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#1 Subjunctive verbs in indirect questions

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#1 Subjunctive verbs in indirect questions

Postby benissimus » Tue Dec 16, 2003 5:16 pm

From N&H, Page 3, Exercise 1

1. Tell me why you are afraid.
2. We do not know what he is doing.
3. I do not know how many ships there were.
Last edited by benissimus on Thu Jan 01, 2004 7:20 pm, edited 5 times in total.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby phil » Wed Dec 17, 2003 1:19 am

1. dic mihi cur timeas.
2. nescimus quid faciat.
3. nescio quantum navibus fuerint.
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Postby Episcopus » Wed Dec 17, 2003 1:57 pm

1. Cur dic verere mihi.
2. Faciat nescimus quid.
3. Naves essent longae quantae nescio.

So easy...you can imagine, how sint my English essaies whenever sim bored like this :lol:

Edit: Changed in 1. timeas, to verere for we all likes deponentes verba :lol:
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Postby whiteoctave » Wed Dec 17, 2003 11:55 pm

In terms of the simplicity Classical prose would have favoured, I couldn't improve on the first two sentences of Phil's.
As regards his third, I am sceptical about quantum followed by the ablative. When quantum is used as an interrogative pronoun, it means "how much?" and can be followed by a partitive genitive in the singular. Since we deal with a plural here, one should use "quot" followed by the nominative, i.e.

nescio quot naves fuerint.

As regards Episcopus' efforts...

in (1) you will not see an interrogative particle precede the interrogative imperative, especially not when the actual question is to follow. Indeed, too, it is nice to use a deponent verb, yet the form required here would be vereare (or verearis) and it tends not to enjoy standing on its own in a non-participial sense.

in (2) your syntactical tomfoolery continues; a sentence ending in an interrogative particle (a sentence, that is, with verbs)? In fact, I think it is impossible to put the three words of your sentence in a more impossible word order! :)

I am puzzled all the more by (3)..."I do not know how great the long ships were"? The only, albeit ambitious, thing which I can imagine you were going for was "I do not know how great, with respect to their length, were the ships" (although that is rather different from the question asked) which would just want an accusative of respect, longum.

I can only hope from your erratic type at the end, that crapulence explains your erring from usual form?

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Postby Episcopus » Thu Dec 18, 2003 3:06 pm

haha thanks mate :wink:


I know why I put verere there! It's as you know the same as vereris. I used the indicative because the speaker fears also, or perhaps knows what the recipient of the question fears. Thus it is perhaps mocking him, for example, if a Rhino were charging towards some guy and you can see him but you are on flat ground, you might laugh at the guy's facial expression "tell me what you're fearing mate" :shock:
Is that a valid reason?

Oh yes EDIT2 and the "Cur" at the start increases the 'tomfoolery' and enjoyment factor of the speaker, i.e "why oh why [I know wherefore but I'm still laughing]"

and mihi at the end for "tell me not the rhino!" :lol:

EDIT3 "Faciat nescimus quid" = classic. That is truly lovely.
Last edited by Episcopus on Fri Dec 19, 2003 2:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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