FEARING CLAUSES 

      We are nearing the end of the major constructions that use the Subjunctive. Here are the details to help you cope with one of the most ‘specialised’ clauses – but no less important to understand.


Use the links in the box below to move quickly to the various sections of this page

 

 

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What are Fearing Clauses?

Fears for the Future

Fears over the Past

The Verb 'VEREOR'

Practice Sentences

Just For Fun....

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

WHAT IS A FEARING CLAUSE?


           'Fearing' Clauses are indeed in a fairly narrow niche as far as common constructions using the Subjunctive go, requiring (as they do) an introductory verb meaning "to fear" - namely
TIMEO, the Passive of TERREO, the deponent verb VEREOR and possibly roundabout expressions using nouns; it is rather odd however that the construction is one of the more complicated to explain how it 'works'!


         The difficulty mainly comes that there are
3 distinct ways in which the verbs 'to fear' are used.


    
Firstly, there is the sense of being afraid TO DO something;

     Then, fears over things that
 may happen (in the future) but haven't yet;

     Finally, fears over things that might already have happened (in the past).


        Each of these 3 uses has a different syntax structure in Latin.


    The first of these
(being "AFRAID TO….") is thankfully very straightforward and needn't concern us long. It just requires an INFINITIVE after the verb, as in English:

                e.g.  PUELLA  TIMEBAT  AQUAM  INTRARE.
                        The girl was afraid TO ENTER the water.


     
Without further ado, let's look at the other two more complicated uses.

 

 



 

 

    FEARS FOR THE FUTURE


            These would appear in English in sentences like:


        
e.g.  We were afraid that the prisoners would escape.
                 My friend is afraid that he will be sent to the war.


      This type of sentence is found in Latin with a very similar construction to those of Purpose Clauses or Indirect Commands:
the verb in the clause is once again in either the Present or Imperfect Subjunctive, according to Sequence.

         The only difference is that the clause is
always introduced by the conjunction "NE" (I suppose because "being afraid" is always a NEGATIVE emotion), with an extra "NON" added if someone is afraid that something WON'T happen:

     e.g. (the two examples above)

                     TIMEBAMUS  NE  CAPTIVI  EFFUGERENT.
                     MEUS  AMICUS  TIMET  NE  AD  BELLUM  MITTATUR.



       
A 'negative' one:

         MATER  TIMEBAT  NE  LIBEROS  SERVARE  NON  POSSET.
        The mother was afraid that she wouldn't be able to save her children.

 

 

 


 


 

 

 FEARS OVER THE PAST


           This type of 'fear' uses a slightly different "rule". We are talking about sentences with meanings such as:


     
e.g.  The farmer is afraid that his horse has wandered out of the field.
           The citizens were afraid that the enemy had destroyed their walls.


     This time, the Latin construction is more similar to that of a Result Clause:
the subjunctive used corresponds to the English Indicative tense needed to translate.

      In fact, this rather inevitably does follow 'Sequence' - Perfect Subjunctive is found after Primary tense main verbs, and Pluperfect after Historic - so really you get the same result however you analyse it!

     The above examples would translate:

        e.g.  AGRICOLA  TIMET  NE  EQUUS  EX  AGRO  ERRAVERIT.
                CIVES  TIMEBANT  NE  HOSTES  MUROS  DELEVISSENT.

 

 

 



 

 

The VERB 'VEREOR'

 

 Although this verb isn't strictly in the Vocab prescription, it is such a common way of expressing 'fear' that you are bound to come across it in the Set Books -and being a Deponent verb, it has an added "bonus use"!

         One part of VEREOR that is very often found is its PAST PARTICIPLE (VERITUS -a -um) with the literal meaning "Having feared" (the Active sense since it is Deponent).

         
This can in fact best be translated by
re-phrasing it as PRESENT: "Fearing…." and then continuing with the clause constructions as outlined above.

          So, this allows the addition of an extra Participle element to make a longer sentence:

     e.g.  VERITUS  NE  CAPERETUR,  HANNIBAL  VENENUM  BIBIT.
             Fearing that he would be captured, Hannibal drank poison.


     You may notice that because the Participle is actually PAST (as is the main verb), the subjunctive used follows Historic Sequence and is therefore Imperfect.


   
I will include some more examples in the practice sentences to get you more familiar with this.

