Chapter 9: The Latin Verb System

§64. Latin Verbs of the Second Conjugation

In our original verb vidēre, we have already seen a Latin verb of the 2nd conjugation. Where the 1st conjugation featured an re present infinitive, the 2nd has a parallel re form. Unfortunately, there is no predictable perfect participle; the second form for each verb on the following table must simply be learned as a separate vocabulary challenge.

docere, doctus teach movere, motus move
habere, habitus have, hold sedere, sessus sit
[-hibere, -hibitus] tenere, tentus hold
monere, monitus warn, advise videre, visus see

There are several points to notice about this group. First, be sure that you pronounce the infinitives with a stress on the second-to-last syllable: docére, habére, monére, etc. (You will soon learn why this is important.) If you have studied French, you may notice that some these verbs acquired French infinitives in -oir: avoir, mouvoir, s’asseoir, voir—but tenir does not conform. Our “-ion” guide will work for premonition (“forewarning”), motion, session, retention (“holding back”), and vision; for doctus and habitus you can remember doctor (“teacher”) and habit (something “had”). The forms in square brackets below habere show how the two bases are modified when prefixes are added. In this way we get inhibit (“hold in”) and exhibit (“hold out”), along with inhibition and exhibition.

Once again, you should take the prefix chart from §59 and see how many English derivatives you can quickly identify from Table 9.2. The first verb, docere, will not be productive; but you will soon find words like admonish and admonition, emotion, commotion, promotion, contain and contention, detain and detention. If you can’t get very far with sedere, try looking up supersede, preside, president, reside, resident, residue, and dissident. Like habere, its base vowel may be modified when prefixes are added.


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Greek and Latin Roots: Part I - Latin by Peter Smith (Estate) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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