In English, an expression of result tells us the result of the action of the main verb. Below are some basic examples and variations of expression of result (the expression of result is bolded):
Notice that the first two examples include the signal adverb “so”. Words like “so”, “so much”, “such”, and “such great” often indicate the presence of a result clause in a sentence.
The most common way to express result in Latin is through a result clause. Result clauses are dependent clauses (i.e. they generally follow an independent clause) that have three key features:
In addition to these three key features, a result clause will be sometimes be preceded by an independent clause that features an adjective or adverb of degree such as tam (“so”), tantus (“such great, so much”), tālis (“such”), ita (“so”), sic (“thus”), adeō (“to such an extent”), ūsque.
How do we translate a sentence containing a result clause? Take the following example:
First, we break the sentence into dependent (bolded) and independent clauses (italicized). In the case of a sentence containing a purpose clause, we can recognize the dependent clause rather easily as it begins with ut.
We then translate the independent clause (notice the use of tantā in the independent clause):
After that, we select the appropriate translation for the result clause based on the nature of its subject. If the subject of the result clause is the same as the subject of the independent clause, we can simply translate the ut plus the verb as “to verb” or “so as to verb”. For example:
If the subject of the result clause is different from that of the independent clause, we translate ut plus the verb as “so that [subject] verb[ed]” (with the tense of the verb depending on whether you’re in primary or secondary sequence). This is the case with the example that we looked at above:
In primary sequence, the sentence and translation might look something like this:
Find the result clause and then translate the sentence.
Tantis laudibus honorata est ut Apollinem in certamen provocaret. “ut Apollinem in certamen provocaret; She was honored with such great praise that she challenged Apollo to a contest.”
Haec tantam vim veneni habuit ut afflatu homines necaret. “ut afflatu homines necaret; She had so much strength that she killed men with her breath.”
Flumen ita increvit ut nullus homo id transire posset. “ut nullus homo id transire posset; The river grew to such a degree that no man was able to cross it.”
Multa falsa rumor addebat ut paene bellum perfectum esse videretur. “ut paene bellum perfectum videretur; Rumor added many false reports such that it seemed that the war was nearly over.”