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That evil subjunctive!

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That evil subjunctive!

Postby Nexus Ferocis » Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:20 am

I am not satisfied with how Wheelock taught the subjunctive, and I just want to know how one might say certain things. I also hate the fact that in the readings in the back, I will see a word in the subjunctive that I don’t understand, look at the helpful area at the bottom to find out why, and it says: “Why in subjunctive?” Agh! I don’t know; so don’t ask me, Wheelock! I flip through the book and look up everything he taught about the subjunctive mood and every way it can be used, but alas, I find either nothing that works, or several things that work!

Oh well. I am having these difficulties when trying to write my own sentences or translate something. *Sigh* its much harder than reading it, in which I don’t pay attention to some of these things. I have many questions but these are the only I could think of right now. One is how “would” is used. If I wanted to say something like:

“Sometimes, she would steal everything of worth.” Would it be:
“Interdum, omnia digni caperet.”

And then there is the confusing matter of something like:

“She did this so that the lords would know who had robbed them.”
Is “Hoc sic fecit ut domini quae se exspoliaverat scirent.” accurate?

That last one seems right, but I'm suspicious… Agh! These are such simple sentences too! :evil:

Ah, I have more but will not embarrass myself longer by asking them. I need to find some good text to read to help me on this kind of stuff…

Any input would be great. (Hmm... theres that "would" again... how would that be said in Latin...)
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Postby bingley » Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:52 am

Unfortunately you can't just say "would" = subjunctive.

In your first example, “Sometimes, she would steal everything of worth.” 'would' indicates that it was a repeated/habitual action in the past.

I would translate it as: Interdum omnia pretiosa furabatur. (I think dignus is more the 'deserving' sense of worth, rather than the 'valuable' sense.)

“She did this so that the lords would know who had robbed them.”
Is “Hoc sic fecit ut domini quae se exspoliaverat scirent.” accurate?


Looks ok to me.
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Postby Nexus Ferocis » Fri Dec 19, 2003 4:12 am

Thank you, Bingley. I did think that the imperfect would do it, but I kept hearing that the subjunctive is often used for would. I know it is used in characteristic phrases, but... bah, I over worry, I guess.

And thanks for the better word choice, I knew that those words were not the best, but I didn't feel like pulling out my dictionary.
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Postby benissimus » Fri Dec 19, 2003 7:33 am

"Would" is truly a past tense of the word "will". Because of the corruption of English grammar, there is a contrast in what we naturally use and what textbooks assume we will know. "Would" is simply a word we are supposed to use when the Subordinate Clause is future in relation to the Main Clause.

This post I made in the Latin prose forum may be of help, hopefully it is not too technical:
http://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-foru ... php?t=1101
Last edited by benissimus on Fri Dec 19, 2003 2:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae
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Postby Episcopus » Fri Dec 19, 2003 2:45 pm

Sometimes would/should is translated by the present subjunctive. A possible condition...Si hoc faciam, mater fugiat. If I should do this my mother would flee...or any similar variation...

would +basic verb/began to +basic verb/kept on +present participle/was +present participle/used to +basic verb = imperfect...
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Postby Nexus Ferocis » Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:58 pm

"Would", in some cases, seems like it should be subjunctive because it is an action that hasn't happened or might of happened. "Sometimes, he would steel," it really seems like the sometimes should affect that.
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Postby Episcopus » Fri Dec 19, 2003 4:54 pm

might have happened :wink:

That's habitual, but if you want in the sense of "whenever" - "cum" that is followed by the subjunctive. "He would steal" is a fact even with sometimes. But I suppose if you wanted to add that air of possibility the subjunctive might be possible! As in french, but I'm not an expert really on that. That some one educate us?
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Postby Nexus Ferocis » Fri Dec 19, 2003 9:18 pm

Episcopus wrote:might have happened :wink:


Oops, my mistake. I only think that sentence could have been subjunctive because the feeling it that no one knows if it were true or not. So by leaving the context out, have I confused you, or am I still wrong? :?
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Postby Nexus Ferocis » Fri Dec 19, 2003 10:16 pm

Oh, and thank you Benissimus, but I already know those things on the link... good refresher though.

I must be confusing some things with Japanese, which makes no sense whatsoever.
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Re: That evil subjunctive!

Postby Skylax » Sat Dec 20, 2003 7:50 pm

Nexus Ferocis wrote:“She did this so that the lords would know who had robbed them.”
Is “Hoc sic fecit ut domini quae se exspoliaverat scirent.” accurate?


SCIRENT is OK but here, SE and EXSPOLIAVERAT are incompatible.
It is either quis (or quae mulier) se exspoliavisset (indirect question with SE as an indirect reflexive pronoun) or eam quae eos exspoliaverat nossent (relative clause, with NOSSENT = NOVISSENT form NOSCO to translate "to know someone").

Any input would be great. (Hmm... theres that "would" again... how would that be said in Latin...)

First sentence : probably a future perfect + a future [indicative, Lisa would say] : quodcumque responderis gratum erit
Second sentence : with POSSE ? Quibus verbis hoc Latine potest exprimi ?
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Postby Episcopus » Sun Dec 21, 2003 2:14 pm

Quae anglice verba scribere debemus latine?
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