We find in Plautus the same types of this Tense
as in all periods of Latin, such as the Present of unachieved action, e.g.
“A. quid illuc quod dico (= volo dicere)? B. ehem,
scio iam quid vis dicere
”; longum est
‘it would be tedious,’ etc.,
e.g. Mil. 694
“flagitiumst, si nihil mittetur
but also Past, e.g.
Also the Historical Present, e.g. Mil. 287 sq.
fortuna per impluvium huc despexi in proxumum: atque ego illi
aspicio osculantem Philocomasium
” (often with quom, quoniam
other temporal Conjunctions, VIII. 10
In all languages the Present may play the part of a Future, especially
with the Verb ‘to go,’ e.g. ‘I go to-morrow,’ and in Attic Greek this
usage has been carried so far that εἶμι
is the recognised Future Tense.
In Old Latin this use of the Present is less in evidence than in modern
languages and is mostly confined to some Verbs of motion, especially
and its Compounds. In Plautus with redeo
the Present is normal
in a phrase like iam ad te redeo
(but the Future of revertor,
e.g. Pseud. 1159
and the Future Perfect of revenio,
); with eo, exeo, transeo,
is more frequent than the Future, while with sum
(e.g. iam ego hic
and other Verbs the Future is used. (For details see
Sjögren: Gebrauch des Futurums im Altlateinischen
. Upsala, 1906,
chap. i.) The Present is also normal with non,
after a Command.
e.g. Stich. 93
“A. adside hic, pater. B. non sedeo istic, vos sedete:
ego sedero in subsellio
”; also with quam mox
e.g. Truc. 208
“quam mox te huc recipis?
“iamne ego in
” Also in various types of Conditional Sentences
(see VIII. 5
), e.g. si sapis
), tacebis; si vivo, te ulciscar;
hoc faciam, si possum exorare
‘in hope to’; especially after nisi
threats, e.g. Cas. 730
“dabo tibi μέγα κακόν . . . nisi resistis
questions, when asking the advice of another, quid ago?,
, is Plautus' phrase, but quid faciam?
is used both in dialogue
and soliloquy; also however quid fit?
The use of the Present for the Future in Temporal Sentences with
etc., is discussed in VIII. 10
On the use of the
Present Subjunctive in a Future sense, e.g. Trin. 1136
“sed maneam etiam,
”, and the Dubitative Present Subjunctive, see below, 26