Latin Conditional Clauses:
Factual and Contrary-to-Fact

Cf. Wheelock 33

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"If-clauses" are conditional clauses when the word if means "under the condition that."   There are two major types of conditional structures: 1. factual and 2. contrafactual (contrary to fact).





1. Factual structures are in the indicative mood, whatever the tense:

1. If Marcus loves Julia, she loves him.

Sî Marcus Iûliam amat,
ea eum amat.

Present factual: present indicative
+ present indicative

2. If Marcus [at one time] loved Julia, [then] she [at one time] loved him.

Sî Marcus Iûliam amâvit,
ea eum amâvit.

Past factual: perfect / imperfect indicative
+ perfect / imperfect indicative

3. If Marcus loves Julia [in the sense of "someday in the future loves her"], she will love him.

Sî Marcus Iûliam amâverit,
ea eum amâbit.

Future more vivid: future / future perfect indicative
+ future / future perfect indicative





2. Contrary to fact structures are in the subjunctive mood, whatever the tense. Notice that in these examples the second tense is the same as the first tense: two present verbs, two imperfect verbs, or two past perfect (pluperfect) verbs.

4. If Marcus should [perhaps ever some day] love Julia,
she would love him.

Sî Marcus Iûliam amet,
ea eum amet.

Future less vivid (should-would): present subjunctive
+ present subjunctive

5. If Marcus loved Julia [but he doesn't love her now],
she would love him [but she doesn't love him now].

Sî Marcus Iûliam amâret,
ea eum amâret.

Present contrary to fact: imperfect subjunctive
+ imperfect subjunctive

6. If Marcus had loved Julia,
she would have loved him.

Sî Marcus Iûliam amâvisset,
ea eum amâvisset.

Past contrary to fact: past perfect subjunctive
+ past perfect subjunctive






It is possible to have a mixing of tenses:

If you had found me sooner, I would be free now.

Sî mê citius invênissês, lîber nunc essem.






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