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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

396                The Loom of Language
the equivalents of English it is necessary that (French il faut que,
Spanish es menester que, Itahan hsogna che\ (c) after certain conjunctions
of which the most important are.
FRENCH                  SPANISH                 ITALIAN                 ENGLISH
pour que            para que             perch6                in order that
afin que              a fin de que        affinch&
quoique             aunque               sebbene             although
bien que             bien que             bench&
sans que             sin que               senza che            without
pourvu que         con tal que         purch£               provided that
a moms que        a menos qae       a meno che         unless
au cas que          en caso que        in caso che         in case that
All you have to do to get the conditional of a regular French verb is
to add the personal endings of the imperfect to the infinitive To under-
stand its form and one of its functions we must go back to Vulgar Latin
Perhaps the reader of The Loom has already heard once too often about
how Roman citizens of the later Empire could express future time by
coupling the infinitive with the present tense of habere^ e g credo quod
venire hdbet (I believe that he will come); but there is a good enough
reason for mentioning it again For / believed he 'would come, Romans
would use past tense-forms of habere with the infinitive, i e credebam
quod venire habebat> or credebam quod venire hdbuit Just as the future
tense of Romance languages (other than Rumanian) is based on
agglutination of the verb infinitive with the present of habere, the
conditional results from gluing the verb infinitive to imperfect (Spanish,
Portuguese, French) or past histonc (Italian) tense-forms of the same
helper verb This tells us the original function of the conditional mood,
i e that we have to use it when we speak about a past event which had
not yet happened at the time involved in the preceding statement Its
original past-future function survives in all constructions analogous to
those ated above The following examples show the ordinary future
and the past-future (i e conditional)
English,     he says he will come     ,   he said he would come
French.     il dit qu'il viendra         il disait qu'il viendrait
Spanish,    dice que vendrd             decia que vendria.
Italian •     dice che verr£               diceva che verrebbe
The conditional has taken on another function, and derives its name
from it. We have to use it in the main clause of French conditional
statements when fulfilment is unrealizable, or at least remote, e g