Lesson 12: Verb Times
Learning the Meaning of Tenses (Times) of Verbs
In Latin, there are 6 verb times (in the Indicative). Note: indicative is a grammatical term just meaning that the verb indicates a fact.
Instructions: spend no more than 2-3 minutes memorizing all the meanings which can be used to translate each verb time. Don't worry about any of the technical grammar stuff. Then do Homework 7.
|Time||Example||Meaning||Technical Grammar categories
|T.1||fugit||he flees, he does flee, he is fleeing||Present
|T.2||cantabamus||we were singing, we used to sing|
we would sing, we were trying to sing
|Imperfect or Progressive Pass|
- describing a continuing past action
|T.3||venient||they will come, they will be coming||Future
|T.4a||dedi||I have given, I have been giving||Present Perfect
|T.4b||dedi||I did give, I gave||Historical Past
|T.5||dixeras||you had said, you had been saying||Pluperfect
|T.6||videritis||ye will have seen, ye will have been seeing||Future Perfect
- The difference between T.2 and T.4: T.2 is like a movie-film, a continuing past action, repeated over time, T.4 is like a photo-snapshot, a singular, completed past action. T.2 never means: "we sang" - that is T.4.
- The difference between T.4a and T.4b: although they look identical, they have two different meanings, which have to be judged from context.
T.4a) something past that touches on the present situation (often, but not always, something in the recent past) [in Italian, this is passato prossimo]
T.4b) something past that is unrelated to the present (usually in the distant past, but not always) [in Italian, this is passato remoto, in Greek, this is Aorist]
- Example: Throughout his life, St. Paul was traveling. (T.2) St. Paul has given teachings to the Church. (T.4a - although a long time ago, still touches the present.) St. Paul gave a speech to the Sanhedrin (T.4b - a single past action.)
First Experience Latin - Fr. Reginald Foster
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