Latin/Pluperfect Tense Lesson 2

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New grammar[edit | edit source]

Last lesson covered pluperfect forms of typical verbs, which are formed by adding the endings “eram, eras, erat, eramus, eratis, erant” to the stem from the 3rd principal part. This time, we will work with deponent verbs, which have a passive form, but an active meaning. For these verbs, we will use the same

eram, erās, erat, erāmus, erātis, erant,

not as endings, but as helping verbs. They are the imperfect tense forms of the being verb “sum,” but in this case they are added to the 3rd principal part of the deponent verb (which looks a lot like the 4th principal part of a regular verb) as a separate word, to form the pluperfect tense. Just as with the perfect tense, the 3rd principal part of the deponent verb must agree in gender and number with the subject; therefore the endings can be –us/-a/-um//-i/-ae/-a, depending on whether the subject is masculine, feminine, or neuter; and singular or plural. Here are some examples:

typical verb: vocō, vocāre, vocāvī, vocātus;
vocāverat = he had called (3rd person s. (m.) pluperfect active indicative)
deponent verb: loquor, loquī, locūtus sum;
locūtus erat = he had spoken (3rd person s. (m.) pluperfect indicative of a deponent verb)

Some “defective” verbs are used only in the perfect tenses:

meminī = remember;
ōdī = hate.

We also know some that have a different sense in the perfect tenses than they have in the present:

cognōscō/nōscō = learn, find out, become acquainted with; but
cognōvī / nōvī = know (a person)).

For these verbs, the perfect tense is translated as the present, and the pluperfect is translated as the simple past.

New Sentences[edit | edit source]

Latin English Notes
Paula librum sustulerat. Paula had picked up the book.
Rēx rēgnum diū rēxerat. The king had ruled the kingdom for a long time.
Dūcēs cum mīlitibus locūtī erant. The leaders had spoken with the soldiers.
Duae puellae nātae erant. Two girls had been born.
Sol ortus erat. The sun had risen.
Oblītus eram. I had forgotten.
Canēs nōs secūtī erant. The dogs had followed us.
Gāius iterum conātus erat. Gaius had tried again.
Factum erat. It had happened/ been done/ been made.
Mīlitēs factī erāmus. We had become soldiers.
Cultrō ūsus erās. You had used a knife.
Lūcia senātor facta erat. Lucia had been elected (had become/ had been made) senator.
Mārcus vīdit fēminam quae mortua erat. Marcus saw the woman who had died.
Paula locūta erat, sed nēmō eam audīverat. Paula had spoken, but no one had heard her.
Lūciam (Lūciae) meminī. I remember Lucia. Not only is memini translated in present tense, it frequently takes an object in the genitive.
Clāvium meārum memineram. I remembered my keys (with gen. object).
Recordātus erat. He had remembered. You can use the deponent verb if you need to express a real pluperfect.
Lūcia eum ōdit. Lucia hates him.
Lūcia eum ōderat. Lucia hated him.
Mārcum (cog)nōvī. I know Marcus.
Mārcum (cog)nōverāmus. We knew Marcus.

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)

Next lesson, we’ll finish the perfect tenses with a brief look at the future perfect. Thank you to all who follow this course here or on Memrise. If you have questions or comments, leave them on the discuss page and we will try to answer them. Valēte!