Quite closely relate to expression of existence / non-existence are expressions of past time, which make use of the phrase est cum and fuit cum, which may be translated as ‘there was a time when…’ Like the phrases that describe existence, these make use of a relative clause of characteristic (w/ subjunctive!) to describe an indefinite period of present/past time.
- est cum …. present subjunctive
- fuit cum …. imperfect subjunctive
- est cum in omnis virī aevō domum parentis linquat: there comes a time in every man’s life when he must leave the home of his father
- est cum omnibus deceat: there is a season for all things
- fuit cum mihi quoque initium requiēscendī fore iūstum arbitrārer: there was a time when I thought a beginning of rest would be justifiable on my part
- fuit cum nōn altior meīs genibus essēs: there was a time when you were no taller than my knees
The Essential AG: 535an3