Latin/Infinitives Lesson 3

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Salvēte omnēs! Welcome back to Latin for Wikiversity. Here you can peruse a new lesson in Latin, in a simple format. If you would like to catch up, you can find a directory of lessons, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses at the links on the right.

We are continuing to study present infinitives. Sometimes we see infinitives in more complex uses than just completing a regular verb’s meaning. Our new verbs mean “order” and “forbid.” Frequently these are used with an accusative object plus infinitive, and sometimes the infinitive itself takes an accusative object. For example,

Jubet eōs mūrum facere. = He orders them to build a wall.

So the first accusative, eōs, is the object of jubet; and the second accusative, murum, is the object of facere.

Even more common in Latin is a clause construction known as “accusative with infinitive”, which is a way of expressing indirect speech. In English, we would use a clause introduced by “that,” but Latin uses the infinitive. For example:

Sciō eum habēre raedam. = I know that he has a car.

The main verb in this kind of sentence describes saying, thinking, knowing, perceiving, etc., and the subject of the infinitive is in the ACCUSATIVE case.

We know that you’ve just learned that subjects are always in the nominative, but here is an important exception. We’ll just do a few shorter sentences of this sort to get you used to the idea. For now, it may help to translate such sentences very literally, at least at first: “I know him to have a car” is what is going on grammatically in the Latin. It kind of makes sense even in English, and some older literature in English uses this kind of syntax. But again, we’re just starting out with some very basic and preliminary sentences.

New Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
vetō, vetāre, vetuī, vetitus, 1 forbid, prevent, reject, not allow
jūbeō (iubeō), jubēre, jussī, jussus, 2 order, command

New Sentences[edit | edit source]

Latin English Notes
Rēx jubet mīlitēs pugnāre. The king orders the soldiers to fight.
Eum manēre jubēmus. We order him to stay.
Eōs murum facere jubet. He orders them to build (make) a wall.
Mārcum solvere debitum jubeō. I order Marcus to pay the debt.
Dūcēs nōs urbem mūnīre jubent. The leaders order us to fortify the city.
Jūs in caupōnā petō. I order/request soup in the restaurant. Note a different verb for this kind of “order”; also note that “jus” is neuter, so this accusative form is the same as the nominative.
Tē abīre vetant. They forbid you to go away/leave.
Tē abesse vetō. I forbid you to be absent.
Magistra puerōs pugnāre vetat. The teacher forbids the boys to fight.
Jūdex vīgilem pūblicum monēre advocātum vetat. The judge forbids the policeman to warn the lawyer.
Paula Gāium spectāre horologium vetat. Paula forbids Gaius to look at the clock (to watch the watch).
Potesne jānuam aperīre? Can you open the door?
Vīsne emere aut vēndere? Do you wish to buy or sell?
Quis vult pānem secāre? Who wants to cut the bread?
Bonum est līberōs holera edere. It is good for children to eat vegetables (that children eat vegetables).
Oportet Lūciam esse fortem. It behooves Lucia to be brave/ Lucia ought to be brave.
Sciō eum habēre raedam. I know that he has a car.  
Putō Paulam esse pulchram. I think that Paula is beautiful Lit, I think Paula to be beautiful.
Māter dicit jūs esse calidum. Mother says that the soup is hot Lt, Mother says the soup to be hot.
Sciō Avum legere hoc diārium. I know that Grandfather reads this newspaper Lit, I know Grandfather to read this newspaper.
Crēdō eum Latīne loquī. I believe that he speaks Latin Lit, I believe him to speak Latin.
Scīmus eōs sitīre. We know that they are thirsty (We know them to thirst).
Paula dicit sē ēsurīre. Paula says that she is hungry Lit, Paula says herself to hunger.
Paula dicit eam ēsurīre. Paula says that she (a different woman) is hungry Lit, Paula says that other woman to hunger.
Gāius scit eam semper petere vīnum. Gaius knows that she always orders wine.
Difficile est saturam nōn scrībere. It is difficult not to write satire. Juvenal: an ancient quote to appreciate when following modern political news.

Practice[edit | edit source]

Practice and learn the words and phrases in this lesson
Step one First learn the words using this lesson:
Step two Next try learning and writing the sentencing using this:
Note that the Memrise stage covers the content for all lessons in each stage.
If you are skipping previous stages you may need to manually "ignore" the words in previous levels (use the 'select all' function)

For now, we’ll leave infinitives, and the next lesson(s) will deal with imperatives. We will certainly need to return to other infinitive forms once we’ve studied some of the other tenses. Valēte!