Latin for Addicts at 50+ Posts

This is my 55th post on the blog, and I’d like to pause for a moment to express (discuss) where it’s taken me.


The blog was designed as a learning-teaching tool for use with the students I would aid as a Teaching Assistant this summer in the Latin course at the Center of Talented Youth. Unfortunately, I had a sample of academic disappointment when I discovered that CTY demanded that I as return as a member of ResLife, and that they have given the position of TA to (naturally) a graduate student.

I carried forward with the project, for my own benefit, and saw certain results. To begin, the blog has become something of a diagnostic for my own personal ‘loose ends’ in Latin grammar. To that cause, it bears great aid. I’ve been studying Latin for less than two years (Greek for about four), and I’m already more confident about Latin grammar than I am about Greek.


My recent adventure, with Dative Verbs, suggests I should stray from ‘large projects’ in the future. Because of this project, I’ve been less than enthusiastic about the blog for the past two weeks or so, despite a recent surge in readership (thanks in whole to the Rogue Classicist).

Like most bloggers, I like to tinker with little thoughts. Mine happen to demand that I improve my precision with Latin grammar. I hope you’re pulling something ripe from this blog. I know I am.


I’ve been withholding humor from the blog, because (to being with) it was designed for young learners. Look for that to change.

Posting frequency will likely dip or for about a month. I am currently employed with the Center for Talented Youth as a Resident Assistant: a position which offers very little free time.


As a side project for this summer, I’m preparing material for graduate applications in the fall. I’m a rising fourth-year undergraduate, interested in ancient philosophy, with a particular zeal for Plato, his literature, and his reception. If anyone has some (clever/uncommon) advice, I’m all ears.


Review of First Conjugation (Even the Nasty Bits)

You need this. This is your intellectual chi. Failing that, it’s your intellectual tea. Take it daily, slowly–let it steep. Verb summaries don’t have to be boring, but they are important. Try rendering everything in full English translation. ‘I love him, You love cats, She loves the boy who left her.’ Make love triangles. Have fun.

Take five minutes. You won’t regret it.

(PS–I’ll bet there’s at least one mistake on here. find it)

First Conjugation ACTIVE (complete)

Primary Sequence


amō, amās, amat, amāmus, amātis, amant

amem, amēs, amet, amēmus, amētis, ament


amābam, amābās, amābat, amābāmus, amābātis, amābant

amārem, amārēs, amāret, amārēmus, amarētis, amārent


amābō, amābis, amābit, amābimus, amābitis, amābunt

[no subjunctive future primary]

Secondary Sequence


amāvī, amāvistī, amāvit, amāvimus, amāvistis, amāvērunt

amāverim, amāveris, amāverit, amāverimus, amāveritis, amāverint


amāveram, amāverās, amāverat, amāverāmus, amāverātis, amāverant

amāvissem, amāvissēs, amāvisset, amāvissēmus, amāvissētis, amāvissent

Future Perfect

amāverō, amāveris, amāverit, amāverimus, amāveritis, amāverint

[no subjunctive future secondary]

Et Cetera

Present Imperative

amā, amāte

Future Imperative

amātō (2nd or 3rd person singular), amātōte (2nd person plural), amantō (3rd person plural)

Infinitive (present, perfect, future)



amātūrus esse

Participles (present, future) 

amāns, amantis

amātūrus, -a, -um


amandī, amandō, amandum, amandō


amātum, amātū

The Essential AG: 184 (p89-90)

Famous Phrase: “odī et amō quārē id faciam fortasse requiris / nesciō sed fierī sentiō et excrucior” – Catullus, 85

[I love and hate, perhaps you ask why I do it / I do not know, but I feel it done, and am tortured]

(I imagine this is how we all feel about verb summaries, no?)

