Latin Grammar How to conjugate a Latin verb… …or just recognise it! Enlighten me.
Groups • Both verbs and nouns are divided into groups, which define their declension (which endings are assigned to them) • There are four groups of verbs and five groups of nouns, each with their own set of endings.
Principal Parts Each verb has three or four principal parts: Amo Amare Amavi Amatus [um] First person singular present – I love – To love Present infinitive First person singular perfect indicative active – I loved Supine (adjective formed from a verb) – [easy ~; in order ~] to love OR perfect participle passive – having been loved
Person endings • All verbs, in addition to the tense endings, will include a person ending, which describes who is carrying out the action. • Common features within a person are highlighted • See how the endings in the perfect passive, as parts of the verb esse, match those in the present.
TENSES • I eat / I am eating • I am [being] eaten • (I should/Let me) eat • (I should/Let me) be eaten • I ate • I was eaten • I should have eaten • I should have been eaten • I was eating • I was being eaten • I would eat • I would be eaten • I had eaten • I had been eaten • I should have eaten* • I should have been eaten* • I will eat • I will be eaten • PresentIndicative Active • PresentIndicative Passive • Present Subjunctive Active • PresentSubjunctive Passive • PerfectIndicative Active • PerfectIndicative Passive • Perfect Subjunctive Active • PerfectSubjunctive Passive • ImperfectIndicative Active • ImperfectIndicative Passive • ImperfectSubjunctive Active • Imperfect Subjunctive Passive • PluperfectIndicative Active • PluperfectIndicative Passive • Pluperfect Subjunctive Active • PluperfectSubjunctive Passive • FutureIndicative Active • FutureIndicative Passive * With the implication of “already” – literally “I should have had eaten” or “I should have had been eaten”
Indicative Active • Straightforward verb
Indicative Passive • Still straightforward, only the subject is the victim here. *‘Murus’ is wall – drunken males tend to urinate (‘wee’ = ‘we’) against walls ** There are ‘mini’ (many) of you (i.e. you plural) *** Them over t’ur (accented “there” – like “their” - they) Some silly ways to remember these:
Subjunctive Active • “Wouldy, Couldy, Shouldy” kind of verb • In the present, it can be used to mean “let”
Infinitives • All infinitives in English are translated using “to”
Imperatives • The imperative is an instruction or command.
The Nominative and Vocative • Nominative = subject “Sextus is annoying” • Vocative = addressee “Go away, Sextus!”
The Accusative • Subject “Sextus climbed a tree” • Duration: “Sextus remained there for three days” • Motion to: “Flavia ran to the tree” • Space/distance: “The tree was seven feet tall” • Exclamations: “Oh, what a silly boy!”
The Genitive • Defines, describes or classifies a noun • “The father of Sextus” = “Sextus’ father”
The Dative • To/for whom: “Sextus handed over money to the shopkeeper” • From whom: “The thief stole the money from theshopkeeper” • Transfer of feelings, thoughts (persuade, trust, envy) • Possession (with esse)
The Ablative • By, with, from: “The thief conquered us by trickery” • Time - in, within, at, on: “He will be caught within a week, hopefully on Thursday” • Comparison: “Although he is more slippery than an eel”
Gerunds and Gerundives • Look out for: -end-, -and- or –und- • Gerund: noun with neuter singular group 2 endings. • Accusative (um) after ad: purpose (to swim, for studying) • Genitive (i) • With causa: purpose (to swim, for the sake of swimming) • With a noun or adjective which governs the genitive (the art of swimming, eager to learn, time for eating) • Ablative (o): method (by living, through eating)
Gerunds and Gerundives • Look out for: -end-, -and- or –und- • Gerundive: adjective with group 1 or 2 endings • Used instead of a gerund governing an accusative object • Accusative (am, os) • After ad: purpose (to capture a city, to buy horses) • After a verb governing the accusative (attended to the buying of horses) • Genitive (i, orum) • With causa: purpose (to read a book, for the sake of drinking wine) • With a noun or adjective which governs the genitive (the art of drinking undiluted wine, unpredictable in waging war) • Ablative (is): reference (about writing letters) • With esse: obligation (I ought to be loved, he had to be obeyed by you/ you had to obey him)
Impersonal verbs • Latin uses the third person singular of a verb to emphasise the action, rather than the person doing the action: • It was being fought for many hours • Emphasis on the fighting, not the soldiers • It will be reached to the city by the merchant • Emphasis on the reaching, not the merchant • Common verbs that are used impersonally include: • Mihi interest (it is of importance to me) • Mihi licet (it is allowed to me) • Mihi placet (it pleases to me) • Oportet (it behoves to me to; I ought to…) • Sequitur (it follows) • Fit (it happens) • Restat (it remains) • Ex quo factum est (from which it was; the result was) • Fieri [non] potest (it is [not] possible) • Me miseret (it pities me of; I pity) • Me paenitet (it regrets me of; I regret) • Me piget (it loathes me of; I loathe) • Me pudet (it shames me of; I am ashamed of) • Me taedet (it tires me of) • pluit (it rains) • ningit (it snows) • tonat (it thunders; there is thunder) • lucet (it lightens; it becomes light) • adversperascit (it darkens; it grows dark)
Adjectives • Adjectives’ endings are determined by the noun with which they agree: • Multos servos • Multas ancillas • Multa plaustra • Puellam pulchram • Puella pulchra
Comparatives and superlatives of Adjectives • For masculine and feminine comparatives, add –ior to the base. • For neuter comparatives, add -ius • Fortis becomes fortior or fortius • For the superlative, add –issimus, -a, -um • Fortis becomes fortissimus, fortissima, fortissimum • For -er adjectives, add –rimus, -rima, -rimum to the masculine form • Pulcher becomes pulcherrimus, pulcherrima, pulcherrimum • Some exceptions, such as facilis, will use –illimus (facillimus) for the superlative • Other exceptions, such as novus and maxime, have irregular comparatives (recentior, -us) or superlatives (maximus)
Adverbs • Adverbs are formed from adjectives • For groups 1 and 2, ad an –e to the stem • Infirmus, a, um becomes infirme (weakly) • Liber, libera, liberum becomes libere (freely) • For group 3, add –iter to words with multiple endings… • Pauper, pauperis, paupere becomes pauperiter (meagerly) • …or –er to words with only one ending • Prudens, entis becomes prudenter (prudently)
Comparatives and superlatives of Adverbs • The comparative form of an adverb is identical to the comparative form of its neuter adjective • Therefore, it will have an –ius ending • Clare becomes clarius • The superlative form is made by adding -issime • Prudenter becomes prudentissime • As always, there are exceptions. • Bene becones melius, then optime. • Male becomes peius, them pessime.
YAY, WIKIPEDIA! • Useful Wikipedia pages: • Latin Conjugation (verbs) • (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_conjugation) • Latin Declension (nouns, adjectives, adverbs) • (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_declension)
Just for fun! • A Latin tonguetwister: • "mala mali malo mala conulit omnia mundo“ • “man's jaw and an apple brought all evils into the world“ • Homonyms exist in Latin, too! • "malo malo malo malo malo malo malo, quam dente vento occurrere” • "I would rather meet with a bad apple, with a bad tooth, than a bad mast with a bad wind."