Module 12 - Causal Clauses

Causal Clauses |

Causal Clauses

Causal clauses are dependent clauses that explain why the action of the dependent clause happens. There are a number of words that can introduce causal clauses (quod, quia, quoniam, cum). These clauses can take either the indicative or the subjunctive.

Quod and quia can be used with the indicative or the subjunctive. When used with the indicative, quod and quia indicate that the stated cause is true in the eyes of the sentence’s writer or speaker. They use the subjunctive to indicate that the stated cause is true in the eyes of someone who is not the writer or speaker.

NB: Quod can be differentiated from the relative pronoun quite easily. If there is no neuter singular antecedent, then quod cannot be a pronoun.

Quoniam is used almost solely with the indicative to introduce a cause in the eyes of the writer or speaker.

Cum clauses that feature a subjunctive verb can indicate cause. In these cases, we translate cum as “because.””

Note in the sentence above, it would not make any sense if you translate it as “when.”

If there is a causal clause in indirect statement, the causal clause will always have a subjunctive verb. Can you think of reason why this might be the case?

As noted earlier, participles can also be translated causally.

Practice Opportunities

Identify the Latin word that we would translate causally in each sentence. Then translate the sentence.

  1. Irata est quia sola ausa fuit Herculis sacrum aedifacre.

  2. Sed quod pecus Solis erat violatum, Iovis navem eius fulmine incendit.

  3. Apollo autem, quod liberaliter ab Adrasto esset acceptus, aprum et leonem ei tradidit.

  4. Longius prosequi veritus, ad Ciceronem pervenit.

  5. Cum femina eius maritum amaret, ad castrum, quod tunc in agro erat, pervenit.