I've noticed that many Latin verbs can be turned into nouns (like the English do and doer). But, what's the process of this in Latin? I can find some terms in dictionaries, but most don't seem to have entries for such a thing.

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    Root of the 4th principal part of the verb (root of participle, so-to-speak) followed by -or (-rix for feminine). Facere --> factus --> factor (factrix); dare --> datus --> dator. Is that what you are looking for?
    – Rafael
    Mar 7, 2017 at 14:58
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    You might be interested in this old question.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Mar 7, 2017 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


Assuming we're in a codified state (from the tags), there are two primary ways. The first is use the present participle as a substantive. E.g. Cic. Div. 68.141 (from G-L § 437):

Nihil est magnum somnianti

Nothing is great to a dreamer (= to one dreaming)

Be careful, though, because in the ablative singular the ending is an e instead of an i when it's used this way. This works for both the masculine and feminine.

The other way is to take the fourth principal part (i.e. either the perfect passive participal or the supine*, drop the ending, and add or to it. For example, take the word servo, servare, "to save." The fourth principal part is servatus, which would give is servator, "savior." The feminine form would be servatrix. For neuter nouns, the ending is -trum, which is how we get words like rostrum (from rodere).

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    +1. Since OP specified "person or thing", you might mention neuter -rum also.
    – Draconis
    Mar 7, 2017 at 18:25
  • @Draconis Done.
    – cmw
    Mar 7, 2017 at 19:13
  • Thanks! So lover would be amator/amatrix, speaker as dicitor/dicitrix, and hater would become irator/iratrix? Mar 8, 2017 at 14:40
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    @MiddleSchoolHistorian The fourth principal part of dicere is dictus, but yeah, you have the principle down.
    – cmw
    Mar 8, 2017 at 15:05

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