Elements of Latin Lesson 50
The Past Participle; Passive Perfects

Vincit quī sē vincit — He conquers who conquers himself
From Publius Syrus. Born a slave and educated by his master, he was granted his freedom and became a noted writer.

344. Participles Defined. A participle is a verbal adjective, and takes its name from the fact that it participates in the uses of both verb and adjective. As a verb, it has tense and voice, and may be either transitive or intransitive. As an adjective, it is declined, and agrees with its noun in gender, number, and case. Thus, in "He, seeing the enemy, fled," seeing is a participle, present, active, and transitive, with enemy as its direct object. This is its verbal side. As an adjective, it agrees with he in gender, number, and case.

345. Participles in English. In English the chief classes of participles are present and past. The present participle ends in -ing. It usually describes an action as taking place at the same time with some other action: as, "Reaching for the boat I lost by balance." The past participle expresses completed action. In the passive it has the same form as the past tense: as, "The floors are swept," "The chairs are mended." The active past participle is formed by putting having before the passive past participle: as, "Having swept the floors, I rested", "Having mended the chairs, I sold them." Participles with having are often called perfect participles.

346. Past Participles in English and Latin. English has both an active and a passive past participle: as, having called (active), (having been) called (passive). Latin has only a passive past participle, and this participle is of special importance because, as we have seen (§299), it is the fourth and last of the principal parts.

347. Participial Stem. The participial stem is found, as will be recalled, by dropping -us from the past participle. From this stem are formed the future active infinitive and all the passive perfects.

348. Perfect, Pluperfect, Future Perfect Indicative Passive. In English the perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect tenses of the indicative passive are made up of forms of the auxiliary verb to be and the past participle: as, I have been called, I had been called, I shall have been called.

Very similarly in Latin the perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect passive use the present, imperfect, and future of sum as an auxiliary verb with the past participle: as,

Perfect passive, vocātus sum, I have been called or I was called

Pluperfect passive, vocātus eram, I had been called

Future perfect passive, vocātus erō, I shall have been called

349. The past participle is declined like bonus, bona, bonum. When making part of a verb form, it agrees in gender, number, and case with the subject of the verb, as shown below:

Examples in the Singular

Vir vocātus est, the man was called or has been called

Puella vocāta est, the girl was called or has been called

Praesidium vocātum est, the garrison was called or has been called

Examples in the Plural

Virī vocātī sunt, the men were called or have been called

Puellae vocātae sunt, the girls were called or have been called

Praesidia vocāta sunt, the garrisons were called or have been called

350. In all the conjugations the perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect indicative passive are formed and inflected in the same way. Study these inflections, §§832-835.


Print Lesson 50 Exercises

351. Inflect the perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect indicative, active and passive, of vocō, moneō, regō, and audiō.

352. 1. Agricolae frūmentum in oppidum sacrum portāvērunt.

2. Frūmentum ab agricolīs in oppidum sacrum portātum est.

3. Rēgīna Lesbiae pecūniam dederat.

4. Pecūnia ā rēgīnā Lesbiae data erat.

5. Mānlius dē mūrō sacrō Gallōs iēcerit.

6. Gallī ā Mānliō dē mūrō sacrō iactī erunt.

7. Dentātus lēgātōs dīmīserat. Lēgātī ā Dentātō dīmissī erant.

8. Puellae exemplum ēgregium vērae amīcitiae vīderant.

9. Exemplum ēgregium vērae amīcitiae ā puellīs vīsum erat.

10. Animī timidī eōrum factīs vestrīs cōnfīrmātī sunt.

11. Gallī ab agrīs nostrīs armīs Rōmānīs prohibitī erant.

353. 1. Greece had been freed from danger.

2. Fresh troops had been put before the sacred town by the Romans.

3. The girls had been greatly terrified and had fled.

4. The fields had been laid waste, but, because of the nature of the place, the camp had not been taken by storm.

5. Did the Gauls climb your walls? Not at all, but they laid waste the fields.

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