I have to decline video, videre: to see in the future tense. Active and passive and then translate it. I am having a problem with the translation.

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    Welcome to the site! Can you edit your question to be more specific? The verb videre has many future passive forms, one for each person and number (and double that if you include the second future). You seem to imply that something should be translated from English to Latin, but what is that something? It's great if you add your own attempts; then we can help you much better. – Joonas Ilmavirta Apr 30 at 17:56
  • Hi again! I closed the question for lack of clarity, but it can be reopened if you can clarify it. What exactly are you looking for? Do you want all the future forms of that verb? Do you want to translate some sentences or words? What exactly do you want to translate? We do not know what material you have nor what your exact task is. – Joonas Ilmavirta May 5 at 8:19

It is all but meaningless to translate a single word. If your teacher does not think so, ask him or her to translate the English word “have” to Latin, or Spanish, or Chinese, or any other language; it is downright impossible. I will explain in a minute why this is especially true of videre, a seemingly innocuous word which actually has a few surprising tricks up its sleeve, particularly in the passive voice.

But before I get to that, let me expound a little more on why you cannot translate a single word. Some people think that, since English has the passive voice too, it should be used when translating a passive verb from Latin. But there is no law in the world that says it must be so. Latin loves the passive; English, not quite as much. So it may be just as good, or even better, to translate a passive verb actively. Of course you have to turn around subject and object to preserve the meaning:

A custodibus videbimini!
The guards will see you!

In the same vein, there is no law that says you have to translate the future tense as the future tense. English often uses the present continuous to talk about the future, Latin does not even have a present continuous tense. For example:

Dentes sapientes mei cras evellentur.
My wisdom teeth are getting extracted tomorrow.

And finally, Latin words have many meanings. How are you going to decide, without any context, which word to use? For example, what does the following mean:

Statius cras prandium nobis videbit.
(prandium = meal between breakfast and lunch.)

Statius will see us brunch? What? No, this means Statius will see to it that we have brunch, will provide brunch. (You will find all these in a good dictionary under video.) So a good translation may be:

Statius is treating us to brunch tomorrow.

Who would have guessed the “translation” of videbit would be “is treating”!

Now a few words about videri, the passive of videre. As I said, this word is a little special. Sure enough, it can simply mean “to be seen.” But often it means “to seem, to appear, to be considered,” like so:

Poena mihi gravis est visa.
The punishment seemed harsh to me.

When used in the first person (especially with mihi), the speaker indicates his own estimation of himself; this is a common idiom in Latin:

Vir sincerus esse videor.
I consider myself an honest man.
(Note: this is a so-called nominativus cum infinitivo)

Iure sumere videmur, …
We think we may make the assumption that …
(More literally: It seems to us that we assume rightly …)

And lastly, the impersonal videtur can also mean “it seems/is considered right, good, proper” and even “it is decided.” Thus sometimes it is injected in a sentence in the form: si videtur – “if it pleases.”

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