Expressing "would" in Latin

Here you can discuss all things Latin. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Latin, and more.
Post Reply
User avatar
Ursinus
Textkit Enthusiast
Posts: 477
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:06 am

Expressing "would" in Latin

Post by Ursinus » Sat Jun 02, 2018 7:30 pm

I have a question. I've come across and use the Latin phrase "aliquid rogare velim", translated I would like to ask something. Is the best way to translate the English modal word "would" by using the subjunctive present? Let's say someone asks me "would you like sometime to eat" and I respond "Yes, I would like to eat something. In this case, would the proper translation be something like: "Velisne aliquid ut edas?" "Etiam, aliquid ut edam velim."

If that is right, one further question. Is there an assumed condition, even if unstated in all of these kinds of phrases?
In hoc enim fallimur, quod mortem prospicimus" -- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Vestibulum: Revised and Expanded

Διορθοῦ με εἰ πλανῶμαι, παρακαλῶ.

Gratia et Pax,

Joannes Ursinus

mwh
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 2885
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:34 am

Re: Expressing "would" in Latin

Post by mwh » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:50 pm

Yes Latin uses the subjunctive much as we use “would.” velim is often used as a politer form of volo, as we might say “I’d like” rather than “I want” (or when in France je voudrais rather than je veux). And no there’s no need to assume an unstated condition, any more than there is in English.

Your Q&A however would be more likely tο be “Velisn’ aliquid esse?” “Velim.”

Post Reply