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Pronouns, adjectives, participles, and the numbers one to three have to agree in gender and number with the noun they refer to:. In Latin, words referring to males are always masculine, words referring to females are usually feminine. When words of different genders are combined, the adjective is usually masculine if referring to people, neuter if referring to things: [29]. Nouns, pronouns, and adjectives in Latin change their endings according to their function in the sentence. The different endings are called different 'cases'.

The six cases most commonly used in Latin and their main meanings are given below. The cases are presented here in the order which has been used in Britain and countries influenced by Britain ever since the publication of Kennedy 's Latin Primer in the 19th century, [33] as opposed to the traditional order — Nom, Gen, Dat, Acc, Voc, Abl — still used in the United States and most European countries:.

Another case is the Locative, which is used mostly with the names of cities e.

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For the most part the use of cases is quite straightforward. The following examples from Caesar show the cases in use in a basic sense:. Here Pompeius is subject Nom. Note that with names of cities there is no need to add a preposition such as ad , but the accusative case alone indicates 'to'. However, the description of the use of cases is not always simple.

The classification of the uses of the dative alone takes up nearly twelve pages in Woodcock's A New Latin Syntax [37] and ten pages in Gildersleeve and Lodge. The dative is also used with verbs of fighting with someone: [42]. Many verbs also which in English take a direct object are used in Latin intransitively with a dative noun or pronoun, e. Frequently, to make the meaning more precise, a noun in the accusative or ablative is preceded by a preposition such as in 'in, into', ad 'to', cum 'with', or ex 'out of'. This is especially so if the noun refers to a person.

For example:. Unlike in Greek, prepositions are not used in Latin with the dative or genitive. Four prepositions can be followed by more than one case, depending on their meaning. These are in 'in' Abl , 'into' Acc. Prepositions almost always precede their noun or pronoun, except that cum 'with' follows a personal pronoun, e. Sometimes when the noun has an adjective it is placed before the preposition for emphasis, e. Latin has six main tenses in the indicative mood, which are illustrated below using the verb facere 'to make' or 'to do':.

For the most part these tenses are used in a fairly straightforward way; however, there are certain idiomatic uses that may be noted. In addition to the active voice tenses listed above, Latin has a set of passive voice tenses as follows:. The three perfect tenses Perfect, Future Perfect, and Pluperfect are formed using the perfect participle together with part of the verb sum 'I am'.

SYN1965 - Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (N. Chomsky)

Deponent verbs have exactly the same form as passive verbs except that the meaning is active, not passive:. When the agent is not a person but a thing, no preposition is used, but simply the ablative case:.

Constituent Syntax

In Latin, unlike English, only the direct object not the indirect object of an active verb can be made the subject of a passive verb. It is typically used in indirect statements:. Most of the verbs ending in -or are true passives in meaning i. However, there are a few which are ambivalent and can be either active or passive in meaning, such as vertor 'I turn' intransitive or 'I am turned', volvor 'I revolve' intransitive or 'I am rolled':. These verbs which have no active counterpart are called deponent verbs : [73].

Although most deponent verbs are intransitive, some of them such as sequor 'I follow' can take a direct object:. Deponent verbs are frequently used in their perfect participle form e. As well as the indicative mood illustrated above, which is used for stating and asking facts, and an imperative mood, used for direct commands, Latin has a subjunctive mood , used to express nuances of meaning such as 'would', 'could', 'should', 'may' etc.

The word mood in a grammatical sense comes from the Latin modus , and has no connection with the other meaning of 'mood', in the sense of 'emotional state', which comes from a Germanic root. The present subjunctive of 1st conjugation verbs ends in -em instead of -am : amem 'I may love, I would love'.

The subjunctive has numerous uses, ranging from what potentially might be true to what the speaker wishes or commands should happen. It is often translated with 'should', 'could', 'would', 'may' and so on, but in certain contexts, for example indirect questions or after the conjunction cum 'when' or 'since', it is translated as if it were an ordinary indicative verb.


The 'potential' subjunctive is used when the speaker imagines what potentially may, might, would, or could happen in the present or future or might have happened in the past. Another use is for what the speaker wishes may happen, or wishes had happened the 'optative' subjunctive. It can also represent what the speaker commands or suggests should happen the 'jussive' subjunctive. One important use of the subjunctive mood in Latin is to indicate that the words are quoted; this applies for example to subordinate clauses in indirect speech: [88].

When used in indirect speech or in an indirect question, the subjunctive is translated as if were the corresponding tense of the indicative. Used with the indicative, the conjunction cum means 'at that time when', or 'whenever': [91]. Used with the subjunctive, however, it frequently means 'at a time when'. It can also mean 'in view of the fact that' or 'since': [96]. Another, less common, meaning is 'though': [98]. When followed by the indicative, the conjunction ut can mean 'as' e. But with the subjunctive ut has the meaning 'that' or 'so that'.

It can represent purpose 'so that he could It can also be used to introduce an indirect command 'that he should It can also represent result making what is known as a "consecutive" clause : []. Occasionally ut with the subjunctive can mean 'although'. When used with the indicative, dum means 'while' or 'as long as'. But when followed by the subjunctive, it often means 'until': []. Another meaning is 'provided that': [].

The conjunctions priusquam and antequam both mean 'before something happened '. If the event actually happened, the verb is usually in the indicative mood; but when the meaning is 'before there was a chance for it to happen', the verb is subjunctive: []. Another usage is after a negative verb such as 'I can't help doing' or 'he did not refrain from doing':. It can also mean 'in order to' purpose : []. Another meaning is 'in view of the fact that' giving an explanation , as in the following example, said jokingly of a consul who was elected on the last day of the year: []. Clearly here Paetus had written or stated "I am giving you all the books which my brother left me", and Cicero is quoting his words indirectly to Atticus.

The imperative mood is used for giving direct orders. The active form can be made plural by adding -te :. A negative order can also use the perfect subjunctive: []. This imperative is very common in early writers such as Plautus and Cato, but it is also found in later writers such as Martial:.

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It is used in very formal contexts such as laws:. The future indicative can be used for polite commands: []. Although often referred to as a 'mood', [] the Latin infinitive is usually considered to be a verbal noun rather than a mood. Latin has three infinitives in the active voice, and three passive. Neither of these verbs has a Future infinitive, and the Present infinitive is used instead.

  1. CUzzOLIN New Perspectives on Historical Latin Syntax 1;
  2. Syntax of the Sentence;
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  5. The Future infinitive is used only for indirect statements see below. The passive Future infinitive is rare, and is frequently replaced with a phrase using fore ut.

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    The infinitive can be used as the subject, complement, or the object of a verb: []. An infinitive is sometimes used to represent a series of repeated actions: []. A very common use of the infinitive in Latin, in which it differs from English, is its use for indirect statements, that is for sentences where a subordinate clause is dependent on a main verb meaning 'he says', 'he knows', 'he pretends', 'he believes', 'he thinks', 'he finds out' and so on.

    In Latin, instead of 'they pretend that they want', the idiom is to say 'they pretend themselves to want':. They alert us when OverDrive services are not working as expected. Without these cookies, we won't know if you have any performance-related issues that we may be able to address.