I was thinking about the verb sequi, a deponent which means to follow. I was wondering, how do you put the deponent into a passive form?

So is it possible to translate the following sentences into Latin with the verb sequi?

  • I'm being followed
  • I had been followed

1 Answer 1


Good question!

I am not aware of a possibility of passivizing such a structure. Instead, I suggest two ways around this:

  • Use a different verb. Depending on context, perhaps comitare, haerere, or insistere could replace sequi. With a non-deponent verb you can form passives as usual.
  • Use a pronoun meaning "someone". Although aliquis me sequitur might not be exactly what you are after, it's pretty close.
  • 2
    As @Joonas Ilmavirta suggests in his example, it's usual to invert the sentence for such usages. If you were looking to represent the unpleasant modern crime of 'stalking', you might use insidior, meaning to lie in wait, or wait for an opportunity. Martial XII, 14, 10 has Tuscis . . . insidiemur apris, 'let's stalk wild boars'.
    – Tom Cotton
    Commented Jun 25, 2017 at 16:42
  • Hmm, Wiktionary says that insisto is "impersonal in the passive".
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 1:08
  • @BenKovitz Have you checked whether more reliable dictionaries insist that it's impersonal?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 12:13
  • @JoonasIlmavirta Not yet…
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 12:32

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