Latin for Duolingo: Perfect Tense, Lesson 4

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:

This lesson we continue with the Latin perfect tense, which is used to express action completed in the past. English present perfect and simple past are used where Latin uses perfect. Most verbs follow a very regular pattern in forming the perfect: take the stem from the 3rd principal part and add the endings “i, isti, it, imus, istis, erunt.” Even irregular verbs are pretty consistent. But the deponent verbs, which have a passive form but an active meaning, follow the rules for how the perfect tense, passive voice is formed for other verbs. We aren’t studying the passive voice yet, but this new set of forms is basically identical, and I hope it will make passive voice easier when we do reach it.
The perfect tense of deponent verbs is a compound of the 3rd and final principal part of the verb (which is the equivalent of the 4th principal part of a regular verb) and a form of the verb “sum” in the present tense. The ending of the principal part must agree in gender and number with the subject (so use the nominative case endings), and the form of sum must agree in person and number. Therefore:
locutus sum/ locuta sum = I spoke, I have spoken
locutus es/ locuta es = you spoke, you have spoken
locutus est/ locuta est = he/she spoke, he/she has spoken
locuti sumus/ locutae sumus = we spoke, we have spoken
locuti estis/ locutae estis = you (pl.) spoke, you have spoken
locuti sunt/ locutae sunt = they spoke, they have spoken
When a plural subject is a group of all men or a mixed group of masculine and feminine, the masculine plural ending –i is used. Only when the entire group is composed of feminine persons is the –ae ending used. Of course if a neuter noun is the subject, you need to use the neuter ending, although it makes a strange sentence with this verb:
Aedificium locutum est. = The building spoke.
Aedificia locuta sunt. = The buildings spoke.

Verbs in this lesson
seco, secare, secui, sectus, 1 = cut, divide
coquo, coquere, coxi, coctus, 3 = cook
dico, dicere, dixi, dictus, 3 = say, tell
emo, emere, emi, emptus, 3 = buy, gain
tollo, tollere, sustuli, sublatus, 3 = raise up, lift, take away
vendo, vendere, vendidi, venditus, 3 = sell
vivo, vivere, vixi, victus, 3 = live
fio, fieri, factus sum = become, be made, be done, happen (note that the perfect tense is formed as with full deponents; and the verb facio, facere, feci, factus is the same in its perfect passive.)
nolo, nolle, nolui (irreg.) = am unwilling, do not want
loquor, loqui, locutus sum, 3 = speak
morior, mori, mortuus sum, 3 (i-stem) = die, pass away
nascor, nasci, natus sum, 3 = am born
sequor, sequi, secutus sum, 3 = follow, come after

New Vocabulary
mortuus, a, um = dead
praeteritus, a, um = past, bygone, last
natus = baby boy, boy child
nata = baby girl, girl child

New Sentences
Praeterito anno, domum emerunt. = Last year they bought a house.
Raedam caeruleam emi; raedam nigram emisti. = I bought a blue car; you bought a black car.
Quot libros Marcus vendidit? = How many books did Marcus sell?
Vendidistine raedam tuam? = Did you sell your car?
Quid dixisti? = What did you say?
Mihi omnia dixerunt. = They told me everything.
Panem in septem partes secuit. = He cut the bread into seven pieces.
Malum cultro secui. = I cut the apple with a knife.
Lucia pullum in vino coxit. = Lucia cooked the chicken in wine.
Cenam coxerunt. = They cooked dinner.
Pugnare noluimus. = We did not want to fight.
Gaius ire noluit. = Gaius did not want to go.
Paula librum sustulit. = Paula picked up the book./ Paula took away the book.
Pecuniam meam sustulerunt. = They took my money.
Marcus me secutus est. = Marcus followed me.
Paula Marcum secuta est. = Paula followed Marcus.
Canes nos secuti sunt. = The dogs followed us.
Quando hoc factum est? = When did this happen?
Vir factus sum. = I became a man.
Puellae feminae factae sunt. = The girls became women.
Multa facta sunt. = Many things were done.
Milites facti sumus. = We became soldiers.
Lucia senator facta est. = Lucia was elected/ became a senator.
Magistri nobiscum locuti sunt. = The teachers spoke with us.
Latine non locutus es. = You did not speak Latin.
Natus est, vixit, et mortuus est. = He was born, he lived, and he died.
Ubi natus es? = Where were you born?
In Americā natus sum. = I was born in America.
Natum viderunt. = They saw the baby boy.
Quot annos natus es (nata es)? = How old are you? (literally, how many years have you been born?)
Viginti annos natus sum (nata sum). = I am twenty years old.
Paula sedecim annos nata est. = Paula is sixteen years old.
Multi homines mortui sunt. = Many people died (also, Many people are dead).
Praeterito anno, soror Marci mortua est. = Last year Marcus’ sister died.
Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Cicero) = We were not born for ourselves alone.
Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere! = (Traditional Paschal greeting and response in Latin, if you celebrate Easter.)

I think with these four lessons, we have had a good introduction to the perfect tense. There are of course many verbs we haven’t covered yet, but we can introduce them as they come up. Bonam fortunam vobis opto!

Next lesson: Relative Pronouns 1

April 10, 2017


Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.