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I am currently using this course in my Latin class for beginning children from ages 8 to 15. It's geared toward the younger kids, and teaches the English grammar they'll need along with the Latin. If you buy this course to teach your own kids and you have no Latin background, check out the Latina Christiana I DVD series that works with it.

Lesson 10: Principal Parts of Verbs; Ablative Uses; Interrogative Particles

Forms

Principal Parts of Verbs

Recall that to decline a noun correctly for all uses, we learn three things about it: the nominative singular, the genitive singular, and the gender. For adjectives, we also learn three things: the masculine, feminine, and neuter forms of the nominative singular.

Verbs require that we learn four things, which are called the principal parts of the verb. Until now we've only looked at the first one, the first person singular present (voco, I call), because that's the only part we needed to form the tenses we've learned—the present, imperfect, and future. To form other tenses, we'll need to know the others, so it's time to start learning them. The four principal parts of voco are:

principal part meaning stem use
voco I call voca- present (first person singular)
vocare to call n/a present infinitive
vocavi I called vocav- perfect (first person singular)
vocatum was called vocat- supine

(Technically, we find the stem that we've been using so far (voca-) by dropping the -re from the infinitive form. But fortunately, the first conjugation verbs are generally very simple, so we were able to simply change the -o into an -a and keep it simple. Now you know where that -a- came from. We recognize first conjugation verbs by the -are ending in the infinitive, just as we recognize first declension nouns by the -ae ending in the genitive singular.)

To explain the four principal parts:

present
This is the one we're already familiar with.
infinitive
This means “to” something: vocare, to call; laudare, to praise. We also use it to find the present stem by dropping the -re.
perfect
This is used to form some new tenses we'll be learning soon. We form the perfect stem by dropping the -i from this part.
supine
We won't need this for a while, but it has a sort of passive meaning, and we form the supine stem by dropping the -um. We'll learn more about the supine later.

With two exceptions, all of the verbs we've learned so far form their principal parts in the same way, so we don't have to go back and learn a bunch of new endings here. Just know that most first conjugation verbs work this way:

  • amo, amare, amavi, amatum
  • laudo, laudare, laudavi, laudatum
  • habito, habitare, habitavi, habitatum

See: -o, -are, -avi, -atum. The two exceptions are do (I give) and sum (I am) (sum is nearly always an exception):

  • do, dare, dedi, datum
  • sum, esse, fui, futurus

In this lesson's vocabulary, we'll also learn sto (I stand), which is formed like do.

This has been a long explanation, and it may seem like verbs just got four times more complicated, but don't worry, it's not really that bad. When learning verbs from now on, just recite the four parts together, the way we've been learning nouns by reciting nominative/genitive/gender and adjectives by reciting masculine/feminine/plural. With use, it'll become habit.

Syntax

Ablative of Accompaniment

To say that someone is accompanied by someone else, we use the ablative of accompaniment with the preposition cum:

  • Puer cum amico est. - The boy is with a friend.

Ablative of Means

In English, when we use a tool or instrument as the means to perform an action, we usually describe that with the word “with”: He fought with a sword. In Latin, no preposition is used; the noun is simply placed in the ablative: Gladio pugnat. Note the difference between the ablative of means and the ablative of accompaniment:

  • I was carrying water with a horse. - Portabam aquam equo. (ablative of means, no preposition)
  • I was carrying water with a friend. - Portabam aquam cum amico. (ablative of accompaniment, takes cum)

“With” has many meanings in English, so we can't just translate it verbatim; we have to look at how it is being used.

Interrogative Particles

We already learned to form yes-or-no questions by appending the enclitic -ne to the first word of a sentence. However, this is only for questions where we aren't particular expecting one answer or the other. For questions where we expect a yes answer, we start the sentence with nonne instead:

  • Nonne equus est parvus? - The horse is little, isn't it?
  • Est. - Yes. (It is.)

When we expect a no answer, we start the sentence with num:

  • Num equus est magnus? - The horse isn't big, is it?
  • Non est. - No. (It isn't.)

Remember that Latin doesn't have words for yes and no, so we answer a yes or no question by repeating a small part of it and adding non for no.

Enclitic -que

As long as we're talking about enclitics, here's one more. We've already learned that et means “and.” The enclitic -que also means “and,” but it binds things together more tightly. A good way to think about it might be the way we shorten 'and' to 'n' in common phrases in spoken English: salt 'n pepper, boys 'n girls, dogs 'n cats. The big difference is that -que is added to the last word in the group instead of before it. Examples:

  • pueri puellaeque - boys and girls
  • viri feminaeque - men and women
  • dei deaeque - gods and goddesses
  • Senatus Populusque Romanus - the Senate and the Roman People

There's no hard and fast rule for when to use et and when to use -que. Try to save -que for combinations that would probably be very common, and use et for other things.

Vocabulary

  • clāmō, clāmāre, clāmāvī, clāmātum - shout
  • cōnfīrmō, cōnfīrmāre, cōnfīrmāvī, cōnfīrmātum - strengthen; encourage; declare
  • dēmōnstrō, dēmōnstrāre, dēmōnstrāvī, dēmōnstrātum - show
  • līberō, līberāre, līberāvī, līberātum - set free, liberate
  • oppugnō, oppugnāre, oppugnāvī, oppugnātum - attack
  • servō, servare, servavī, servatum - guard, save, keep safe
  • stō, stāre, stetī, stātum - stand
  • temptō, temptāre, temptāvī, temptātum - try, attempt
  • nōnne - (interrogative participle used in questions expecting a 'yes' answer)
  • num - (interrogative participle used in questions expecting a 'no' answer)

