Quod Sī

The conjunctive quod sī may be translated ‘but if’ or ‘if however,’ and generally modifies or qualifies a preceding statement with a new condition. It is therefore distinction from the isolate , which may produce conditionals without precedent.

  • If Caesar arrives, we are done for: sī Caesar veneat, pereāmus. (FLV construction)
  • If Caesar arrives, we are done for, but if we flee, we might survive: sī Caesar veneat, pereāmus, quod sī fugiāmus, fortasse vivāmus.
  • Caesar is coming. However, if we flee, we might survive: Caesar venit. Quod sī fugiāmus, fortasse vivāmus.

In short, quod sī establishes a conditional in direct relation to some other fact or some other conditional.

The Essential AG: 324d, 397a


Comparative Subordinate Conjunctions

Comparative Subordinate Conjunctions

Summary of Use

Conjunctions are either coordinate or subordinate

  • Coordinate conjunctions connect “coordinate or similar constructions” (AG, 223a)
  • Subordinate conjunctions connect a main clause with the clause it modifies (i.e. subordinates)

Comparative subordinate conjunctions are sub-class of subordinate conjunctions imply both comparison and condition between the two clauses

Comparative subordinate conjunctions may introduce indicative or subjunctive clauses, often hinged on the presence of near the conjunction

  • ut, utī, sīcut, prout, and praeut will produce indicative clauses
  • velut, velutī and ceu may produce either indicative or subjunctive clauses
  • tamquam (tanquam), quasi, ut sī, ac sī and velut sī will produce subjunctive clauses

Indicative Exempla

ut, utī, sīcut, or velut, just as, like

  • Fātur ut fātur meus pater: He speaks just as my father speaks.
  • Pugnat utī quae nihil āmittere habet: She fights like one with nothing to lose.
  • Ex altā arbore cadunt sīcut sidera summō caelō: they fall from the high tree. like stars from high heaven

prout or praeut like as, exactly as

  • these are more precise or emphatic than those at (2.1)
  • Fātur prout fātur meus pater: He speaks just like my father speaks.
  • Vidēris praeut tuus pater: You look exactly like your father.

ceu, just as, like

  • a poetic variant of those at (2.1)
  • tenuis fugit ceu fūmus in aurās: Fleeting, he flees as smoke in air.

Subjunctive Exempla

tamquam (tanquam), quasi, ut sī, and velut sī, as if

  • He mourns as if Asia were closed: luget tamquam clausa sit Asia
  • He speaks as if he were my father: fātur quasi meus pater sit.
  • She fights as if she had nothing to lose: pugnat ut sī nihil āmittere habeat.
  • They dreaded his cruelty as if he were present: crūdeēlitātem horērent velut sī cōram adesset.

ac sī, exactly as if

  • this is more emphatic than those at (3.1)
  • You do exactly as if you had asked me: similter facis ac sī mē rogēs. 

Famous Phrase: si fueris Romae, Romano vivito more; si fueris alibi, vivito sicut ibi

(if you will be at Rome, live in the Roman custom; if you will be elsewhere, live as those there)

[attributed to St. Ambrose, who received it as advice, this is the very clumsy predecessor do our own ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’]