Datophilic Verb Phrases

Verbs Takings the Dative (p7/7)

Datophilic Phrases

Phrases with Corresponding Verbs

There are a variety of phrases that take the dative, corresponding in sense to more basic categories of verbs that take the dative

  • I am on hand to aid Caesar: iuvendī Caesaris praestō sum. (cf. adsum)
  • She will humor his request: precī eius mōrem geret. (cf. mōrigeror)
  • Let us all do favors for our loved ones: omnēs amantibus grāta faciāmus. (cf. grātificor)
  • The dog is only obedient to me: iste canis solum mihi dictō audiēns est. (cf. oboedīre)
  • I held confidence in her prophecy: suō effatī fidem habuī. (cf. cōnfidō)

Indepedent Phrases

Other phrases take the dative according to their own, particular sense

  • The Furies inflict their injuries upon the men: Eumenides eīs damna dant.  
  • This slave did me an injury: hīc servus mihi iniūriam fēcit!
  • They brought the slave to trial: servō diem dixērunt.
  • They set the day of the election: comitibus diem dixērunt.
  • They were told to thank the father: grātiās agere patrī iussī sunt.
  • I am thankful to Pompey: grātiam Pompeiō habeō.
  • I must repay Pompey the favor: grātiam Pompeiō mihi referendum est.
  • There is need of action: gerendō opus est.
  • Children too rarely honor their parents: liberī parentibus rarius honōrem habent.
  • He is given credit: acceptum eō ferre est.

The Poetic Dative

The poets put the dative in numerous places were strict Latin syntax suggests some other, more regular, case

  • Nor would I dare to tear the clinging crown from that highly lauded head: nēque egō illī detrahere ausīm / haerentem capitī cum multā laude corōnam (Horace, Satires, 1.10.48-9) [prō abl.]
  • Scorning Iarbas, and the leaders of other men, whom the rich soil of Africa nourishes in triumph–will you also fight a pleasing lover: dēspectus Iarbas / ductorēsque aliī, quōs Āfrica terra triumphīs / dīves alit: placitōne etiam pugnābis amorī? [prō cum + abl. or in + acc.]
  • She filled the wound with tears, and mixed mourning with blood: vulnerā supplēvit lacrimīs flētumque cruōrī / miscuit [Ovid, Metamorphoses, 4.139-140] [prō abl.]

The Essential AG: 367 n2, 368.3a, 413a

Famous Phrase: prīus quam incipiās, consultō et, ubī consuluerīs factō opus est

[before you being, there is need of planning, and where you’ve consulted–of action!]

Sallust, Bellum Catilinae, 1.6



The Dative with Compound Verbs

Verbs Taking the Dative (p6/7)

The Dative with Compounds

Compounds with Prepositions

Verbs with the prepositions ad, ante, con, circum, in, inter, ob, post, prae, prō, sub and super will take a dative

  • “In these cases, the dative depends not on the preposition, but on the compound verb in its acquired meaning” [AG, 370a]
  • Therefore, in my opinion, the only sure method is good guesswork: does the meaning of the verb appear to demand a dative?

(Some) Compounds

  • I do no agree with them: nōn eīs adsentior.
  • The nature of man is superior to beasts: nātūra hominis pecudibus antecēdit.
  • He was in accord with himself: sibi ipse cōnsēnsit.
  • Virtues are always connected with pleasures: virtūtēs semper voluptātibus inhaerent.
  • He not only had a hand in all matters, but took the lead in them: omnibus negōtiīs nōn interfuit sōlum sed praefuit.
  • Arts yields to weather: tempestātī ars obsequitur.
  • He will never yield to his foes: numquam inimīcīs succumbet.


There are plenty of compounds verbs that do not take the dative

  • He will kill the women: fēminās interficiet!
  • He calls together his men: convocat suōs.
  • She opposes us: nōs oppūgnat.

See also aggredior (to go against + acc.), adeō (to approach +acc. ), antecēdō or anteeō or antegredior or praecēdo (to go before–dat. or acc.), conveniō (to suit + dat. or to convene, gather + acc.), ineō (to enter +acc. ), obeō (to go against +acc), offendō (to offend, fail, find fault with, defect, hit upon (cf. τυγχάνω) +acc. ), and subeō (to enter, to steal upon (cf. λανθάνω) +acc.)

