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Subjunctive

Subjunctive of time and circumstance - with cum, dum, and other expressions of time. The use of the subjunctive with cum is one of the most common uses of the subjunctive in Latin. But be careful: the word cum is also a preposition, meaning "with, together with," which takes the ablative case. In addition to cum, there are other time phrases which can introduce the subjunctive. These include dum, donec, priusquam, antequam, etc.

Subjunctive of purpose and result - with ut, ne, quin, and relative pronouns. There are two general types of constructions introduced by "ut" - the purpose clause ("so that", "in other to", etc.), and the result clause ("so ... that," "with the result that", etc.). Be careful, because the word "ut" can be used in the sense of "like" or "as," without introducing a subjunctive construction. In medieval Latin, the word quod is often used for ut with the subjunctive. The word ne is found as the negation of ut. You will see the subjunctive with quin, which is a variant form of ne (quin is a contraction of the archaic ablative qui plus ne). In the same way that ut can be used with the subjunctive to express purpose, a relative pronoun can also be used with the subjunctive to express purpose.

Subjunctive in a conditional statement - with si or nisi. You can recognize a conditional statement by the use of si, meaning "if." There are also conditional statements which use indicative verbs, and mixed conditionals in which part of the conditional statement is in the subjunctive, and part is in the indicative.

Potential subjunctive. The subjunctive is often used independently to express something that "could" or "would" or "might" take place.

Subjunctive as imperative, plus hortatory and jussive subjunctives. Forms of the second person subjunctive can be used instead of the imperative. Forms of the first and third person subjunctives can also be used to express commands in much the same way as the imperative does. In the first person, this is called the "hortatory" subjunctive ("let's ___"). In the third person this is called the "jussive" subjunctive ("let her ____").

Subjunctive in indirect question. The subjunctive is used in indirect question. Look for the "question word" that introduces the indirect question (and remember that the relative pronoun and the interrogative pronoun can look the same!):

Subjunctive in indirect statements and attributed thoughts. The subjunctive is sometimes found embedded in indirect statement (as in relative clauses that are part of indirect statement), or in direct statements of thoughts attributed to someone other than the speaker/writer. This becomes increasingly common in the Middle Ages, when you will regularly find the subjunctive used in indirect statement introduced by quod.

Subjunctive "by attraction" in subordinate clauses. Sometimes a subordinate clause (a relative clause, etc.) will take the subjunctive when there is another clause with the subjunctive (a purpose clause with ut, etc.)


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