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Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin
Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin

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4.3 Agreement

So far, we have concentrated on verbs with personal pronouns as subjects (‘I’, ‘you’, ‘we’, etc.). A more common scenario, especially in descriptive prose composed by historians such as Livy and Tacitus, is for the subject to be a person or a thing (‘the consul’, ‘the dog’, ‘the cat’, and so on). In this situation, the third person forms of the verb are used. If the noun is singular, the verb form is the third person singular. If the noun is plural, the third person plural form of the verb is used.

3rd person verbs

singular

  • pugnat – he/she/it fights.
  • Antōnius pugnat – Antonius fights

plural

  • pugnant – they fight
  • Rōmānī pugnant – the Romans fight

This is the grammatical concept of agreement. A singular noun is accompanied by a third person singular verb; a plural noun by a third person plural verb.

Activity 22

Which form of the verb festīnō (‘I hurry’) could be combined with the plural noun Poenī (‘the Carthaginians’) to produce the Latin equivalent of ‘the Carthaginians hurry’.

a. 

festīnō


b. 

festīnat


c. 

festīnāmus


d. 

festīnant


The correct answer is d.

Which form of the verb festīnō (‘I hurry’) could be combined with the singular noun Hannibal to produce the Latin equivalent of ‘Hannibal hurries’.

a. 

festīnō


b. 

festīnat


c. 

festīnāmus


d. 

festīnant


The correct answer is b.