Colloquial Omission of Verbs

In colloquial and poetic language, common verbs like dīcō, faciō, agō and the like are often omitted.

  • What does this aim at: quō hōc [spectat]?
  • You will know a lion by his claws: ex ungue leōnem [cōgnōscēs].
  • What shall I say of this: quid [dē hōc dicam]?
  • The songstress thus spoke in replay: haec contrā cantrix [inquit].
  • Then Cotta said: tum Cotta [inquit].
  • Where are you from, and where are you of to: unde [venīs] et quō [tendis]?

Sum, as a copula, is omitted quite frequently where it is a present indicative or present infinitive:

  • You are his wife: tū coniūnx [es].
  • What need of many words: quid multa [verbōrum est]?
  • What then? Am I the boldest of all: quid ergō [est]? audācissimus ego ex omnibus [sum]?
  • The best things are rare: omnia praeclāra rāra [sunt]?
  • Hear first what must be accomplished: accipe quae peragenda prius [sunt].

As you might imagine, omission of sum will be especially popular in proverbs and sententiae, where clever identities and definitions are made all the time, making a est or a sunt all too predictable.

The Essential AG: 319a

To Have and Holding, For as Long as You Both Shall Live

In this post, I’d like to differentiate between the three ways that habeō takes a direct object: (a) an accusative, (b) an accusative perfect participle, and (c) an infinitive.

Habeō takes an accusative direct object in the sense of ‘possessing’ that object.

  • I have three sons: trēs fīliōs habeō.
  • She held the scepter: sceptrum habēbat.

Habeō with the perfect participle bears the same sense as ‘habēbat‘ above: possession extended over a period of time.

  • They are holding him in the prison: eum in carcere habent. (right now)
  • They are holding him in prison: eum captātum in carcere habent. (continuous status of incarceration)
  • They have him as a witness: eum teste habent. (at this moment).
  • They have him as a witness: eum testātum habent. (for now, but also for when they might need him)

Habeō with an infinitive completes a construction of purpose.

  • I have much to promise: multum habeō pollicērī.
  • You have work to do: labōrem habēs facere.
  • You must do the work: labōrem habēs facere. (cf. Spanish tener que)

The Essential AG: 460a, 497b

Verbs of Permitting / Clauses of Purpose

Verbs of permitting will take either a Substantive Clause of Purpose (ut/nē + subjunctive) or an Infinitive.

  • He permitted them to make toys: permīsit ut facerent lūdibria.
  • He did not allow tents to be pitched: tentōria statuī nōn passus est.
  • She will allow you to pass: concēdet perīre.
  • They do not allow the importation of wine: vinum importārī nōn sinunt.

After writing this post, I realized that I’ve already discussed permission constructions, external to my ongoing analysis of A&G on Clauses of Purpose. Take a look at my older post for comparison.

https://latinforaddicts.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/ne-allow-me/

The Essential AG: 563c

Iubeō and Vetō Constructions

We’ve been discussing how verbs that demand and decree take a substantive clause of purpose (ut/nē + subjunctive). Allen and Greenough no sooner outline the phenomenon of these purpose clauses than they start demonstrating common exceptions.

Iubeō (order) and vetō (forbid) are more likely to take the infinitive + accusative.

  • He orders them to send more loaves: aliōs panēs eōs ferre iubet.
  • She forbids them from approaching the temple: aedem adire vetat. 

Where the verb is passive, the verb remains infinitive, but the subject accusative becomes nominative:

  • They are ordered to be present the next day: adesse iubentur postrīdiē.
  • He was ordered to go into exile: īre in exsilium iussus est.
  • Simonides was forbidden to sail: Simōnidēs vetitus est nāvigāre.

This construction is most common with these two verbs, but not unheard of with other verbs of commanding.

  • He orders that a bridge be built: pontem fierī imperat.
  • Matters at hand warn us to be on our guard so that we don’t perish too soon: rēs praestentēs nōs monet cavēre nē citior pereant.

(careful with that last one — it’s meant to differentiate the two options on the table, but if you read it too quickly it might just conflate them)

Substantive Clauses

A&G define the substantive clause as “a clause…used as a noun,” in contrast to the relative clause, which operates in place of adjectives or adverbs.

  • I am the man whom you are seeking. (relative clause, as adjective)
  • She ascended, as Ariadne ascended with Dionysius. (relative clause, as adverb)
  • They warned us this would happen. (substantive clause, as noun)
  • She wishes to see you immediately. (substantive clause, as noun)

To tease this out more explicitly, the relative clauses redefine or redescribe ‘man’ and ‘ascended,’ whereas the substantive clauses are effectively an apposition of the verb.

