Uses of Quam (Subjunctive)

Uses of Quam (part 2 of 4)

Summary of Use

Quam has many and various uses in Latin

It appears most commonly as the standard coordinating conjunction of comparison between two adjectives, adverbs or clauses (part 1)

  • Two things compared with quam will always appear in the same case
  • There are better and worse (common and less common) ways to compare with quam

The phrases quam ut, quam quī, quam sī and quam (alone) may also initiate a subjunctive statement (part 2)

  • These include clauses of purpose, characteristic and comparison

Quam and its compounds have several other functions (part 3)

Subjunctive Uses of Quam

The phrases quam ut, quam quī and (rarely) quam alone, following a comparative, initiate clauses of characteristic

  • The statues of Canachus are too stiff to represent nature: Canachī sīgna rigidiōra sunt quam ut imitentur.
  • They cut the threes too large more a soldier to carry: maiōrēs arborēs caedēbant quam quās ferre mīles posset.

These often fit the English construction too x to y (too big to fail)

These phrases may also initiate result clauses

  • He endured all rather than betray: perpessus est omnia potius quam indicāret.

Quam sī may initiate a clause of characteristic without a comparative

  • This should be translated as if or as though
  • He sleeps as if he were a stone: dormit quam sī saxum esset.
The Essential AG: 535c, 571a

Famous Phrase: bonam ego quam beatam me esse nimio dici mavolo

[I would rather be called good than well-off] -Plautus, Poenulus, 303


One comment on “Uses of Quam (Subjunctive)

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