subjunctive, would, could, and should

By john abshire, in 'Latin Beginners', Jun 9, 2019.

  1. john abshire Member

    would, could, and should

    the subjunctive; improbable and impossible conditional sentences- [these are from my text]
    improbable condition- present subjunctive
    if you were to come, he would kill you.
    si venias, te interficiat

    impossible condition present-imperfect subjunctive
    if you were present, you would be singing.
    si adesses, cantares

    impossible condition past- pluperfect subjunctive
    if you had come, you would have seen me.
    si venisses, me vidisses
    ________________________________________________________
    if he comes here, you could kill him. do you use present subjunctive for 'he comes' and 'kill'?
    if he comes here, you should kill him. what verbs do you use for should? future subjunctive? [my text lists 4 subjunctive tenses, present, imperfect, perfect, and pluperfect, i.e. no future]
    Gregorius Textor likes this.
  2. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Correct.
    No, you use the future indicative and possum or licet, depending on whether your "could" means ability or permission*:

    Si huc venerit, eum interficere poteris.
    Si huc venerit, eum interficias licebit.

    *I'm simplifying things a bit.
    You need to use a construction that conveys need or obligation. Those are several. You could use the impersonal verb oportet, for example, or the gerundive:

    Si huc venerit, eum interficias oportebit.
    Si huc venerit, tibi interficiendus erit.
    Gregorius Textor likes this.
  3. Gregorius Textor New Member

    Location:
    Ohio, midwestern U.S.A.
    Or how about Sī huc venerit, eum interficere dēbēbis ?

    I was going to answer with hīc. Would hīc do as well as huc ? Or is hīc used only for static location (doing something at this place), and huc is needed for motion towards this place ?
  4. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    Yes, that's another option, and it would be particularly appropriate if killing him were some sort of moral duty. Moral duty is the most common meaning of debeo in the sense of "should". (It doesn't always have that meaning, but it more often than not does in classical Latin.)
    Yes.
    Bitmap and Gregorius Textor like this.
  5. Gregorius Textor New Member

    Location:
    Ohio, midwestern U.S.A.
    Ha, ha! When it comes to killing a person, I was thinking it would need to be a moral duty, or it shouldn't be done at all. But I need to imagine myself in the position of an evil person who "needs" to kill someone because it is expedient!

    Thanks, Pacifica.
  6. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    NP.
  7. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    ... because the potential (this too is a potential (could), just like "would") can just as well be rendered purely by the subjunctive (eum interficiās). It's not like it makes things any clearer, but it should get a mention I think.
    Last edited by Godmy, Jun 10, 2019
  8. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    Also, not like I'm making things even less clear for the OP, but some cases of the potential/future-less vivid (if you came, I would kill you) may be rendered by the perfect subjunctive if the speaker from some reason wants to emphasize the perfectivity of the action (when perfectivity is actually in place), but this might be less frequent, the grammar doesn't preclude it though. (the same applies in the secondary tense in the analogic case, but with pluperf. subj)
  9. john abshire Member

    Si huc venerit, eum interficias licebit.
    1-interficias? Is this future subjunctive? [i did not think there was future subjunctive, but it would fit the pattern, as I have interficies = future indicative.]
    2- what is the literal translation of Si huc venerit, eum interficias licebit. ??

    Si huc venerit, eum interficere poteris. "If he will have come (if he comes), you will be able to kill him." ??
    Gregorius Textor likes this.
  10. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    It's present subjunctive. There's no future subjunctive except a periphrastic one with future participle + present subjunctive of sum.

    Licet can be constructed with an infinitive or with the subjunctive (the subjunctive with or without ut, but more often without).

    Tibi abire licet.
    Abeas licet.
    Ut abeas licet.

    Those all mean "it is permitted for you to go", "you may go".
    "If he shall have come hither, it will be permitted that you kill him."
    Yes.
    Gregorius Textor likes this.
  11. john abshire Member

    interficias= present subjunctive, i see now. thank you.
    and i am glad to relearn there is no future subjunctive.
    Gregorius Textor likes this.
  12. Gregorius Textor New Member

    Location:
    Ohio, midwestern U.S.A.
    Yes, it's confusing enough without there being a future subjunctive, isn't it? ;)
  13. john abshire Member

    yes, plus it is reassuring that my text is correct. [my text lists the tenses for the subjunctive and future is not included.]
  14. john abshire Member

    if he comes here, you could kill him.
    Si huc venerit, eum interficias licebit. If he shall come hither, it will be permitted that you kill him.

    Si huc venerit, eum interficere licebis. If he shall come hither, you will be permitted to kill him.
    I am sure this is incorrect, but why is it incorrect?
  15. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    The meaning of the verb licere is "to be permitted" in the sense of being permissible. In English, you can say "I am permitted to do so and so" but "I am permitted" here means "I am given permission", not "I am permissible". Licere never means "to be given permission"; it means "to be permitted = permissible".
  16. john abshire Member

    Si huc venerit, eum interficere permitteris. If he shall come hither, you will be allowed to kill him.
    ??
  17. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    No, that's incorrect. Permitto doesn't take the accusative of the person allowed to do something. It takes the dative of the person. E.g. Eum interficere tibi permitto = "I allow you to kill him". If the verb is turned into the passive, the dative indirect object remains dative: Eum interficere tibi permittitur = "It is permitted for you to kill him", "You are allowed to kill him". In Latin, only what would have been an accusative direct object of an active verb can become the subject of the same verb in the passive.
    Gregorius Textor likes this.
  18. john abshire Member

    I think i follow you, but i am getting ahead of my initial question.
    My text states; In an "improbable conditional" sentence, the present subjunctive is used for both protasis and apodosis. In the English, would or should will appear.
    "If you were to come, he would kill you. "
    si venias, te interficiat.

    Does this mean that si venias, te interficiat can also translate to "If you were to come, he should kill you." ??

    I did read where you stated that when interpreting "should", one needs to define whether it is need or obligation, and choose a verb accordingly. However, my question was more basic, i.e. can interficiat translate to either "he would kill" or/ "he should kill"??
    Last edited by john abshire, Jun 13, 2019 at 4:56 PM
  19. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    "Should" is sometimes used in the same meaning as "would", especially in the first person in formal language. That's likely the sort of "should" your book is referring to.

    The "should" that expresses need usually translates differently.
    I never actually said that, though I guess it's partly true.
    Gregorius Textor likes this.
  20. Pacifica grammaticissima

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Belgium
    "Should" can also be used in protases (i.e. "if" clauses or equivalents) of conditional sentences, e.g. "If that should happen, I would do this" or "Should that happen, I would do this". This sort of "should" translates to the present (or sometimes perfect) subjunctive.

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