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1 323. Copulative and Disjunctive Conjunctions connect similar constructions, and are regularly followed by the same case or mood that precedes them:—
    scrīptum senātuī et populō; (Cat. 3.10), written to the senate and people.
  1. ut eās [partīs] sānārēs et cōnfīrmārēs (Mil. 68) , that you might cure and strengthen those parts.
  2. neque meā prūdentiā neque hūmānīs cōnsiliīs frētus (Cat. 2.29) , relying neither on my own foresight nor on human wisdom.

a. Conjunctions of Comparison (as ut, quam, tamquam, quasi) also commonly connect similar constructions:—

  1. hīs igitur quam physicīs potius crēdendum exīstimās (Div. 2.37) , do you think these are more to be trusted than the natural philosophers?
  2. hominem callidiōrem vīdī nēminem quam Phormiōnem (Ter. Ph. 591) , a shrewder man I never saw than Phormio (cf. § 407).
  3. ut nōn omne vīnum sīc nōn omnis nātūra vetustāte coacēscit (Cat. M. 65) , as every wine does not sour with age, so [does] not every nature.
  4. in quasi in tyrannum (Phil. 14.15) , against me as against a tyrant.

b. Two or more coördinate words, phrases, or sentences are often put together without the use of conjunctions (Asyndeton, § 601. c):

  1. omnēs , hominēs, all gods and men.
  2. summī, mediī, īnfimī, the highest, the middle class, and the lowest.
  3. iūra, lēgēs, agrōs, lībertātem nōbīs relīquērunt (B. G. 7.77) , they have left us our rights, our laws, our fields, our liberty.


    Where there are more than two coördinate words etc., a conjunction, if used, is ordinarily used with all (or all except the first):—
    1. aut aere aliēnōaut māgnitūdine tribūtōrum autiniūriā potentiōrum (B. G. 6.13) , by debt, excessive taxation, or oppression on the part of the powerful.
    2. at sunt mōrōsī etanxiī etīrācundī etdifficilēs senēs (Cat. M. 65) , but (you say) old men are capricious, solicitous, choleric, and fussy.
    But words are often so divided into groups that the members of the groups omit the conjunction (or express it), while the groups themselves express the conjunction (or omit it):—
    1. propudium illud et portentum, L. Antōnius īnsīgne odium omnium hominum (Phil. 14.8) , that wretch and monster, Lucius Antonius, the abomination of all men.
    2. utrumque ēgit graviter, auctōritāte etoffēnsiōne animī nōn acerbā; (Lael. 77), he acted in both cases with dignity, without loss of authority and with no bitterness of feeling.
    The enclitic -que is sometimes used with the last member of a series, even when there is no grouping apparent:—
    1. vōce voltū mōtūque (Brut. 110) , by voice, expression, and gesture.
    2. cūram cōnsilium vigilantiamque (Phil. 7.20) , care, wisdom, and vigilance.
    3. quōrum auctōritātem dīgnitātem voluntātemque dēfenderās (Fam. 1.7.2) , whose dignity, honor, and wishes you had defended.
d. Two adjectives belonging to the same noun are regularly connected by a conjunction:—
  1. multae et gravēs causae, many weighty reasons.
  2. vir līber aç fortis (Rep. 2.34) , a free and brave man.

e. Often the same conjunction is repeated in two coördinate clauses:

  1. et ... et (-que ... -que), both ... and.
  2. aut ... aut, either ... or.
  3. vel ... vel, either ... or. [Examples in § 324. e.]
  4. sīve ( seu ) ... sīve ( seu ), whether ... or. [Examples in § 324. f.]

f. Many adverbs are similarly used in pairs, as conjunctions, partly or wholly losing their adverbial force:—

  1. nunc ... nunc , tum ... tum, iam ... iam, now ... now.
  2. modo ... modo, now ... now.
  3. simul ... simul, at the same time ... at the same time.
  4. quā ... quā, now ... now, both ... and, alike [this] and [that].
  5. modo ait modo negat (Ter. Eun. 714) , now he says yes, now no.
  6. simul grātiās agit, simul grātulātur (Q. C. 6.7.15) , he thanks him and at the same time congratulates him.
  7. ērumpunt saepe vitia amīcōrum tum in ipsōs amīcōs tum in aliēnōs (Lael. 76) , the faults of friends sometimes break out, now against their friends themselves, now against strangers.
  8. quā marīs quā fēminās (Pl. Mil. 1113), both males and females.