 


     A SLIGHT DIGRESSION…

 

          It is surprising how often Deponent verb PAST Participles can actually sound better in English translated by PRESENT ones. This is a useful tip to bear in mind generally:

    e.g.  PRIMA  LUCE  PROFECTI,  AGRICOLAE  ROMAM  SEXTA  HORA  ADVENERUNT.
       Setting out at dawn, the farmers reached Rome by lunchtime.

           DEOS  PRECATUS,  HORATIUS  DE  PONTE  SE  IECIT.
           Praying to the gods, Horatius threw himself off the bridge.

 

 

 




 

 

 

PRACTICE SENTENCES

 


           
We probably don't need quite so many as usual since there is such limited variation.

 

    1.  SENEX  MULTOS  ANNOS  TIMEBAT  NE  MILITES  AURUM  INVENIRENT.

Answer:  For many years the farmer feared that the soldiers would find his gold. 

 

    2.  PUERI  PERTERRITI  SUNT  NE  A MAGISTRO  IN  HORTO  CONSPECTI  ESSENT.

Answer: The boys were frightened that the master had seen them in his garden (actually Passive in Latin: '…that they had been seen…').

 

    3.  VERITUS  NE  VENDERETUR,  SERVUS  IN  TEMPLUM  SACRUM  FUGERAT.

Answer:  Fearing that he would be sold, the slave had fled into the sacred temple.

 

    4.  HAEC  MULIER  TIMET  NE  FILIA  OCTO ANNOS  NATA  IN  PERICULUM  ERRAVERIT.

Answer:  This woman is afraid that her eight-year-old daughter has wandered into danger.

 

    5.  INGENS  TIMOR  INTER  CIVES  ERAT  NE  AB  HOSTIBUS  MOX  OPPUGNARENTUR.

Answer:  There was huge fear amongst the citizens that they would soon be attacked by the enemy.

 

    6.  TIMEMUS  NE  NULLA  SPES  SALUTIS  NOBIS  IAM  SIT.

Answer:  We are afraid that there is no hope of safety for us now.

 

    7.  ROMANI  TIMEBANT  NE  HANNIBAL  EXERCITUI  FRATRIS  SE  IUNGERET.

Answer:  The Romans were afraid that Hannibal would link up with his brother's army (literally: '…join himself to…').

 

    8.  VERITI  NE  UXORES  LIBEROSQUE  ITERUM  NON  VIDERENT,  NAUTAE  IN  MARE  SE  IECERUNT.

Answer:  Fearing that they would never see their wives and children again, the sailors threw themselves into the sea.

 

    9.  TIMEO  NE  TALES  SERVI  DOMINO  ROMANO  NUMQUAM  PAREANT.

Answer:  I'm afraid that this type of slave will never obey a Roman master (literally: '…such slaves…').

 

    10.  TIMEMUS  NE  AGRICOLA  MAXIMUM  PRETIUM  PRO  HIS  EQUIS  ROGET.

Answer:  We are afraid that the farmer will ask a very large price for these horses.

 

 

 

 


 

 

     JUST FOR FUN…

 

             And finally….! Be sure you identify which 'category' each sentence falls into so that you use the correct Subjunctive after 'NE'.

 

    1.  The soldiers were afraid that the angry old man would throw his wife out of the window (fenestra 1,f).

Answer:  MILITES  TIMEBANT  NE  SENEX  IRATUS  UXOREM  DE (or 'E')  FENESTRA  IACERET.

 

    2.  We're afraid that we will never find our son in this big crowd.

  Answer:  TIMEMUS  NE  FILIUM  IN  HAC  TURBA  MAGNA  NUMQUAM  INVENIAMUS.

 

    3.  The young man was afraid that his father hadn't sent the money.

Answer:  IUVENIS  TIMEBAT  NE  PATER  PECUNIAM  NON  MISISSET.

 

  4.  I was greatly afraid that my brother was being held there by the guards.

Answer:  MAGNOPERE  TIMEBAM  NE  FRATER  A  CUSTODIBUS  IBI  TENERETUR.

 

    5.  Don't be afraid that you have requested our help in vain (say 'sought help from us').

Answer:  NOLITE  TIMERE  NE  AUXILIUM  A  NOBIS  FRUSTRA  PETIVERITIS.

 

    6.  Fearing that his villa was on fire (say 'was being burnt'), the senator rushed home at once.

Answer:  VERITUS  NE  VILLA  INCENDERETUR,  SENATOR  DOMUM  STATIM  RUIT.

 

I'm afraid that that's all you're going to get about Fearing Clauses… (…which may be a great relief for you)!