CAPITULUM XXII – GRAMMATICA
I. The Supine - A verbal form in Latin without any equivalent in English
A. The supine is a verbal noun belonging to the fourth declension. In verbs with regular principal parts it is formed by adding –tum to the present stem. Otherwise it has to be learned as the third principal part. In the margins for this chapter when a verb is presented, the supine has been added to the other two principal parts (the present tense infinitive and the perfect tense infinitive).
B. Forms. The supine only exists in two forms: the accusative singular (-um) and the ablative singular (-ū). In the accompanying vocabulary listing, the supine has been noted as the third principal part, except for verbs with regular principal parts.
1. The “first supine” - The accusative singular form (-um) is used to express purpose with verbs of motion or verbs implying motion. Examples
a. Lēgātōs ad Caesarem mittunt auxilium rogātum. They send envoys to Caesar to ask for help.
b. Gladiātōrēs in harēnam pugnātum vocāvit. He called gladiators into the arena to fight.
c. Ego nōn veniō vīllam oppugnātum sīcut hostis, nec pecūniam postulātum veniō. (l. 33-4). I do not come to attack the villa like an enemy, nor do I come to demand money.
d. Sī erum salūtātum venīs, melius est aliō tempore venīre, nam hāc hōrā erus meus dormītum īre solet, post brevem somnum ambulātum exībit, deinde lavātum ībit. (l. 49-52) If you come to say hello to the master, it is better that you come at another time, for during this hour my master is accustomed to go to sleep, after a brief snooze he will go out for a walk, and then go to take a bath.
2. The “second supine” - The ablative singular (-u) is only used after certain adjectives (used either adjectivally or as nouns) and fās (right) and nefās (wrong), where in English we would usually have a present active (or sometimes passive) infinitive – usually verbs indicating “saying” or “perceiving”. Examples:
a. Nōmen meum nōn est facile dictū. (l. 43) My name is not easy to say.
b. Vōx tua difficilis est audītū. (l. 45) Your voice is difficult to hear.
c. Id facilius est dictū quam factū. (l. 81) That is easier said than done.
d. mīrābile dictū. wonderful to relate
II. Verbal Stems – building blocks for all the tenses of the indicative and subjunctive moods
A. From the present tense infinitive, e.g., legere, subtract the –ere in order to get the present stem. From this stem is formed in the indicative mood:
1. present active and passive – legit; legitur
2. future active and passive – leget; legētur
3. imperfect active and passive – legēbat; legēbātur
B. From the perfect tense infinitive, e.g., lēgisse, subtract the –isse in order to get the perfect stem. From this stem is formed in the indicative mood:
1. perfect active – lēgit
2. pluperfect active – lēgerat
3. future perfect active – lēgerit
C. From the supine, e.g., lēctum, subtract the –um in order to get the supine stem. From this stem is formed in the indicative mood:
1. perfect passive – lēctus, -a, -um est
2. pluperfect passive – lēctus, -a, -um erat
3. future perfect passive – lēctus, -a, -um erit
D. Participles are formed from the same stems:
1. present active participle, legēns, legentis, from the present stem
2. future active participle, lēctūrus, -a, -um, from the supine stem
3. future passive particple, legendus, -a, -um, from the present stem
4. perfect passive participle, lēctus, -a, -um, from the supine stem
III. After sī, nisi, num and nē, all the ali’s go away.
A. Aliquis, aliquid is an indefinite pronoun corresponding to “someone, anyone”, “something, anything.” Recall from Capitulum XXI, lines 65: Aliquis pedibus sordidīs in solō mundō ambulāvit! Quis per ōstium intrāvit? Aliquis ē familiā nostrā? “Someone has been walking with dirty feet on the clean floor! Who has come in through the doorway? Someone from our family?
B. When used with these particles - in this chapter we see num - the prefix ali- is omitted. Examples:
1. Num quis hīc est? Num quis hanc aperit ianuam? (l. 28-9) Is anybody here? Is anybody opening this door?
2. Sī quis per hunc imbrem ambulat, nōn opus est posteā lavātum īre! (l. 53-4) If anyone walks through this rain, there is no need later to go take a bath!
3. Num quid tēcum fers? (l. 104-5) Do you bring something with you?
IV. The demonstrative pronoun/adjective iste, ista, istud
A. Declined just like ille, illa, illud
B. Is used in reference to the party addressed and means essentially “that near you”
C. Usually can be understood as “that” or “that (whatever it is) of yours”
D. When used as a pronoun, usually means “he/she/it, that man/woman/thing”
1. Vincī istum canem ferōcem. (l. 92) Chain that fierce dog of yours.
2. Istud pallium nōn est magnī pretiī. . . (l. 103) That cloak of yours is not of great value. . .
3. Nōlī putāre mē ab istō cane territum esse! (l. 89-90) Don’t think that I am frightened by that dog of yours.
V. Ablative absolutes – present participles and perfect participles
A. When an ablative absolute makes use of a present participle, the meaning is that the action described by the clause is occurring at the same time as the action of the main verb.
B. When an ablative absolute makes use of a perfect participle, the meaning is that the action described by the clause occurred before the time of the action of the main verb.
1. Present participle – Iānitōre dormiente, canis vigilāns iānuam cūstōdit. (l. 23) While the doorkeeper is sleeping, the watchful dog guards the door.
2. Perfect participle – Cane vinctō, tabellārius tandem intrat. . . (l. 119) Once the dog is tied up, the letter-carrier finally enters.