[*] 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 .
- “quid agam, iūdicēs? quō mē vertam ” (Verr. 5.2) , what am I to do, judges ? whither shall I turn?
- “etiamne eam salūtem ” (Pl. Rud. 1275) , shall I greet her?
- “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?
- “an ego nōn venīrem ” (Phil. 2.3) , what, should I not have come?
- “quid dīcerem ” (Att. 6.3.9) , what was I to say?
- “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:
- “mihi umquam bonōrum praesidium dēfutūrum putārem ” (Mil. 94) , could 1 think that the defence of good men would ever fail me!