Home/Index of Chapters
©Damen, 2015



Chapter 36

RULE 1: Indirect Command (Jussive Noun Clause) = verb of commanding, urging, warning, etc. + ut/ne + subjunctive verb.

RULE 2: Fio functions as the passive of facio (but it is not related to facio linguistically).

RULE 3: Ut introduces a negative fearing clause; ne introduces a positive one.

I. Grammar

A. Indirect Command

What Wheelock calls "jussive noun clauses," I prefer to call "indirect command." This type of subordinate clause resembles other clauses we've seen:

1. Verb Introducing the Clause. In the same way that certain verbs can trigger indirect statement and indirect question, indirect command is introduced by verbs of ordering, advising, requesting, permitting, contriving and urging, all of which can "indirectly" relate what was expressed in direct speech using the imperative mood. [NOTE: There is overlap in the verbs introducing the three indirect constructions, e.g. say (say why . . . , say that . . .), ask (ask that . . . , ask why . . . ).]

2. Subordinate Conjunction and Subjunctive Verb. Much like a purpose clause, indirect command is introduced with ut or ne. The subjunctive verb in the ensuing clause follows the rules of sequence of tenses which affect other subordinate clauses.

There is another important aspect of indirect command. Verbs introducing indirect command use particular case constructions—in the same way that we say, "I ordered him (accusative) to go" but "I sought from him (preposition) that he leave"—these must be memorized individually. Wheelock includes a list of these verbs and the constructions they use on page 173, note 1.

B. Clauses of Fearing

This is arguably the most egregious omission in Wheelock's otherwise excellent text. To read classical Latin, one must know clauses of fearing and, because this form of subordination is vaguely related to the "indirect" constructions, I include it in this chapter. Wheelock includes examples of fearing clauses on page 378. You will be expected to know this construction on tests.

With one exception, fearing clauses present no real surprises. They are introduced by verbs of fearing, use ut or ne and call for subjunctive verbs following sequence of tenses. The exception is that, contrary to expectation, ut means "that . . . not" and ne means "that." The reason for this is that fearing clauses originated as independent prohibitions: "I am afraid. May it not (ne) happen!" which developed into "I am afraid that (ne) it may happen"; and the converse, "I am afraid. Let (ut) it happen!" which became "I am afraid that (ut) it may not happen."

C. Fio

Another example of composite conjugation, fio supplies the passive of facio which produces only active forms in the present-tense system. This is true, however, only of facio when it is uncompounded (i.e. without a prefix); in compound, it has a full range of passive forms, e.g. conficitur. Conversely in the perfect system, simple facio exhibits its own passive forms (factus sum).

Note the following:

1. Fio has active endings (fio, fis, fit, . . .) but is passive in sense, as if it were a "reverse deponent." At the same time, however, the infinitive form fieri looks passive.

2 . In spite of its passive sense ("be made"), fio does not take an agent. To the contrary, fio acts most often as a linking verb, followed a predicate noun or adjective.

3 Fio is involved in an important Latin idiom: fit + ut (with a subjunctive verb) = "it happens/comes about that . . . "

II. Vocabulary

cogo: = co- + ago (literally, "drive together"). Although the present base contracts to cog-, the perfect forms coegi and coactum lack contraction. Cogo can be followed by either (1) an accusative noun + an infinitive ("force him to act") or (2) an accusative noun + ut + subjunctive ("force him that he act").

curo: Does not mean "cure"; see Chapter 4, s.v. cura. It can be followed by indirect command, in the sense "Take care that . . .!"

fateor: This verb is better known to English-speakers in its compound forms which exhibit vowel gradation: confiteor (confessus) and profiteor (professus). Fateor takes both indirect statement and indirect question. The fa- base, meaning "speak" and coming from an Indo-European base bha-, is also seen in fabula, fatum and fama.


Home/Index of Chapters


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