Elements of Latin Lesson 42
Principal Parts - Verb Stems - The Perfect Stem -
The Endings of the Perfect Active

Nōn omne quod nitet aurum est — Not all that glitters is gold

299. Principal Parts. Certain forms of the verb are important because we cannot inflect the verb without knowing them. These are called the principal parts.

In English, the principal parts are the present indicative, the past indicative, and the past participle: as, go, went, gone.

In Latin, the principal parts are the first person singular of the present indicative, the present infinitive, the first person singular of the perfect indicative, and the past participle: as,

vocō, vocāre, vocāvī, vocātus

300. Verb Stems. From the principal parts we get three verb stems, from which we construct the entire conjugation. These are the present stem, formed from the present infinitive (154), the perfect stem, and the participial stem.

301. The perfect stem is found by dropping final from the first person singular of the perfect: as, vocāv- from vocāvī, perfect of vocō.

302. The participial stem is found by dropping final -us from the past participle: as, vocāt- from vocātus, past participle of vocō.

303. The perfect stem is used to form

  • The Perfect Indicative Active: He called, he has called
  • The Pluperfect Indicative Active: He had called
  • The Future Perfect Indicative Active: He will have called

304. Endings of the Perfect Active. The perfect is inflected by adding the following endings to the perfect stem:


is, ea, id
he, she, it
you all
eī, eae, ea
-ērunt or -ēre

The endings of the perfect are different from those found in any other tense. They are the same in all conjugations.

305. Practically all the verbs of the first conjugation have regular principal parts: as,

vocō, vocāre, vocāvī, vocātus

Following the model, give the principal parts of amō, nārrō, portō, parō, occupō, pugnō, superō, spectō, līberō.


Print Lesson 42 Exercises

Special Vocabulary

Latin Word Meaning Related Words
amplus, -a, -um large, abundant; famous ample
comparō, -āre to get together, provide compare
cōnfīrmō, -āre to strengthen, encourage confirm
dēfendō, -ere to defend defensive
locō, -āre to put, set locate, locative
quam (adv.) how
timidus, -a, -um fearful, cowardly timid, timidity

306. 1. Barbarī magnam cōpiam frūmentī comparābunt et ex agrīs suīs discēdent. 2. Multa oppida fīnitimōrum oppugnābunt. 3. Ea oppida mūrīs altīs et fossīs lātīs mūniuntur et fortiter dēfendentur. 4. Quam longē ab Italiā absunt ea oppida? Nōn longē absunt. 5. Nōnne Rōmānī auxilium ad ea oppida mittent? Certē, nam populī eōrum oppidōrum sunt sociī Rōmānōrum. 6. Amplae cōpiae Rōmānōrum animōs timidōs sociōrum cōnfīrmābunt. 7. Rōmānī fīrma praesidia in eīs oppidīs locābunt. 8. Itaque barbarī iniūriīs prohibēbuntur et cōpiās suās dīmittent.

307. 1. Cowardly allies will be defended by the Romans. 2. How far distant were those places1 from their2 camp? 3. Prepare an abundant supply3 of grain, Marcus, and place it in our town. 4. Because of the memory4 of your deeds, we shall be neither slow nor cowardly. 5. Their5 hearts were encouraged, and so they seized their arms and bravely assaulted the lofty walls. 6. Why are you sitting there? Depart and quickly free those captives.

1 The plural of locus is irregular. 2 Not suus (cf. 135, 209). 3 cōpia. 4 Ablative of cause.

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