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Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin
Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin

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4 Latin verb endings

We saw earlier from Pliny and Catullus that Latin can express phrases like ‘I give’ and ‘you ask’ without using the personal pronouns ‘I’ and ‘you’. Although these words exist in Latin, they are usually omitted unless a writer wishes to emphasise them. The ending of the verb is enough to show who is doing the giving. Catullus could have written ego dōnō for ‘I give’, but dōnō is sufficient. Likewise Pliny refers to the request of his friend Tacitus with the words petis (‘you ask’), rather than tu petis.