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Chapter 29

RULE 1: Imperfect Subjunctive = Present Active Infinitive + Personal Endings

RULE 2: There is no future subjunctive.

RULE 3: The base of the present subjunctive of esse is si-.

RULE 4: Result Clauses are anticipated by "sign words" (e.g. tam, talis, tantus, ita or sic [also tot, Chapter 40]) and introduced by ut or ut non (nemo, nihil, etc.).

I. Grammar

A. The Imperfect Subjunctive

Wheelock is right that the imperfect subjunctive is the easiest of the subjunctives to recognize and form. Superficially, it looks like merely the second principal part (i.e. the present active infinitive) plus personal endings. Note, however, that its form did not arise originally from the infinitive, but the subjunctive marker -se- which later became -re-. The original -se- form is still visible in essem.

B. No Future Subjunctive!

Since in many ways the subjunctive and the future address different aspects of the same thing—that is, future events and upcoming possibilities—a "future subjunctive" would be at once redundant and contradictory ("an uncertain and definite future"?). Thus, there is no future subjunctive in Latin.

C. Subjunctive of Esse

The present base of the subjunctive of esse is si-, rendering the remarkably predictable sim, sis, sit, etc. The imperfect of esse is formed as if it were a combination of the infinitive esse and personal endings: essem, esses, etc.

D. Result Clauses

There are three basic ingredients in a result clause:

1. a "sign word" such as tam, talis, tantus, ita, sic [also tot, Chapter 40];
2. the subordinating conjunction ut or ut non, ut nihil, ut numquam (or any negator but ne) which introduces the clause;
3. and a subjunctive verb inside the clause.

Though not absolutely necessary in real Latin, a "sign word" should introduce a result clause. For the purposes of this class, there will always will be a sign word if there is a result clause.

Click here for a worksheet on present and imperfect subjunctive forms, along with a review of purpose and result clauses.

E. Reading and Recitation

Here is a link to the Reading for this chapter, a poem by Martial.

II. Vocabulary

tantus: One of the "sign words" for result clauses. The correlative of tantus ("so much") is quantus ("how much").

ita: Ita is correlative to ut, "as . . . thus."

NOTE: Add to this vocabulary list, talis, tale "of such quality, such, so." This rounds out the list of "sign words" for result clauses. Talis is the correlative of qualis ("of what sort, of what type").

quidem: Be careful not to confuse quidem "certainly" and quidam "someone"! Also, note the idiom ne X quidem ("not even X, not X even"). The ne of this idiom can mislead one to expect a negative purpose clause or the like.

disco: This verb means "learn", not "teach"!


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