I'm in Latin III and my teacher recently provided us with this example sentence to translate:

Poetā ad mensam vocante, versus scribentur.

Because the participle "vocante" is active the sentence seems to mean "With the poet calling to the table, the verses will be written." It obviously makes a lot more sense as "With the poet being called to the table, the verses will be written." But can it be translated this way even though "vocante" is active? (Knowing that there is no passive present participle.)

1 Answer 1


No, an active participle can't be translated with a passive meaning. (The opposite, a passive participle translated with an active meaning, is possible, but only if the verb is deponent.)

So only your first translation is possible. Assuming this isn't just an error on your instructor's part, presumably some object is meant to be implied, e.g. "the poet calling [people/guests/us/etc.] to the table".

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