WHAT IS A FEARING CLAUSE?
'Fearing' Clauses are indeed in a fairly narrow niche as far as common constructions using the Subjunctive go, requiring (as they do) an introductory verb meaning "to fear" - namely TIMEO, the Passive of TERREO, the deponent verb VEREOR and possibly roundabout expressions using nouns; it is rather odd however that the construction is one of the more complicated to explain how it 'works'!
The difficulty mainly comes that there are 3 distinct ways in which the verbs 'to fear' are used.
Firstly, there is the sense of beingafraid TO DOsomething;
Then, fears over things that may happen (in the future)but haven't yet;
Finally, fears over things thatmight already have happened (in the past).
Each of these 3 uses has a different syntax structure in Latin.
The first of these (being "AFRAID TO….") is thankfully very straightforward and needn't concern us long. It just requires an INFINITIVE after the verb, as in English:
e.g. PUELLA TIMEBAT AQUAM INTRARE.
The girl was afraid TO ENTER the water.
Without further ado, let's look at the other two more complicated uses.
FEARS FOR THE FUTURE
These would appear in English in sentences like:
e.g. We were afraid that the prisoners would escape.
My friend is afraid that he will be sent to the war.
This type of sentence is found in Latin with a very similar construction to those of Purpose Clauses or Indirect Commands: the verb in the clause is once again in either the Present or Imperfect Subjunctive, according to Sequence.
The only difference is that the clause is always introduced by the conjunction "NE" (I suppose because "being afraid" is always a NEGATIVE emotion),with an extra "NON" added if someone is afraid that something WON'T happen:
e.g. (the two examples above)
TIMEBAMUS NE CAPTIVI EFFUGERENT.
MEUS AMICUS TIMET NE AD BELLUM MITTATUR.
A 'negative' one:
MATER TIMEBAT NE LIBEROS SERVARE NON POSSET.
The mother was afraid that she wouldn't be able to save her children.
FEARS OVER THE PAST
This type of 'fear' uses a slightly different "rule". We are talking about sentences with meanings such as:
e.g. The farmer is afraid that his horse has wandered out of the field.
The citizens were afraid that the enemy had destroyed their walls.
This time, the Latin construction is more similar to that of a Result Clause: the subjunctive used corresponds to the English Indicative tense needed to translate.
In fact, this rather inevitably does follow 'Sequence' - Perfect Subjunctive is found after Primary tense main verbs, and Pluperfect after Historic - so really you get the same result however you analyse it!
The above examples would translate:
e.g. AGRICOLA TIMET NE EQUUS EX AGRO ERRAVERIT.
CIVES TIMEBANT NE HOSTES MUROS DELEVISSENT.
The VERB 'VEREOR'
Although this verb isn't strictly in the Vocab prescription, it is such a common way of expressing 'fear' that you are bound to come across it in the Set Books -and being a Deponent verb, it has an added "bonus use"!
One part of VEREOR that is very often found is its PAST PARTICIPLE (VERITUS -a -um) with the literal meaning "Having feared" (the Active sense since it is Deponent).
This can in fact best be translated by re-phrasing it as PRESENT: "Fearing…." and then continuing with the clause constructions as outlined above.
So, this allows the addition of an extra Participle element to make a longer sentence:
e.g. VERITUS NE CAPERETUR, HANNIBAL VENENUM BIBIT.
Fearing that he would be captured, Hannibal drank poison.
You may notice that because the Participle is actually PAST (as is the main verb),the subjunctive used follows Historic Sequence and is therefore Imperfect.
I will include some more examples in the practice sentences to get you more familiar with this.
A SLIGHT DIGRESSION…
It is surprising how often Deponent verb PAST Participles can actually sound better in English translated by PRESENT ones. This is a useful tip to bear in mind generally:
e.g. PRIMA LUCE PROFECTI, AGRICOLAE ROMAM SEXTA HORA ADVENERUNT.
Setting out at dawn, the farmers reached Rome by lunchtime.
DEOS PRECATUS, HORATIUS DE PONTE SE IECIT.
Praying to the gods, Horatius threw himself off the bridge.
We probably don't need quite so many as usual since there is such limited variation.
1. SENEX MULTOS ANNOS TIMEBAT NE MILITES AURUM INVENIRENT.
Answer: For many years the farmer feared that the soldiers would find his gold.
2. PUERI PERTERRITI SUNT NE A MAGISTRO IN HORTO CONSPECTI ESSENT.
Answer: The boys were frightened that the master had seen them in his garden (actually Passive in Latin: '…that they had been seen…').
3. VERITUS NE VENDERETUR, SERVUS IN TEMPLUM SACRUM FUGERAT.
Answer: Fearing that he would be sold, the slave had fled into the sacred temple.
4. HAEC MULIER TIMET NE FILIA OCTO ANNOS NATA IN PERICULUM ERRAVERIT.
Answer: This woman is afraid that her eight-year-old daughter has wandered into danger.
5. INGENS TIMOR INTER CIVES ERAT NE AB HOSTIBUS MOX OPPUGNARENTUR.
Answer: There was huge fear amongst the citizens that they would soon be attacked by the enemy.
6. TIMEMUS NE NULLA SPES SALUTIS NOBIS IAM SIT.
Answer: We are afraid that there is no hope of safety for us now.
7. ROMANI TIMEBANT NE HANNIBAL EXERCITUI FRATRIS SE IUNGERET.
Answer: The Romans were afraid that Hannibal would link up with his brother's army (literally: '…join himself to…').
8. VERITI NE UXORES LIBEROSQUE ITERUM NON VIDERENT, NAUTAE IN MARE SE IECERUNT.
Answer: Fearing that they would never see their wives and children again, the sailors threw themselves into the sea.
9. TIMEO NE TALES SERVI DOMINO ROMANO NUMQUAM PAREANT.
Answer: I'm afraid that this type of slave will never obey a Roman master (literally: '…such slaves…').
10. TIMEMUS NE AGRICOLA MAXIMUM PRETIUM PRO HIS EQUIS ROGET.
Answer: We are afraid that the farmer will ask a very large price for these horses.
JUST FOR FUN…
And finally….! Be sure you identify which 'category' each sentence falls into so that you use the correct Subjunctive after 'NE'.
1. The soldiers were afraid that the angry old man would throw his wife out of the window (fenestra 1,f).
Answer: MILITES TIMEBANT NE SENEX IRATUS UXOREM DE (or 'E') FENESTRA IACERET.
2. We're afraid that we will never find our son in this big crowd.
Answer: TIMEMUS NE FILIUM IN HAC TURBA MAGNA NUMQUAM INVENIAMUS.
3. The young man was afraid that his father hadn't sent the money.
Answer: IUVENIS TIMEBAT NE PATER PECUNIAM NON MISISSET.
4. I was greatly afraid that my brother was being held there by the guards.
Answer: MAGNOPERE TIMEBAM NE FRATER A CUSTODIBUS IBI TENERETUR.
5. Don't be afraid that you have requested our help in vain (say 'sought help from us').
Answer: NOLITE TIMERE NE AUXILIUM A NOBIS FRUSTRA PETIVERITIS.
6. Fearing that his villa was on fire (say 'was being burnt'), the senator rushed home at once.
Answer: VERITUS NE VILLA INCENDERETUR, SENATOR DOMUM STATIM RUIT.
I'm afraid that that's all you're going to get about Fearing Clauses…(…which may be a great relief for you)!