The National Archives
Search our website
  • Search our website
  • Search our records

Lesson 9: Subjunctive - part 2 | 1 2 3

Passive tenses

In the subjunctive mood, the present and imperfect passive tenses share the following endings:

Latin English
-r I
-ris you (singular)
-tur he/she/it
-mur we
-mini you (plural)
-ntur they

Present tense

First conjugation

Remove '-are' from the present infinitive to get the stem, add '-e' and then the relevant ending above.

For example:

voco, vocare, vocavi, vocatum (1) to call

stem + e + relevant ending
voc + e + r    = vocer – I may be called

Second conjugation

Remove '-re' from the present infinitive of the verb to get the stem, add '-a' to the stem and then the relevant endings above.

For example:

habeo, habere, habui, habitum (2) to have

stem + a + relevant ending
habe + a + r    = habear – I may be had

Third conjugation

Remove '-ere' from the present infinitive to get the stem, add '-a' and then the relevant endings above.

For example:

solvo, solvere, solvi, solutum (3) to pay

stem + a + relevant ending
solv + a + r    = solvar – I may be paid / handed over as money

Fourth conjugation

Remove '-re' from the present infinitive to get the stem, add '-a' and then the relevant endings above.

For example:

scio, scire, scivi, scitum (4)

stem + a + relevant ending
sci + a + r    = sciar – I may be known

Imperfect tense

All conjugations

Add the relevant endings above to the present infinitive form of the verb.

For example:

voco, vocare, vocavi, vocatum (1) to call

present infinitive + relevant ending
vocare + r    = vocarer – I might be called

Perfect tense

In the subjunctive mood, the perfect and pluperfect tenses are formed by adding the relevant form of 'esse', – 'to be', to the past participleView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window of the verb.

Remember

The past participle acts as an adjectiveView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window and therefore agrees with the subjectView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window.

Latin English
sim I may have been
sis you may have been
sit he/she/it may have been
simus we may have been
sitis you may have been
sint they may have been

For example:

voco, vocare, vocavi, vocatum (1) to call

past participle + relevant part of 'esse'
vocatus, -a, -um + sim    = vocatus sim – I may have been called

Pluperfect tense

Latin English
essem I might have been
esses you might have been
esset he/she/it might have been
essemus we might have been
essetis you might have been
essent they might have been

Handy hint:

You may also come across the alternative 'fuissem' for 'essem'.

For example:

voco, vocare, vocavi, vocatum (1) to call

past participle + relevant part of 'esse'
vocatus, -a, -um + essem    = vocatus essem – I might have been called

Checklist

Are you confident with:

  • The meaning of passive subjunctive tenses?
  • The form of passive subjunctive tenses?
Go to part 3
Try again