Word Study

Sometimes you run into a Latin word that almost means the same thing as the most similar word in English, but not quite. These are easy to trip up on. This lesson introduces a few that need extra attention to keep the meaning straight:

  • servo - guard or keep safe, not 'serve'
  • tempto - try, not 'tempt'
  • demonstro - 'demonstrate' isn't a bad translation, but 'show' or 'point out' is usually better
  • confirmo - only means 'confirm' in the sense of declaring something to be true, but more commonly means to encourage or strengthen someone

Exercises

a. Translate:

  1. Viri gladiis in campo bene pugnabant.
  2. Feminae in via cum poeta ambulant.
  3. Num equus est ferus?
  4. Estne bellum in Italia?
  5. Legatus ante viros per magnam silvam ambulabit.
  6. Cras superabimus mali gladiis.
  7. Est amicitia inter pueros puellasque.
  8. Equi feri in lato agro sub pulchro caelo stabant.
  9. Nonne vita bona saepe est?
  10. Nuntius viros feminasque tuba convocabat.

b. Translate:

  1. Your word is always good, isn't it?
  2. Because of war, the gates in front of our town are high.
  3. Your memories about the war are not good, are they?
  4. The poet used to dwell in the wide forest and praise nature.
  5. Shall we walk through the sacred forest?
  6. They used to call the small boy Marcus.
  7. Now I will carry the signal of war to my town.
  8. The men were waiting for the women in the fields yesterday.
  9. The boys and girls were friends for a long time.
  10. The farmer was miserable without (his) horse.

c. Translate:

Bellum erat longum; viri diu pugnabant. Gladiis et telis oppidum oppugnabant. Legatus viros tuba confirmabat. Tum superabant oppidum. Viri clamabant. Liberabant miseros servos in oppido. Postea aquam frumentumque ex oppido portabant. Cras ad Italiam navigabunt. Multa et pulchra dona feminis pueris puellisque dabunt.

d. Think of an English word related to each Latin word in the vocabulary.

Conclusion

There's a lot in this lesson, but no new endings to learn, just several new concepts. Next lesson: the perfect tense (what we usually call the past tense in English), where we'll get to use one of the new principal parts we just learned about.

Answers

a. Translate:

  1. Viri gladiis in campo bene pugnabant. - The men were fighting well with swords on the plain.
  2. Feminae in via cum poeta ambulant. - The women are walking on the road with the poet.
  3. Num equus est ferus? - The horse isn't wild, is it?
  4. Estne bellum in Italia? - Is there war in Italy?
  5. Legatus ante viros per magnam silvam ambulabit. - The lieutenant will walk before the men through the large forest.
  6. Cras superabimus mali gladiis. - Tomorrow we will overcome the bad men with swords.
  7. Est amicitia inter pueros puellasque. - There is friendship between the boys and girls.
  8. Equi feri in lato agro sub pulchro caelo stabant. - The wild horses were standing in the wide field under the beautiful sky.
  9. Nonne vita bona saepe est? - Isn't life always good?
  10. Nuntius viros feminasque tuba convocabat. - The messenger was calling together the men and women with a trumpet.

b. Translate:

  1. Your word is always good, isn't it? - Nonne semper tuum verbum est bonum?
  2. Because of war, the gates in front of our town are high. - Propter bellum, portae ante nostrum oppidum sunt altae.
  3. Your memories about the war are not good, are they? - Num tuae memoriae de bello non sunt bonae?
  4. The poet used to dwell in the wide forest and praise nature. - Poeta in lata silva habitabat et naturam laudabat.
  5. Shall we walk through the sacred forest? - Ambulabimusne per sacram silvam?
  6. They used to call the small boy Marcus. - Parvum puerum Marcum appellabant.
  7. Now I will carry the signal of war to my town. - Nunc signum belli ad oppidum meum portabo.
  8. The men were waiting for the women in the fields yesterday. - Viri feminas in agris heri exspectabant.
  9. The boys and girls were friends for a long time. - Pueri puellaeque amici diu erant.
  10. The farmer was miserable without (his) horse. - Agricola era miser sine equo.

c. Translate:

Bellum erat longum; viri diu pugnabant. Gladiis et telis oppidum oppugnabant. Legatus viros tuba confirmabat. Tum superabant oppidum. Viri clamabant. Liberabant miseros servos in oppido. Postea aquam frumentumque ex oppido portabant. Cras ad Italiam navigabunt. Multa et pulchra dona feminis pueris puellisque dabunt.

The war was long; the men were fighting for a long time. With swords and weapons they were attacking the town. The lieutenant was encouraging the men with his trumpet. Then they began to overcome the town. The men were shouting. They began to free the poor slaves in the town. Afterward they were carrying water and grain out of the town. Tomorrow they will sail to Italy. They will give many beautiful gifts to the women, boys, and girls.

d. Think of an English word related to each Latin word in the vocabulary.

  • clāmō, clāmāre, clāmāvī, clāmātum - shout - clamor
  • cōnfīrmō, cōnfīrmāre, cōnfīrmāvī, cōnfīrmātum - strengthen; encourage; declare - confirmation
  • dēmōnstrō, dēmōnstrāre, dēmōnstrāvī, dēmōnstrātum - show - demonstrate
  • līberō, līberāre, līberāvī, līberātum - set free, liberate - liberate
  • oppugnō, oppugnāre, oppugnāvī, oppugnātum - attack - oppugn
  • servō, servare, servavī, servatum - guard, save, keep safe - conserve
  • stō, stāre, stetī, stātum - stand - stand
  • temptō, temptāre, temptāvī, temptātum - try, attempt - attempt

Discussion

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latin/lesson_10.txt · Last modified: 2009/03/08 10:52 by aaron     Back to top