g. Certain relative and demonstrative adverbs are used correla tively as conjunctions:—

  1. ut (rel.) ... ita , sīc (dem.), as (while) ... so (yet).
  2. tam (dem.) ... quam (rel.), so (as) ... as.
  3. cum (rel.) ... tum (dem.), while ... so also; not only ... but also.

324. The following Conjunctions require notice:—

a. Et, and, simply connects words or clauses; -que combines more closely into one connected whole. -que is always enclitic to the word connected or to the first or second of two or more words connected:

  1. cum coniugibus et līberīs, with [their] wives and children.
  2. ferrō īgnī que, with fire and sword. [Not as separate things, but as the combined means of devastation.]
  3. aquā et īgnī interdictus, forbidden the use of water and fire. [In a legal formula, where they are considered separately.]

b. Atque ( ac ), and, adds with some emphasis or with some implied reflection on the word added. Hence it is often equivalent to and so, and yet, and besides, and then. But these distinctions depend very much upon the feeling of the speaker, and are often untranslatable:—

  1. omnia honesta atque inhonesta, everything honorable and dishonorable (too, without the slightest distinction).
  2. ūsus atque disciplīna, practice and theory beside (the more important or less expected).
  3. atque ego crēdō, and yet I believe (for my part).

c. Atque ( ac ), in the sense of as, than, is also used after words of comparison and likeness:—

  1. simul atque, as soon as.
  2. nōn secus (nōn aliter) ac , not otherwise than if.
  3. prō ac dēbuī, as was my duty (in accordance as I ought).
  4. aequē ac , as much as you.
  5. haud minus ac iussī faciunt, they do just as they are ordered.

For and not, see § 328. a.

d. Sed and the more emphatic vērum or vērō, but, are used to introduce something in opposition to what precedes, especially after negatives (not this ... but something else). At (old form ast ) introduces with emphasis a new point in an argument, but is also used like the others; sometimes it means at least. At enim is almost always used to introduce a supposed objection which is presently to be overthrown. At is more rarely used alone in this sense.

Autem, however, now, is the weakest of the adversatives, and often marks a mere transition and has hardly any adversative force perceptible. Atquī, however, now, sometimes introduces an objection and sometimes a fresh step in the reasoning. Quod , but if, and if, now if, is used to continue an argument.

Note.-- Et, -que, and atque (ac) are sometimes used where the English idiom would suggest but, especially when a negative clause is followed by an affirmative clause continuing the same thought: as, “impetum hostēs ferre nōn potuērunt ac terga vertērunt(B. G. 4.35) , the enemy could not stand the onset, but turned their backs.

e. Aut, or, excludes the alternative; vel (an old imperative of volō ) and -ve give a choice between two alternatives. But this distinction is not always observed:—

  1. sed quis ego sum aut quae est in mē “facultās(Lael. 17) , but who am I or what special capacity have I? [Here vel could not be used, because in fact a negative is implied and both alternatives are excluded.]
  2. aut bibat aut abeat (Tusc. 5.118) , let him drink or (if he won't do that, then let him) quit. [Here vel would mean, let him do either as he chooses.]
  3. vīta tālis fuit vel fortūnā vel glōriā; (Lael. 12), his life was such either in respect to fortune or fame (whichever way you look at it).
  4. propinquōs habeant imbēcilliōrēs vel animō vel fortūnā; (id. 70), if they have relatives beneath them either in spirit or in fortune (in either respect, for example, or in both).
  5. aut deōrum aut rēgum fīliī; (id. 70), sons either of gods or of kings. [Here one case would exclude the other.]
  6. implicātī vel ūsū diūturnō vel etiam officiīs (id. 85), entangled either by close intimacy or even by obligations. [Here the second case might exclude the first.]

