timui ne quid scelus
Metuit ut imperator rediret
Verentur ne veritas numquam
|With the subjunctive, cum may mean “when,” “since,”
or “although” according to context.
Cum orator argumenta paraverit,
in memoria debet omnia tenere.
Cum copiae nostrae inter
duo flumina sint, nocte non possumus oppugnari a hostibus.
Cum urbs plena metus insidiarumque
fuisset, rex tamen negavit se fugiturum esse.
Notice that, in the last example, the concessive ("although...") nature of the cum-clause is indicated by tamen (nevertheless).
The subjunctive is used in conditional sentences in which the action or situation in the protasis (if-clause) of the condition did not (past), does not (present), or probably will not (future) occur.