Review of Latin I Grammar Grammar Index Page

Review of Latin I Grammar



A verb is a word that expresses an action, state or condition. Action verbs such as run, walk, climb actually describe a physical action whereas dream, think, hope, believe describe a mental action. Verbs such as be and become express a state or condition rather than an action.


Verbs fall into several different categories if voice one of which is:

Transitive - Transitive verbs take a direct object. and they can be active or passive in voice: He climbs the mountain OR The moutain is climbed

Intransitive - Intransitive verbs do not take a direct object and cannot be passive in voice: Here he comes! OR I sleep often


In Latin I you learned the Present, Imperfect, and Perfect of verbs of the 4 conjugations and irregular verbs: sum, possum,eo, fero, volo, & nolo. There are charts in the back of the text to which you should refer. If you have problems, copy the charts on notecards; one per tense and play some memory games with others in your class.

Translation of the 3 tenses:

Principal Parts

Latin verbs are learned with their principal parts so one can form the various tenses. Generally a Latin verb has 4 principal parts:

1st principal part 1st person singular, present tense I carry, see, walk etc.
2nd principal part infinitive to carry, see, walk etc.
3rd principal part 1st person singular, perfect tense I have carried, seen, walked etc.
4th principal part Perfect Passive Participle terminus = -us-
or Future Active Participle as with futurus...when terminus= -urus
having been carried, seen, walked etc. This form is an adjective and thus the terminus can change in gender and number.


Formation of the 3 tenses for regular verbs:

Present - uses stem from the infinitive:

  infinitive base vowel personal endings
1st conjugation -âre -drop-re -a -o -s, -t, -mus,-tis, -nt
2nd conjugation -êre-drop-re -e -o -s, -t, -mus,-tis, -nt
3rd conjugation -ere-drop-ere -i, o, u -o -is, -it, -imus,-itis, -unt
3rd io conjugation -ere-drop-ere -i, o, u -io -is, -it, -imus,-itis, -iunt
4th conjugation -îre-drop-re -i, o, u -io -is, -it, -imus,-itis, -iunt

Imperfect - uses stem from the infinitive:

  infinitive base vowel + ba personal endings
1st conjugation -âre drop -re -aba -m -s, -t, -mus,-tis, -nt
2nd conjugation -êre drop -re -eba -m -s, -t, -mus,-tis, -nt
3rd conjugation -ere drop -re -eba -m -s, -it, -imus,-itis, -unt
3rd io conjugation -ere drop -ere; add -ie -ieba -m -is, -it, -imus,-itis, -iunt
4th conjugation -îre drop -re; add -e -ieba -m -is, -it, -imus,-itis, -iunt

Perfect - uses stem 3rd Principal Part:

Perfect 3rd p.p. personal endings
For all verbs, regular and irreg. -drop -i -i -isti, -it, -imus,-istis, -erunt
e.g. sum, esse, fui fu...+ -i -isti, -it, -imus,-istis, -erunt


Verbs also belong to a grouping called moods. Moods express the manner in which the action is conceived. At present you have learned three moods, though you may not realize it: the indicative, or 'default' mood, the infinitive, and the imperative, which is used to order or command someone or thing. The Latin word impero, imperare, imperavi, imperatus means to command.

  infinitive singular plural
1st conjugation -âre -drop-re (porta!) + -te (portate)
2nd conjugation -êre-drop-re doce! + -te (docete!)
3rd conjugation* -ere-drop-re(sg.)-ere(pl.) trahe drop e + ite(trahite!)
3rd io conjugation -ere-drop-re(sg.)-ere(pl.) cape drop e + ite(capite!)
4th conjugation -îre drop- re audi + -te (audite!)

Some irregular singular imperatives forms are - dic! duc!, fac!, fer! es! (plural=este!)

Negative commands for all verbs, regular and irregular:

singular negative command noli + infinitive noli ire = don't go(to one person)
plural negative command nolite + infinitive nolite ire = don't go(to more than one)

Practice Exercises

^ Grammatica

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