Elements of Latin Lesson 16
Conjugation; Present Indicative of SUM; Predicate Genitive of Possessor

Experientia docet stultōs — Experience teaches fools
A Latin slogan.
140. Conjugation. The inflection of the verb is called its conjugation. Through its conjugation the verb expresses voice, mood, tense, number, and person.

141. There are two voices, active and passive. A verb in the active voice represents the subject as performing the action: as,

142. Mood. In Latin there are three moods: indicative, subjunctive, and imperative.

143. Tense. The tense of a verb indicates its time.

144. In English there are six tenses:
  1. Present, referring to present time, I call.
  2. Past, referring to past time, I called.
  3. Future, referring to future time, I shall call.
  4. Present Perfect, denoting action completed in the present time, I have called.
  5. Past perfect1, denoting action completed in past time, I had called.
  6. Future perfect, denoting action completed in future time, I shall have called.

1Also called the pluperfect.

145. Number. In Latin, as in English, there are two numbers, singular and plural.

146. Person. Latin, like English, has three persons. The first person is the person speaking (I call); the second person, the person spoken to (you call); the third person, the person or thing spoken of (he calls). In English, person and number are indicated by personal pronouns. In Latin, on the other hand, person and number are indicated by personal endings (§ 47). We have already learned that -t and -nt are endings of the third person, singular and plural. The complete list of personal endings of the active voice is as follows:

Singular Plural
1st Person -m or -ō I -mus we
2nd Person -s thou or you -tis you (all)
3rd Person -t he, she, it -nt they

147. Indicative Mood. The indicative mood is used t make a statement or to ask a question concerning a real or assumed fact.

148. Regular and Irregular Verbs. Most verbs form their moods and tenses after a regular plan, and are called regular verbs. Verbs that depart from this plan are called irregular.

Present Indicative of sum. The verb sum, I am, irregular in Latin as in English, is conjugated in the present indicative as follows:

Singular Plural
1st person sum, I am sumus, we are
2nd person es, you are estis, you are
3rd person est, he, she, it is sunt, they are

a. Est meaning there is, or sunt meaning there are, precedes its subject. In this use there is called an expletive.
   Distinguish, therefore, between īnsula est magna, the island is large, and est īnsula magna, there is a large island.

150. Rule for Predicate Genitive of Possessor. The possessive genitive often stands in the predicate, and is connected with its noun by a form of the verb sum.

Pecūnia est servī
the money is the slave's.
or, freely, belongs to the slave (literally, is of the slave)


Print Lesson 16 Exercises

Latin Word Meaning Related Words
Gallia, -ae (f) Gaul (Modern France)
Gallus, -ī (m) a Gaul
Germānus, -ī (m) a German
occupat he (she, it) seizes occupy, occupation
pugnat he (she, it) fights pugnacious, pugilist
semper always
tum then, at that time
victōria, -ae (f) victory victor


151. Gallia est terra Gallōrum. Terra Gallōrum est pulchra, et Gallī, populus Galliae, patriam (country) suam amant. Sunt in Galliā multa oppida magna. In agrīs multī agricolae habitant, et equī agricolārum multum frūmentum per viās longās in oppida portant. Bella Gallīs grāta nōn sunt. Sed proximī Gallīs habitant Germānī. Germānī bellum amant et semper sunt in armīs. Saepe Germānī cum sociīs suīs in Galliam properant et agrōs occupant. Tum Gallī populum ad arma vocant et cum Germānīs pugnant. Magna est fāma bellōrum et nōtae sunt victōriae. Sed victōria nōn semper est Gallōrum. Saepe Germānī superant.

Printable Map of Gaul

152. Are you friendly to my allies? Yes.   2. Your well-known victories, my son, are pleasing to our land.   3. Are the men of your towns free? No.   4. The new spears belong to (are of) my son.   5. Are we very near to the high island?   6. No, the island is not very near.


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