Tag Archives: Latin grammar

Unraveling the Dark Side of Latin’s Subjunctive

Posted on 16. Jul, 2014 by in Latin Language

Subjunctive. SUBJUNCTIVE.S-U-B-J-U-N-C-T-I-V-E……

Courtesy of Latin Memes & Quick Meme Builder.

Courtesy of Latin Memes & Quick Meme Builder.

Subjunctive usually scares and intimidates many students when learning Latin. This is usually due to the fact that students are unfamiliar with the term subjunctive or grammar within their own language. FEAR NOT! I am hoping that this guide will help and aid all of you who are worried about learning and memorizing the uses of the subjunctive.

While researching for this article, I realized that some people may learn better from a video and others from reading the material. Thus, I have provided both. These are a series of videos that explain the forms, uses, and grammar:

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-Commands & Jussives

The subjunctive is often used to express commands, an order, or prohibition.  This is seen at ne + subjunctive; while the jussive is the unique 3rd person form of the subjunctive.

EX: ne transferis= Do Not Cross!

EX: eamus =let us go OR amemus= let us make love


-Deliberative Subjunctive ” What am I to…”

The deliberative subjunctive is a question as shown above.

EX: quid faciam = What am I to do



When you want to wish someone good luck or wish something on someone (even).

EX: Sit Vis Vobiscum= May the Force be with you


- Indirect Commands or Questions

What is meant by Indirect is simply the idea that someone is relaying what they have already been told. This is usually introduced by a asking or saying verb along with ut or ne followed by the subjunctive.

EX: mihi imperauit ut abirem= She ordered me that I should go away or to go away.

EX: petebam quid dicturus esset= I was asking what he was about to say or would say.


-Result Clauses “so…..that”, “So….as to”

The “that” clause is expressed by “ut + subjunctive.” The subjunctive is normally present, imperfect, or perfect. The “so” portion could be accomplished with adeo, ita, tam, sic, eo, tantus, tot, talis (which all mean differing amounts of ‘so, so great, so much, thus, or of the such of sort’.)

EX: Tam fortis erat ut uini non posset  = He was so brave that he could not be defeated


-Causal Clauses “because, since”

The subjunctive with conjunctions such as quod, quia, quoniam, quando, cum ( which all mean since or because) are providing a clause that explains the reason or cause for an action.

EX: adsunt cum me amarent = They are present since they used to love me.


- Purpose Clauses “in order to/that, to”

Purpose clauses are generally conveyed with ut + subjunctive or ne+ subjunctive. The subjunctive is present in primary sequence and imperfect in secondary. (Here is a brief page on sequence and sentences).

EX: uenio ut uiderem= I come in order/so that I may see


-Temporal Clauses “When….” “Until…”

The subjunctive is used in temporal (time) clauses for two reasons.

1) With dum, donec (both meaning until) and antequam, pruisquam (both meaning before)- the subjunctive is used when the intending action of the clause is being expected or waited for.

EX: manebat dum Caesar ueniret= he waited until Caesar should come

2) Cum with the subjunctive (imperfect or pluperfect) when you are referring to the past.

EX: cum haec dixisset, exiit= When he had said these things, he departed.


Fear Clauses I fear that/lest”

Usually fearing verbs take the infinitive ( I am afraid to jump), but with a subjunctive they are translated like ( I am afraid that she will jump  on me). This is done with ut+ subjunctive or ne + subjunctive.


-Relative Clauses

First I should explain that a relative clause is usually introduced by pronouns like qui, quae, quod, (who, what, which, that), and is “relative” or “relates” to something/someone expressed in the previous part of the sentence.

EX: “The girls WHO like flowers.” “The cat WHICH are sleeping

However, the use of a the subjunctive in a relative clause is a bit different. When the relative clause hides a result, purpose, or causal clause- a subjunctive is used.

EX: milites  misit qui hostis circumdarent = He sent soldier who would surround the enemy.


- Conditions “If clauses” ( If X happens, then Y is the result.) [ X being the subject of one clauses and Y being the subject of the other]

Conditions that have subjunctive in both clauses  then it should be translated with ‘” would, should, were,”


Present Subjunctives-  future time- (If X were to happen Y would happen)

Imperfect Subjunctives-  present time- (If X were now happening, Y would be happening)

Pluperfect Subjunctives-  past time- (If X had happened, Y would have happened)



Here is a great and inspirational video for any learner, who is struggling with Grammar & Subjunctives! *Warning this may contain some adult humor since it TED Talks are usually aimed at college students.

