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  5. "Velisne panem?"

"Velisne panem?"

Translation:Would you like bread?

August 28, 2019



Minime, plenus sum.


So I can eat it and cry on the floor in Norwegian

I love Duolingo sentences


Visne or Vultisne, not subjunctive.


Why not subjunctive?


Classical Latin has very few independent/main verb uses of the subjunctive, and "politeness" is not one of them. Volo in the indicative is inherently polite; otherwise they would have just used an imperative and ordered you to do it.


Actually this is the Optative use of the subjunctive. Showing a wishing or wanting for something. It is not meant to show politeness, but rather focuses on the desire aspect. Both the indicative and subjunctive of velle fit this well.

Also the imperative is not inherently rude, it can be used in requests as well. Hence using the imperative to beseech deities. No one dares to command the gods.


Eleanor Dickey and Peter Barrios-Lech (among others) have done some very good work in the past 15 years about the politeness question. In Cicero's case in his letters, a bare imperative is abrupt and peremptory. It is softened by words such as rogo and quaeso. But not by sīs, apparently, which is peremptory in itself.

I think one just has to think of prayer (both pagan and Christian, BTW; there are three imperatives in the Vulgate Lord's Prayer) as a special category with its own rules. Just as it has struck me as odd that languages with the formal/informal distinction seem to use the informal/intimate addressing God, so imperatives are part of the formula.


But the question remains, whether "I would like you to do something" (with optative subj. velim followed by a clause with verb in the subjunctive) gives a model for "I would like (something in the accusative case, such as) bread." That's what's being contested.


You raise good points, ColinJParry, about the indicative of velle fitting this situation well and also that the imper is not inherently rude, but where in classical Latin do you find an example of an attainable wish/ optative subjunctive with or without utinam asking for something? I cannot find any examples & classical scholars provide evidence for ways to ask for things in Latin that do not use the subjunctive in this way. At issue is the subjunctive on its own asking for something simple, say, at a taverna. Please show us an example from Plautus or Apuleius, for instance, where such a request/wish occurs.


I'm with @ColinJParry on this one. Some examples from the literature: Plautus Amphytrion 5.1.6, Horace Odes 3.16.38, Cicero Pro Marcello 10.32


I hesitate to disagree, but I've looked at the Horace poem you reference, and if I'm not mistaken, the velim in line 38 of Horace Odes 3.16 is part of a "future less vivid" condition, and so not an example of a potential subjunctive at all. (Or maybe I'm missing the point!)

Horace writes, " ... nec, si plura velim, tu dare deneges" (where both velim and deneges are present subjunctives in a conditional sentence). "... and, if I should want more [things/stuff], you would not refuse to give [them]."


Well done for the Plautus reference. I've been looking for examples of velim with a simple object, and this is the first one I've come across. aquam velim: "I would like some water".


Yes; the Amphitryo passage is interesting. The slavewoman is upset, unwell, all in a panic, her head hurts, and she wishes she had some water (aquam velim)--notice she's not making a request of anyone, however. But it is the first I've seen, of a velim form governing a simple accusative.


I agree with you. She's not requesting water from someone, she saying she could really do with some.

I've just checked the notes for the lesson which explicitly state that the subjunctive should used for requesting something. I've not seen this before and I don't know of any authority for this. I think it's simply wrong.


Nancy, thanks for the effort in this interesting discussion, but the Cicero passage is an ut clause. SuzanneNussbaum has already shown that the Horace passage does not work. The Plautus passage is the only one that comes close but unfortunately she is not asking someone for something. Would that we could visit a taverna to hear how people asked for simple items! Maybe some Romans did use the optative subjunctive in this way, but the evidence does not appear strong.


So Katniss lives in "Bread Nation"


Yes, the name is taken from the phrase panem et circenses (bread and circuses) in the Satires, a collection of poems by the 2nd century A.D. author Juvenal. In A.S. Kline's translation:

Long ago, when they lost their votes, and the bribes; the mob
That used to grant power, high office, the legions, everything,
Curtails its desires, and reveals its anxiety for two things only,
Bread and circuses.

If you feel like tackling the Latin you can find it here. The phrase panem et circenses is at line 81. It's written in dactylic hexameter and the poetry is in the ictus, or the rhythm of the lines when spoken.


I am overwhelmed by all the Latin students here ! I only studied in high school. Thank you all for sharing the citations. Happy to know others are excited about Latin as well!! Giving you a Lingot :-)


Hello, whats the difference between panis and panem?


pānis is the SUBJECT form: "The bread is delicious!" "The bread pleases everyone!" "The bread is very expensive!"

pānem is the OBJECT form (or better, one of them, the ACCUSATIVE form):

"He buys bread in that store." "I want this bread!" "Give bread to everyone!"


Some comments here (and in other discussions) I don't understand. Some of them since they are on a higher level than the course. Then you need to explain every word, that has not yet been part of the course. Everyone is not a grammar expert, but perhaps we could learn, if there is a proper explanation. Other comments are hard to grasp since they are (perhaps) jokes, or just plain gibberish.


I didn't know this lesson would be easier than I thought! llllo_ollll


Ita quaeso!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Why is it panem and not panis?


direct object, so decline the noun to accusative. Cf. SuzanneNussbaum above.


Yes, it's pānis when it's nominative ( = the subject of a verb), as in: Pānis angelicus fit pānis hominum , "The bread belonging to the angels becomes the bread of people," (a hymn by St. Thomas Aquinas), describing the Incarnation (or so I hear).


It is a part of a Mass setting for the Feast of Corpus Christi, and describes the Transubstantiation of the Host into the Body of Christ (the angelic Bread made into bread of men).


That's wonderful. However, if correct, it's an indication of mixing Latin periods. At issue is whether Latin study adheres to classical Latin with its approximate pronunciations and what can be known of classical grammar from extant sources or attempt a hybrid.


Minime, plenus sum.


Satis pānis iam habeō.


Could someone please clarify as to when to use panem and when to use panis? Thank you in advance. :)


meg: please read SuzanneNussbaum's explanations above. If there are additional follow-up questions, people will assist you, but first read the explanations already provided. Pax tibi

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