Home/Index of Chapters
©Damen, 2003
 
Chapter 30

RULE 1: Perfect Active Subjunctive = Perfect Active Stem + -eri- + personal endings.

RULE 2: Pluperfect Active Subjunctive = Perfect Active Infinitive + personal endings.

RULE 3: The perfect and pluperfect passive subjunctive substitute subjunctive sim and essem for indicative sum and eram with the perfect passive participle. There is no future perfect subjunctive.

RULE 4: Sequence of Tenses:
1) Primary = Present, Future, Future Perfect main verb + Present or Perfect subjunctive verb in clause;
2) Secondary = Imperfect, Perfect, Pluperfect main verb + Imperfect or Pluperfect subjunctive verb in clause.


I. Grammar

A. The Perfect Subjunctive

The similarity between perfect subjunctive forms (e.g. amaverim, amaveris, etc.) and future perfect indicative active forms (e.g. amavero, amaveris, etc.) points up the common link between the subjunctive and the future. Hence, just as there is no future subjunctive, there is no future perfect subjunctive. Note the one ostensible difference between the perfect subjunctive and future perfect indicative: the first person singular, laudaverim (perfect subjunctive) and laudavero (future perfect indicative). For the most part, context will dictate how to tell the difference between these forms. That is, a perfect subjunctive will almost always be in a clause requiring the subjunctive, whereas a future perfect indicative will be a main verb or in a clause not requiring the subjunctive.

B. The Pluperfect Subjunctive

Like the imperfect subjunctive, the pluperfect subjunctive is ostensibly formed from the perfect active infinitive plus personal endings. Click here for a worksheet on the perfect and pluperfect forms of the subjunctive. Do the top part of the first page.

C. Indirect Questions

An indirect question is a form of a question which has been rephrased so that it is not quoted "directly" (verbatim) but is a restatement of the original question, e.g. "Who was he?" (direct question) versus "He asked who he was" (indirect question). Indirect questions have three components:

1. Verb of Asking, Requesting, Demanding, etc. Indirect questions must be introduced by a word which can express a question indirectly, e.g. think (why...), wonder (how...), realize (who...), etc.

2. Question Word. Both Latin and English indirect questions are introduced by a "question word" (e.g. who, how, when, whether, etc.).

3. Subordinate Verb. Indirect questions in English are distinct from direct questions by reversing the usual inversion of subject and verb/modal in direct questions, as in the example cited above ("Who was he?" versus "He asked who he was."). In Latin, where no such shift of word order would create meaningful syntax, indirect questions take the subjunctive, as opposed to direct questions which use the indicative. Note that Latin indirect questions follow Sequence of Tenses (see below).

D. An Overview of Indirect Discourse

There are essentially three types of sentences: statements, questions and commands. People restating "indirectly" another's words must be able to relate any of the three types of sentences in an "indirect" fashion. For that reason, there are indirect statements (Chapter 25), indirect questions (this chapter) and indirect commands (called Jussive Noun Clauses, Chapter 36). All three are formed differently from each other in Latin and English:

ENGLISH
LATIN
Indirect Statement
He said that he was good.
(that clause)
Dixit se esse bonum.
(accusastive + infinitive)
Indirect Question
He asked who he was.
(inverted-question word order)
Rogavit quis sit.
(question word + subjunctive)
Indirect Command**
He ordered me to be good.
(accusastive + infinitive)
Imperavit ut bonus essem.
(ut/ne + subjunctive)
**You are not required to know Indirect Command until Chapter 36.

Note that, where the Romans used the accusative + infinitive in Indirect Statement and (most often) a subordinate clause in Indirect Command, English is inclined toward the reverse.

E. Sequence of Tenses

For all the complicated tables and charts Wheelock provides (pp.142-3), there are only two situations where the concept of sequence of tenses has any real bearing on translation:

1) with a present- or future-tense main verb (primary sequence), a dependent clause shows prior action with a perfect (not imperfect) subjunctive;
2) with a past-tense main verb (secondary sequence), a dependent clause shows contemporaneous action with an imperfect (not perfect) subjunctive.

Common sense dictates the rest. That is, a subjunctive verb which is present will always be present (contemporaneous action in primary sequence) and one which includes "had" will always be pluperfect (prior action in secondary sequence). Know the following terms: "historical tense," "primary sequence," "secondary sequence," "contemporaneous action" and "prior action." If asked "What tense and why?" in relation to a subjunctive verb in a subordinate clause, these terms will be key.

For practice with sequence of tenses, see the second half of the worksheet for this chapter. Click here for that worksheet.


II. Vocabulary

malum: Originating as the neuter substantive of the adjective malus, this noun shows up in Latin with some frequency.

ceteri: A plural adjective.

unde: This adverb shows motion away from ("whence, from where"), as opposed to ubi which shows place where ("at what place").

 

Home/Index of Chapters

 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.