Latin/Verbs Present Tense Lesson 3

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Welcome back to Latin for Wikiversity, those of us impatient to learn Latin can at least have a basic lesson for free. If you’re just joining us and want to catch up, the links you’ll need are on the right.

New Grammar: Third conjugation verbs[edit]

This week we continue learning some basic verbs in Latin, this time with the 3rd conjugation. Where 1st conjugation verbs have –āre in the infinitive ending and the A is used as a combining vowel in the present tense, and 2nd conjugation verbs have –ēre in the infinitive ending and the E is used as a combining vowel, the 3rd conjugation is marked by –ere in the infinitive ending. The e (without a macron accent) does not continue as a combining vowel in the present tense, but instead we use what I call the “IOU rule”. So for example:

Typical Third conjugation verb lego
Latin English
legō I read
legis you read
legit he, she, it reads
legimus we read
legitis you all read
legunt they read

3rd conjugation verbs are probably, numerically, the largest class of Latin verbs. They do not follow one regular pattern for forming the 4 principal parts, so they need to be memorized individually with careful vocab study. They are prone to forming compounds by adding prepositional prefixes (e.g. ad, com/con, re, de, in, per) which change their meaning . And there are quite a few i-stem verbs of this conjugation, which have, you guessed it, an I added to the stem. (We’ll just do one i-stem this lesson; the 1st person singular and the 3rd person plural are where you notice it in the present tense). The good news is that we’ve used a few of these verbs before, and they’re not really that unusual if you have some familiarity with one of the modern Romance languages. Most of these verbs have many derivatives in English. Here are the 3rd conjugation verbs we’ve used in previous lessons:

Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
agō, agere, egī, actus do, act, drive, give
bibō, bibere, bibī, (bibus/bibitum) drink
coquō, coquere, coxī, coctus cook
dicō, dicere, dīxī, dictus say, tell
edō, edere, ēdī, esum eat some irregular and alternate forms
legō, legere, lēgī, lectus read
scrībō, scrībere, scrīpsī, scrīptus write
(cōn)sūmō, sūmere, sūmpsī, sūmptus, 3 take, consume e.g., a meal

New Vocabulary[edit]

Latin English Notes
New third conjugation verbs
currō, currere, cucurrī, cursus, 3 run, hurry
faciō, facere, fēcī, factus, 3 (i-stem) make, do
mittō, mittere, mīsī, missus, 3 send, send off
petō, petere, petīvī, petītus, 3 seek, beg, ask for, aim for
pōnō, pōnere, posuī, positus, 3 put, place, set, put down
Latin English Notes
Other vocabulary
quid what? Interrogative pronoun.
Nom. and acc. s.; other inflections to be learned later
quis who? Interrogative pronoun.
Nom. s. only; other inflections to be learned later

New Sentences[edit]

Latin English Notes
Quid facis? What are you doing/ making? Actually asking for information
Quid agis? How are you doing?/ What’s up? Literally, what are you doing. Common greeting, courtesy phrase
Cibum in mēnsam pōnunt. They put food on the table.
Quis theam meam bibit? Who is drinking my tea?
Prandium edō. I am eating lunch.
Ientaculum faciō. I am making breakfast.
Vīnum sūmimus. We take (drink) wine.
Avus carnem coquit. Grandfather is cooking the meat.
Puer currit. The boy runs.
Egō dīcō “Salvē!” I say “Hello!”
Amīcī litterās scrībunt. The friends are writing letters.
Tabulam petimus. We ask for a menu.
Pācem petitis. You (pl.) seek peace.
Discipulus librōs pōnit. The student puts (down) the books.
Māter epistulam ad Lūciam mittit. Mother sends a letter to Lucia.
Quid puerī faciunt? What are the boys doing?
Ad lūdum currimus. We are running to school.
Dōnum Paulae mittō. I send Paula a gift.
Ubī lac pōnitis? Where do you (pl.) put the milk?
Saccharum in caffeam meam nōn pōnō. I do not put sugar in my coffee.
Gāius et Mārcus in agrīs currunt. Gaius and Marcus run in the fields.
Diāria legunt, librōs nōn scribunt. They are reading newspapers, not writing books.
Nātūra nōn facit saltum. Nature does not make a jump.
Sōlitūdinem faciunt; pācem appellant. They make a wilderness; they call it peace. A complaint about the foreign policy of the Romans by their victims).

Practice[edit]

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 time we’ll look at 4th conjugation verbs. Valēte et habēte bonam fortūnam!