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Lesson 7: Participles - present, past and future - part 1 | 1 2 3 4

A participle is formed from a verbView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window but looks and behaves like an adjectiveView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window. This means that it agrees with the nounView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window it modifies in number, case and gender.

In Latin three kinds of participle exist: the presentView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window, perfectView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window and futureView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window.

Tense Active Passive English
Present audiens, audientis hearing
Perfect auditus, -a, -um heard
Future auditurus, -a, -um intending / about to hear

Handy hint

The present and future participles are activeView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window and the perfect participle is passiveView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window.

Present participle

Present participles decline in the following way, which is similar to a third declension adjectiveView this term in the Grammar table - this link opens in a new window.

  Masculine/Feminine Neuter
  Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative -ns -ntes -ns -ntia
Accusative -ntem -ntes -ns -ntia
Genitive -ntis -ntium -ntis -ntium
Dative -nti -ntibus -nti -ntibus
Ablative -nti -ntibus -nti -ntibus

To form the present participle for first, second and third conjugationView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window verbs, remove ‘-re’ from the infinitiveView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window to get the stemView the definition of this term - this link opens in a new window and add the relevant ending above. For fourth conjugation verbs you will need to add an ‘-e’ to the stem before the endings.

Handy hint

Note that for some third conjugation verbs you will need to retain the ‘-i’ of the stem before the relevant ending is added.

For example:

Group Infinitive Present participle English
1 amo, amare, amavi, amatum amans, amantis loving
2 habeo, habere, habui, habitum habens, habentis having
3 duco, ducere, duxi, ductum ducens, ducentis leading
capio, capere, cepi, captum capiens, capientis taking
4 servio, servire, servivi, servitum serviens, servientis serving

A present participle describes an action or a state which is taking place at the same time as the action or state of the main verb. Just like all participles, it must agree with the noun it is describing.

For example:

puella  arrow pointing right  puellam (singular, feminine, accusative)

lacrimans  arrow pointing right  lacrimantem (singular, feminine, accusative)

Therefore:

vidi lacrimantem puellam
I saw the girl crying
I saw the crying girl
I saw the girl who was crying

Checklist

Are you confident with:

  • The meaning of a present participle?
  • How to form a present participle?
Go to part 2
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