Latin notes on verbs, adverbs, nouns, adjectives

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Pronouns : Demonstrative Pronouns

Is, ea, id = he she it















Ille, illa, illud = he, she it/that















NB : ille, illa, illud is often used to indicate a change of subject from the previous sentence

e.g. Argus Quintum pugnat; ille fugit

Argus attacks Quintus; he (Quintus) flees

Personal Pronoun

Ego = I, me




Tu = you (sg.)





Nos = we, us






Vos = you all






Reflective Pronoun

Se = himself, herself, itself, themselves




Used to refer to the 3rd Person subject of the sentence

e.g. Quintus se occidit

Quintus kills himself

e.g. Decimus sibi donum dat

Decimus gives himself a present

e.g. pueri se pulsat

The boys are punching themselves

The Possessive Adjective

Meus, mea, meum = my

Tuus, tua, tuum = your

Noster, nostra, nostrum = our

Vester, vestra, vestrum = your

NB : Use these adjectives to describe 1st and 2nd person possession

Do Not use the genitive of the personal pronoun

e.g. pater meus (correct), not pater mei (incorrect)

The Reflexive Adjective

Suus, sua, suum = his own/her own/it's own/their own

e.g. Quintus suam sororem non iuvat

Quintus is not helping his own sister

Two Irregular Verbs

Nolo, nolle = I don't want

Volo, volle = I want


1st PersonVolovolumus

2nd PersonVisvoltis

3rd PersonVultvolunt


1st Personnolonolumus

2nd Personnonvisnonvultis

3rd Personnonvultnolunt

Demonstrative Pronoun

Hic, haec, hoc = this















Emphatic Pronoun

Ipse, ipsa, ipsum = -self















The River of Time

We have learnt the present tense. We will now learn all the past tenses, and the future tenses.

Future Time ____________________ Future Tense - I will look

Future Time ____________________Future Perfect Tense - I will have looked

Present Time ________________________ Present Tense - I am looking

Past Time ____________________Imperfect/Perfect Tenses - I was

looking/I have looked/I looked

Past Time ____________________ Pluperfect Tense - I had looked

The Principle Parts

From now on, you will learn 4 forms of each verb in your vocabulary list. These are called the 4 Principal Parts.

e.g. paro, parare, paravi, paratum

They are used when constructing different tenses. The first principal part is the present tense (paro = I prepare). It tells us the present stem (par-). The present stem is used to construct the present tense, the imperfect tense and the future tense.

e.g. par-o = I am preparing

para-bam = I was preparing (imperfect)

par-ab = I shall prepare (future)

Constructing the Imperfect Tense

Simply take the present stem, add the bridging vowel, and then the imperfect endings:



Bat NB : With the exception of -m in 1st person singular, we get the

Bamus familiar pattern of -o/m, -s, -t, -mus, -tis, -nt



Identifying Conjunctions

Look at the first and second principle parts

Paro, parare = -o, -are = 1st Conjugation

Moneo, monere = -o, -ere = 2nd Conjugation

Rego, regere = -o, -ere = 3rd Conjugation

Audio, audire = -io, -ire = 4th Conjugation

Capio, capere = -io, -ere = Mixed Conjugation

Translating the Imperfect

e.g. Flaccus in agro diu laborabat

Flaccus was wo0rking in the field for a long time

Imperfect tense is most commonly used to describe a continuous action in past time.

e.g. was laughing/was working/was fighting/was listening

Sometimes the Imperfect tense is used to describe a habitual action.

e.g. cotidie Quintus ad ludum ambulat

Everyday Quintus used to walk to school

e.g. used to read/used to live/used to want/used to visit/etc.

The Imperfect tense is also used to describe an incomplete action

e.g. Horatia ianuam claudebat, com mater 'noli' inquit, 'ianuam claudere'.

Horatia was closing the door when her mother said: 'don't close the door'.

NB : English is sloppier in expressing time than Latin. Sometimes we translate an imperfect tense in Latin as a plain past in English.

e.g. Flaccus worked in the field for a long time

Imperfect of esse = 'to be'

Eram = I was

Eras = You were

Erat = He/she/it was

Eramus = We were

Eratis = You (pl.) were

Errant = They were

NB : we rarely say 'I was being' in English, so we should translate the imperfect tense of esse as a plain past :

e.g. 'stupidus eram' Quintus dicit

'I was stupid' says Quintus

The Perfect Tense

This is another past tense; it describes a complete action in past time (Perfect = complete, finished). You may translate it in two ways in English :

e.g. laboravi = I worked, I have worked

This second translation 'have worked' is called the true perfect, and we will learn more about it later.

