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I want to confirm my understanding of the word duco.

According to Wiktionary, it is a third conjugation, irregular short imperative. The examples are:

  1. I lead, guide
  2. I draw, pull
  3. I think, consider
  4. I prolong

I understand it is therefore singular, present and first person.

Why is it irregular? The present infinitive is ducere and regular third conjugations have infinitives ending in '-ere'?

Please could someone provide an example of duco being used in a valid sentence?

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2  
Welcome to the site! Do you want an example of the irregular imperative duc or any example whatsoever with that verb? – Joonas Ilmavirta Mar 21 at 17:45
    
Any example with the verb 'Duco' would be very much appreciated. I'm not a linguist, just considering the word duco with the 'o' ending for use in the name of an art project. Wanted to verify my basic understanding of what it meant. – Pete Mar 21 at 17:51
    
I want to echo @JoonasIlmavirta 's welcome to the site! – Joel Derfner Mar 21 at 19:05
    
But also—if the examples the answers offer you don't fit with your basic understanding, leave a comment to that effect. Duco is a word that can be used in a lot of different ways to mean a lot of different things, so there may still be hope. – Joel Derfner Mar 21 at 19:16
1  
Thanks for the welcome and for the great feedback, very helpful. I read that 'duco' may refer more to the leadership of an army rather than the 'art of leadership'. What are your thoughts on this? The word 'educo' was put forward as an alternative meaning I teach or I stimulate mental growth; would you agree? – Pete Mar 21 at 20:57
up vote 6 down vote accepted

In Latin a verb has several forms. In Wiktionary you can click the little "More" button to the right of "Conjugation of duco" under the title "Inflection". There you will notice that duco is only one of the many forms.

The word duco means "I lead" (let me choose only one from the list of translations to keep things simple). The word ducere means "to lead". This verb is listed in dictionaries as duco or ducere. There are different forms for different persons, tenses and such.

Here is a simple use example: Te duco si sequi vis. "I lead you if you want to follow."

For a verb like this (third conjugation), you would expect the second person singular present imperative to be duce but it is duc. There is no obvious reason why it is irregular. Only some of the most common verbs have an irregular imperative like this: dicere (to say), ducere (to lead), facere (to do) and ferre (to carry).

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Thanks for the welcome and for the great feedback, very helpful. I read that 'duco' may refer more to the leadership of an army rather than the 'art of leadership'. What are your thoughts on this? The word 'educo' was put forward as an alternative meaning I teach or I stimulate mental growth; would you agree? – Pete Mar 21 at 20:58
1  
@Pete those are two separate questions. Ask them as two separate questions, and you'll get a better answer. – QPaysTaxes Mar 21 at 21:04
1  
@Pete, you are welcome! I wrote an answer to your follow-up question, but it's too long for a comment. As QPaysTaxes suggests, it is better to ask new questions as separate questions. Also, since you have already received several answers, please do not edit this question too much to invalidate them. It often works best to ask a separate follow-up separately, unless it can be answered in a comment (in a couple of sentences). – Joonas Ilmavirta Mar 21 at 21:23
    
New question posted: latin.stackexchange.com/questions/581/… – Pete Mar 22 at 0:41

Duco is regular in the indicative and subjunctive moods but irregular in the imperative mood.

So you might say, using the indicative,

Dido Æneam in aulam ducit.
Dido leads Æneas into the palace.

If duco took a regular imperative, the singular second-person imperative would be duce. However, since it doesn't, the singular second-person imperative is duc.

So if you were Æneas, you might say

Dido! Me in aulam duc!
Dido! Lead me into the palace!

Good luck with your project!

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There isn't much more to add to Joel's and Joonas' posts, but I just wanted to make an additional note about the irregular imperatives. First, ducere, dicere, and facere are only irregular in the imperative singular: duc, dic, fac, but are fully regular in the imperative plural: ducite, dicite, facite.

Ferre, however, is still irregular in the plural, ferte instead of *ferite. It's also irregular in the 2nd/3rd-sing-ind-act (fers/fert), 2nd-pl-ind-act (fertis), and 2nd/3rd-sing-ind-pass (ferris/fertur).

The verbs nolle and esse also have irregular imperatives, which is expected since they're fully irregular verbs: s. noli, s. es, and pl. este. Ire is surprisingly regular in the imperative.

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1  
Thank you for the additional note and congratulations on reaching MMM points! – Joonas Ilmavirta Mar 21 at 19:25

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