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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:—

  1. ferrō accingor, I gird myself with my sword.
  2. Turnus vertitur, Turnus turns (himself).
  3. 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.

1 That is, verbs which have laid aside ( dēpōnere ) the passive meaning.

hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • J. B. Greenough, G. L. Kittredge, Select Orations of Cicero, Allen and Greenough's Edition., AG Cic. pos=4.4
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Anne Mahoney, Overview of Latin Syntax, Verbs
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