Latin for beginners (1911)/Part III/Lesson LXIII

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LESSON LXIII

INFLECTION OF THE IMPERFECT SUBJUNCTIVE
THE SEQUENCE OF TENSES

354. The imperfect subjunctive may be formed by adding the personal endings to the present active infinitive.

Conj. I Conj. II Conj. III Conj. IV
ACTIVE
1. amā´rem monē´rem re´gerem ca´perem audī´rem
2. amā´rēs monē´rēs re´gerēs ca´perēs audī´rēs
3. amā´ret monē´ret re´geret ca´peret audī´ret
1. amārē´mus monērē´mus regerē´mus caperē´mus audīrē´mus
2. amārē´tis monērē´tis regerē´tis caperē´tis audīrē´tis
3. amā´rent monē´rent re´gerent ca´perent audī´rent
 
PASSIVE
1. amā´rer monē´rer re´gerer ca´perer audī´rer
2. amārē´ris(-re) monērē´ris(-re) regerē´ris(-re) caperē´ris(-re) audīrē´ris(-re)
3. amārē´tur monērē´tur regerē´tur caperē´tur audīrē´tur
1. amārē´mur monērē´mur regerē´mur caperē´mur audīrē´mur
2. amārē´minī monērē´minī regerē´minī caperē´minī audīre´minī
3. amāren´tur monēren´tur regeren´tur caperen´tur audīren´tur

a. In a similar way inflect the imperfect subjunctive, active and passive, of cūrō, iubeō, sūmō, iaciō, mūniō. 355. The imperfect subjunctive of the irregular verb sum is inflected as follows:

Sing.
  1. es´sem
Plur.
  1. essē´mus
2. es´sēs 2. essē´tis
3. es´set 3. es´sent

356. The three great distinctions of time are present, past, and future. All tenses referring to present or future time are called primary tenses, and those referring to past time are called secondary tenses. Now it is a very common law of language that in a complex sentence the tense in the dependent clause should be of the same kind as the tense in the principal clause. In the sentence He says that he is coming, the principal verb, says, is present, that is, is in a primary tense; and is coming, in the dependent clause, is naturally also primary. If I change he says to he said,—in other words, if I make the principal verb secondary in character,—I feel it natural to change the verb in the dependent clause also, and I say, He said that he was coming. This following of a tense by another of the same kind is called tense sequence, from sequī, “to follow.” I.Latin the law of tense sequence is obeyed with considerable regularity, especially when an indicative in the principal clause is followed by a subjunctive in the dependent clause. Then a primary tense of the indicative is followed by a primary tense of the subjunctive, and a secondary tense of the indicative is followed by a secondary tense of the subjunctive. Learn the following table:

357. Table for Sequence of Tenses

Principal Verb in the

Indicative
Dependent Verbs in the Subjunctive
Incomplete or
Continuing Action
Completed Action

P
r
i
m
a
r

y

Present
Future
Future perfect

Present Perfect

S
e
c
o
n
d
a
r

y

Imperfect
Perfect
Pluperfect

Imperfect Pluperfect
358. Rule. Sequence of Tenses. Primary tenses are followed by primary tenses and secondary by

secondary.

359.

EXAMPLES

I. Primary tenses in principal and dependent clauses:

Mittit
Mittet
Mīserit

hominēs ut agrōs vāstent

He

sends
will send
will have sent

men

that they may
in order to
to

lay waste the fields

II. Secondary tenses in principal and dependent clauses:

Mittēbat
Mīsit
Mīserat

hominēs ut agrōs vāstārent

He

was sending
sent or has sent
had sent

men

that they might
in order to
to

lay waste the fields

360.

EXERCISES

I.

1. Vēnerant ut

dūcerent, mitterent, vidērent, audīrent, dūcerentur, mitterentur,

vidērentur, audirentur

2. Fugiēbat nē

caperētur, trāderētur, vidērētur, necārētur, raperētur,

resiteret.

3. Misit nūntiōs quī

dīcerent, audīrent, venīrent, nārrārent, audīrentur, in conciliō

sedērent.

4. Castra mūnīvērunt quō facilius

sēsē dēfenderent, impetum sustinērent, hostīs vincerent,

salūtem peterent.

II.

  1. Cæsar encouraged the soldiers in order that they might fight more bravely.
  2. The Helvetii left their homes to wage war.
  3. The scouts set out at once lest they should be captured by the Germans.
  4. Cæsar inflicted punishment on them in order that the others might be more terrified.
  5. He sent messengers to Rome to announce the victory.

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References