Present subjuntive after Perfect indicative, exercises from "An Intensive Course"

By DucuntFata, in 'Latin Grammar Questions', Jul 19, 2019.

  1. DucuntFata New Member

    These two sentences come from Moreland and Fleischer's "Latin: An Intensive Course" (Unit thirteen).

    Vobis imperavimus ne iussa amori postponatis.

    Duobus imperavit ne cui maiori quam eis credant.

    Shouldn't it be "postponeretis" and "crederent", according to the sequence of tenses? Am I missing something here?
  2. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena

    Yes, you're right. It should generally be postponeretis and crederent.

    I don't know if the authors of the textbook did that on purpose. I think it shouldn't be in a textbook, but you can sometimes find exceptions to that rule in Latin when the perfect can be taken as a resultative perfect, i.e. an action in the past that has an immediate impact on the present. The best example for that is "cognovi" meaning "I know", i.e. "I have got to know and now I know".
    With something like "duobus imperavit", maybe it can be taken as "(the) two have the order to ..." ... but that's just an attempt to justify the phrases *somehow* when, in principle, the imperfect subjunctive would be right here.
    DucuntFata likes this.
  3. DucuntFata New Member

    Thank you. If it's okay, I'll ask a question about another exercise as well.

    Duo consules exposuerunt se quosdam duces navibus praefecturos esse.

    Duo consules exposuerunt se quosdam duces navibus praefecturos.

    These are for me identical. But I looked at a key (this key: http://individual.utoronto.ca/ajhicks/Unit_Thirteen_Exercises_I.pdf)
    , and as you can see, he gives two different translations:

    "The two consuls explained that they would place certain leaders in charge of the ships."

    "The two consuls explained themselves to be about to place certain leaders in charge of the ships."

    Is the latin sentence inherently ambiguous, so that the reflexive "se" can be understood in two ways? Because I am correct in assuming that the omission of "esse" is not the point here, right?
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  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Tense aside, this sentence as a whole doesn't make much sense to me. I'm not sure what the intended meaning was; "He ordered the two not to trust anyone more than them" or "He ordered the two not to trust anyone greater than them". If the former was intended, it should have been ne cui plus quam eis crederent; if the latter, I think it should have been something like ne cui maiori quam ei erant crederent or ne cui eis maiori crederent.
    The two translations mean the same; the second one is just a bit more literal (and less common English).
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  5. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Note that ei(s) would refer to other people than the subject of crederent. If the meaning were "not to trust anyone greater (or older or whatever was meant in the context) than they themselves were", you'd use ipsi in the first sentence and se in the second.
  6. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena

    I took it as the latter ... but I thought it worked the way it was presented.
  7. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    The latter is likely to have been intended, I guess. It's a somewhat less serious mistake than the other, but still seems wrong. The rule is often given that after comparative quam, the second term of comparison is put in the same case as the first. This is a half-rule... It usually applies, because most of the time the case of the first term fits the meaning of the second. But sometimes, it doesn't... and then people who take the rule as absolute go wrong.

    For instance, nemini plus quam illi dederis = "Don't give more to anyone than (you give) to him", makes sense because both datives work as the indirect object of dederis. But if you want to say "Don't give this to anyone (who is) greater than him", nemini maiori quam illi hoc dederis doesn't work because it would mean "Don't give this to anyone greater than to him". The dative in the second term of comparison simply doesn't fit its meaning. Don't trust so-called rules over common sense.
    Last edited by Pacifica, Jul 19, 2019
  8. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena

    That's some convoluted logic ... it's probably right, but I wouldn't be surprised to find someone who just ignored that :p I mean, German basically has the same rules for comparisons and it would seem acceptable there to me ... unless I really think it into oblivion.
  9. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Maybe it's the plus in the second example that confused you, because "Don't give more to anyone greater than him" could imply (even though that wasn't what I meant) that you were giving something to him and shouldn't give more to anyone greater, in which case the dative in both terms would be correct. I've modified the sentence to make my point clearer. Now, of course, I can't tell if German wouldn't still use some weird-ish attraction into the dative even in this case.
  10. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena

    It would ... and it would feel unnecessarily complicated to write "quam is est".
  11. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
  12. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    In the examples the book gives you would also use the nominative in German.
  13. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Well, that's weird, because the principle seems to be just the same as in my example. Maybe my example is still confusing, giving the impression you would give the thing "to him" anyway, dunno.
  14. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena
    In the book examples, the verb doesn't pertain to the thing/person that follows the quam comparison.

    In the examples above, there are essentially 2 ideas expressed, though, that are mixed into one sentence:

    duobus imperavit,
    ne cui, qui maior quam ei sit, crederent,
    ut eis autem crederent.

    hoc
    nemini, qui maior est quam ille, dederis,
    illi autem da.

    I suppose that's why I find the attraction acceptable.
  15. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    I thought that might be the case. So you're sort of taking it as if there were an implied potius in there: ne cui maiori (quam ei sunt) (potius) quam eis crederent.

    It still doesn't sound very normal to me, but I can imagine that sort of conflation happening, at a stretch.
  16. Bitmap Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Cygnea, Gena

    It's either that, or it's that because of the negation, the quam comes across a bit like a nisi to me ... although that might actually come down to what you've said with the implied potius.

    I does sound normal (or at least defensible) to me ... though I'm aware I'm not the one arguing on the side of logic.

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