in the fourth conjugation imperfect after the stem and before the imperfect indicator there is -e. e .g. audi + e + ba +t.

Where this -e comes from?


2 Answers 2


To students asking questions like this, I say, "I don't know, you'd have to ask Cicero when you get to meet him." Yes, that e is not always there, so in that sense not "required." Why is it there? Somehow speakers of Latin liked it, viz. thought it sounded "good," "clear," whatever.

  • I'll try to summon Varro then :) Commented Feb 7, 2021 at 17:48

I was reading through the active and passive imperfect conjugations in the reference grammar in the Oxford Latin book II yesterday. To address the question, the thought I had, was the imperfect suffix in having been 'formed' seemed to be a combination of the 1st to 2nd future conjugation (long a in ab in 1st, long e in eb in 2nd), and the final suffix in the 3rd to 4th (as well as mixed) future conjugations.

And by chance came across this site and this question today.

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