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Translating "debere" as "should."

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Translating "debere" as "should."

Postby solitario » Sun Apr 04, 2004 2:03 am


Wheelock uses the verb debere quite a bit. However, Wheelock always translates this as "ought," and I don't think it appears that much in American English. I am certain I use "should" far more than "ought."
So what I'm asking is, would there be any harm in my translating "debere" as "should"?
For instance:
Debes monere me.
Could be translated as "You ought remind/warn/advise me," and "You should remind/warn/advise me" without any change in meaning.
I'd just like to know if it makes a difference before I get further along.

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Postby benissimus » Sun Apr 04, 2004 2:25 am

No, it doesn't make a difference in the meaning. Latin, as you will find out, has many ways of expressing obligation. Debere really means "to owe", (Debes monere me really means "you owe (it) to warn me"), Wheelock is probably using "ought" because it is a form of the English word "owe", but that is not necessary.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby Saiph » Mon Apr 05, 2004 2:52 pm

Would the concept of "should" or "ought" make it optative mood ? ?

Instead of I wish something, I wish you to do something. . . or something outside of yourself having a will or desire that you do something. Thus the deontological "ought".
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