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Chapter 8

RULE 1: The thematic vowel of third conjugation is -i- (-u- in the present third plural, -e- in the imperfect tense).

RULE 2: The future tense sign in third conjugation is -e-.

I. Grammar

A. The Third Conjugation

Third conjugation is marked by a short thematic vowel which shows up most often as -i- or -u-, even sometimes -e-, and can at times disappear altogether.

B. The Future Tense

In third conjugation, the future tense is formed, not by adding -bi/bu- as in first and second conjugation, but by adding -e- (or -a- in the first person singular). Be careful to distinguish the -e- of third conjugation (future tense sign) from the -e- of second conjugation (thematic vowel). Only by knowing to which conjugation a verb belongs can one determine the proper significance of this marker. If a verb belongs to second conjugation, the -e- signals the present tense; if it belongs to third, the -e- indicates that the verb is future.

C. The Imperfect Tense

The imperfect tense of third conjugation is formed like that of first and second, except that the thematic vowel is -e-: verb stem + thematic vowel (-e-) + imperfect tense sign (-ba-) + personal endings, e.g. duc-e-ba-m.

Click here for a worksheet on third-conjugation verbs.

II. Vocabulary

Be sure to identify which conjugation each verb belongs to.

copia: Like litterae and mores, the plural copiae ("forces") has a significantly different meaning from the singular copia ("abundance").

ad: Like most prepositions showing motion towards, ad takes an accusative object.

ex/e: Like most prepositions showing motion away from, ex takes an ablative object.

ago: A very old verb with many connotations and involved in many idioms, functioning as widely as English "do." Basically, it involves motion of some sort, a passage through time or space. It is often colorless, relying on a more precise noun to render an exact meaning, e.g. the idiom gratias agere, literally "to drive/push thanks (to someone)." Because the Romans heard the idiom literally, they followed it with a dative: "to give thanks to someone." We, however, have a transitive verb, "to thank," which takes a direct object: "to thank someone." When translating from English to Latin, remember to rewrite the English verb "to thank someone" as "to drive thanks to someone" and use the dative, not accusative case.

duco: Literally, "lead"; figuratively, "consider" ("lead with the mind").

III. Sentences

Practice and Review

4. Note that erit here can have a sense of "there will be."

10. "Many things" requires only one word in Latin, a neuter plural substantive.

12. Use -que instead of et.


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