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Latin for Duolingo: Infinitives, Lesson 3

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:

We are continuing to study present infinitives. Sometimes we see infinitives in more complex uses than just completing a regular verb’s meaning. Our new verbs mean “order” and “forbid.” Frequently these are used with an accusative object plus infinitive, and sometimes the infinitive itself takes an accusative object. For example, “Jubet eos murum facere. = He orders them to build a wall.” So the first accusative, eos, is the object of jubet; and the second accusative, murum, is the object of facere.

Even more common in Latin is a clause construction known as “accusative with infinitive”, which is a way of expressing indirect speech. In English, we would use a clause introduced by “that,” but Latin uses the infinitive. For example: “Scio eum habēre raedam. = I know that he has a car.” The main verb in this kind of sentence describes saying, thinking, knowing, perceiving, etc., and the subject of the infinitive is in the ACCUSATIVE case. I know that you’ve just learned that subjects are always in the nominative, but here is an important exception. We’ll just do a few shorter sentences of this sort to get you used to the idea. For now, it may help to translate such sentences very literally, at least at first: “I know him to have a car” is what is going on grammatically in the Latin. It kind of makes sense even in English, and some older literature in English uses this kind of syntax. But again, we’re just starting out with some very basic and preliminary sentences.

New Vocabulary
veto, vetare, vetui, vetitus, 1 = forbid, prevent, reject, not allow
jubeo (iubeo), jubēre, jussi, jussus, 2 = order, command

New Sentences
Rex jubet milites pugnare. = The king orders the soldiers to fight.
Eum manēre jubemus. = We order him to stay.
Eos murum facere jubet. = He orders them to build (make) a wall.
Marcum solvere debitum jubeo. = I order Marcus to pay the debt.
Duces nos urbem munire jubent. = The leaders order us to fortify the city.
Jus in cauponā peto. = I order/request soup in the restaurant. (note a different verb for this kind of “order”; also note that “jus” is neuter, so this accusative form is the same as the nominative.)
Te abire vetant. = They forbid you to go away/leave.
Te abesse veto. = I forbid you to be absent.
Magistra pueros pugnare vetat. = The teacher forbids the boys to fight.
Judex vigilem publicum monēre advocatum vetat. = The judge forbids the policeman to warn the lawyer.
Paula Gaium spectare horologium vetat. = Paula forbids Gaius to look at the clock (to watch the watch).
Potesne januam aperire? = Can you open the door?
Visne emere aut vendere? = Do you wish to buy or sell?
Quis vult panem secare? = Who wants to cut the bread?
Bonum est liberos holera edere. = It is good for children to eat vegetables (that children eat vegetables).
Oportet Luciam esse fortem. = It behooves Lucia to be brave/ Lucia ought to be brave.
Scio eum habēre raedam. = I know that he has a car.
❤❤❤❤ Paulam esse pulchram. = I think that Paula is beautiful (I think Paula to be beautiful).
Mater dicit jus esse calidum. = Mother says that the soup is hot (Mother says the soup to be hot).
Scio Avum legere hoc diarium. = I know that Grandfather reads this newspaper (I know Grandfather to read this newspaper).
Credo eum Latine loqui. = I believe that he speaks Latin (I believe him to speak Latin).
Scimus eos sitire. = We know that they are thirsty (We know them to thirst).
Paula dicit se esurire. = Paula says that she is hungry (Paula says herself to hunger.)
Paula dicit eam esurire. = Paula says that she (a different woman) is hungry (Paula says that other woman to hunger).
Gaius scit eam semper petere vinum. = Gaius knows that she always orders wine.
Difficile est saturam non scribere. (Juvenal) = It is difficult not to write satire. (An ancient quote I appreciate when following modern political news)

For now, we’ll leave infinitives, and the next lesson(s) will deal with imperatives. We will certainly need to return to other infinitive forms once we’ve studied some of the other tenses. Valete!

November 4, 2016



So, do you just post lessons on here? I've been waiting for Latin either on Duolingo or getting a copy of the Rosetta Stone program for a long time. I've got a series of textbooks that are only in Latin and have been studying the language by trying to read it. I've gotten through the first half of one book in the past two years without outside help through the powers of deduction. If you're providing legit lessons here that would be great! How long have you been doing this, how often do you post, and how can I follow along? Is there a certain learning method (way to take notes, practice,test myself, etc.) that would make it easier to follow your lessons? I know that Latin is the base of many languages (mostly Romantic) and that it would help my learning effort -of language, history, and science- to know Latin. I'm looking forward to using your lessons if they are something I can follow. -A Curious Student in Need


Go up to the top of the post and click on the "directory" link... you can find all the lessons so far. I do lessons about once a week, and they are modeled after Duo lessons and sentences as much as possible. You may find the Memrise courses helpful, since they are at least interactive instead of text-based. If you have a question about a lesson, leave a comment in that lesson and I will try to answer it. You can also feel free to contact me on my profile page. Glad you have found this series, and I hope it helps!


Thank you for these lessons! I enjoyed the political reference too xP

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