Home/Index of Chapters
©Damen, 2015


Chapter 10

RULE 1: The thematic vowel for fourth conjugation is -i-.

RULE 2: The future tense sign for fourth conjugation is -e-, just as in third.

RULE 3: Third conjugation -io resembles fourth more than third.

I. Grammar

Note that Wheelock has included the conjugation of duco in the diagram on page 45 to highlight the contrast among third (duco), fourth (audio) and third -io (capio) conjugations.

A. The Fourth Conjugation

Thematic Vowel. The thematic vowel in fourth conjugation is -î- and operates in a manner comparable to other thematic vowels, with one important difference: the long -î- readily forms vowel clusters and is not absorbed when it runs into other vowels: venio, veniam and venies. Otherwise, fourth-conjugation forms generally follow the predictable pattern of verb formation in Latin: verb stem + thematic vowel + tense sign + personal endings.

Future. Like third and third-io conjugations, the future tense sign in fourth conjugation is -e- (-a- in the first singular). Also, just as in third-io, the thematic vowel in fourth is retained when the future tense sign is affixed, e.g. audiam, audies, etc.

Imperfect. The imperfect tense in fourth conjugation uses both thematic vowels possible in this conjugation, producing a vowel cluster -ie-, to which is appended the expected -ba- tense sign: audiebam, audiebas, etc.

B. The Third Conjugation -io

Thematic Vowel. The thematic vowel in the third-io conjugation is a short -i-, which naturally in Latin becomes -e- before -r, e.g. capere.

Future. Just as in third conjugation, the future tense sign for third-io is -e- (-a- in the first person singular). However, the -i- thematic vowel is not lost, when the future tense is affixed. Instead, an -ie- vowel cluster is created, e.g. capies ("you will take").

Imperfect. Just like fourth, the imperfect tense in the third-io conjugation uses both thematic vowels possible: capiebam ("I was taking").

C. Third-io Versus Third and Fourth Conjugations

Third-io resembles fourth conjugation much more closely than it does third. The coincidence of the infinitives in third and third-io (ducere, capere) is really the only reason third-io is called "third," not fourth. Except for that and a few long marks which are not mandatory because they do not distinguish forms in meaning, the only other significant difference between the third-io and fourth conjugations is found in the imperative singular in which third-io uses an -e ending (cape), whereas fourth uses an -i ending (audi).

II. Vocabulary

cum: Takes an ablative object. If an adjective goes with the object, it often precedes the entire prepositional phrase, e.g. magnâ cum laude.

senectus: Literally, "the quality of being (-tus) an old person (senec-)."

III. Sentences

Practice and Review

12. The "to" in this sentence must be representedy by Latin ad, which shows motion toward. The dative case cannot be used when "to" means "toward."

15. Rephrase the sentence as: "He will give thanks to the whole people."

Home/Index of Chapters


Home/Index of Chapters


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.