Permission Consructions

Verbs of Permission

Summary of Construction

“Verbs of permitting take either the subjunctive or the infinitive.” (AG 563c)

Where the subjunctive appears, it accompanies a substantive clause of purpose, led on by ut or .

Verbs of Permitting

All verbs in this list may (among other things) be translated allow or permit

  • ammitto, ammittere, ammīsī, ammissus
  • concēdo, concēdere, concessī, concessus 
  • patior, patī, passus sum
  • permitto, permittere, permīsī, permissus
  • praebeō, praebēre, praebuī, praebitus
  • sinō, sinere, sīvī, situs


  • He permitted them to make it: permīsit ut id facerent.
  • I allow you to not miss these events: concēdo tibi nē ea ammittās.
  • He did not allow the tents to be pitched: tabernācula statuī passus nōn est.
  • They do not allow wine to be imported: vinum importārī nōn sinunt.

Note on Licet

The impersonal licet may also mean allow or permit, and may also take an infinite, or initiate a subjunctive purpose clause

The Essential AG: 363c

Famous Phrase: semel in annō licet insanīre

(once each year, it is permitted to go crazy)

[from Horace (4.13.2) and Augustine (Civ. Dei, 4.10); proverbial during the Middle Ages]