Latin/Perfect Tense Lesson 4

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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.

New grammar[edit | edit source]

This lesson we continue with the Latin perfect tense, which is used to express action completed in the past. English present perfect and simple past are used where Latin uses perfect. Most verbs follow a very regular pattern in forming the perfect: take the stem from the 3rd principal part and add the endings

ī, istī, it, imus, istis, ērunt.

Even irregular verbs are pretty consistent. But the deponent verbs, which have a passive form but an active meaning, follow the rules for how the perfect tense, passive voice is formed for other verbs. We aren’t studying the passive voice yet, but this new set of forms is basically identical, and I hope it will make passive voice easier when we do reach it.

The perfect tense of deponent verbs is a compound of the 3rd and final principal part of the verb (which is the equivalent of the 4th principal part of a regular verb) and a form of the verb sum in the present tense. The ending of the principal part must agree in gender and number with the subject (so use the nominative case endings), and the form of sum must agree in person and number. Therefore:

Latin English
Past perfect of loquor
locūtus sum / locūta sum I spoke, I have spoken
locūtus es / locūta es you spoke, you have spoken
locūtus est / locūta est he/she spoke, he/she has spoken
locūti sumus / locūtae sumus we spoke, we have spoken
locūti estis/ locūtae estis you (pl.) spoke, you have spoken
locūti sunt/ locūtae sunt they spoke, they have spoken

When a plural subject is a group of all men or a mixed group of masculine and feminine, the masculine plural ending –i is used. Only when the entire group is composed of feminine persons is the –ae ending used. Of course if a neuter noun is the subject, you need to use the neuter ending, although it makes a strange sentence with this verb:

Aedificium locūtum est. = The building spoke.
Aedificia locūta sunt. = The buildings spoke.

Verbs in this lesson[edit | edit source]

Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
secō, secare, secuī, sectus, 1 cut, divide
coquō, coquere, coxī, coctus, 3 cook
dicō, dicere, dīxī, dictus, 3 say, tell
emō, emere, ēmī, emptus, 3 buy, gain
tollō, tollere, sustulī, sublātus, 3 raise up, lift, take away
vendō, vendere, vēndidī, venditus, 3 sell
vivō, vivere, vīxī, victus, 3 live
fiō, fierī, factus sum become, be made, be done, happen   note that the perfect tense is formed as with full deponents; and the verb faciō, facere, fēcī, factus is the same in its perfect passive.
nōlō, nōlle, nōluī (irreg.) am unwilling, do not want
loquor, loquī, locūtus sum, 3 speak
morior, morī, mortuus sum, 3 (i-stem) die, pass away
nāscor, nāscī, nātus sum, 3 am born
sequor, sequī, secūtus sum, 3 follow, come after

New Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
mortuus, a, um dead
praeteritus, a, um past, bygone, last
nātus baby boy, boy child
nāta baby girl, girl child

New Sentences[edit | edit source]

Latin English Notes
Praeteritō annō, domum ēmērunt. Last year they bought a house.
Raedam caeruleam ēmī; raedam nigram ēmistī. I bought a blue car; you bought a black car.  
Quot librōs Mārcus vēndidit? How many books did Marcus sell?
Vēndidistīne raedam tuam? Did you sell your car?
Quid dīxistī? What did you say?
Mihi omnia dīxērunt. They told me everything.
Pānem in septem partēs secuit. He cut the bread into seven pieces.
Mālum cultrō secuī. I cut the apple with a knife.
Lūcia pullum in vīnō coxit. Lucia cooked the chicken in wine.
Cēnam coxērunt. They cooked dinner.
Pugnare nōluimus. We did not want to fight.
Gāius ire nōluit. Gaius did not want to go.
Paula librum sustūlit. Paula picked up the book./ Paula took away the book.
Pecūniam meam sustūlērunt. They took my money.
Mārcus me secūtus est. Marcus followed me.
Paula Mārcum secūta est. Paula followed Marcus.
Canēs nōs secūti sunt. The dogs followed us.
Quandō hoc factum est? When did this happen?
Vir factus sum. I became a man.
Puellae fēminae factae sunt. The girls became women.
Multa facta sunt. Many things were done.
Mīlitēs factī sumus. We became soldiers.
Lēcia senātor facta est. Lucia was elected/ became a senator.  
Magistrī nōbīscum locūtī sunt. The teachers spoke with us.
Latīne nōn locūtus es. You did not speak Latin.
Nātus est, vīxit, et mortuus est. He was born, he lived, and he died.
Ubi nātus es? Where were you born?
In Americā nātus sum. I was born in America.
Nātum vīdērunt. They saw the baby boy.
Quot annōs nātus es (nāta es)? How old are you? literally, how many years have you been born?
Vīgintī annōs nātus sum (nāta sum). I am twenty years old.
Paula sēdecim annōs nāta est. Paula is sixteen years old.
Multī hominēs mortuī sunt. Many people died (also, Many people are dead).
Praeterito annō, soror Mārcī mortua est. Last year Marcus’ sister died.
Nōn nōbīs solum nātī sumus. (Cicero) We were not born for ourselves alone.
Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vērē! Traditional Paschal greeting and response in Latin, if you celebrate Easter.

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)

With these four lessons, we have had a good introduction to the perfect tense. There are of course many verbs we haven’t covered yet, but we can introduce them as they come up. Bonam fortūnam vōbīs optō!