SIGNIFICATION OF THE FORMS OF THE VERB
Voices[*] 156. The Active and Passive Voices in Latin generally correspond to the active and passive in English; but— [*] a. The passive voice often has a reflexive meaning:—
- ferrō accingor, I gird myself with my sword.
- Turnus vertitur, Turnus turns (himself).
- induitur vestem, he puts on his (own) clothes.
[*] Note.--This use corresponds very nearly to the Greek Middle voice, and is doubtless a survival of the original meaning of the passive (p. 76, footnote 2).[*] b. Many verbs are passive in form, but active or reflexive in meaning. These are called Deponents (§ 190):1 as, hortor, I exhort; sequor, I follow. [*] c. Some verbs with active meaning have the passive form in the perfect tenses; these are called Semi-Deponents: as, audeō , audēre , ausus sum, dare.
Moods[*] 157. The Moods are used as follows:— [*] a. The Indicative Mood is used for most direct assertions and interrogations: as, valēsne ? valeō, are you well? I am well. [*] b. The Subjunctive Mood has many idiomatic uses, as in commands, conditions, and various dependent clauses. It is often translated by the English Indicative; frequently by means of the auxiliaries may, might, would, should; 2 sometimes by the (rare) Subjunctive; sometimes by the Infinitive; and often by the Imperative, especially in prohibitions. A few characteristic examples of its use are the following:—
- eāmus, let us go; nē abeat, let him not depart.
- adsum ut videam, I am here to see (that I may see).
- tū nē quaesieris, do not thou inquire.
- beātus sīs, may you be blessed.
- quid morer, why should I delay?
- nesciō quid scrībam, I know not what to write.
- sī moneam, audiat, if I should warn, he would hear.
[*] Note.--For the Syntax of the Moods, see § 436 ff.
Participles[*] 158. The Participles are used as follows:— [*] a. The Present Participle (ending in -ns) has commonly the same meaning and use as the English participle in -ing; as, vocāns, calling; legentēs, reading. (For its inflection, see egēns , § 118.) [*] b. The Future Participle (ending in -ūrus) is oftenest used to express what is likely or about to happen: as, rēctūrus, about to rule; audītūrus, about to hear. [*] c. The Perfect Participle (ending in -tus, -sus) has two uses:—
- It is sometimes equivalent to the English perfect passive participle: as, tēctus, sheltered; acceptus, accepted; ictus, having been struck; and often has simply an adjective meaning: as, acceptus, acceptable.
- It is used with the verb to be (
) to form certain tenses of the passive: as, vocātus est, he was
(has been) called.
[*] Note.--There is no Perfect Active or Present Passive Participle in Latin. For substitutes see §§ 492, 493.
- It is often used as an adjective implying obligation, necessity, or propriety (ought or must): as, audiendus est, he must be heard.
- In the oblique cases the Gerundive commonly has the same meaning as the Gerund (cf. § 159. a), though its construction is different. (For examples, see § 503 ff.)
Gerund and Supine[*] 159. The Gerund and Supine are used as follows:— [*] a. The Gerund is a verbal noun, corresponding in meaning to the English verbal noun in -ing (§ 502): as, loquendī causā, for the sake of speaking.
[*] Note.--The Gerund is found only in the oblique cases. A corresponding nominative is supplied by the Infinitive: thus, scrībere est ūtile, writing (to write) is useful; but, ars scrībendī, the art of writing.[*] b. The Supine is in form a noun of the fourth declension (§ 94. b), found only in the accusative ending in -tum, -sum, and the dative or ablative ending in -tū, -sū. The Supine in -um is used after verbs and the Supine in -ū after adjectives (§§ 509, 510):—
Tenses of the Finite Verb[*] 160. The Tenses of the Indicative have, in general, the same meaning as the corresponding tenses in English:— [*] a. Of continued action,
- 1. PRESENT: scrībō, I write, I am writing, I do write.
- 2. IMPERFECT: scrībēbam, I wrote, I was writing, I did write.
- 3. FUTURE: scrībam, I shall write.
- 4. PERFECT: scrīpsī, I have written, I wrote.
- 5. PLUPERFECT: scrīpseram, I had written.
- 6. FUTURE PERFECT: scrīpserō, I shall have written.
- The Perfect Definite represents the action of the verb as completed in present time, and corresponds to the English perfect with have: as, scrīpsī, I have written.
- The Perfect Historical narrates a simple act or state in past time without representing it as in progress or continuing. It corresponds to the English past or preterite and the Greek aorist: as, scrīpsit, he wrote.