Latin for Duolingo: Verbs Present Tense 3, Lesson 1
Salvete omnes! Welcome back to Latin for Duolingo. This is an ongoing, unofficial course in Latin; if you would like to catch up with previous lessons, you can find a directory, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses at these links:
- Directory of Lessons
- Vocabulary List
- Memrise course for vocabulary
- Memrise course with sentences
- Previous lesson: Objects 2
This lesson begins our third series on Latin verbs in the present tense. You may want to review these eight lessons in the two previous series; I particularly recommend the first four lessons that lay out the four basic conjugation forms:
- 1.1 First Conjugation
- 1.2 Second Conjugation
- 1.3 Third Conjugation
- 1.4 Fourth Conjugation
- 2.1 nosco, nescio, fero, possum
- 2.2 placeo, eo, volo
- 2.3 3rd Conjugation ago, capio, emo etc.
- 2.4 absum, adsum, egeo, peto, vinco, etc.
In this third cycle of verbs we will continue introducing high-frequency verbs, including irregular verbs and verbs with special usage, and even some deponent verbs. As always, if you would just like to look at sentences and not worry about grammar, skip to the “new sentences” portion of the lesson, but I’ll include some grammar explanations before then in most lessons for those who want them.
In a previous lesson we learned volo = wish, want; we’ll learn its variants, nolo (am unwilling, do not want) and malo (want more, prefer). Like volo, they are frequently used with infinitive forms of verbs, which will be introduced more formally soon. You’ll need to know the conjugation (volo, vis, vult, volumus, vultis, volunt) for these new variants to make sense; in present tense:
nolo, non vis, non vult, nolumus, non vultis, nolunt
malo, mavis, mavult, malumus, mavultis, malunt
The verb fio is a special case; it is actually a passive voice form for the verb facio, facere, feci, factus = make, do. It has its own conjugation in present tense and doesn’t look like other passive voice verbs:
fio, fis, fit, fimus, fitis, fiunt
nummus, i = coin, unit of money
veritas, veritatis (f.) = truth
quantus, a, um = how large, how great, how much, how many (quanti is usually used with constat)
consto, constāre, constiti, constatus (1) = stand together, agree, stand firm, endure, be certain; cost (with abl. or gen.)
fio, fieri, factus sum (irreg.) = become, be made, be done, happen (this is the irregular passive voice of facio (3) = make, do)
malo, malle, malui (irreg.) (magis + volo) = prefer, wish/want more/instead
nolo, nolle, nolui (irreg.) = am unwilling, do not want
quam, adv. = as, than, how
Quanti constat hoc? = How much does this cost?
Quanti constant? = How much do they cost?
Liber decem nummis (dollariis/sestertiis) constat. = The book costs ten coins/units of money (dollars/sesterces).
Milites constant. = The soldiers stand together/ stand firm.
Veritas constat. = The truth is certain/ is firmly established.
Virtus et veritas. = Courage and truth.
Quanti constat ille canis in fenestrā? = How much is that doggie in the window?
Lucia librum non vult. = Lucia does not want the book.
Laborare nolo. = I don’t want to work.
Bellum nolumus. = We do not want a war.
Domum magnam malunt. = They prefer the big house.
Cafeam quam theam mavult. = He prefers coffee to tea.
Malum quam pirum malo. = I prefer an apple to (rather than) a pear.
Illud malumus. = We prefer that one.
Mavisne cafeam aut theam? = Do you prefer/Would you rather have coffee or tea?
Quam altus est! = How tall he is!
Quam altus est? = How tall is he?
Paula opus bene facit. = Paula works well (Paula does the work well).
Opus Paulae bene fit. = Paula’s work is well done.
Raedas hic faciunt. = They make cars here.
Raedae hic fiunt. = Cars are made here.
Gaius imperator fit. = Gaius becomes/is made emperor.
Hoc saepe fit. = This happens often.
Hoc bene fit. = This is going well/ This is well done.
Opus difficile fit. = A difficult job is being done.
Pueri homines fiunt. = Boys become men.
Omnia causā fiunt. = Everything happens for a reason (lit. All things happen for a reason).
Vos duces fitis. = You are made/become leaders.
Nolo contendere. = I do not wish to contest. (the legal term for a “no contest” plea.)
Fiat lux. = Let there be light. (a little teaser for the subjunctive mood)
Thank you for following along with these lessons. I took the past few weeks off for travel and family events, and also to organize my previous lessons in a form that I can reference more easily. I now have a binder nearly full, and I can see more easily what concepts I’ve introduced already. I should be able to keep up with a weekly schedule from now on. And if you found this week’s verbs difficult, next week I’ll try to cover some fairly simple verbs that just haven’t been introduced yet. Valete et bonam fortunam!
On to the next lesson: Verbs Present Tense 3, Lesson 2
I noticed that you use the four principle parts, have you every tried using just stems? Is there a benefit to using the four principle parts?
Good question... it's standard to give the parts of a verb in its dictionary/glossary entry, because it helps with classifying verbs into their unique conjugations, and forming tenses other than the present. You may not need to know the principal parts for the present tense, but even there it helps. For example, because I know "porto, portare" is a 1st conjugation verb, and "pono, ponere" is 3rd, I will use the correct connecting vowels for each conjugation: porto, portas, portat, portamus, portatis, portant / pono, ponis, ponit, ponimus, ponitis, ponunt. It saves effort in the long run, because I only have to memorize the parts for each verb and the rules for each conjugation, and not approach every one of the 120 inflected forms of each verb as a separate word. Of course many Duolingo users prefer not to worry about the grammar rules and approach it more inductively, by trial and error. It's a perfectly valid approach, although more analytical people may find it frustrating. So if you're in a free-wheeling mood, skip straight to the "new sentences" section to see some real Latin in context. When you're ready for a grammatical explanation, it's right there in the glossary entry if you know what the 4 principal parts represent.
It's so good to see you back and these lessons continue :) Multas gratias!
Hey! I've noticed in this lesson "coffee" appears as "caffea", with two Ts. However, in the Food lesson, "cafea", with one T, was taught. What's the right form? Thanks in advance!! :)
Mea culpa, I indeed taught "cafea" and I should be consistent. I corrected it. Since coffee wasn't around in the days of Rome's empire, all terms for it are of modern derivation and they do vary. I found cafea, caffea, coffea, cafaeum, and potio Arabica in my brief research just now. In my opinion, they should all be acceptable variants unless and until someone rules authoritatively. I'll check the Memrise course to make sure I list them as alternates.