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  5. "Vinum rubrum velim."

"Vinum rubrum velim."

Translation:I would like red wine.

August 29, 2019



Cabernet Sauvignon, please.


Lingotem rubrum velim :D


Again, the subjunctive is not needed here. Should be "Vinum rubrum volo."


I totally agree with you. You have convincingly debunked this whole meta-grammatical argumentation here that the so-called "potential subjunctive" was ever used in this particular context in Latin. "Would that I want red wine" (the force of vinum rubrum velim) is a wishful prayer to gods to restore one's lost appetite for red wine. In an independent clause, all by itself, it does not translate to English "I would like red wine" but rather "I would like to like red wine (again)" or similar.

Velim studentes tacere = "(If it was up to me, I) would (like) that the class shut up"; here, velim commands an infinitive, this is not the same as a direct object. Scio quid velim = "I know what I want" (i.e., what I would like); here, it is not independent but commanded by scio, which is the prototypical scenario for the subjunctive (aka conjunctive).

If you find examples of independent velim + direct object in Latin literature, anyone, please provide them.


Wouldn't that be 'i want red wine', rather than 'I would like red wine?


Yes, but classical Latin does not use the subjunctive for politeness. Independent uses of the subjunctive are reserved for other functions: https://www.thelatinlibrary.com/101/Subjunctive1.pdf.


Yes, there is a potential subjunctive, I'll agree. But I just don't know that I've ever encountered it being used that way. More like wishing for things that potentially could be true...ala "Would that it would rain today!" I don't know. I might be fighting an uphill battle here.


See Lewis and Short: "Velim, as potential subjunctive (mostly in 1st pers. sing., as subjunctive of modest statement), = volo, I wish, I should like."

(I rather like the term "subjunctive of modest statement." It sums up this usage of the potential subjunctive nicely.)


An idiom in Plautus when a person or a god is leaving or ending a conversation is num quid vis? (e.g., Menaechmi 327, 548). The indicative mood. It has the sense of "Do you want anything else?" num expects the answer no. Leumann-Hofmann-Szantyr (Lateinische Grammatik, 331) discuss uses of optative subjunctive diachronically and write: "Der Gebrauch wird später häufiger auf seine größere Verbreitung in der Volkssprache läßt wohl auch seine Häufigeit im Romanischen schließen." Cf. potential subjunctive (333-34); hortative and jussive (335).


In vino veritas.


I would like a red wine is marked wrong ... makes one wonder.


by the end of this lesson I definitely would like "velim" or more likely "velo" vinum rubrum.


I said "I like red wine." Why is that wrong? Does velim always imply "would like (to have)", and never just "like?" Anyway, what sort of verb has -im as the first person singular? Is that subjunctive of volo?


psyduck99, the examples given in Lewis & Short (p. 2009c) are part of a larger syntactic structure that uses the subjunctive in subordinate clauses, not on its own. It's possible that Romans employed the subjunctive in the way DL teaches with polite requests, but the evidence indicates that they made requests in other ways, not with the subjunctive on its own. Please share with us examples from classical Latin, say Plautus or Apuleius, if you can find them. I cannot find any. MagistraKate has done a service to push us to reconsider the assumption DL Latin makes in such cases. Where in classical Latin do we find an optative subjunctive for an attainable wish in a request of something from someone?

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