Elements of Latin Lesson 33
Present Indicative Passive of the First Conjugation

Accipere quam facere iniūriam praestat — It is better to suffer a wrong than to do one
From Cicero, Rome's greatest orator and man of letters.

256. Passive Voice. The passive voice (141) uses a different set of personal endings from those of the active. The present indicative passive of vocō is inflected as follows:

Person & Number Latin Word English Meaning
1st singular vocor I am (being) called
2nd singular vocāris you are (being) called
3rd singular vocātur he/she/it is (being) called
1st plural vocāmur we are (being) called
2nd plural vocāminī you (all) are (being) called
3rd plural vocantur they are (being) called

  a. The letter r, which appears in all but one of the personal endings, is sometimes called the passive sign.

  b. A long vowel is shortened before final -r or -ntur (cf. 194. 2)

  c. The forms vocor etc. may be translated either I am called etc. or I am being called etc.


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257. Like vocor, inflect amor, servor, nūntior, portor, superor.

258. Derivation. The prefix con- (com-, co-), identical with the preposition cum (with), added to simple verbs makes many compounds both in Latin and English. This prefix sometimes means with or together, and sometimes strengthens the simple verb with the meaning completely, forcibly. What is the force of this prefix in the following words?

  1. contain (teneō)
  2. convoke (convocō)
  3. collaborate (labōrō)
  4. compete (petō)
  5. convince (vincō)
  6. convene (veniō)
  7. conserve (servō)
  8. conduct (dūcō)
  9. commit (mittō)

  1. The final letter of the prefix is often assimilated (made like) to the first letter of the simple verb.


Special Vocabulary

Latin Word Meaning Related Words
dēnique at last, finally
diū for a long time
ēdūcō, -ere to lead out educe
fortiter bravely fortitude
Graecia, -ae (f) Greece Grecian
nec or neque and not, nor; neither... nor...

259. Tum Ariadnē Thēseum in nōtum labyrinthum indūcit et eī longum fīlum1 dat et dīcit: “Tenē id fīlum. Fīlum vestigia2 tua reget3 et ex labyrinthō tē4 ēdūcet. Nunc properā. Mīnōtaurum audiō. Num timēs? Eī fortiter resiste et clāra erit victōria tua. Vince et servā vītam puerōrum puellārumque Graeciae.” Mox Thēseus Mīnōtaurum videt et petit5. Diū pugnātur6 nec sine magnō perīculō. Dēnique Mīnōtaurus superātur, et posteā puerī puellaeque servantur.

1 String.
2 Steps.
3 Guide.
4 You.
5 Attack.
6 The form pugnātur means it is fought; translate freely, the battle is fought or the contest rages. The verb pugnō in Latin is intransitive, and so has no personal subject in the passive. A verb with an indeterminate subject is called impersonal, as in English it rains.


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