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Saint Francis DeSales

Beginning Latin Grammar, Lesson 3: Latin Verbs and the First Conjugation

Latin Grammar for iPad and iPhone

"I would make them all learn English;
and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat." --Sir Winston Churchill

(If your student needs work on English verbs first, go to Simple Grammar lessons 3 and 4.)
Lesson 1: Latin Nouns

Give the Nominative Singular of the Latin words for:
1. land
2. sailor
3. woman
4. trumpet
5. queen

Give the Nominative Plural of the Latin words for:
1. farmer
2. water
3. trumpet
4. girl
5. poet

Lesson 3: Verbs
In Latin, all regular verbs are divided into four groups called conjugations. Each conjugation is known by a certain vowel.
A Latin verb is made up of the stem, which shows the vowel sign of the conjugation, plus the personal ending so the last few letter of a Latin verb give the key to its group and meaning.
There are six possible persons for every verb (First Person Singular (I), Second Person Singular (you), Third Person Singular (he, she it; all singular nouns), First Person Plural (we), Second Person Plural (you; as in more than one person), and Third Person Plural (they, all plural nouns).

A Latin verb is composed of the stem of the action or being word, with the vowel sign of the conjugation, plus a personal ending.

The First Conjugation
The vowel sign of Latin verbs of the first conjugation is long a, which is pronounced "ah". Personal endings of Latin verbs are as follows:
s....you (singular)
t....he, she, it
tis...you (plural)

Here are some verbs in the first conjugation:
Latin verb (pronunciation)     English Reminder     Meaning
1. portat (pore-taht).....porter.....he, she, it carries
2. vocat (woe-kaht).....vocal......he, she, it calls
3. cantat (kahn-taht)....cantata...he, she, it sings
4. laborat (lah-bore-aht)..laboratory..he, she, it works
5. natat (nah-taht) .......natatorium..he, she, it swims
6. ambulat (ahm-bue-laht).. amble..he, she, it walks
7. amat (ah-maht)........amorous......he, she, it loves
8. laudat (lou-dat).......laud..............he, she, it praises
9. exspectat (ex-spec-taht)..expect..he, she, it waits, waits for
10. delectat (day-leck-taht)..he, she, it delectable..delights, pleases

1. Puella ambulat. (ex. Puella...subject...noun, first declension, Nominative Singular. ambulat. (ex. ambulat...predicate...verb, first conjugation, third person singular)
Therefore, Puella ambulat. means The girl walks.

2. Agricola laborat.
3. Femina cantat.
4. Nautae natant.
5. Regina laudat.

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