A TEI Project

Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Indirect Questions

576. In colloquial usage and in poetry the subject of an Indirect Question is often attracted into the main clause as object (Accusative of Anticipation):—

    nōstī Mārcellum quam tardus sit (Fam. 8.10.3), you know how slow Marcellus is. [For nōstī quam tardus sit Mārcellus. Cf. “I know thee who thou art.”]

    Cf. potestne igitur eārum rērum, quā rē futūrae sint, ūlla esse praesēnsiō (Div. 2.15), can there be, then, any foreknowledge as to those things, why they will occur? [A similar use of the Objective Genitive.]

Note— In some cases the Object of Anticipation becomes the Subject by a change of voice, and an apparent mixture of relative and interrogative constructions is the result:—

    quīdam saepe in parvā pecūniā perspiciuntur quam sint levēs (Lael. 63), it is often seen, in a trifling matter of money, how unprincipled some people are (some people are often seen through, how unprincipled they are).

    quem ad modum Pompêium oppūgnārent ā mē indicātī sunt (Leg. Agr. 1.5), it has been shown by me in what way they attacked Pompey (they have been shown by me, how they attacked).

a. An indirect question is occasionally introduced by in the sense of whether (like if in English, cf. § 572. b. N.):—

    circumfunduntur hostēs quem aditum reperīre possent (B. G. 6.37), the enemy pour round [to see] if they can find entrance.

    vīsam domī est (Ter. Haut. 170), I will go see if he is at home.

Note— This is strictly a Protasis, but usually no Apodosis is thought of, and the clause is virtually an Indirect Question.

For the Potential Subjunctive with forsitan (originally an Indirect Question), see § 447. a.

XML File