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Chapter 33

RULE 1: Conditions consist of two parts, the protasis establishing a condition and introduced by if or unless (Latin si or nisi) and the apodosis showing the (potential) result of the condition.

RULE 2: The less real the condition, the more likely it is to use the subjunctive.


I. Grammar

A. Conditions

There are several important things to note about Latin conditions and conditional sentences in general:

1. Know the terms protasis (the "if" half of a condition) and apodosis (the "then" half of a condition).

2. There is an important principle involving Latin conditions. Those which involve "real" situations (i.e. situations which the speaker sees as definite or likely to happen) take the indicative mood: present simple-fact, past simple-fact and future more vivid. Those which presume unreal or unlikely situations take the subjunctive: future less vivid, present contrary-to-fact and past contrary-to-fact. It may help to remember the conditions which employ the subjunctive this way:

a. present subjunctive = "should/would" (future less vivid)
b. imperfect subjunctive = "were/would" (present contrary-to-fact)
c. pluperfect subjunctive = "had/would have" (past contrary-to-fact)

3. The future more vivid condition in Latin uses the future tense in both protasis and apodosis (si ab Graeciâ discedes, valebis), whereas English uses the future in the apodosis but the present in the protasis (If you depart from Greece [n.b. present tense], you will fare well).

For the purposes of this class, we will employ only "perfect" conditions, i.e. those which have the same type of condition in both halves of the sentence. Please note, however, that in actual Latin conditions are often mixed, meaning that the protasis uses a different sort of condition from the apodosis:

"If I had been there (past contrary-to-fact), I would be dead now (pres contrary-to-fact)";
"If you should do that (future less vivid), I will reward you (future more vivid)";
"If he did it (past simple-fact), he's smarter than I thought (pres simple-fact)."

Click here for a worksheet on conditions.


II. Vocabulary

nox: An i-stem noun (genitive plural = noctium).

ops: Not an i-stem noun! Like vis (plural, vires), the singular form of ops ("help, aid") has a connotation different from its plural opes ("power, wealth").

quis: Note that, after certain subordinating conjunctions, ali- forms lose their ali- prefix. The following jingle may help you remember this rule:

Before si, nisi, num, and ne
All the ali's drop away! (OR Ali- takes a holiday!)

ullus: Remember that demonstrative pronouns (like ullus, solus, alius, nullus, and so on) exhibit irregular genitive singulars (-ius) and dative singulars (-i); see Chapter 9.

suscipio: = *sub- + capio, literally "under-take."

trado: = trans- + do, literally, "give across," i.e. "hand over/down."

plenus: + genitive, "full (of . . .)."


III. Sentences

Practice and Review. Focus on the type of condition evidenced in each sentence.

 

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