INDIRECT COMMAND

If you are up to speed with Purpose Clauses, this construction shouldn’t cause you any trouble. They are so similar that the only real issue is telling the difference between them!

 

 

Find links in the box below to take you quickly to the various sections of this page.

 

 


What is an Indirect Command?

Latin Indirect Commands

IUBEO (& Veto)

Translating Indirect Commands

Practice Sentences

Spot the Difference

Just for fun....

 

 

 




 

 

    What is INDIRECT COMMAND? 
            

   The second of the (3) "Indirect" constructions carries with it the same idea of 'reported speech' that you are hopefully familiar with from studying Indirect Statements .

   This time, you need to imagine that what was originally said in Direct Speech was a Command or Request (i.e. an IMPERATIVE or its negative equivalent "NOLI").

   e.g    "Come here!"
             "Don't shout!"

  When this is 'related' back to someone else, you end up with sentences like:

            They asked him to come here
             He told the boys not to shout


    
You will spot quite quickly that Indirect Commands in English are always phrased using an INFINITIVE: "…to come", "…not to shout", etc.

     There are also only a limited number of verbs that are likely to be used in the Main Clause to introduce the Indirect Command clause. This last part of course is also true in Latin - but, with only 2 exceptions, these main verbs are not just followed by a simple Infinitive.

 

 

 



 

  

LATIN INDIRECT COMMANDS

 

             Leaving the two "exceptional" verbs for the moment, the other verbs leading up to an Indirect Command are all followed by a rather familiar construction:

 

        UT or NE followed by the Present or Imperfect Subjunctive.

    
This will probably give you a sense of "déjà vu" - that was the "Rule" for Purpose Clauses!


     Yes, it's true: these two constructions follow an identical pattern, even down to obeying the "Sequence" rule.

The only difference is in the class of verbs you will find in the Main Clause leading up to the UT or NE.

       As mentioned above, there are only a limited number of these, limited even more by what the GCSE vocab syllabus prescribes. The most common you will see are:

                   IMPERO  - I command, give a strong order
                   ROGO  -  I ask
                   MONEO  -  I advise or warn, possibly with its compound:
                   ADMONEO   - which is always used negatively to warn
                                                               not to do something
                   ORO  -  I beg
                   PETO  (+ A/Ab)  -  I request ("seek from" someone)
                   PERSUADEO  -  I persuade
           and  HORTOR  -  I encourage or urge.

 

           You would expect nothing less from Vir Drinks Beer by now than to hear that there is a VDB way of remembering all these verbs: they have long been known as the 'MORPHIA  P' verbs (OK, so come up with a better acronym of your own if you want!)

                      e.g.  MONEO
                              
ORO

                              ROGO

                              
PETO  (placed here to connect with 'Rogo')
                              HORTOR
                              IMPERO
                              ADMONEO

                  and      PERSUADEO.



 

 


 

 

       IUBEO (and Veto)

 

              You may have been wondering why the verb that you probably know best meaning "I order" doesn't make it into the list of MORPHIA  P verbs. This is because it is one of the 2 verbs that are not followed by the UT/NE + Subjunctive construction.

         Together with its 'opposite' verb, VETO (-are vetui vetitum, one of the very few first conjugation verbs with irregular Principal Parts), meaning "I forbid", or "I order (someone) NOT to do something",  IUBEO mirrors the English construction: it is followed by a simple Infinitive:

       e.g.  DUX  MILITES  OPPUGNARE  IUSSIT
               The general ordered the soldiers to fight

                TE  VETO  EX  URBE  DISCEDERE
                I forbid you/order you not to leave the city

 

IUBEO of course is better known to you because it was the only verb that could be used to order people to do things until you had learned the Subjunctive! Its easy syntax is also a boon when translating from English into Latin.

 

  

 

 


 

    

 

TRANSLATING INDIRECT COMMANDS

 

               Once you have spotted UT or NE, it is now more important to look at the Main Clause. If you have one of the MORPHIA  P verbs, you must be careful not to fall automatically into translating UT or NE with all the various possibilities available in a Purpose Clause.

           In an Indirect Command, it is usually unnecessary (indeed, wrong most of the time) to try to say "so that" or "in order to".

 

           Most usually, you should just translate UT as "to…", and NE as "not to…."

           e.g.   NOS  ROGAT  UT  MANEAMUS

    means   "He is asking us TO stay"

         not    "He is asking us SO THAT we may stay"!


       It is possible, especially with "PETO" and if there is a different subject in the Indirect Command clause, to translate UT or NE as
"…that…" on its own at the beginning of the clause:

         e.g.  A  REGE  PETEMUS  UT  FRATER  LIBERETUR

             "We shall petition the king THAT our brother may be set free"

    or      "We shall request THAT the king releases our brother"


      
On the whole, though, it is much more likely that you will find using a straight Infinitive in English gives you the translation you need.

 

 

 




 

 

 

     PRACTICE SENTENCES

           There's not really much more to say!

           See how you get on with some practice translations. Highlight the answer line as usual to see if you're right.

        N.B. Remember that IMPERO and PERSUADEO put their object into the Dative case.

 

    1.  NAUTAE  DEOS  ORABANT  UT  SE  SERVARENT.

Answer:  The sailors were begging the gods to save them. 

 

    2.  DUX  COPIAS  HORTATUS  EST  UT  SUMMA  VIRTUTE  PUGNARENT.

Answer: The general encouraged his troops to fight with the utmost courage.

 

    3.  UXORI  PERSUADERE  CONABOR  UT  CENAM  OPTIMAM  NOBIS  PARET.

Answer:  I shall try to persuade my wife to prepare her best supper for us.

