Latin for Beginners eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 433 pages of information about Latin for Beginners.

121. The Moods.  Verbs have inflection of mood to indicate the manner in which they express action.  The moods of the Latin verb are the indicative, subjunctive, imperative, and infinitive.

    a. A verb is in the indicative mood when it makes a statement or
    asks a question about something assumed as a fact.  All the verbs we
    have used thus far are in the present indicative.

122. The Persons.  There are three persons, as in English.  The first person is the person speaking (I sing); the second person the person spoken to (you sing); the third person the person spoken of (he sings).  Instead of using personal pronouns for the different persons in the two numbers, singular and plural, the Latin verb uses the personal endings (cf.  Sec. 22 a; 29).  We have already learned that -t is the ending of the third person singular in the active voice and -nt of the third person plural.  The complete list of personal endings of the active voice is as follows: 

SINGULAR                  PLURAL
1st Pers. I             -m or -o:   we   -mus
2d Pers.  thou or you -s        you  -tis
3d Pers.  he, she, it   -t        they -nt

123. Most verbs form their moods and tenses after a regular plan and are called regular verbs.  Verbs that depart from this plan are called irregular.  The verb to be is irregular in Latin as in English.  The present, imperfect, and future tenses of the indicative are inflected as follows: 

SINGULAR                        PLURAL
1st Pers. su-m, I am                    su-mus, we are
2d Pers.  e-s, you[1] are               es-tis, you[1] are
3d Pers.  es-t, he, she, or it is     su-nt,  they are

1st Pers. er-a-m, I was er-a:’-mus, we were
2d Pers. er-a:-s, you were er-a:’-tis, you were
3d Pers. er-a-t, he, she, or it was er-a:-nt, they were

SINGULAR                        PLURAL
1st Pers. er-o:,   I shall be            er’-i-mus, we shall be
2d Pers.  er-i-s, you will be           er’-i-tis, you will be
3d Pers.  er-i-t, he will be            er-u-nt,   they will be

a. Be careful about vowel quantity and accent in these forms, and
consult Secs. 12.2; 14; 15.

[Footnote 1:  Observe that in English you are, you were, etc. may
be either singular or plural.  In Latin the singular and plural forms
are never the same.]



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