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I am searching for a yearbook quote, and had the idea of modifying the quote "Veni vidi vici", by replacing the last verb with "I cried". Having searched, online, I have found the word "flevi", although I am unsure of whether it is the correct verb to use in that context. I am also completely unaware of whether that is the correct way to conjugate "flere".

Could someone please give me a verb in latin in its past tense (1st person) which would be equivalent of "I cried", "I weeped", etc.?

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  • Vēnī, vīdī is the same as Caesar's Latin for "I came, I saw". "I wept" would be flēvī. The final ī marks the first person singular perfect tense.
    – jlawler
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 16:28
  • Fleō is definitely one of the numerous verbs mean ‘cry, weep, lament, keen’. Lūgeō is another one, well-known as the very first word in Catullus 3 (“Lūgēte, O Venerēs Cupīdinēsque”). Your question isn’t actually on topic here on the Linguistics site, but it would be on Latin Language, so I’ve pinged the moderators to request that it be migrated there. Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 16:28
  • Sorry for that. For lūgeō, is the perfect form "luxī"? I am checking in parallel with a dictionnary, but I'd rather be sure.
    – Juju1234
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 16:32
  • @Juju1234 That is correct. You could also do lacrimavi, but I think flevi is best.
    – cmw
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 16:39
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    Thanks! Could one of you just write an answer so I can confirm it?
    – Juju1234
    Commented Apr 28, 2023 at 16:47

1 Answer 1

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I would recommend flevi, which is indeed of the same person, number, tense, voice, and mood as veni, vidi, and vici. It's a common word for weeping throughout Latin's history. It would be my first choice, not least of all because it has the same number of syllables and flows together more nicely than other options.

Those other options include luxi (from lugeo) and lacrimavi or lacrimatus sum. The former is decent, but doesn't flow together as nicely, and usually means more "I mourned", which can but doesn't necessarily need to include actual weeping.

The latter does mean "I cried, I wept", but is very awkwardly put. The active and non-deponent form is more common, but the deponent form (lacrimatus sum) is found in the Vulgate when Jesus wept (John 11:35), so if you're talking about Jesus, it would have religious significance. That is not something I'd recommend for a yearbook quote, though.

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  • @JanusBahsJacquet It was a typo. Fixed.
    – cmw
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 12:39

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