For example, how would you say "He used to come here every evening."? Would you say "Is hic venit quemque vesperem." or "Is hic veniebat quemque vesperem."? Or maybe something else?

I am asking because, in Croatian, to talk about events that occur regularly, you use continuous tenses, whereas, in English, you use simple tenses for that. So, how is it in Latin?

  • 4
    We use the imperfect. We can also use the verbs "soleo" and "assuesco" to express the same meaning of "used to"
    – user11898
    May 15, 2023 at 3:07
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    @ManuelCauãRebouças So, "Is hic veniebat quemque vesperem." is correct? May 15, 2023 at 3:24
  • 3
    Yea. But I think we should use "huc" with verbs of motion.
    – user11898
    May 15, 2023 at 3:40
  • @FlatAssembler: The present-tense version would mean that he used to come here and still does e.g. "de die Martis pluit" = "it has been raining since Tuesday (and still is)". The imperfect, "pluebat" = "it has been raining (but is no longer)".
    – tony
    May 15, 2023 at 13:13

1 Answer 1


Imperfect tense. The reason that it is called imperfect is because it describes a repeated (a.k.a. non-instantaneous) action. Perfect, on the other hand, describes something that happened once.

There are quite a few different ways to translate imperfect verbs:

  • was [verb]ing
  • kept on [verb]ing
  • used to [verb] (what you used your example)
  • began to [verb]

It is possible to translate an imperfect verb as [verb]ed, however, it is not ideal as it can be confused for a perfect tense verb unless you have an adverb (such as semper, "always") or other form of context to indicate that the event is repeated.

Hope this helps!


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