Constructing the Perfect Tense

This is dead simple. There is no need to learn any bridging vowel. Simply take the perfect tense stem (the 3rd principal part with the -I removed) and add the perfect endings:







e.g. laboro, laborare, laboravi, laboratum

laborav-i = I worked, have worked

laborav-isti = You worked

laborav-it = He/she/it worked

laborav-imus = We worked

laborav-istis = You worked

laborav-erunt = They worked

Present tense of esse = 'to be'

Fui = I was, have been

Fuisti = You were, have been

Fuit = He was, has been

Fuimus = We were, have been

Fuistis = You were, have been

Fuerunt = They were, have been

Predicting the Perfect Stem

1st, 2nd and 4th conjugation verbs which are regular have an easy-to-learn pattern of forming the perfect.

1st conj. Paro, parare, paravi, paratum

-o, -are, -avi, -atum

2nd conj. Moneo, monere, monui, monitum

-eo, -ere, -ui, -itum

4th conj. Audio, audire, audivi, auditum

-io, -ire, -ivi, -itum

Expressions of Time

There are three kinds:

1. Duration of Time

e.g. tres horas laborabam

I was working for three hours

decem dies contenderunt

They marched for ten days

Duration of time uses the accusative case. Notice that only cardinal numbers are used.

2. Time at Which

e.g. decimo die Romam advenimus

We arrived at Rome on the tenth day

prima hora Roma discesserunt

They left Rome at the first hour

Time at which uses the ablative case. Notice that ordinal numbers are used.

3. Time Within Which

e.g. decem diebus Romam advenimus

We arrived at Rome within ten days

decem annis linguam Latinam didici

I learned Latin within ten years

Time from which uses the ablative case as well, but notice that it uses cardinal numbers and is very often plural

Roman Time Periods

hour = hora, -ae (f.)

tres hora = for three hours

prima hora = at the first hour

decem horis = within ten hours

day = dies, -ei (m.)

duos dies = for two days

secundo die = on the second day

novem diebus = within nine days

month = mensis -is (m.)

quattuor menses = for four months

nono mense = in the ninth month

octo mensis = within eight months

year = annus, -i (m.)

quinque annos = for five years

septimo anno = in the seventh year

septim annis = with in seven years

The Pluperfect Tense

This tense describes a completed (perfect) action farther back in time than either the perfect or imperfect. Translate with had in English .

e.g. nox iam advenerat cum Romam intraverunt

Night had already arrived when they entered Rome

cum filia domum redit, mater iam ad forum processerat

When the daughter returned home, her mother had already left for the forum

Forming the Pluperfect is dead simple:

Perfect stem + eram






e.g. vocav-eram = I had called vocav-eramus = We had called

vocav-eras = You had called vocav-eratis = You (pl.) had called

vocav-erat = He/she/it had called vocav-erant = They had called

Forming the Pluperfect

paro » paraveram I had prepared

monet » monuerat He had warned

audimus » audiveramus We had heard

captis » ceperatis You (pl.) had taken

regunt » rexerant They had ruled

Pluperfect form of the verb 'to be':

fueram I had been

fueras You had been

fuerat He/she/it had been

fueramus We had been

fueratis You (pl.) had been

fuerant They had been


Media Urbs = 'the middle city' (literally), but means 'the middle of the city'

Summus Mons = 'the top mountain' (literally), but means 'the top of the mountain'

e.g. in mediam urbem contendumus

We are marching into the middle of the city

ad summum montem ascendi

I climbed to the top of the Mountain

Expressions of Place

The preposition ad is used to describe motion to or towards.

e.g. ad urbem festinabam

I was hurrying tho the city

ad me ambulat

he is walking towards me

However, when we're travelling to a named city or town, we drop the ad and put the name of the town or city into the accusative case.

This is called the accusative motion towards

e.g. Romam festinabat

He was hurrying to Rome

Venusiam contendunt

They are marching towards Venusia

Note also that domum means = to/towards home.

e.g. 'domum redite, pueri!' magister clamavit

The master shouted 'go home, boys!'

