(Psalm 4:2) cum invocarem exaudivit me Deus iustitiae meae in tribulatione dilatasti mihi miserere mei et exaudi orationem meam

When I called upon him, the God of my justice heard me: when I was in distress, thou hast enlarged me. Have mercy on me: and hear my prayer.

From the context of the above Psalm verse, dilatasti seems to be 2nd-person singular perfect active indicative. Moreover, that is the parsing information given by this site.

However, my Latin dictionary lists dilatavi as the third principal part, which means dilatavi is the 1st-person singular perfect active indicative. Therefore, it seems that dilatavisti would be the 2nd-person singular perfect active indicative. Moreover, Wiktionary lists dilatavisti as the 2nd-person singular perfect active indicative.

Which is the correct form?

  • Some of these contracted verb forms, sometimes called 'syncopated.'
    – Hugh
    Dec 13, 2018 at 22:34

1 Answer 1


This is a contracted perfect form, which is fairly common in poetry, particularly in the first conjugation.

Basically, whenever you have a second person perfect active ending in -āvisti (like amāvisti "you loved"), it can be contracted to -āsti without changing the meaning (e.g. amāsti "you loved").

It's somewhat like how English uses "don't" instead of "do not": no change in meaning, but shorter, and sometimes fits the poetic meter better.

  • So they're both grammatically correct? Dec 13, 2018 at 19:01
  • A handy guide to this and other kinds of contraction: thelatinlibrary.com/101/contractions.pdf
    – brianpck
    Dec 13, 2018 at 19:03
  • 3
    @Pascal'sWager Yep! Which one to use is really up to individual choice.
    – Draconis
    Dec 13, 2018 at 19:05
  • 2
    @Pascal'sWager This is also in the parsing information on Perseus: "contr" means contracted
    – b a
    Dec 13, 2018 at 20:19
  • 1
    It's also worth noting that these contracted forms are the ancestors of modern Romance forms, e.g., Spanish 2nd sg preterit amaste from L. amasti.
    – varro
    Dec 13, 2018 at 20:56

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