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444. The Subjunctive is used in questions implying (1) doubt, indignation, or (2) an impossibility of the thing's being done. The negative is nōn .
  1. quid agam, iūdicēs? quō vertam (Verr. 5.2) , what am I to do, judges ? whither shall I turn?
  2. etiamne eam salūtem (Pl. Rud. 1275) , shall I greet her?
  3. quid hōc homine faciās? quod supplicium dīgnum libīdinī êius inveniās (Verr. 2.40) , what are you to do with this man? what fit penalty can you devise for his wantonness?
  4. an ego nōn venīrem (Phil. 2.3) , what, should I not have come?
  5. quid dīcerem (Att. 6.3.9) , what was I to say?
  6. quis enim cēlāverit īgnem (Ov. H. 15.7) , who could conceal the flame?

Note.--The hortatory origin of some of these questions is obvious. Thus, quid faciāmus ?= faciāmus [ aliquid ], quid? let us do—what? (Compare the expanded form quid vīs faciāmus? what do you wish us to do?) Once established, it was readily transferred to the past: quid faciam? what AM I to do? quid facerem? what WAS I to do? Questions implying impossibility, however, cannot be distinguished from Apodosis (cf. § 517).

a. In many cases the question has become a mere exclamation, rejecting a suggested possibility:

  1. mihi umquam bonōrum praesidium dēfutūrum putārem (Mil. 94) , could 1 think that the defence of good men would ever fail me!

Note.--The indicative is sometimes used in deliberative questions: as,—quid agō, what am I to do?

Potential Subjunctive

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