  • They warned us this would happen = their warning was ‘this would happen’
  • Shes wishes to see you immediately = this is her wish: to see you immediately

A&G refine this, stating that a substantive clause will always apposite a nominative or accusative case. (In the example above, she wishes x and they warned us x would both be in the accusative in Latin.)

English is partial to abstract nouns, where Latin is partial to verbal phrases.

  • She demanded an investigation: postulābat ut quaestiō habērētur.

Substantive Clauses Take Four General Forms:

  • Subjunctive Clauses
  • Indicative Clauses with quod
  • Indirect Questions (with the Subjunctive)
  • Infinitive Clauses

This fourth form, the infinitive (with possible subjective accusative) is not properly a clause. Still these often replace ut clauses with the subjunctive, and are the mainstay of indirect discourse.

The Essential AG: 560-62

Participle with Verbs of Effecting

Verbs denoting completed action (faciō, indūcōredeō, dō) may take a participle in place of an infinitive of the same verb, rendering the description more forcible:

  • Many did away with their officers: praefectōs suōs multī missōs fēcērunt.
  • Many made their officers leave: praefectōs suōs multī mittere fēcērunt.
  • She will get everything done: trānsactum omne reddet.
  • She will work to complete everything: omne transigere reddet.
  • Don’t make her angry with me: nē mihi incensam dēs.
  • Don’t cause her to begim angry with me: nē mihi illiam incendere dēs.

This effect is frequent with constructions describing the actions of authors:

  • Xenophon presents Socrates disputing: Xenophōn facit Sōcratem disputantem.
  • Plato introduced Alcibiades drunk: Platō indūxit Alcibiādem pōtum.

The Essential AG: 497c

I’ve Had Enough

Perfect Infinitive with Verbs of Feeling

The perfect infinitive used with verbs of feeling denotes a completed action.

  • Nōn paenitēbat intercapēdinem scrībendī fēcisse: It was no pain to take respite from writing.
  • Mē Graecum dixisse pudet: I am ashamed that I spoke Greek.
  • Illīs pira ēdisse iuvat: They’re pleased to have eaten pears

This pattern also holds with phrases like satis est, satis habēre, melius est, and contentus esse.

  • Satis est sōlem vidisse: it is enough to have seen the sun.
  • Quiēsse erit melius: it would have been better to shut up.

In sum, I should not that this is a grammatical preference, not a grammatical rule. You’ll encounter it frequently, especially in the poets, but verbs of feeling and these constructions do not demand the perfect infinitive.

The Essential AG: 486f

Review of First Conjugation (Even the Nasty Bits)

You need this. This is your intellectual chi. Failing that, it’s your intellectual tea. Take it daily, slowly–let it steep. Verb summaries don’t have to be boring, but they are important. Try rendering everything in full English translation. ‘I love him, You love cats, She loves the boy who left her.’ Make love triangles. Have fun.

Take five minutes. You won’t regret it.

(PS–I’ll bet there’s at least one mistake on here. find it)

First Conjugation ACTIVE (complete)

Primary Sequence

Present

amō, amās, amat, amāmus, amātis, amant

amem, amēs, amet, amēmus, amētis, ament

Imperfect

amābam, amābās, amābat, amābāmus, amābātis, amābant

amārem, amārēs, amāret, amārēmus, amarētis, amārent

Future

amābō, amābis, amābit, amābimus, amābitis, amābunt

[no subjunctive future primary]

Secondary Sequence

Perfect

amāvī, amāvistī, amāvit, amāvimus, amāvistis, amāvērunt

amāverim, amāveris, amāverit, amāverimus, amāveritis, amāverint

Pluperfect

amāveram, amāverās, amāverat, amāverāmus, amāverātis, amāverant

amāvissem, amāvissēs, amāvisset, amāvissēmus, amāvissētis, amāvissent

Future Perfect

amāverō, amāveris, amāverit, amāverimus, amāveritis, amāverint

[no subjunctive future secondary]

Et Cetera

Present Imperative

amā, amāte

Future Imperative

amātō (2nd or 3rd person singular), amātōte (2nd person plural), amantō (3rd person plural)

Infinitive (present, perfect, future)

amāre

amāvisse

amātūrus esse

Participles (present, future) 

amāns, amantis

amātūrus, -a, -um

Gerund

amandī, amandō, amandum, amandō

Supine

amātum, amātū

The Essential AG: 184 (p89-90)

Famous Phrase: “odī et amō quārē id faciam fortasse requiris / nesciō sed fierī sentiō et excrucior” – Catullus, 85

[I love and hate, perhaps you ask why I do it / I do not know, but I feel it done, and am tortured]

(I imagine this is how we all feel about verb summaries, no?)