Medieval Latin Online Logo

HOME | Course Info | Blackboard | QUIA
Week 1 Intro | Weekly Activities | Calendar | Grading
Grammar Guide | Perseus Dictionary | Perseus Tool

image of Hrabanus Maurus
images from ms. of De civitate Dei
image of medieval king (11th century)

Grammar: Cum + subjunctive

When the Latin word "cum" is used as a conjunction, it usually has some kind of temporal meaning. Sometimes it defines the time ("when"), but it can also be used to describe the time in a variety of ways ("since," "while", etc.). If it is used to define the time at which something happened -- time "when" -- cum is used with an indicative verb.

Temporal cum. When cum is used with the imperfect or pluperfect subjunctive, it can describe the circumstances that accompanied the main verb (imperfect subjunctive) or preceded the main verb (pluperfect subjunctive).

» Cum esset iuvenis, Marcus miles erat. When he was a young man, Marcus was a soldier.

» Cum Marciam vidisset, Marcus territus est. When he saw Marcia, Marcus was terrified.

Causal cum. Cum can be used with the subjunctive to explain causal circumstances.

» Cum valde fortis Samson sit, nemo eum superare valeat. Since Samson is very strong, no one can defeat him.

Concessive cum. Cum can be used with the subjunctive to explain contrary circumstances.

» Cum Marcia multam pecuniam habuisset, felix non erat. Although Marcia had a lot of money, she wasn't happy.

Modern Languages 4970 / MRS 4903: Medieval Latin. Spring 2003 Online Course at the University of Oklahoma. Visit for more info.
Laura Gibbs, University of Oklahoma - Information Technology © 2003. Last updated: December 29, 2002 7:12 PM