Why do we do the things we do? Most often there is a reason, or Purpose, behind our actions. The Latin language has numerous ways to express Purpose. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
We will begin with two simple sentences. Marcellus ad argentariam it. Marcellus is going to the bank. Marcellus pecuniam Augusto tradit. Marcellus is handing over the money to Augustus.
Now, let’s make the second action the Purpose of the first; Marcellus is going to the bank to hand over money to Augustus.
Because He Wants: This is a little inelegant, but why not. Marcellus ad argentariam it quod pecuniam Augusto tradere cupit. Marcellus is going to the bank because he wants to hand over money to Augustus.
Purpose Clause: This is very common. The little Adverb ut has a myriad of uses (we saw one on the previous page). Included in these is signposting the coming of a Purpose Clause. A Purpose Clause also requires a change in the Mood of the Verb, which is as simple (and as complicated) as changing tradit to tradat. Marcellus ad argentariam it ut pecuniam Augusto tradat. Marcellus is going to the bank in order to hand over money to Augustus.
Gerund or Gerundive: Both of these can be used with the Preposition ad to express purpose. I will give the Gerund first, followed by the Gerundive. Both mean the same. Marcellus ad argentariam it ad pecuniam Augusto tradendum. Marcellus ad argentariam it ad pecuniam Augusto tradendam.
For the Sake of: Both the Gerund and Gerundive may be used in the Genitive (Possessive) Case with the Noun causa (a Noun with many a meaning). Marcellus ad argentariam it pecuniam Augusto tradendi causa. Marcellus ad argentariam it pecuniae Augusto tradendae causa. Both mean Marcellus is going to the bank for the sake of handing over money to Augustus.
The Supine: The Supine can be used to express Purpose, but only after Verbs that express movement. Luckily, it is going expresses movement. Marcellus ad argentariam it pecuniam Augusto traditum.
The Future Participle: While the Future Participle literally means something like about to hand over, Latin speakers recognise this in context as another way of expressing Purpose. Marcellus ad argentariam it pecuniam Augusto traditurus. Literally, Marcellus is going to the bank about to hand over money to Augustus.
The Infinitive: Probably best to avoid this. Poets do it. And it becomes popular in later Latin, for example in the Biblia Sacra. But if you are trying to impress someone with your knowledge of Classical Latin, the above examples will do a far better job. Marcellus ad argentariam it tradere pecuniam Augusto.
He has in mind to go to the bank to hand over the envelope to Augustus, the manager of the bank. Firstly, however, he wishes to visit the barber.