We recommend that you begin with lesson 1 and work through to lesson 12. Lesson 1 is the most simple; lesson 12 is the most difficult. You can work at your own pace. You should use the grammar tables, glossary and word list regularly to work through the activities and practice sentences. This will help you to become more familiar with the different constructs that you meet.
We also looked at verbs in the past tense
This kind of past tense is called a perfect tense. It is used to describe an action in the past which is completed.
To describe a past action or state which is incomplete, we use an imperfect tense. This tense indicates an action which has gone on over a period time or has happened frequently. It is translated into English by ‘was/were’ + ‘-ing’ or ‘used to’.
Just as with the present and perfect tenses, we need to know the conjugation a verb belongs to in order to make an imperfect tense.
Latin verbs are divided into four groups, or conjugations.
In each conjugation, the verbs share the same endings:
An example of a first conjugation verb is: confirmo, confirmare, confirmavi, confirmatum (1) - to confirm.
An example of a second conjugation verb is: habeo, habere, habui, habitum (2) - to have
An example of a third conjugation verb is: duco, ducere, duxi, ductum (3) - to lead
An example of a fourth conjugation verb is: audio, audire, audivi, auditum (4) - to hear
The endings for the imperfect tense are similar to those of the present tense.
|Present tense endings|
|-o||I||(first person singular)|
|-s||you||(second person singular)|
|-t||he/she/it||(third person singular)|
|-mus||we||(first person plural)|
|-tis||you||(second person plural)|
|-nt||they||(third person plural)|
The difference is that they are preceded by ‘ba-’ and, in the first person singular, the characteristic ‘-o’ of the present changes to ‘-m’ in the imperfect.
|Imperfect tense endings|
To form the imperfect tense, remove ‘-re’ from the infinitive form of the verb and add the relevant ending above. However, if the verb is in the fourth conjugation, you will need to add an ‘-e’ before adding the relevant ending.
Imperfect tense of do, dare, dedi, datum (1) to give
|dabam||I was giving, I used to give|
|dabas||you were giving, you used to give|
|dabat||he/she/it was giving, he/she/it used to give|
|dabamus||we were giving, we used to give|
|dabatis||you were giving, you used to give|
|dabant||they were giving, they used to give|
Imperfect tense of audio, audire, audivi, auditum (4) to hear
|audiebam||I was hearing, I used to hear|
|audiebas||you were hearing, you used to hear|
|audiebat||he/she/it was hearing, he/she/it used to hear|
|audiebamus||we were hearing, we used to hear|
|audiebatis||you were hearing, you used to hear|
|audibant||they were hearing, they used to hear|