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