Latin for beginners (1911)/Part III/Lesson LXI

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342. In addition to the indicative, imperative, and infinitive moods, which you have learned, Latin has a fourth mood called the subjunctive. The tenses of the subjunctive are


Active and Passive

343. The tenses of the subjunctive have the same time values as the corresponding tenses of the indicative, and, in addition, each of them may refer to future time. No meanings of the tenses will be given in the paradigms, as the translation varies with the construction used.

344. The present subjunctive is inflected as follows:

Conj. I Conj. II Conj. III Conj. IV
Active Voice
  1. a´mem
mo´neam re´gam ca´piam au´diam
2. a´mēs mo´neās re´gās ca´piās au´diās
3. a´met mo´neat re´gat ca´piat au´diat
  1. amē´mus
moneā´mus regā´mus capiā´mus audiā´mus
2. amē´tis moneā´tis regā´tis capiā´tis audiā´tis
3. a´ment mo´neant re´gant ca´piant au´diant
Passive Voice
1. a´mer mo´near re´gar ca´piar au´diar
2. amē´ris (-re) moneā´ris (-re) regā´ris (-re) capiā´ris (-re) audiā´ris (-re)
3. amē´tur moneā´tur regā´tur capiā´tur audiā´tur
  1. amē´mur
moneā´mur regā´mur capiā´mur audiā´mur
2. amē´minī moneā´minī regā´minī capiā´minī audiā´minī
3. amen´tur monean´tur regan´tur capian´tur audian´tur
a. The present subjunctive is formed from the present stem,
b. The mood sign of the present subjunctive is -e- in the first conjugation and -a- in the others. It is shortened in the usual places (cf . § 1 2), and takes the place of the final vowel of the stem in the first and third conjugations, but not in the second and fourth.
c. The personal endings are the same as in the indicative.
d. In a similar way inflect the present subjunctive of cūrō, iubeō, sūmō, iaciō, muniō.

345. The present subjunctive of the irregular verb sum is inflected as follows:


  1. sim

2. sīs
3. sit


  1. sīmus

2. sītis
3. sint

The Indicative and Subjunctive Compared.

  1. The two most important of the finite moods are the indicative and the subjunctive. The indicative deals with facts either real or assumed. If, then, we wish to assert something as a fact or to inquire after a fact, we use the indicative.
  2. On the other hand, if we wish to express a desire or wish, a purpose, a possibility, an expectation, or some such notion, we must use the subjunctive. The following sentences illustrate the difference between the indicative and the subjunctive ideas.

Indicative Ideas Subjunctive Ideas

Indicative Ideas Subjunctive Ideas

He is brave

Fortis est


May he be brave

Fortis sit (idea of wishing)


We set out at once

Statim proficīscimur


Let us set out at once

Statim proficīscāmur (idea of willing)


You hear him every day

Cotīdiē eum audīs


You can hear him every day

Cotīdiē eum audiās (idea of possibility)


He remained until the ship arrived

Mānsit dum nāvis pervēnit


He waited until the ship should arrive

Exspectāvit dum nāvis pervenīret[1] (idea of expectation)


Cæsar sends men who find the bridge

Caesar mittit hominēs quī pontem reperiunt


Cæsar sends men who are to find (or to find) the bridge

Caesar hominēs mittit quī pontem reperiant (idea of purpose)

Note. From the sentences above we observe that the subjunctive may be used in either independent or dependent clauses; but it is far more common in the latter than in the former.



Which verbs in the following paragraph would be in the indicative and which in the subjunctive in a Latin translation?

There have been times in the history of our country when you might be proud of being an American citizen. Do you remember the day when Dewey sailed into Manila Bay to capture or destroy the enemy’s fleet? You might have seen the admiral standing on the bridge calmly giving his orders. He did not even wait until the mines should be removed from the harbor’s mouth, but sailed in at once. Let us not despair of our country while such valor exists, and may the future add new glories to the past.



  1. pervenīret, imperfect subjunctive.