Note that countries and states still require ad

e.g. Quintus ad Apuliam non redit

Quintus is not returning to Apulia

Locative Case

This is a case that the names of towns and cities have. It translates into English as in or at.

e.g. Horatia et Scintilla Venusiae manet

Horatia and Scintilla are staying Venusiae

Quintus in ludo Romae studet

Quintus is studying in a school at Rome

Forming the Locative Case

A simple rule. If the town or city's name is naturally singular (e.g. Roma), then the locative will be the same as the genative, e.g. Romae = at Rome.

If the town or city's name is naturally plural (e.g. Athenae), then the locative will be the same as the ablative, e.g. Athenis = at Athens.

Singular Place Names

Roma - Romae = at Rome

Corinthus - Corinthi = at Corinth

Londinium - Londinii = at London

Capua - Capuae = at Capua

Antium - Antii = at Anitum

Plural Place Names

Athenae - Athenis = at Athens

Cumae - Cumis = at Cumae

Puteoli - Puteolis = at Puteoli


Gades - Gadibus = at Gades

Cathage - Cathagine = at Cathage

Movement Away from a Place

Movement away from a named town or city uses the ablative case. Do NOT use 'a' or 'ab'.

e.g. Roma discesserunt

They departed from Rome

But: ad urbe contedunt

They are marching away from the city

e.g. ab Italia fugivit

He has fled from Italy

Athenis navigabat

He was sailing away from Athens

Learn: domo = from home

Uses of the Ablative Case

The ablative has a wide range of meanings -

-by, -with, -from, -at, -in, -on

We here summarize the commonest usages, which are already familiar to you:

1. From : the ablative can express separation from a place or thing, usually with a preposition:

ab urbe venit he came from the city

e silva cucurrit he ran out of the wood

de monte descendit he came down from the mountain

Roma discessit he departed from Rome

domo festinavit he hurried from home

foro longe aberat he was a long way from the forum

So after some verbs and adjectives expressing separation from:

me cura liberavit he freed me from care

feminae liberae cura women free from care

moenia defensoribus vacua walls empty of defenders

2. At/it/on : the ablative can express place where, usually with a preposition:

in foro stabat he was standing in the forum

sub abore dormiebat she was sleeping under a tree

terra marique pugnabat they fought on land and sea

3. At/on : the ablative is used to express time when:

prima luce discesserunt they departed at dawn

quinto die redierunt they returned on the fifth day

and time within which :

tribus diebus rediit he returned within three days

Note also:

multis post annis many years after

paucis ante diebus a few days before

An Irregular Verb

fero, ferre, tuli, latum = I carry, bear.

Present Tense




Imperatives = fer, ferte

NB : Other verbs with irregular imperatives include:

duco, ducere = duc, ducite

facio, facere = fac, facite

sem, esse, = est, este (estote)

Further uses of the Ablative Case

The ablative case can be translated into:

-by, -with, -from, -at, -in, -on

1. With/by: the ablative case can express the instrument with or by which something is done.

e.g. me gladio vulneravit

He wounded me with a sword

pilis ludebat

They were playing with balls

This use is very common in such phrases as:

equo vectus carried by (=riding on) a horse

gladio armatus armed with a sword

2. With: the ablative case can express the manner in which something is done.

e.g. summa celeritate rediit

He returned with the greatest speed

magna voce clamavit

He shouted in (with) a loud voice

3. With/of: the ablative is used in describing qualities.

e.g. est puer magno ingento

He is a boy of great talent

puella summa virtute

A girl of the greatest courage

4. Some adjectives take the ablative where English has a genitive.

e.g. iuvenis dignus est laude

The young man is worthy of praise

Irregular Superlatives

Adjectives ending in -er in the positive degree form comparitives and superlatives in the following way:

celer >> celerior >> cellerrimus

miser >> miserior >> miserrimus

pulcher >> pulcherior >> pulcherrimus

Adjectives ending in -ilis in the positive degree form comparitives and superlatives in the following way:

facilis >> facilor >> facillimus

difficilis >> difficilor >> difficillimus

Degrees of Adverbs

Adverbs also have degrees:

fortiter >> fortius >> fortissime

bravely >> more bravely >> most bravely

The adverb comparitive endings is -ius and the adverb superlative ending is -issime

NB : Adverbs do not decline.

