Latin Grammar Notes

Notes on key grammar features

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  • Created on: 13-02-12 20:31
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Latin Grammar ­ Answers
Cum + Subjunctive
1. The subjunctive is used to express wishes, ideas and intentions. There is no subjunctive mood in English so there
is no one single translation.
2. The pluperfect subjunctive is formed from the perfect stem + isse + person endings e.g.:
a. Portav is the perfect stem of the verb `portare' ­ to carry
b. Add the isse portavisse
c. Add the person endings: m, s, t, mus, tis, nt.
This forms: portavissem- I had carried
Portavisses ­ You had carried
Portavisset ­ He had carried etc.
3. Cum + the pluperfect subjunctive describes `when something had happened':
E.g. cum gladiators leonem interfecissent, spectators plauserunt
When the gladiators had killed the lion, the spectators applauded.
4. The imperfect subjunctive is formed from the infinitive + person endings, e.g.:
a. Portare is the infinitive
b. And the person endings: m, s, t, mus, tis, nt.
This forms: portarem ­ I was carrying
Portares - You were carrying
Portaret ­ He was carrying
5. The main use of the imperfect subjunctive is to describe an ongoing action in the past, very similar to the
indicative imperfect. When it is used with the word `cum' it means "when/ while X was ­ing".
E.g. cum custodies dormirent, fures e carcare effugerent.
When/ while the guards were sleeping, the thieves escaped from the prison.
Direct and Indirect Questions:
6. Indirect questions report or refer to a question (spoken or thought) that was asked previously:
Direct: Why are you silent?
Indirect: I asked the slave why he was silent.
The question word is retained ­ The verb moves one tense back ­ There is no question mark.
7. Direct: cur taces?
Indirect: servum regavi cur taceret?
The question word (cur) remains ­ There is no question mark ­ The verb moves back one tense ­ the verb is
subjunctive (imperfect)
E.g. iudex me rogavit ubi pecuniam invenissent.
The judge asked me where they had found the money.
8. A gerundive is an adjective made from a verb and it is used to show necessity. It is formed from the verb stem,
the characteristic vowel for the conjugation and the letters ­and the noun is in the dative case. Because it is an
adjective it has to agree with the noun in gender and number. It takes the endings of the 1st and 2nd declension.
1st ­ portandus a um - `needing to be carried'
2 - docendus a um - `needing to be taught'
3 - trahendus a um - `needing to be dragged'
4 - audiendus a um - `needing to be heard'
E.g. tibi hic manendum est ­ You must remain here
Service diligenter laborandum est ­ The slaves must work carefully
Purpose Clauses:

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Purpose clauses explain the aim with which an action is done, e.g. she worked hard in order to get an A*. In
English the infinitive or the phrase `in order to' is used.
10. Latin uses the word `ut' with the imperfect subjunctive ­ e.g.
Senex ad urbem ambulavit ut librum emeret ­ The old man walked to the city in order to buy a book.
If the purpose clause has a different subject than the main clause a different translation is needed.…read more

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Present Passive: The passive endings are added to the present stem ­ portor ­ I am carried/ I am being carried
Imperfect Passive: The passive endings are simply added to the imperfect stem ­ portabar ­ I was being carried
Perfect Passive: Two elements are required: the PPP and the present tense of the verb esse:
Portat us a um sum I was/ have been carried
Portat us a um es You sg.…read more

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E.g. haec verba legere diu conabar - I was trying to read these words for a long time
Imperator milites suos breviter hortatus est ­ The emperor briefly encouraged his soldiers.
20. There are only a few semi deponent verbs on the A402 vocabulary list:
Gaudeo ­ I rejoice
Audeo ­ I dare
Soleo ­ I am accustomed
They are active in form in the present, imperfect and future tenses, but become deponent in the perfect and
Indirect Statements:
21.…read more

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Nuntius dicit naves in portum navigare ­
The messenger says the ships sail into the port
Nuntius dicit naves in portum navigavisse ­
The messenger says the ships have sailed into the port
Nuntius dicit naves in in portum navigaturas esse ­
The messenger said the ships are about to sail into the port
24. Translating Latin Indirect Statements:
With present tense reporting verb the verb of the English indirect statement will be translated as the same
tense of the Latin infinitive, e.g.…read more

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Essential Passive/ Deponent Tense Endings:…read more


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