 

    4.  AMICE,  TE  ADMONUIMUS  NE  OMNE  VINUM  ILLUD  BIBERES!

Answer:  Friend, we warned you not to drink all that wine!

 

    5.  INCOLAE  A  ROMANIS  PETIVERUNT  UT  AUXILIUM  QUAM  CELERRIME  MITTERENT.

Answer:  The inhabitants requested the Romans to send help as quickly as possible.

 

    6.  PATER  ME  ROGAVIT  NE  TIBI  ITERUM  LOQUAR.

Answer:  My father has asked me not to speak to you again (Beware Sequence! A Present Subjunctive means you need a Primary tense main verb!).

 

    7.  PRINCEPS  SENATORES  HORTABATUR  UT  TEMPLA  AEDIFICARENT.

Answer:  The Emperor was encouraging the Senators to build temples.

 

    8.  CUR  SERVIS  IMPERABAS  UT  PORTAS  CLAUDERENT?

Answer:  Why were you telling the slaves to close the gates?

 

    9.  NOLI  ME  ROGARE  UT  PLUS  PECUNIAE  TIBI  DEM!

Answer:  Don't ask me to give you more money!

 

    10.  SENEX  FILIO  PERSUASIT  NE  VILLAM  PROPE  MARE  VENDAT.

Answer: (Beware Sequence!)  The old man has persuaded his son not to sell their house by the sea.

 

    11.  TE  MONEO  NE  CRAS   HIC  INVENIARIS.

Answer:  I advise you not to be found here tomorrow.

 

    12.  UXOR  CAESAREM  SAPIENTER  MONUIT  UT  DOMI  MANERET.

Answer:  Caesar's wife wisely advised him to stay at home (guess on what date I wrote this sentence…!).

 

 

 



 

 

 SPOT THE DIFFERENCE

 

        Can you tell which of the following sentences contain an Indirect Command, and which have a Purpose Clause - and then translate them appropriately?


Look for the MORPHIA  P verbs in the Main Clause.
You have plenty of  choice over translating UT/NE if it's Purpose; but don't try to do the same if you have an Indirect Command.

      Highlight the 'Clause' line first if you want to check you've made the right choice!

 

    1.   NAUTA  AUDAX  SOCIIS  PERSUASIT  UT  AD  INSULAM  SECUM  NAVIGARENT.

Clause:  Indirect Command
Answer:  The bold sailor persuaded his comrades to sail to the island with him.

 

    2.  TIBI  IMPERO  UT  PECUNIAM  STATIM  REDDAS!

Clause:  Indirect Command
Answer:  I command you to return the money at once!

 

    3.  ANCILLAE  IUVENES  VOCAVERUNT  UT  AUXILIUM  ROGARENT.

Clause:  Purpose ('ROGO' is AFTER the 'UT': not in the main clause)
Answer:  The slave-girls called the young men so they could ask for help.

 

    4.  INCOLAE  OPPIDI  EXERCITUM  ORABANT  UT  CIBUM  SIBI  DARENT.

Clause:  Indirect Command
Answer:  The townspeople were begging the army to give them food.

 

    5.  NOLI  CONSILIUM  NOSTRUM  EI  NARRARE  NE  TOTAM  LEGIONEM  MONEAT.

Clause:  Purpose (again, 'MONEO' is after the 'NE')
Answer:  Don't tell him our plan in case he warns the whole legion.

 

    6.  NONNE  AB  ILLO  PETERE  POTES  NE  TANTA  VOCE  CANTET?

Clause:  Indirect Command
Answer:  Can't you ask that guy politely not to sing so loudly?

 

 

 



 

 

JUST FOR FUN…..

 

      The procedure for English into Latin is just the same as when you translate Purpose Clauses: work out the SEQUENCE of TENSES and use the correct Subjunctive:

   
   e.g.  The soldiers were warning the young man not to approach the wall.

               Imperfect tense  -  Historic sequence  -  Imperfect Subjunctive


    So:  MILITES  IUVENEM  ADMONEBANT  NE  AD  MURUM  APPROPINQUARET.

 

       One extra tip: if the English sentence actually says "order" or "tell", there's nothing wrong with using 'IUBEO' and an Infinitive!

       Finally, don't forget that IMPERO and PERSUADEO take the Dative.

       You can highlight the 'Sequence' line if you want to check this part first.

 

    1.  The woman asked (her) husband to carry the table (I assume you know the Latin for 'table', even if it is off the syllabus…!)

Sequence:  Aorist  -  Historic  -  Imperfect Subjunctive
Answer:  FEMINA  VIRUM  ROGAVIT  UT  MENSAM  PORTARET.

 

    2.  The farmer was begging the soldiers not to destroy (his) fields.

Sequence:  Imperfect  -  Historic  -  Imperfect Subjunctive 
Answer:  AGRICOLA  MILITES  ORABAT  NE  AGROS  DELERENT.

 

    3.  I advise you to listen carefully.

Sequence:  Present  -  Primary  -  Present Subjunctive
Answer:  TE  MONEO  UT  DILIGENTER  AUDIAS.

 

    4.  The queen told the slave-girls to hurry.

Sequence:  Why not just use 'IUBEO'?
Answer:  REGINA  ANCILLAS  FESTINARE  IUSSIT.

 

    5. Now do number 4 using the other verb 'to order'!

Sequence:  Aorist  -  Historic  -  Imperfect  Subjunctive
Answer :  REGINA  ANCILLIS  IMPERAVIT  UT  FESTINARENT.

 

    ……which probably explains why IUBEO is more common than IMPERO!

 

The Indirect Command construction is really one of the easier ones to get used to. Just make sure that you are watching out for those MORPHIA  P verbs!


   ("VDB encouraged his readers to brush up on their MORPHIA  P's…")