NB : -er adverbs and -ile adverbs

e.g. celeriter >> celerius >> celerrime

facile >> facilius >> facillime

Short Cut

≈ The comparitive adverb is the same as the neuter comparitive adjective in the nominative.

≈ The superlative adverb is the same as the superlative adjective with -us changed to -e.

Irregular Comparison Adverbs




Learn also:




Note the use of:

Quam + Superlative

Translate into English as:

'As ____ as possible'

Also learn 'quam primum'

'As soon as possible'

'quam maximus'

'As big as possible'

'quam cellerime'

'As fast as possible'

The Present Participle

The Present Participle has often occurred in the naratives.

e.g. coniurati Caesarem relinquerunt in terra

The conspirators left Caesar lying on the ground

Orbilius pueros spectavit ludum

Orbilius watched the boys entering the school

Participles are verbal adjectives; they decline like 'ingens' (except for the ablative singular which ends in -e, not -i). As adjectives, they always agree with a noun or pronoun in case, gender and number, e.g. in the first example above, iacentem agrees with Caesarem: accusative masculine singular. As verbs, they can take an object, e.g. in the second example, intrantes agrees with pueros, the object of spectavit, but has itself an object - ludum.

The present participle from the five conjugations are:

1. para2. mone-3. reg-4. audi-Mix. capi-




The present participle of all verbs are formed regularly except for eo, which has nominative singular iens.

The Future Tense

The future tense describes an action that will take place in future time. The future tense is constructed using the present stem.

There are two set of endings. One set is:







and is used by the first and second cunjugations.


par-a-boI will prepare

par-a-bisYou will prepare

par-a-bitHe/she will prepare

par-a-bimusWe will prepare

par-a-bitisYou all will prepare

par-a-buntThey will prepare

Another set of endings:







is used for 3rd, 4th and mixed conjugations.


reg-amI will rule

reg-esYou will rule

reg-etHe/she/it will rule

reg-emusWe will rule

reg-etisYou will rule

reg-entThey will rule

The bridging vowels are used only for the 1st, 2nd, 4th and mixed conjugations, which are:

1st: -a

2nd: -e

4th: -i

mix: -i

Future Tense of the verb 'to be':

eroI will be

erisYou will be

eritHe/she/it will be

erimusWe will be

eritisYou will be

eruntThey will be

The Future Perfect Tense

This describes a completed action in future time.

e.g. iam Quintus Athenas advenerit

By now Quintus will have reached Athens

English rarely uses the future perfect and instead prefers to use the present, so often you'll find yourself translating a Latin future perfect into an English present.

e.g. cum Athenas adveneris, in Academia studebis

When you will have arrived at Athens, you will study in the Academy

When you arrive at Athens (sounds better in English)

NB : a future perfect verb occurs earlier in time than a future verb.

Alter, Uter and Uterque

One (or the other)Masc.Fem.Neuter






An Example

puer altera manu librum ferebat alter stilum

In one hand the boy was carrying a book, in the other a pen

duo homines forum inierunt: alter iuvenis erat, alter senex

Two men entered the forum: one was young, the other old

Which (of two)Masc.Fem.Neuter






NB : If -que is placed after each word, e.g. -uterque, it means each (of two).

An Example

et scintilaa et horatia flaccum maxime desiderabant; ubi ille domum rediit, uterque laetissima erat

Both Scintilla and Horatia missed Flaccus very much; when he returned, each was very happy.

'utrum ... an''Either ... Or'

This introduces double questions:

e.g. utrum in urbe manebis, an domum redibis?

Will you (either) stay in the city, or will you return home?

Future Perfect and Future

English: When I reach Rome, I will tell you everything

English often uses the present tense to describe the future

Latin: cum Romam advenero, tibi omnia narrabo.

I have arrived I will tell

The Perfect Passive Participle

The perfect passive participle is a verbal adjective (participle) that describes an action that the noun it agrees with has suffered (passive). This action has occurred prior to the action of the main verb (perfect).

e.g. Quintus cenam matre paratam devorat

Quintus eats the prepared by his mother dinner (literal)

Quintus eats the dinner prepared by his mother