Other verbs will take a dative and accusative, according to their particular meaning

  • We offer ourselves to dangers: nōs ipsōs offerimus perīculīs.

Compounds with satis, bene and male

  • I never satisfy myself: mihi ipse numquam satisfaciō.
  • He spoke ill of the excellent woman: optimae fēminae maledixit.
  • It is a glorious thing to benefit the commonwealth: pulchrum est benefacere reī pūblicae.

The Essential AG: 368.2, 370a-b

Famous Phrase: quī tacet consentīre vidētur (who is silent, appears to approve)

[I can’t find the source for this–any ideas?]



Redeeming Words for Whitaker’s

I may have been too harsh on Whitaker, in an earlier post, where I defined his dictionary as inferior alternative to Wiktionary. I still believe Wiktionary is the top Latin dictionary online, but here are a few redeeming qualities that Whitaker revealed upon closer inspections.

What I said:

What I found:

First, there are two online interfaces:

If you type a word into this interface, a new tab pops up, and you need to return to this page in order to search a new entry. It’s incredibly (ok, mildly) annoying. However, if you click the title, which is actually a link, you get this:

Which allows you to switch between Latin to English and English to Latin with a single click, and operates in one window with a search bar on the entry page so you don’t have to keep flipping back and forth.


There’s also the extra-web application, Latin WORDS (available for all platforms), which has the same features.

I’m not a fan of the extra window, but this interface is incredibly straightforward, and supposedly “more powerful” than the online resource. I’m doubtful, since the website would receive constant updates, but for my purposes it’s fine.

Whitaker’s still lacks (a) etymologies, (b) related terms, (c) conjugations and declensions, and (d) derived terms, but these features secure its position as a reliable English-to-Latin Thesaurus, and not ‘what we’re stuck with’ in the absence of something better.

However, a Wikisaurus is in the works, and when it arrives (if it’s a multi-lingual thesaurus, which is still be debated)–bye-bye Whitaker’s.


Verbs with Rare Dative Uses

Verbs Taking the Dative (p5/7)

To be honest, I’m not sure why these were offered as a set in Allen and Greenough. There are a few common ties between this or that verb, but nothing to make them a set. The grammar also re-listed studeō, which was already listed on the previous page.

Some of the these verbs have a more common meaning that takes some other case (grātulor, plaudō, probō, excello), but grātificor, nūbō and supplicō are stand-alone dative verbs

Verbs with Irregular Dative Uses

  • We will oblige her request: eius postulatiōnī grātificābimur.
  • Let us congratulate the married couple: coniugiō grātulēmur!
  • They will marry the Cretans: Crētensibus nūbent.
  • But who would marry my daughter: sed quī meae filiae nūbat?
  • She approved the dancers: saltātōribus plausit.
  • She convinces the judges: iudicibus probat.
  • The witch refused to supplicate the king: praecantrix rēgī nōluit supplicāre.
  • She surpassed the king in wisdom: sapientiā rēgī excelluit. 

Exceptions and More Common Case Usage

  • Grātulor often takes + abl
  • Plaudō, where it means ‘to strike, beat,’ takes an acc.
  • Probō more often means ‘to prove, show, demonstrate or test, and takes an acc.
  • Note the a synonym of supplicō, obsecrō, takes an acc.
  • Excellō also means ‘to elevate, raise’ and takes an acc.

Verb Summary

  • Grātificor, grātificārī, grātificātus sum: to gratify, oblige
  • Grātulor, grātulārī, grātulātus sum: to congratulate, rejoice for
  • Nūbō, nūbere, nūpsī, nūptum: to marry, wed
  • Plaudō, plaudere, plausī, plausum: to applaud, approve, or (w/ acc.) to beat, strike
  • Probō, probāre, probāvī, probātum: to convince, or (w/ acc.) to test, prove, show
  • Supplicō, supplicāre, supplicāvī, supplicātum: to pray, supplicate, beg
  • Excellō, excellere, excelluī, (no passive): to surpass

The Essential AG: 368.3

Famous Phrase:

‘sic solitus: ‘populus me sibilat, at mihi plaudo /

ipse domi, simul ac nummos contemplor in arca”

(Thus he [the miser] says, “the people hiss at me, yet at home

I praise myself, and so too the wealth I watch in my chest.”)

