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

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348. Observe the sentence

Caesar hominēs mittit quī pontem reperiant,
Cæsar sends men to find the bridge

The verb reperiant in the dependent clause is in the subjunctive because it tells us what Cæsar wants the men to do; in other words, it expresses his will and the purpose in his mind. Such a use of the subjunctive is called the subjunctive of purpose.

349. Rule. Subjunctive of Purpose. The subjunctive is used in a dependent clause to express the purpose of the action in the principal clause.

350. A clause of purpose is introduced as follows:

I. If something is wanted, by

quī, the relative pronoun (as above)
ut, conj., in order that, that
quō (abl. of quī, by which), in order that, that, used when the purpose clause contains a comparative. The ablative quō expresses the measure of difference. (Cf. § 317.)

II. If something is not wanted, by

, conj., in order that not, that not, lest




Caesar cōpiās cōgit quibus hostīs īnsequātur

Cæsar collects troops with which to pursue the foe


Pācem petunt ut domum revertantur

They ask for peace in order that they may return home


Pontem faciunt quō facilius oppidum capiant

They build a bridge that they may take the town more easily (lit. by which the more easily)


Fugiunt nē vulnerentur

They flee that they may not (or lest they) be wounded

352. Expression of Purpose in English. In English, purpose clauses are sometimes introduced by that or in order that, but much more frequently purpose is expressed in English by the infinitive, as We eat to live, She stoops to conquer. In Latin prose, on the other hand, purpose is never expressed by the infinitive. Be on your guard and do not let the English idiom betray you into this error.




1. Veniunt ut

dūcant, mittant, videant, audiant, dūcantur, mittantur, videantur, audiantur.

2. Fugimus nē

capiāmur, trādāmur, videāmus, necēmur, rapiāmur, resistāmus.

3. Mittit nūntiōs quī

dicant, audiant, veniant, nārrent, audiantur, in conciliō sedeant.

4. Castra mūniunt quō facilius

sēsē dēfendant, impetum sustineant, hostīs vincant, salūtem petant.


  1. The Helvetii send ambassadors to seek[1] peace.
  2. They are setting out at daybreak in order that they may make a longer march before night.
  3. They will hide the women in the forest (acc. with in) that they may not be captured.
  4. The Gauls wage many wars to free[1] their fatherland from slavery.
  5. They will resist the Romans[2] bravely lest they be destroyed.



  1. 1.0 1.1 Not infinitive.
  2. Not accusative.