Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How can you recognize present subjunctives while doing a english to latin translation?

any tips or clues?How can you recognize present subjunctives while doing a english to latin translation?
You can't really isolate the present subjunctive. I'll try my best, though

The subjunctive in Latin is used

a) to express a wish or an exhortation Valeam - may I be well! Maneas - you may/should stay Deus te custodiat (may the god protect you)

b) for indirect speech generally There you have to be very careful with the tenses.

c) for indirect orders (I tell/ask/order that you (do this) - dico/rogo/impero/iubeo ut/ne ...subjunctive Usually it is better here to use an a.c.i. construction

d) in subclauses depending on verbs that express hopes, wishes, fears etc, i.e things that are not real, but might happen

e) in sub clauses expressing a result of some other circumstance : Puella tam tristis est ut fleat.How can you recognize present subjunctives while doing a english to latin translation?
The indicative will usually refer to something which is the case, the subjunctive to something which is not. So you should watch for the subjunctive when somebody talks about something which could be true (but isn't), or they would like to be true (but isn't yet).

A good example of how the subjunctive works is:

Dum vivimus, vivamus.

While we are alive, let's live it up!

Dum vivimus (while we are alive) refers to a fact (we are alive); vivamus (let's live it up!) refers to an intention.

The subjunctive will also do for things someone wishes were true:

te amo ut me ames.

(I love you so that you will love me). I love you is a simple statement of fact, so it is indicative (te amo); I would like you to love me, but wanting something to happen doesn't make it true, so the idea goes into the subjunctive (ut me ames).How can you recognize present subjunctives while doing a english to latin translation?
If you really mean *recognize* present subjunctives, the essential thing is to know the conjugation of any verb and look at the vowel in its ending. If you see a verb that you know is first conjugation, such as "amo," but its third-person singular is "amet" instead of the usual "amat," you know that it's subjunctive. Likewise, if a verb in any other conjugation has an a in its ending instead of or in addition to the usual e or i, it's subjunctive.

Remember that the first-person singular present subjunctive ends in m, but again, the vowel before that m is not the one in the stem of the vowel. So it's "amem" or "vocem" for the first conjugation and "habeam," "ducam," "capiam," and "audiam" for the other three. It's true that, in the third and fourth conjugations, these forms look just like the future, but it's only the first-person singular ones that do.

If you're asking how to know when to use the present subjunctive when you're writing in Latin, keep in mind that you use it in an "ut" clause to show purpose or result, in a "si" clause involving a contrary-to-fact situation, in some other subordinate clauses, or to express a wish. (I realize that this is a very sketchy explanation, but if it's the area you're interested in, you can email me for fuller explanations.)

Finally, if you're asking how to recognize the subjunctive in English so that you'll know to use it when you translate to Latin, if the English contains words like "would," "could," " should," or "might" when they don't mean the past tense, or "were" with a singular subject, you'll probably need the subunctive when you translate to Latin. Or if you see a clause like the one that follows the word "English" is the preceding sentence, you'll know to say "ut scias."

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