f. Sīve ( seu ) is properly used in disjunctive conditions (if either ... or if), but also with alternative words and clauses, especially with two names for the same thing:—

  1. sīve inrīdēns sīve quod ita putāret (De Or. 1.91) , either laughingly or because he really thought so.
  2. sīve deae seu sint volucrēs (Aen. 3.262) , whether they (the Harpies) are goddesses or birds.

g. Vel, even, for instance, is often used as an intensive particle with no alternative force: as,—vel minimus, the very least.

h. Nam and namque, for, usually introduce a real reason, formally expressed, for a previous statement; enim (always postpositive), a less important explanatory circumstance put in by the way; etenim (for, you see; for, you know; for, mind you) and its negative neque enim introduce something self-evident or needing no proof.

    ea vīta) quae est sōla vīta nōminanda. nam dum sumus inclūsī in hīs compāgibus corporis, mūnere quōdam necessitātis et gravī opere perfungimur; est enim animus caelestis, etc. (Cat. M. 77), (that life) which alone deserves to be called life; for so long as we are confined by the body's frame, we perform a sort of necessary function and heavy task. For the soul is from heaven.
  1. hārum trium sententiārum nūllī prōrsus adsentior. nec enim illa prīma vēra est (Lael. 57) , for of course that first one is n't true.

i. Ergō, therefore, is used of things proved formally, but often has a weakened force. Igitur, then, accordingly, is weaker than ergō and is used in passing from one stage of an argument to another. Itaque, therefore, accordingly, and so, is used in proofs or inferences from the nature of things rather than in formal logical proof. All of these are often used merely to resume a train of thought broken by a digression or parenthesis. Idcircō, for this reason, on this account, is regularly followed (or preceded) by a correlative (as, quia, quod, , ut, ), and refers to the special point introduced by the correlative.

    malum mihi vidētur esse mors. est miserum igitur, quoniam malum. certē. ergō et quibus ēvēnit iam ut morerentur et quibus ēventūrum est miserī. mihi ita vidētur. nēmō ergō nōn miser. (Tusc. 1.9.) Death seems to me to be an evil. ‘It is wretched, then, since it is an evil.’ Certainly. ‘Therefore, all those who have already died and who are to die hereafter are wretched.’ So it appears to me. ‘There is no one, therefore, who is not wretched.
  1. quia nātūra mūtārī nōn potest, idcircō vērae amīcitiae sempiternae sunt (Lael. 32) , because nature cannot be changed, for this reason true friendships are eternal.

j. Autem , enim , and vērō are postpositive 2; so generally igitur and often tamen .

k. Two conjunctions of similar meaning are often used together for the sake of emphasis or to bind a sentence more closely to what precedes: as, at vērō >, but in truth, but surely, still, however; itaque ergō, accordingly then; namque, for; et-enim, for, you see, for of course (§ 324. h).

For Conjunctions introducing Subordinate Clauses, see Syntax.

Negative Particles

3 325. In the use of the Negative Particles, the following points are to be observed:—

326. Two negatives are equivalent to an affirmative:—

  1. nēmō nōn audiet, every one will hear (nobody will not hear).
  2. nōn possum nōn cōnfitērī; (Fam. 9.14.1), I must confess.
  3. ut ... nōn timēre quidem sine aliquō timōre possīmus (Mil. 2) , so that we cannot even be relieved of fear without some fear.

a. Many compounds or phrases of which nōn is the first part express an indefinite affirmative:—

  1. nōn nūllus, some; nōn nūllī; (=aliquī), some few.
  2. nōn nihil (=aliquid), something.
  3. nōn nēmō; (=aliquot), sundry persons.
  4. nōn numquam (=aliquotiēns), sometimes.

b. Two negatives of which the second is nōn (belonging to the predicate) express a universal affirmative:—

  1. nēmō nōn, nūllus nōn, nobody [does] not, i.e. everybody [does]. [Cf. nōn nēmō, not nobody, i.e. somebody.]
  2. nihil nōn, everything. [Cf. nōn nihil, something.]
  3. numquam nōn, never not, i.e. always. [Cf. nōn numquam, sometimes.]

c. A statement is often made emphatic by denying its contrary (Litotes, § 641):—

  1. nōn semel (=saepissimē), often enough (not once only).
  2. nōn haec sine nūmine dīvom ēveniunt (Aen. 2.777) , these things do not occur without the will of the gods.
  3. haec nōn nimis exquīrō; (Att. 7.18.3), not very much, i.e. very little.

