In the tradition of Conjugating verbs in Spanish and Conjugating verbs in French we bring you the threequel; Conjugating verbs in Latin: When Romance Languages Attack!!

In all seriousness, the verb plays an extremely important role in any Latin sentence. The irregular English verb, the most complicated one can get in our Germanic language, has only five ways it can conjugate. Compare this to the 151 ways a Latin verb can conjugate. And this is only for one conjugation, there are four! So why in the gods' names would we need so many verb endings? Because this is all the information any given Latin verb stores:

  • Mood: The Latin verb can have one of three moods; Indicative, Imperative, and Subjunctive. The indicative mood is reserved for declarative sentences; statements of fact. The Imperative mood is used for commands (and there is not just one command verb!). The Subjunctive expresses idea, intent, desire, uncertainty, potentiality, anticipation, or other situations of mutability. It is very often used in set constructions such as relative clauses or if/then statements.
  • Voice: One of two voices, active or passive. In the active voice, the subject (which will be in the Nominative case, see Latin noun cases) does the action expressed by the verb. In the passive voice, the subject has the action expressed in the verb done to it.
  • Tense: One of three basic tenses, present, past, or future. As in English, these tenses express action done in the present, past, and future respectively, with some modifications. The Latin present tense does not express habitual action. The tenses are not all called by these names, because of....
  • Aspect: One of three aspects, blank, perfect, or progressive. The aspect indicates the type of motion during time, whether the action has been already completed, or is in the process of being done. Aspect and tense combine to give us the six Latin tenses: Present (Present, blank), Imperfect (Past, progressive), Future (Future, blank), Perfect (Past, blank), Pluperfect (Past, perfect), and Future Perfect (Future, perfect).
  • Person: Being the root of all Romance languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, etc., Latin marks its verbs for person, the type of actor accomplishing the action expressed by the verb. The persons marked by Latin are first person singular (I), second person singular (you sg.), third person singular (he, she, it), first person plural (we), second person plural (y'all, you pl.), and third person plural (they).

Preparation for Conjugation

Before applying that rich array of endings, as I know you're terribly, terribly excited to do, you have to take a few things into consideration.

Conjugation
As mentioned before, the Latin verb can be one of four conjugations. These conjugations are groupings of verbs that conjugate in a similar matter. They are always marked by the infinitive ending. The first conjugation has infinitive endings in -are, such as amare (love), optare (desire), or ambulare (walk). The second conjugation has infinitive endings in -ére. Notice that long vowel; it's marked in dictionary endings, but not in standard Latin writing. The third conjugation ends in -ere, the short vowel counterpart to the second conjugation's long vowel. The third conjugation itself can further be divided into 3rd and 3rd-io. 3rd-io verbs have both a third conjugation infinitive and a indicative, present, singular, first person ending of -io instead of just the standard -o. The fourth conjugation infinitive ends in -ire.

It is important to know the conjugation because of the composition of a Latin ending. Every Latin conjugational ending has a vowel and consonant aspect. The consonant or consonants are determined by the tense, aspect, and person, however the vowel is dependent on the conjugation.

Stem
A Latin verb can have two stems to which verb endings are applied. One is called the present stem, and the other is the perfect stem. The present stem is used for the Present, Imperfect, and Future tenses. The perfect stem is used for the Perfect, Pluperfect, and Future Perfect tenses. Determining the present stem is simply a matter of taking the present, first person singular and removing the vowel or vowels at the end. For example, amo becomes am-, rego becomes reg-, moneo becomes mon-, and capio becomes cap-. The perfect stem is more difficult. It usually includes a -v- infix, however not always. Many times umlaut occurs, changing the vowel quality from the present stem. The perfect stem cannot be regularly predicted, and thus must be memorized. If one knows the Perfect, first person singular, however, one can produce it easily. Remove the -i ending and you have the perfect stem. For example, amavi becomes amav-, rexi becomes rex-, monui becomes monu-, and cepi becomes cep-.

Dictionary Forms
A short note on dictionary forms. Because of the reasons given above, all Latin verbs are given with four forms in their dictionary listings. These are the present first person singular, infinitive, perfect first person singular, and the Nominative masculine past participle.

Conjugation Tables

First Conjugation


Indicative Mood

Present:

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -o    |  -amus  |  -or    |  -amur  
2nd|  -as   |  -atis  |-aris(re)|  -amini
3rd|  -at   |  -ant   |  -atur  |  -antur

Imperfect:

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st| -abam  | -abamus | -abar   |  -abamur  
2nd| -abas  | -abatis | -abaris |  -abamini
3rd| -abat  | -abant  | -abatur |  -abantur
Future:
   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st| -abo   | -abimus | -abor   |  -abimur  
2nd| -abis  | -abitis | -aberis |  -abimini
3rd| -abit  | -abunt  | -abitur |  -abuntur
Perfect (Perfect stems in Active, past participle plus sum in passive from here on):
   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -i    |  -imus  |  +sum   |  +sumus  
2nd|  -isti |  -istis |  +es    |  +estis
3rd|  -it   |  -erunt |  +est   |  +sunt

Pluperfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -eram | -eramus |  +eram  |  +eramus  
2nd|  -eras | -eratis |  +eras  |  +eratis
3rd|  -erat | -erant  |  +erat  |  +erant

Future Perfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -ero  | -erimus |  +ero   |  +erimus  
2nd|  -eris | -eritis |  +eris  |  +eritis
3rd|  -erit | -erint  |  +erit  |  +erint

Subjunctive Mood

Present

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -em   | -emus   |  -er    |  -emur  
2nd|  -es   | -etis   |  -eris  |  -emini
3rd|  -et   | -ent    |  -etur  |  -entur

Imperfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -arem | -aremus | -arer   |  -aremur  
2nd|  -ares | -aretis | -areris |  -aremini
3rd|  -aret | -arent  | -aretur |  -arentur

Perfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -erim | -erimus |  +sim   |  +simus  
2nd|  -eris | -eritis |  +sis   |  +sitis
3rd|  -erit | -erint  |  +sit   |  +sint

Pluperfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st| -issem |-issemus |  +essem |  +essemus 
2nd| -isses |-issetis |  +esses |  +essetis
3rd| -isset |-issent  |  +esset |  +essent

Imperative Mood

          |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
Present   |  ama   |  amate  |  amare  |  amamini
Future    |  amato |  amatote|  amator |
Future 3rd|  amato |  amanto |  amator |  amantor

Second Conjugation

Present:

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -eo   |  -emus  |  -eor   |  -emur  
2nd|  -es   |  -etis  |-eris(re)|  -emini
3rd|  -et   |  -ent   |  -etur  |  -entur

Imperfect:

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st| -ebam  | -ebamus | -ebar   |  -ebamur  
2nd| -ebas  | -ebatis | -ebaris |  -ebamini
3rd| -ebat  | -ebant  | -ebatur |  -ebantur
Future:
   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st| -ebo   | -ebimus | -ebor   |  -ebimur  
2nd| -ebis  | -ebitis | -eberis |  -ebimini
3rd| -ebit  | -ebunt  | -ebitur |  -ebuntur
Perfect:
   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -i    |  -imus  |  +sum   |  +sumus  
2nd|  -isti |  -istis |  +es    |  +estis
3rd|  -it   |  -erunt |  +est   |  +sunt

Pluperfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -eram | -eramus |  +eram  |  +eramus  
2nd|  -eras | -eratis |  +eras  |  +eratis
3rd|  -erat | -erant  |  +erat  |  +erant

Future Perfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -ero  | -erimus |  +ero   |  +erimus  
2nd|  -eris | -eritis |  +eris  |  +eritis
3rd|  -erit | -erint  |  +erit  |  +erint

Subjunctive Mood

Present

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -eam  | -eamus  |  -ear   |  -eamur  
2nd|  -eas  | -eatis  |  -earis |  -eamini
3rd|  -eat  | -eant   |  -eatur |  -eantur

Imperfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -erem | -eremus | -erer   |  -eremur  
2nd|  -eres | -eretis | -ereris |  -eremini
3rd|  -eret | -erent  | -eretur |  -erentur

Perfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -erim | -erimus |  +sim   |  +simus  
2nd|  -eris | -eritis |  +sis   |  +sitis
3rd|  -erit | -erint  |  +sit   |  +sint

Pluperfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st| -issem |-issemus |  +essem |  +essemus 
2nd| -isses |-issetis |  +esses |  +essetis
3rd| -isset |-issent  |  +esset |  +essent

Imperative Mood

          |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
Present   |  ame   |  amete  |  amere  |  amemini
Future    |  ameto |  ametote|  ametor |
Future 3rd|  ameto |  amento |  ametor |  amentor

Third Conjugation

Present:

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -o    |  -imus  |  -or    |  -imur  
2nd|  -is   |  -itis  |-eris(re)|  -imini
3rd|  -it   |  -unt   |  -itur  |  -untur

Imperfect:

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st| -ebam  | -ebamus | -ebar   |  -ebamur  
2nd| -ebas  | -ebatis | -ebaris |  -ebamini
3rd| -ebat  | -ebant  | -ebatur |  -ebantur
Future:
   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st| -am    | -emus   | -ar     |  -emur  
2nd| -es    | -etis   | -eris   |  -emini
3rd| -et    | -ent    | -etur   |  -entur
Perfect:
   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -i    |  -imus  |  +sum   |  +sumus  
2nd|  -isti |  -istis |  +es    |  +estis
3rd|  -it   |  -erunt |  +est   |  +sunt

Pluperfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -eram | -eramus |  +eram  |  +eramus  
2nd|  -eras | -eratis |  +eras  |  +eratis
3rd|  -erat | -erant  |  +erat  |  +erant

Future Perfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -ero  | -erimus |  +ero   |  +erimus  
2nd|  -eris | -eritis |  +eris  |  +eritis
3rd|  -erit | -erint  |  +erit  |  +erint

Subjunctive Mood

Present

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -am   | -amus   |  -ar    |  -amur  
2nd|  -as   | -atis   |  -aris  |  -amini
3rd|  -at   | -ant    |  -atur  |  -antur

Imperfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -erem | -eremus | -erer   |  -eremur  
2nd|  -eres | -eretis | -ereris |  -eremini
3rd|  -eret | -erent  | -eretur |  -erentur

Perfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st|  -erim | -erimus |  +sim   |  +simus  
2nd|  -eris | -eritis |  +sis   |  +sitis
3rd|  -erit | -erint  |  +sit   |  +sint

Pluperfect

   |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
1st| -issem |-issemus |  +essem |  +essemus 
2nd| -isses |-issetis |  +esses |  +essetis
3rd| -isset |-issent  |  +esset |  +essent

Imperative Mood

          |Sg. Act.| Pl. Act.| Sg. Pas.| Pl. Pas.
Present   |  ame   |  amite  |  amere  |  amimini
Future    |  amito |  amitote|  amitor |
Future 3rd|  amito |  amunto |  amitor |  amuntor

Third Conjugation -io

In the Present, Imperfect, and Future Indicative, preface the vowel infix with an -i-. Likewise for the Present Subjunctive.

Fourth Conjugation

Sames as Third Conjugation, but with an -ire infinitive.


Traupman, John C. The Bantam New College Latin & English Dictionary. New York: Bantam Books, 1995.
Moreland, Floyd L., Fleischer, Rita M. Latin: An Intensive Course. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977.

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