The impersonal phrase ‘fit ut‘ may be rendered in English as ‘it happens that…’ or ‘it comes about that…’ and takes a subjunctive clause in Latin. This ut-clause may be classed as one of result.
Recall that fit is the third person singular active indicative of fiō, which bears a complicated relationship to faciō, explained best by Mark Damen here. For more information on fiō, don’t bother with the Perseus edition of Lewis and Short. Even the advanced entry looks like this—
So detailed! So precise!
Here are a few examples of fit ut in action—
Fit ut hominēs causā nullā multa timeant: It (often) happens that men fear many things with little (good) reason.
Fit ut imbri crebrō certāmen differat: It is the case that, with the heavy rain, the match shall be cancelled.
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:
Indicative Clauses with quod
Indirect Questions (with the Subjunctive)
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.