"fore" vs. "futurum esse"

Recently, I came across a new form of futurum esse in Ch. 33 Lingua Latinafore.
The author basically equates them, but I'm not sure if this is C% true. ;)

I have usually translated forms of futurum esse in sentences with the phrases "going to x" or "about to x".
For example, from an earlier chapter: Iam epistulam scripturus sum. – Now I am going to write a letter.
It is more immediate than the simple future (scribam).

Is the idea with fore to remove some of this immediacy? Is the sense more "will be" than "going to be"?
(Or maybe I'm wrong and there really is no difference.)

Insights appreciated!
Cornelius
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Fore and futurum esse are synonymous — "to be going to be".
 
Thanks, you really cut through all that!
Sometimes though, using a translation involving "will" feels a bit more natural.
Is that also acceptable?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Yes, absolutely. I just meant to say that there is no difference in Latin, as far as the infinitive is concerned.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
I've always thought of fore as a contracted version of futurum esse.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
The distinction between will and going to is one of the weirdest things in English.
What is weird about it?
I've always thought of fore as a contracted version of futurum esse.
I don't think it's technically a contraction. It's more like a separate form. My guess would be that fore is an earlier, self-contained future infinitive, and that the periphrastic synonym futurum esse was coined later for some reason.
 

Matthaeus

Vemortuicida strenuus
Yeah, terrible choice of terminology lol. What I wanted to bring across is that fore is simply the short version.
 

Clemens

Civis Illustris
What is weird about it?
The distinction between will and be going to (when it exists) relates to the intentions and prior knowledge of the speaker. For example, if you say to me, "The window is broken," and I respond, "I'm going to fix it," then I mean that I already know it's broken and I had already planned to fix it before you mentioned it. If I say, "I'll fix it," then it means that I had no intention of fixing it until now, and possibly that I didn't know it was broken. There are also situations when either structure is appropriate or possible, and those when only one or the other is.
 
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Clemens

Civis Illustris
I don't think it's technically a contraction. It's more like a separate form. My guess would be that fore is an earlier, self-contained future infinitive, and that the periphrastic synonym futurum esse was coined later for some reason.
Apparently it has to do with the suppletive nature of the forms of the verb sum, and that at some point fore was the present infinitive of a separate verb.
 

cinefactus

Censor
Staff member
For example, if you say to me, "The window is broken," and I respond, "I'm going to fix it," then I mean that I already know it's broken and I had already planned to fix it before you mentioned it.
I would have taken, "I will fix it", as a promise to do so, whilst, "I'm going to fix it", means, "Yes dear, I know it is broken".
 
Sometimes though, using a translation involving "will" feels a bit more natural.
I have another question about translating fore and futurum esse in a way that makes the English sound more natural.
Sometimes, when either of these two is paired with a past tense verb, it sounds most right to use "would" in the translation.

For example: Id fore credebat.
It sounds better to translate this as "he was thinking it would be" than "he was thinking it was going to be".
(Notice also that using "will" is not an option because the main verb is in the past tense – "he was thinking it will be" is definitely wrong.)

My only concern about using this translation is that "would" is almost always associated with the subjunctive, and everything is indicative here.
"Would" this translation work? (no pun intended)
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Yes, it works.

"Would" is used in various ways. Some correspond to a subjunctive in Latin, others don't.

The main uses of "would" and their Latin translations:

- In contrary-to-fact or potential statements (e.g. "that would have happened if you had done such and such", "this would happen if that happened") ---> Latin subjunctive (in various tenses depending on context).

- In future-in-the-past indirect statements (like in your post above) ---> Latin future infinitive.

- In statements about habitual action in the past, roughly equivalent to "used to" (e.g. "Back in the day, we would do this and this and that) ---> Latin imperfect indicative (optionally the verb soleo in that tense + present infinitive).
 
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Thanks for clarifying! – it is very helpful to see all the uses organized like this.
 
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