GCSE Latin: Purpose Clauses

Purpose Clauses

Formula: ut + imperfect subjunctive
Example: trans viam transiimus ut ad alteram partem perveniremus.
We crossed the road to reach the other side.

There are three ways to translate a purpose clause:

We crossed the road to reach the other side.
We crossed the road in order to reach the other side.
We crossed the road so that we might reach the other side.

Each of these translations is correct. The first method is the simplest and avoids having to differentiate between a purpose clause and an indirect command.

The third method is necessary when the subject noun in the purpose clause is different to that in the main clause.

A negative purpose clause is introduced by ne.

e.g. pugnabamus ne vinceremur.

We fought so that we were not defeated.

Practice exercises

  1. ad urbem ii ut cibum emerem.

    I went to the city to buy food.

  2. domum rediimus ut patrem matremque videremus.

    We returned home to see mother and father.

  3. ille senator mihi donum dedit ut tacerem.

    That senator gave me a gift to keep quiet.

  4. ad summum montem processimus ut mare videremus.

    We proceeded to the top of the mountain to see the sea.

  5. venisti ut me servares.

    You came to save me.

  6. hostes ad castra regressi sunt ne pugnarent.

    The enemy returned to the camp in order not to fight.

  7. missi sumus ut pacem rogaremus.

    We were sent to ask for peace.

  8. bonos pueros laudavimus ut plura bona facerent.

    We praised the good boys so that they did more good things.

  9. celeriter iter fecerunt ne uxores consilia cognoscerent.

    They travelled quickly so that their wives did not find out their plans.

  10. custodes inter se loquebantur ne ante lucem dormirent.

    The guards were talking to each other so that they might not fall asleep before dawn.

Numidian cavalry

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