Latin for Duolingo: Imperfect Tense, Lesson 2
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
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- Previous lesson: imperfect tense 1
This lesson will continue with the use of the imperfect tense in Latin. Please refer to the previous lesson for the basic paradigms for the imperfect tense: the same paradigms will still be used, even if the verbs are irregular. The only one that is very different is the imperfect tense of possum (although note the similarities to sum):
poteram, poteras, poterat, poteramus, poteratis, poterant
Remember that the imperfect tense is used to express repeated or ongoing action in the past. Later on we will study the perfect tense, which is used for completed or one-time actions. There is some overlap and plenty of possibility for confusion between the two tenses.
Videre regem poteramus. = We were able to see the king.
Emere cibum non poterant. = They were not able to buy food.
Gaius Anglice legere poterat. = Gaius was able to read English.
Poterasne/poteratisne Latine loqui? = Were you able to speak Latin?
Exspectare non poteram. = I could not wait./ I was unable to wait.
Miles signum (aquilam) ferebat. = The soldier was carrying the standard.
Cibum ferebas, sed vinum ferebam. = You were bringing/carrying food, but I was bringing/carrying wine.
Volebam volare. = I wanted to fly.
Vestimenta nova volebant. = They wanted new clothes.
Te videre volebat. = He wanted to see you.
Gaius Luciae placebat. = Lucia liked Gaius (Gaius was pleasing to Lucia).
Marco non placebam. = Marcus did not like me.
Libri liberis placebant. = The children liked books. (Books were pleasing to the children).
Paula ad scholam ibat. = Paula was going to school.
Domum ibam. = I was going home.
Quo ibas (ibatis)? = Where were you going?
Ad cauponam ibamus. = We were going to a restaurant.
Marcus raedas vendebat. = Marcus was selling/ used to sell cars.
Paula libros mulltos emebat. = Paula used to buy many books.
Pueri pilas jaciebant(iaciebant). = The boys were throwing the balls.
Puellae pilas capiebant. = The girls were catching the balls.
Aderam. = I was present. (Like “possum,” “adsum” and “absum” are compounds of the irregular verb “sum” and thus form their imperfect tense similarly).
Aderatne Lucia? = Was Lucia present?
Lucia aberat. = Lucia was absent.
Tres discipuli aberant. = Three students were absent.
Matrem adjuvabant(adiuvabant). = They were helping Mom.
Vincebamus. = We were winning (conquering).
Jus et panem semper petebam. = I always used to order/request soup and bread.
Marcus sciebat Paulam habere liberos. = Marcus knew that Paula had children. (As promised back in the infinitives lessons, I will sneak in a few examples of accusative with infinitive: be very literal and think “Marcus knew Paula to have children” if it helps.)
Nesciebam Gaium esse medicum. = I did not know that Gaius was a doctor. (I did not know Gaius to be a doctor.)
Puellae credebant porcos volare posse. = The girls used to believe that pigs could fly. (The girls were believing pigs to be able to fly).
And I realize I’ve never formally introduced porcus, i = pig. How did I miss that?! Don’t be stressed about the accusative+infinitive construction – it will need more in-depth study further on, but I see no reason not to include some examples occasionally.
Thank you for following this course: we’ll have some more imperfect tense verbs next lesson, including deponent verbs. Valete et bonam fortunam!