In Dependent Clauses the use of the Subjunctive in Plautus' colloquial language was not at all so strictly regulated as in the literary language of the Augustan Age. It is extremely difficult to say with certainty: ‘in this or that Dependent Clause Plautus could not use the Indicative’ or ‘could not use the Subjunctive’ In most types of clause we find both Moods used, but never quite at random. There is always a particular nuance of thought expressed by the one and the other. The use of the Indicative makes the statement more a definite statement of actual fact, the use of the Subjunctive makes it more indefinite, more dependent on external agency. The distinction is most clearly seen in Oratio Obliqua, where the Plautine and the classical usage scarcely differ, e.g.
Here quia non defraudaverim is Chrysalus' remark, while quia aurum reddidi is the remark of the speaker himself. Cf. Mil. 981 and 974, Mil. 300 and Epid. 19. Also in sentences not far removed from Oratio Obliqua, e.g.:
- Cist. 179 “et eam cognoscit esse quam compresserat” (the remark of the speaker).
- Aul. 29 “is scit adulescens quae sit quam compresserit” (= scio quae sit quam compressi, Or. Rect.).