Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin
Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin

4.2 The first conjugation

The endings of Latin verbs, like those of nouns, are predictable because verbs belong to one of four groups, known as conjugations. A conjugation is a pattern of verb endings, just as a declension is a pattern of noun endings.

The verb dōnō (‘I give’, ‘I present’) belongs to the first conjugation. It takes the following endings in the present tense (strictly speaking, the present indicative active):

Table 9 The endings of the verb dōnō (‘I give’) in the present indicative active

Number and personLatinEnglish equivalent
singular
1dōnōI give
2dōnāsyou (singular) give
3dōnathe / she / it gives
plural
1dōnāmuswe give
2dōnātisyou (plural) give
3dōnantthey give

Activity 20

Do English verbs change their endings?

a. 

Yes


b. 

No


The correct answer is a.

Answer

Yes, but nothing like to the same extent as Latin. With ‘he/she/it’ or a singular noun (e.g. ‘the dog’, ‘the cat’), English verbs in the present tense add ‘-s’ (‘she walks’ or ‘the cat skulks’ ).

Most English verbs also change their ending in the past tense (i.e. when describing events in the past) by adding ‘-ed’, thus ‘I walk’ becomes ‘I walked’. Some verbs undergo a more radical change, e.g. ‘I eat’ becomes ‘I ate’.

Practice

Activity 21

Using the conjugation table (repeated below), match the following first conjugation verbs with their English equivalents.

Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.

  1. amant

  2. rogās

  3. ambulāmus

  4. festīnat

  • a.you (singular) ask

  • b.she hurries

  • c.they love

  • d.we walk

The correct answers are:
  • 1 = c
  • 2 = a
  • 3 = d
  • 4 = b

Table 10 The endings of the verb dōnō (‘I give’) in the present indicative active

Number and personLatinEnglish equivalent
singular
1dōnōI give
2dōnāsyou (singular) give
3dōnathe / she / it gives
plural
1dōnāmuswe give
2dōnātisyou (plural) give
3dōnantthey give
A275_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371