-Horace, Satires, 1.1



Verbs Taking the Dative OR the Accusative

Verbs Taking the Dative (p4/7)

Verbs Taking the Dative or the Accusative

The following verbs may take either a dative or an accusative, with a variation in meaning

Again, wherever each verb varies from this pattern, I have tried to track down its precise syntax

Cōnsulō, cōnsulere, cōnsuluī, cōnsultum: (d) consult on behalf of, (a) consult

  • They consult for part of the citizens: partī cīvium cōnsulunt.
  • I consulted you: tē cōnsulī.

Metuō, metuere, metuī, metūtum: (d) be anxious for, (a) fear

  • They remain, being anxious for the children: restitērunt metuentēs puerīs.
  • They do not fear the gods: deōs non metuunt.

Timeō, timēre, timuī: (d) be anxious for, (a) fear [sīc metuō]

Prōvideō, prōvidēre, prōvīdī, prōvīsum: (d) to consider, (a) to look toward, foresee

  • Let us consider the father: patriae prōspiciāmus.
  • I look to a seat of security: salūtis sedem prōspiciō.

Caveō, cavēre, cāvī, cautum: (d) to care for oneself, decree, stipulate (a) to guard against

  • Take care of yourself: sibi cavē.
  • The praetor decrees the new law: praetōr novō lēge cavet.
  • Be on guard against the bandits: latrōnēs cavē. 
  • Caveō may also take (ab + abl.), meaning to procure a bail from

Conveniō, convenīre, convēnī, conventum: (d) to suit, be fitting, (a) to meet together

  • It is not fitting for her to do this: hōc facere sibi non convenit.
  • They assembled the soldiers: militēs convēniērunt.

Cupiō, cupere, cupīvī, cupītum: (d) to be fond of, (a) to desire to long for

  • I am fond of the woman: fēminae cupiō.
  • I desire the dog: canem cupiō.
  • Cupiō will rarely take the genitive, and generally in poetry (after the Greek way of doing things)

Īnsistō, īnsistere, īnstitī: (d) to stand in, (a) to tread upon

  • I stand in the fields: agrīs īnsistō.
  • The priests stepped onto the threshold: līmen sacerdōtēs īnsistērunt.

Maneō, manēre, manuī, mansī, mansum: (d) to hold a promise, endure in a state (a) to hold a course, wait for, expect

  • She kept to her promises: prōmissīs suīs manābat.
  • She held the course for three days: trēs dīes viam mansit. 
  • He is expecting his wife: uxōrem manet

Praevertō, praevertere, praevertī, praevertum: (d) to apply oneself to, (a) to anticipate, prevent, preoccupy, outweigh, exceed, be preferable

  • Foremost, they studied astronomy: astronomiae in prīmīs praevertērunt.
  • He thought children preferable to stars: puerōs astra praevertere putāvit.
  • With difficulty, they occupied the fort (before the others): vix castrum praevertābant.

Renuntiō, renuntiāre, renuntiāvī, renuntiātum: (d) to mediate, think, consider [rare], (a) to report back, announce

  • He thought to himself of her pain: dē suō dolōre sibi renuntiābat.
  • They will announce the festival soon: festum mox renuntiābunt.

Solvō, solvere, solvī, solūtum: (d) to pay, (a) to free, release

  • They paid the praetor: praetōrī solvērunt.
  • Caesar released the prisoners: captivās Caesar solvit.
  • Solvō will also take the ablative, meaning to be free from

Succēdo, succēdere, successī, successum: (d) to go under, enter, follow, submit to, (a) to approach, to mount, ascend

  • One soldier followed the another: milēs militī succēdābat. 
  • Let us now climb the mountain: nunc mōntem succēdāmus!

The Essential AG: 365 and n1

Famous Phrase: timeō Danaōs et dōna ferentēs: I fear the Greeks, even bearing gifts

[Aeneid, II.49]