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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Hortatory Subjunctive

440. The Hortatory Subjunctive is used to express a concession.1 The Present is used for present time, the Perfect for past. The negative is

sit fūr, sit sacrilegus: at est bonus imperātor (Verr. 5.4), grant he is a thief, a godless wretch: yet he is a good general.

fuerit aliīs; tibi quandō esse coepit (Verr. 2.1.37), suppose he was [so] to others; when did he begin to be to you?

nēmō is umquam fuit: nē fuerit (Or. 101), there never was such a one [you will say]: granted (let there not have been).

nē sit summum malum dolor, malum certē est(Tusc. 2.14), granted that pain is not the greatest evil, at least it is an evil.

Note— The concessive subjunctive with quamvīs and licet is originally hortatory (§ 527. a, b).

For other methods of expressing Concession, see § 527.

For the Hortatory Subjunctive denoting a Proviso, see § 528. a.


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Many scholars regard the concessive subjunctive as a development of the Optative Subjunctive in a wish.