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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Complementary Infinitve

457. Many verbs take either a Subjunctive Clause or a Complementary Infinitive, without difference of meaning.

Such are verbs signifying willingness, necessity, propriety, resolve, command, prohibition, effort, and the like (cf. § 563):—

    dēcernere optābat (Q. C. 3.11.1), he was eager to decide.

    optāvit ut tollerētur (Off. 3.94), he was eager to be taken up.

    oppūgnāre contendit (B. G. 5.21), he strove to take by storm.

    contendit ut caperet (id. 5.8), he strove to take.

    bellum gerere cōnstituit (id. 4.6), he decided to carry on war.

    cōnstitueram ut manērem (Att. 16.10.1), I had decided to remain.

Note 1— For the infinitive with subject accusative used with some of these verbs instead of a complementary infinitive, see § 563.

Note 2— Some verbs of these classes never take the subjunctive, but are identical in meaning with others which do:—

    eōs quōs tūtārī dēbent dēserunt (Off. 1.28), they forsake those whom they ought to protect.

    aveō pūgnāre (Att. 2.18.3), I'm anxious to fight.

a. In poetry and later writers many verbs may have the infinitive, after the analogy of verbs of more literal meaning that take it in prose:—

    furit tē reperīre (Hor. Od. 1.15.27), he rages to find thee. [A forcible way of saying cupit (§§ 457, 563. b ).]

    saevit exstinguere nōmen (Ov. M. 1.200), he rages to blot out the name.

    fuge quaerere (Hor. Od. 1.9.13), forbear to ask (cf. § 450. N. 1).

    parce piās scelerāre manūs (Aen. 3.42), forbear to defile your pious hands.

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