Elements of Latin Lesson 39
The Present Infinitive and the Present Imperative, Active and Passive

Dum spīrō, spērō — While I breathe, I hope
Closing words of the motto of the state of South Carolina. Free translation, "While there's life, there's hope."

284. Infinitive Defined. The infinitive is a verbal noun, giving the general meaning of the verb without person or number; as, amāre, to love.

285. Present Infinitive. The present infinitive active is formed by adding -re to the present stem (154). The present infinitive passive may be formed from the active by changing final -e to , except in the third conjugation, which changes final -ere to .

Conjugation Present
Pres. Inf. Active Pres. Inf. Passive
vocāre, to call
monēre, to advise
regere, to rule
audīre, to hear
vocā, to be called
monē, to be advised
regī, to be ruled
audī, to be heard

  a. The present infinitive of sum is esse. There is no passive.

286. Present Imperative. The active forms of the present imperative, already given in 249, are repeated below for comparison with passive forms. The present imperative passive ends in -re in the singular and in -minī in the plural. Thus the singular of the passive imperative is like the present active infinitive, and the plural is like the second person plural of the present indicative passive.

Imperative Active

Singular Command Plural Command Translation
vocā vocāte call!
monē monēte advise!
rege regite rule!
audī audīte listen!

Imperative Passive

Singular Command Plural Command Translation
vocāre vocāminī be called!
monēre monēminī be advised!
regere regiminī be ruled!
audīre audīminī be heard!

Irregular Imperatives

Singular Command Plural Command Translation
dīc dīcite tell!
dūc dūcite lead!
fac facite do! make!
fer ferte bring!


Print Lesson 39 Exercises

287. Give the active and passive present infinitives of nārrō, rapiō, mūniō, respondeō, parō, gerō, videō, spectō, dūcō, vincō.

288. Give the imperative active of dīcō1, dūcō, faciō, nūntiō, veniō, crēdō, noceō, faveō, resistō, sedeō.

289. Give the imperative passive of nārrō, rapiō, portō, petō, occupō, vincō, servō, timeō, mūniō, videō.

290. 1. Hasten-thou, to be prepared, be ye sent, lead thou.   2. To lead, to be led, be ye seized, come thou.   3. To be sent, to save, lead ye, speak thou.   4. To be sought, be ye led, to seize, to be held.   5. Fear thou, come ye, be ye prepared, to be fortified.

1 The verbs dīcō, dūcō, and faciō have dīc, dūc, and fac in the singular of the present imperative active. The plural is formed regularly: dīcite, etc.


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