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Some material and examples are in courtesy and alterations of thoses used in “Reading Latin” by Jones & Sidwell


How to Write a Love Letter in Latin

Posted on 11. Jun, 2014 by in Latin Language

Whether you are writing a love letter to a old or new romance, it is always a good idea to “spice” up the normal, same, banal content with something unique to make your significant other feel special. Why not add a little Latin? This post is dedicated to add some Latin to your love life in a love letter (Epistula Amoris).

Courtesy of  WIkiCommons & Frank Dicksee & Nihonjoe.

Archetypal lovers Romeo and Juliet portrayed by Frank Dicksee. Courtesy of WIkiCommons & Frank Dicksee & Nihonjoe.

It is often said that French is the Language of Love, but before there was even a French Language- It was Latin.

Latin Love poetry is some of the most refined and beautiful pieces ever. Some famous love poets are Catullus (here), Horace (here) , or even Ovid (here). So please use the rest of this post to add some Latin to your love letters or maybe even try to compose your own!

Love's Messenger by Marie Spartali Stillman. Courtesy of WikiCommons, Marie Spartali Stillman , & Smallbones.

Love’s Messenger by Marie Spartali Stillman. Courtesy of WikiCommons, Marie Spartali Stillman , & Smallbones.


You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen You have not seen me yet but love is trust. As they say, love is blind. As long as you trust me, I will love you. You and I can spend our lives together. In my eyes you are a goddess. Instead, we can spend eternity together. 

Te caeteris feminis quas cognoui pulchriorem esse censeo. Nondum me uidisti, ast amor nil nisi fides firma. Ut dicitur, uenus ipsa caeca est. Dum mihi credas, te amem. Una uitam uiuere ualemus. Mihi diuina uideris. In aeternum potius coniunctim uersari quimus.



Dearest ______,

carissima (female subject)____________,

carissime (male subject)_________________,



Te amo “I love you”

Nunc scio quid sit amor “Now I know what love is”

Amor vincit omnia “Love conquers all”

Nunc scio quid sit amor “Now I know what love is”

Amor animi arbitrio sumitur, non ponitur “We choose to love, we do not choose to cease loving” (Syrus)

Amor caecus est “Love is blind”

Amor meus amplior quam verba est “My love is more than words”

Amor est vitae essentia “Love is the essence of life” (Robert B. Mackay)

Omnia vincit amor; et nos cedamus amori “Love conquers all things; let us too surrender to love” (Vergil)

Quos amor verus tenuit, tenebit “True love will hold on to those whom it has held” (Seneca)

Si vis amari, ama “If you wish to be loved, love” (Seneca)

Sine amore, nihil est vita “Without love, life is pointless”

Numquam periit amor “Love never dies”

Eis quos amo “For those that I love”

In aeternum te amabo “I will love you for all eternity”

Sine amor, nihil est vita “Without love, life is pointless”


The abbreviation S.P.D. stands for Salutem Plurimam Dicit, which means something like “sends fondest greetings”.

Ab imo pectore “From the bottom of my heart”

Semper fidelis “Always faithful”

Amor sempiternus “Eternal Love”

Tibi magno cum amor “For you with great love”

Fide et amor“Faithfully and lovingly”

Tuus perdite sodalis amans “Your ever loving soul mate”

Te valde amo ac semper amabo “I love you very much, and always will forever”

Una in perpetuum “Together forever”

In perpetuum et unum diem “Forever and a Day”

