past tense perfect endings

labruja24601

New Member
United States; English
Hello!
I was wondering if anyone would know some way to remember the past tense perfect endings for verbs in Latin, ex. bibit, dormit, etc.? I am fairly new to Latin, and after learning some of the endings in class today (with no way to memorize them) my head is spinning! :) Any help would be much appreciated! Thank you! :)


 
  • Kael

    Member
    U.S.
    I'm not sure what you mean by "past tense perfect," but to remember the conjugation of verbs like dormit, just memorize this:


    dorm-i dorm-imus
    dorm-isti dorm-istis
    dorm-it dorm-erunt


    It kind of rhymes when you think about it!
     

    wonderment

    Senior Member
    English
    Hola labruja,

    I don’t know how to sugar-coat this—there’s no short-cut or easy way to learn Latin. :eek: You just have to buckle down and actively memorize the paradigms. Make flash cards, and recite the verb conjugations aloud and repetitively; this will help fix them in memory. Try to think of them as incantations to ward off your dizzy spells. :)

    The back of your textbook should have all the paradigms for noun declensions and verb conjugations. You can also find them at this link. And this link has a useful verb conjugator.

    (The perfect active endings Kael gave you are correct, but the verb stem should be dormiv-, from the 3rd principal part.)

    Vale!
     

    Amada

    Member
    Italy Italian
    vidi
    vidisti
    vidit
    vidimus
    vidistis
    viderunt

    Past tense of videre (to see)
    One more thing to remember: the accent! On this PC I don't have Latin fonts to write correctly the "quantity of vocals" (long or short).
     

    Flaminius

    coclea mod
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Hello Amada,
    Like you said, one should pay a lot of attention to the length of vowels in Latin. Regarding perfect forms, some verbs (just like this videre) have the perfect stems that are only different from the present stems by the length of the vowels.

    Here are the perfect forms of videre (long vowels are marked by macron):
    vīdī
    vīdistī
    vīdit
    vīdimus
    vīdistis
    vīdērunt (vīdere)
     

    labruja24601

    New Member
    United States; English
    Thank you so much! I really appreciate all your help! Hopefully my 'dizzy spells' will go away soon! Thanks again!! :)
     

    radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    (The perfect active endings Kael gave you are correct, but the verb stem should be dormiv-, from the 3rd principal part.)
    Of course, the forms dormisti, dormistis and perhaps even dormierunt are quite acceptable, and arguably more common than the unsyncopated forms by the time of Quintilian.
     

    wonderment

    Senior Member
    English
    Of course, the forms dormisti, dormistis and perhaps even dormierunt are quite acceptable, and arguably more common than the unsyncopated forms by the time of Quintilian.
    Thanks for reminding me--I completely forgot about syncopation.

    Hi again, labruja,

    You already how the basic rule for forming the perfect active indicative: add the perfect endings (-ī, -istī, -it, -imus, -istis, -ērunt) to the perfect stem (which is the 3rd principal part minus the –ī).

    In addition to these regular forms, there are also syncopated or contracted forms. Perfect stems that end in -v- (like dormiv-) may be contracted when inflected. When this happens, the –vi- drops out. For example: dormīvistī --> dormīstī, dormīvimus --> dormīmus. Be careful with the 3rd person plural; it contracts from -ērunt --> -ēre, as in dormivērunt --> dormivēre. Dormierunt is also possible.

    ok, I’m starting to have dizzy spells myself. :) To be honest, I don’t think you should stress out about syncopation at this early stage in your study of Latin. Focus on memorizing the regular forms, and just be aware that syncopated forms exist. You will learn more about these alternate forms when you encounter them in your reading of real Latin.

    Vale :)
     

    labruja24601

    New Member
    United States; English
    Hello!
    Thank you everyone for your help! I really appreciate it and it's nice of you all to help me!

    Wonderment: I'm glad I'm not the only one with dizzy spells! :) Thanks for your help, I think I am beginning to understand some of the endings! Yay! :)

    labruja
     

    radagasty

    Senior Member
    Australia, Cantonese
    In addition to these regular forms, there are also syncopated or contracted forms. Perfect stems that end in -v- (like dormiv-) may be contracted when inflected. When this happens, the –vi- drops out. For example: dormīvistī --> dormīstī, dormīvimus --> dormīmus. Be careful with the 3rd person plural; it contracts from -ērunt --> -ēre, as in dormivērunt --> dormivēre. Dormierunt is also possible.
    Note, though, that indiscriminate syncopation is generally disallowed. -vi- is regularly dropped from the perfect tenses (i.e., perfect, pluperfect & future perfect) when an s follows, e.g., dormīvistī --> dormīstī, but a contraction like dormīvimus --> dormīmus, whilst attested, occurs only in verse, where it is very rare. Indeed, I would usually interpret dormīmus as the present and not the perfect. Forms where only the -v- is dropped are also found in verse, e.g., dormīvit --> dormiit.
     

    wonderment

    Senior Member
    English
    Note, though, that indiscriminate syncopation is generally disallowed. -vi- is regularly dropped from the perfect tenses (i.e., perfect, pluperfect & future perfect) when an s follows, e.g., dorm?vist? --> dorm?st?, but a contraction like dorm?vimus --> dorm?mus, whilst attested, occurs only in verse, where it is very rare. Indeed, I would usually interpret dorm?mus as the present and not the perfect. Forms where only the -v- is dropped are also found in verse, e.g., dorm?vit --> dormiit.
    Thanks again for the correction. Let me state the rule for syncopation more accurately this time by citing directly from Bennett’s New Latin Grammar:

    Perfects in -āvī, -ēvī, and -īvī, with the forms derived from them, often drop the ve or vi before endings beginning with r or s. So also nōvī (from nōscō) and the compounds of mōvī (from moveō). Thus:—

    amāvistī --> amāstī
    amāvisse --> amāsse
    amāvērunt --> amārunt
    amāverim --> amārim
    amāveram --> amāram
    amāverō --> amārō
    nōvistī --> nōstī
    nōvisse --> nōsse
    dēlēvistī --> dēlēstī
    dēlēvisse --> dēlēsse
    dēlēvērunt --> dēlērunt
    dēlēverim --> dēlērim
    dēlēveram --> dēlēram
    dēlēverō --> dēlērō
    nōverim --> nōrim
    nōveram --> nōram
    audīvisse --> audīsse

    labruja, are you still with us? Hope so :) Isn’t Latin endlessly fascinating? My advice in post #8 still holds. Hang in there, and don’t hesitate to ask questions when you’re confused about anything. Here’s another useful webpage on the Perfect Tenses. ;)
     
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