A TEI Project

Allen and Greenough? New Latin Grammar

SIGNIFICATION OF THE FORMS OF THE VERB/ Moods

157. The Moods are used as follows:—

a. The Indicative Mood is used for most direct assertions and interrogations: as, valēsne? valeō, are you well? I am well.

b. The Subjunctive Mood has many idiomatic uses, as in commands, conditions, and various dependent clauses. It is often translated by the English Indicative; frequently by means of the auxiliaries may, might, would, should; 1 sometimes by the (rare) Subjunctive; sometimes by the Infinitive; and often by the Imperative, especially in prohibitions. A few characteristic examples of its use are the following:—

eāmus, let us go; nē abeat, let him not depart.

adsum ut videam, I am here to see (that I may see).

tū nē quaesieris, do not thou inquire.

beātus sīs, may you be blessed.

quid morer, why should I delay?

nesciō quid scrībam, I know not what to write.

moneam, audiat, if I should warn, he would hear.

c. The Imperative is used for exhortation, entreaty, or command; but the Subjunctive is often used instead (§§ 439 , 450):—

līber estō, he shall be free.

nē ossa legitō, do not gather the bones.

d. The Infinitive is used chiefly as an indeclinable noun, as the subject or complement of another verb (§§ 452 , 456. N.). In special constructions it takes the place of the Indicative, and may be translated by that mood in English (see Indirect Discourse, § 580 ff.).

Note— For the Syntax of the Moods, see § 436 ff.

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Notes
1
The Latin uses the subjunctive in many cases where we use the indicative; and we use a colorless auxiliary in many cases where the Latin employs a separate verb with more definite meaning. Thus , I may write is often not scrībam (subjunctive), but licet mihi scrībere ; I can write is possum scrībere ; I would write is scrībam , scrīberem , or scrībere velim ( vellem ); I should write , ( if , etc.), scrīberem ( ) ..., or (implying duty) oportet mē scrībere .