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319. The verb is sometimes omitted:—

a. Dīcō , faciō , agō, and other common verbs are often omitted in familiar phrases:—

  1. quōrsum haec [spectant], what does this aim at?
  2. ex ungue leōnem [cōgnōscēs], you will know a lion by his claw.
  3. quid multa, what need of many words? (why should I say much?)
  4. quid? quod, what of this, that ... ? (what shall I say of this, that ... ?) [A form of transition.]
  5. Aeolus haec contrā; (Aen. 1.76), Æolus thus [spoke] in reply.
  6. tum Cotta [inquit], then said Cotta.
  7. meliōra [duint]! (Cat. M. 47), Heaven forfend (may the gods grant better things)!
    unde [venīs] et quō [tendis]? (Hor. S. 2.4.1), where from and whither bound? [Cf. id. 1.9.62for the full form.]

b. The copula sum is very commonly omitted in the present indica tive and present infinitive, rarely (except by late authors) in the sub junctive:—

  1. coniūnx (Aen. 4.113) , you [are] his wife.
  2. quid ergō? audācissimus ego ex omnibus (Rosc. Am. 2) , what then? am I the boldest of all?
  3. omnia praeclāra rāra (Lael. 79) , all the best things are rare.
  4. potest incidere saepe contentiō et comparātiō duōbus honestīs utrum honestius (Off. 1.152) , there may often occur a comparison of two honorable actions, as to which is the more honorable. [Here, if any copula were expressed, it would be sit , but the direct question would be complete without any.]
  5. accipe quae peragenda prius (Aen. 6.136) , hear what is first to be accomplished. [Direct: quae peragenda prius ?]

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • J. B. Greenough, Benjamin L. D'Ooge, M. Grant Daniell, Commentary on Caesar's Gallic War, AG BG 5.1
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