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Person and Number in Latin Verbs

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Latin is an inflected language where the verbs include a lot of information about the sentence. Even without a noun or pronoun, a Latin verb can tell you who/what the subject is. It can also tell you the time frame, interval, or "tense". When you parse a Latin verb, you deconstruct these and other facets of the Latin.

When you parse a Latin verb, you list the following:

  1. meaning/translation
  2. person
  3. number
  4. mood
  5. voice (active/passive)
  6. tense/aspect

Two of the characteristics of Latin verbs are person and number.

Number

You can tell from the verb's ending whether the subject of a Latin verb is singular or plural. That is its number.

Person

Also from the ending on the verb, you can identify whether the verb is in the first, second and third (or 1, 2, and 3) person.

Singular

  • The singular first person is "I,"
  • the second person is "you," and
  • third person is "he," "she," or "it."

Plural

  • The plural first person is "we,"
  • the second person is "you" (plural), and
  • the third person is "they."

See Verb Endings.

Index of Quick Tips on Latin Verbs

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