Numquam te amare desistam I’ll never stop loving you “




Amore nihil mollius, nihil violentius - Nothing is more tender, nothing is more violent than love.
Qui amat, tamen hercle si seurit, nullum esurit - He that’s in love, for sure, even if he is hungry, isn’t hungry at all (Plautus).
Dicere quae puduit, scribere jussit amor - What I was ashamed to say, love has commanded me to write (Ovid).
Rivalem patienter habe - With patience bear a rival (in love) (Ovid).
Omnia vincit amor, nos et cedamus amori - Love conquers all things, let us too yield to love (Virgil).
Militat omnis amans - Every lover is a soldier (Ovid).
Militiae species amor est - Love is a kind of warfare (Ovid).
Qui in amorem praecipitavit, pejus perit quam si saxo saliat - He who plunges headlong into love, perishes more irremediably than if he leapt from a rock (Plautus).
Dulcibus est verbis alliciendus amor - Love must be allured with kind words.
Ubi idem et maximus et honestissimus amor est, aliquando praestat morte jungi quam vita distrahi - Where there exists the greatest and most genuine love, it is sometimes better to be united in death than separated in life (Valer. Maxim.).
Ubi inerit amor, condimentum cuivis placiturum credo - Where love is an ingredient, the seasoning, I believe, will please anyone (Plautus).
Multi te oderint si teipsum ames - Many will hate you if you love yourself.
Odero si potero, si non, invitus amabo - I will hate if I can, if not, I will love against my will (Ovid).
Credula res amor est - Love is a credulous thing (Ovid).
Lucrum amare nullum amatorem decet - No lover ought to be in love with pelf (Plautus).
Qui non vult fieri desidiosus, amet - Let him who would not be an idler, fall in love (Ovid).
Notitiam primosque gradus vicinia fecit; tempore crevit amor - Proximiti caused their first acquaintance, and their first advances in love, with time their affection increased (Ovid).
In amore haec omnia insunt vitia: injuria, suspiciones, inimitiae, induciae, bellum, pax rursus - In love there are all these evils: wrongs, suspicions, enmities, reconcilements,war, and then peace again (Terrence).
Moribus et forma conciliandus amor - Pleasing manners and good looks conciliate love (Ovid).
Improbe amor, quid non mortalia pectora cogis? - Oh, cruel love! To what dost thou not impel the human heart? (Virgil).
Incitamentum amoris musica - Music intices to love.
Quisquis amat ranam, ranam putat esse Dianam - If a man is in love with a frog, he will think that his from is Diana herself.
Qui finem quaeris amoris, cedit amor rebus; res age, tutus eris - You who seek to end your passion, love gives way to employment; attend to business, then you will be safe (Ovid).
Haec scripsi non otii abuntantia, sed amoris erga te - I have written this, not from having an abundance of leisure, but of love for you (Cicero).
Uratur vestis amore tuae - Let him be inflamed by love of your very dress (Ovid).
Audax ad omnia femina, quae vel amat vel odit - A woman, when inflamed by love or by hatred, will dare everything.
Difficile est longum subito deponere amorem - It is difficult to suddenly relinquish a long cherished love (Catullus).
Simulatio amoris pejor odio est - Pretended love is worse than hatred (Pliny the Younger).
Nullis amor est medicabilis herbis - Love is to be cured by no drugs (Ovid).



Awesome Resources for Learning Latin

Posted on 05. Jun, 2014 by in Latin Language

People often question the relevancy of Latin due to the fact that it is thought to be a dead language ( I have an entire argument against that here). While this is technically true, Latin offers to people a chance to enhance their current language  (if that language is a Romance Language [i.e. French, Italian, Spanish, etc.] or English). Latin roots permeate throughout most words, and allow individuals to ameliorate their vocabulary.

Transparent Language offers many ways to learn languages and has over 100 languages to learn: From Arfikaans to Zulu learn them all here.

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For Latin, Transparent Language offers Popular Audio Phrases (here) and the Latin Word of the Day (email subscription here).

I know, I love opening my Latin Word of the Day! I always make a game out of it by covering the translation and trying to see how quickly I can translate the Latin or what words I immediately recognize!

For Latin you can check out the latest Latin news, the Word of the Day, the latest Blog post on Facebook (here) and Twitter (here), AND there is also a YouTube Channel (here). These will surely help you in your language adventures and discovering the impact Latin has in popular culture!


Helpful Posts that show you: What it is, How to use it, and other helpful tips for grammar!

Nouns Basic: Here.

Nominative & Vocative: Here

Accusative: Here.

Genitive: Here.

Dative: Here.

Ablative: Here.

Noun 1st Declension: Singular, Plural

Noun 2nd Declension: Singular, Plural, Neuter, Neuter II

Noun 3rd Declension: Singular, Plural, Odd Verbs

Noun 4th Declension: Feminine, Neuter, Irregular

Adverbs: Here.

Verb Basics: Here.

Verbs 1st Conjugation: Here.

Verbs 2nd Conjugation: Here.

Verbs 3rd Conjugation: Here.

Verbs 4th Conjugation: Here.


This Month this blog will be posting on the following topics: How to Write a Love Letter in Latin, Video Games & Latin, The Enigmatic Festival of Summanus. Are you excited? I know I am!