I feel like the question has all the information but yeah I'm just curious if the Latin verb endings influenced the old English -est endings.

1 Answer 1


Nope! They're independent of each other. But I can see how easy it is to make that mistake, since they both come from the same source.

Both Old English and Latin are Indo-European languages, and they both independently retain Proto-Indo-European (PIE) conjugation. PIE's 2nd person singular present has been reconstructed as -si, which in Latin became -s and in Germanic -zi. Old English further developed the -zi into -st.

Wikipedia has the etymology:

From Middle English -est, -st, from Old English -est, -ast, -st, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *-zi, from Proto-Indo-European *-si. The -t was by transfer from inverted order where thou followed the verb, which also occurred in most dialects of Middle Dutch and Middle High German (compare modern German -st).

You can find the fuller paradigm in Sihler's New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin.

Number Person Athematic Thematic
Singular 1st *-mi *-oh₂
2nd *-si *-esi
3rd *-ti *-eti
Dual 1st *-wos *-owos
2nd *-th₁es *-eth₁es
3rd *-tes *-etes
Plural 1st *-mos *-omos
2nd *-te *-ete
3rd *-nti *-onti

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