Questions tagged [infinitive]

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5 answers
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How do you show an infinitive for reason?

For instance, if you say, "I came here to eat," or "We want something good to eat," you are using the infinitive "to eat" to express reason or purpose. How do translate something like this in Latin?
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10 votes
2 answers
782 views

Confusion regarding 'esse' + accusative

I am currently learning Latin from the Bloomsbury Latin to GCSE books. In one of the reading passages the following constructions are used: "non cupio rex vester esse. dei signum mittent si me ...
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11 votes
1 answer
551 views

Where did the passive infinitive come from?

The etymology of the present active infinitive seems well-documented. Proto-Italic had an infinitive-like suffix *-si, so *dōnā- + *-si = *dōnāsi > dōnāre by regular sound changes (s → z → r between ...
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17 votes
1 answer
632 views

What did the Romans consider the "basic" form of a verb?

Many of us are used to using the (active present) infinitive form of a verb as a "label" or "basic form" or "representative" of the verb. By this I refer to uses like dictionary entries or grammatical ...
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6 votes
1 answer
402 views

Is 'volo' ever used with a future infinitive?

One can certainly use volo with an infinitive to express a wish: Volo amari! I want to be loved! A future sense is often implied, as one would probably interpret that I'm not loved now if I wish ...
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3 votes
2 answers
121 views

Using genitive and infinitive to describe characteristics

Answering this question, I recalled a somewhat rare construction used to express that an action is characteristic of someone. Pekkanen's Ars Grammatica (§77.1) gives two examples: Cuiusvis hominis ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why does the contraction rule ε+εν -> ειν apply to the formation of λύειν?

In their discussions of the formation of the infinitive, both Pharr and White remark on the contraction of -εεν to -ειν, but I don't understand why this would apply to most of the examples that come ...
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0 votes
0 answers
82 views

Is the Greek infinitive regular?

My general understanding of Greek verbs is that if you know the six principal parts, you should be able to infer all forms of the verb (although there may be complications such as contractions, the ...
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12 votes
1 answer
280 views

Third conjugation passive infinitive: why -i and not -eri?

The active infinitive is uniform (-re from -se by rhotacism) across the regular Latin conjugations, but the passive one is not: the third conjugation loses the consonant. We have amare/amari, habere/...
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3 votes
1 answer
280 views

The usage of present passive infinitive

In Augustine confessions we read: "quid tibi sum ipse, ut amari te iubeas a me et, nisi faciam, irascaris mihi et mineris ingentes miserias?" (book I, cap. V) I can't understand the usage of the ...
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7 votes
2 answers
260 views

"To be" and a commentator on Aquinas

Father David Burrell, a well-known philosopher and theologian who has written on Thomas Aquinas, has discussed Aquinas' view of God, or at least of what could or could not be properly said about God. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Resource request: formation of the Greek infinitive, including Homeric Greek

As suggested by cmw, I'm spinning off this resource request from an earlier question that was long and unwieldy. Can anyone suggest resources that do a good job of giving a complete presentation of ...
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