[*] 442. The Optative Subjunctive is often preceded by the particle utinam; so regularly in the imperfect and pluperfect:—
- “falsus utinam vātēs sim ” (Liv. 21.10.10) , I wish I may be a false prophet.
- “ utinam Clōdius vīveret ” (Mil. 103) , would that Clodius were now alive.
- “ utinam mē mortuum vīdissēs ” (Q. Fr. 1.3.1) , would you had seen me dead.
- “ utinam nē vērē scrīberem ” (Fam. 5.17.3) , would that I were not writing the truth.
- “ ut pereat positum rōbīgine tēlum ” (Hor. S. 2.1.43) , may the weapon unused perish with rust.
- ō sī angulus ille accēdat (id. 2.6.8), O if that corner might only be added!
- “ sī nunc sē nōbīs ille aureus rāmus ostendat ” (Aen. 6.187) , if now that golden branch would only show itself to us!
[*] Note 1.--The subjunctive with utī ( ut ) or utinam was originally deliberative, meaning how may I, etc. (§ 444). The subjunctive with sī or ō sī is a protasis (§ 512. a), the apodosis not being expressed.
[*] Note 2.--The subjunctive of wish without a particle is seldom found in the imperfect or pluperfect except by sequence of tenses in Indirect Discourse (§ 585): as,ac venerāta Cerēs, ita culmō surgeret altō (Hor. S. 2.2.124), and Ceres worshipped [with libations] that so she might rise with tall stalk. [I<*> addressing the goddess directly the prayer would be: ita surgās.][*] b. Velim and vellem , and their compounds, with a subjunctive or infinitive, are often equivalent to an optative subjunctive:—
- “ velim tibi persuādeās ” (Fam. 9.13.2) , I should like to have you believe (I should wish that you would persuade yourself).
- “dē Menedēmō vellem vērum fuisset, dē rēgīnā velim vērum sit ” (Att. 15.4.4) , about Menedemus I wish it had been true; about the queen I wish it may be.
- “ nōllem accidisset tempus ” (Fam. 3.10.2) , I wish the time never had come.
- “ māllem Cerberum metuerēs ” (Tusc. 1.12) , I had rather have had you afraid of Cerberus (I should have preferred that you feared Cerberus).
[*] Note.-- Velim etc., in this use, are either potential subjunctives, or apodoses with the protasis omitted (§ 447. 1. N.). The thing wished may be regarded as a substantive clause used as object of the verb of wishing (§ 565. N.1).Deliberative Subjunctive