circumflex accent ( ) is used to denote the length of the vowels.
Verb is a word that characteristically
is the grammatical center of a predicate and expresses an act, occurrence,
or mode of being.
It was noted that the Latin thought
in the classical period understood and faced the world actively, as it
turns out, and this was reflected into the language by a relatively rich
varieties of verbal modifications.
and Non-Finite Verbal Forms
The Latin grammarians have divided
the verbal forms into two classes:
1. Verba finita, or personally
defined verbal forms,
infinita, or personally undefined verbal forms.
Latin has three persons:
Unlike in English, the persons in Latin
were indicated by specific verbal endings, the personal pronouns being
attached to the verbs to express emphasis only.
First person referring to the speaker
or writer of the utterance
Second person referring to the person
or thing addressed in the utterance
Third person referring to one that
is neither the speaker or writer of the utterance.
Tense is a distinction of form in
a verb to express distinctions of time or duration of the action or state
There are six tenses in Latin,
traditionally divided into two groups:
I. Main tenses
I. Past (or historical) tenses
The Present tense (Praesens)
denotes a state or action in the very moment of the utterance;
The Future tense (Futurum)
denotes a state or action that will take place very soon;
The Future Perfect tense
(Futurum secundum or Futurum exactum) denotes a future state
or action that will precede another future state or action.
The Imperfect tense (Imperfectum)
denotes a past state or action that is taking place with another past state
The Perfect tense (Perfectum)
denotes a state or action that has taken place before the time of the utterance;
The Pluperfect tense
(Plusquamperfectum) denotes a state or action that had happened
in the remote past or had preceded another past state or action.
Mood is a distinction of verb to
express whether the action or state it denotes is conceived as fact command,
possibility, or wish. There are three moods in Latin:
The Indicative (Indicatiivus)
represents the denoted act or state as an objective fact.
The Imperative (Imperativus)
expresses the will to influence the behavior of another.
The Subjunctive (Conjunctivus
or Subjunctivus) represents a denoted act or state not as fact but
as contingent or possible or viewed emotionally (as with doubt or desire).
It is used mainly in subordinite clauses. When used in main clauses, it
expresses a slight command, insistence or invitation.
The voice indicates the relation
of the subject of the verb to the action which the verb expresses. There
are two voices in Latin:
1. The Active voice (Activum)
asserts that the person or thing represented by the grammatical subject
performs the action represented by the verb:
filiam suam. The father loves his daughter.
2. The Passive voice (Passivum)
asserts that the grammatical subject of a verb is subjected to or affected
by the action represented by that verb:
a filia sua. The father is loved by his daughter.
The Passive voice has sometimes
A special class is formed by the
so called deponent verbs
(verba deponentia) that have passive forms only, but with active
miilites hortatur. The general is encouraging
Verba infinita are non-personal
verbal forms that are not conjugated. There are four such forms in Latin:
The Infinitive (Infinitivus)
performs some functions of a noun and at the same time displays some characteristics
of a verb like tense (present, future and perfect) and voice
and may have an object.
The Participle (Participium)
is a word having the characteristics of both adjective and verb. Like the
infinitive, the Latin participles has distinction of tense (present, future
and perfect) and voice and may have an object. On the other hand, it is
declined like an adjective.
The Gerund (Gerundium)
is a verbal noun that expresses generalized or uncompleted action. It is
a neuter verbal noun of II declensiion, used in Singular only, without
The Supine (Supinum)
is a verbal noun of IV declension used in Accusative of purpose
(-um) and in Ablative of specification (u).
and Intransitive Verbs
The transitive verbs are those that
may take a direct object. Only they may be used in Passive voice.
verbs cannot take a direct object and limit the effect of the action to
the Subject itself. In the passive voice they are used impersonally in
p. sg. only, cf.:
run and curritur it is run.
The Latin verbs have usually three
the endings of the present stems the grammarians have classified the verbs
into four classes (conjugations):
The conjugation are most easily recognizable
in the present infinitive form of the verbs.
First conjugation the stem
is ended by a long â (it is called a-conjugation):
to love; the present stem is
Second conjugation the stem
is ended by a long ê (it is called e-conjugation):
to advise; the present stem
Third conjugation the stem
is ended by a consonant or consonantic u (=[w]) (it is called
leg|ere to read, statu|ere
set up (the vowel e- before the re ending is short); the present
stems are leg- and
Fourth conjugation the stem
is ended by a long i (it is called i-conjugation): audî|re
hear; the present stem is audî-.
Note that according to the accentuation
rules the present infinitives of the I, II and IV conj. are stressed on
the punultimate, while those of the III conj. on the antepenultimate.
The Latin tenses are formed from
the relevant stems plus specific temporal characteristics and the personal
verbal endings. These endings are identical for all tenses of Indicative
and Subjunctive, except for the Perfect Indicative.
= pres. stem
When the verbal stem is ended by
a consonant or u (=[w]), there are inserted conjunctive vowels between
the stem and the temporal characteristic or personal ending that follow
The conjunctive vowels are always
short and they are as follows:
read, leg|i|s thou read, leg|i|t he
/ she reads
read, leg|u|ntur they are read
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