Note.--Compare nōn nūllus , nōn nēmō , etc., in a above.

327. A general negation is not destroyed—

    By a following ... quidem, not even, or nōn modo, not only:
      numquam nōn modo ōtium, sed bellumquidem nisi nefārium concupīstī; (Cat. 1.25), not only have you never desired repose, but you have never desired any war except one which was infamous.
    By succeeding negatives each introducing a separate subordinate member:—
    1. eaque nesciēbant nec ubi nec quālia essent (Tusc. 3.4) , they knew not where or of what kind these things were.
    By neque introducing a coördinate member:—
    1. nequeō satis mīrārīneque conicere (Ter. Eun. 547) , I cannot wonder enough nor conjecture.
328. The negative is frequently joined with a conjunction or with an indefinite pronoun or adverb. Hence the forms of negation in Latin differ from those in English in many expressions:—
  1. nūllī ( neutrī ) crēdō (not nōn crēdō ūllī ), I do not believe either (I believe neither).
  2. sine ūllō perīculō; (less commonly cum nūllō ), with no danger (without any danger).
  3. nihil umquam audīvī iūcundius, I never heard anything more amusing.
  4. Cf. negō haec esse vēra (not dīcō nōn esse ), I say this is not true (I deny, etc.)

a. In the second of two connected ideas, and not is regularly expressed by neque ( nec ), not by et nōn :—

  1. hostēs terga vertērunt, neque prius fugere dēstitērunt (B. G. 1.53) , the enemy turned and fled, and did not stop fleeing until, etc.

Note.--Similarly nec quisquam is regularly used for et nēmō; neque ūllus for et nūllus; nec umquam for et numquam; nēve ( neu ), for et .

329. The particle immo, nay, is used to contradict some part of a preceding statement or question, or its form; in the latter case, the same statement is often repeated in a stronger form, so that immo becomes nearly equivalent to yes (nay but, nay rather):—

  1. causa igitur nōn bona est? immo optima (Att. 9.7.4) , is the cause then not a good one? on the contrary, the best.

a. Minus, less (especially with , if, quō, in order that), and minimē, least, often have a negative force:—

  1. minus possunt, if they cannot. [For quō minus, see § 558. b.]
  2. audācissimus ego ex omnibus? minimē (Rosc. Am. 2) , am I the boldest of them all? by no means (not at all).

1 For the classification of conjunctions, see §§ 223, 224.

2 That is, they do not stand first in their clause.

3 For a list of Negative Particles see § 217. e.

hide References (38 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (37):
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 1.7.2
    • Cicero, Letters to his Friends, 9.14.1
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 7.18.3
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 9.7.4
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 1.53
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 6.13
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 7.77
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 1.25
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 2.29
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 3.10
    • Cicero, Philippics, 14.15
    • Cicero, Philippics, 14.8
    • Cicero, Philippics, 7.20
    • Cicero, For Sextus Roscius of Ameria, 2
    • Cicero, For Milo, 2
    • Cicero, For Milo, 68
    • Cicero, For Rabirius Postumus, 2.34
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 2.777
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 3.262
    • Terence, Phormio, 4.2
    • Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, 4.3
    • Terence, The Eunuch, 3.4
    • Terence, The Eunuch, 4.4
    • Cicero, On Oratory, 1.91
    • Cicero, De Senectute, 65
    • Cicero, De Senectute, 77
    • Cicero, De Amicitia, 12
    • Cicero, De Amicitia, 17
    • Cicero, De Amicitia, 32
    • Cicero, De Amicitia, 57
    • Cicero, De Amicitia, 76
    • Cicero, De Amicitia, 77
    • Cicero, De Divinatione, 2.37
    • Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes, 1.9
    • Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes, 3.4
    • Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes, 5.118
    • Curtius, Historiarum Alexandri Magni, 6.7.15
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 4.35
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