Nullo Modo fieri potest ut/ quin

Notascooby

Civis Illustris
In Bradley's Arnold the phrase "nullo modo fieri potest ut" is described as introducing a substantival clause. There is no example sentence of it being used. Is something like "nullo Modo fieri potest ut errem" meaning something like " I can't be wrong" good Latin?

In the next chapter it's given again but as " nullo Modo fieri potest quin". The example sentence of this is " nullo modo fieri potest quin errem" and is translated as " it is quite impossible that I am not mistaken".

Why is this not "nullo modo fieri potest ne errem" in keeping with its use as a substantival clause? I can't understand why quin is used, I can't see where doubt, hindrance, prevention etc come into it to justify the use of quin

Thanks
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
Is something like "nullo Modo fieri potest ut errem" meaning something like " I can't be wrong" good Latin?
Yes, though it's a tad more emphatic than "I can't be wrong" — more like "I can't possibly be wrong", "There's no way I can (ever) be wrong", or so.
In the next chapter it's given again but as " nullo Modo fieri potest quin". The example sentence of this is " nullo modo fieri potest quin errem" and is translated as " it is quite impossible that I am not mistaken".

Why is this not "nullo modo fieri potest ne errem" in keeping with its use as a substantival clause? I can't understand why quin is used, I can't see where doubt, hindrance, prevention etc come into it to justify the use of quin
Quin typically replaces ne and ut non after negated or quasi-negated verbs.

Here, if there were no negation, you'd usually have ut non rather than ne: fieri potest ut non errem = It can happen that I'm not wrong. Now if you negate that, ut non becomes quin. For another example: Frigus prohibuit ne in flumine lavarentur = The cold stopped them from washing in the river; but Frigus non prohibuit quin in flumine lavarentur = The cold did not stop them from washing in the river.
 

Notascooby

Civis Illustris
Okay thanks,one more question.

I thought that ut non was only used in result clauses whereas ne was used in final clauses and substantival clauses and the like?.

My understanding was that the only exception to this is where non negates a single word. I can see that in the phrase "fieri potest ut non errem" that the non is negating a single term. However If the dependent clause contained more than a single term would ne then be used?
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I'm not sure about that. I couldn't find a single instance of fieri potest ne on PHI.
 

Notascooby

Civis Illustris
Having looked at it further, clauses like fieri potest ut are substantival clauses (of result) hence ut non and not ne. I should never have doubted.

Thanks
 
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