Watch out for syncopated and contracted forms. They occur a lot in meter and very often in genuine prose too. These are the most likely examples:
-erunt (perfect tense third person plural) can be shortened to -ere.
e.g. dederunt often becomes dedere
cupiverunt -> cupivere
ierunt -> iere
note: this is not really syncopation but a coexisting form.
-eris and -aris (passive voice second person singular, all tenses and moods!) can be shortened to -ere and -are, respectively.
e.g. amaris can become amare (easily confused with infinitive)
audieris -> audiere
arbitrareris -> arbitrarere
putabaris -> putabare
monearis -> moneare
note: also (probably) just a coexisting form.
-vi- and -ve- (in the perfect tenses) is often dropped.
e.g. laudavisse often becomes laudasse
amaverim -> amarim
paravissent -> parassent
note: this usually only happens when the contracted vowel is short: thus it never occurs in 1st pers sing perf indic and rarely in 3rd pers plur indic. The contracted syllable obviously cannot be the last one.
verbs with perfect in -ivi (most 4th conjugation verbs) often drop the v, leaving a perfect stem in -i- (instead of -iv-), like the verb eo, ire, ii, itum
e.g. audivi very often appears as audii
muniverunt -> munierunt
cupiverit -> cupierit
rare form ivi (of eo) -> typical form ii
note: before -st- and -ss- the two i's (one of the stem and one of the ending) contract into a long i: perisset for peri-isset for periv-isset (pereo, -ire, -i(v)i, -itum). Again, this is the regular formation for eo, ire.
There are a couple other rare contractions like ausim for ausus sim, dixti for dixisti, but the above are the only ones really worthy of mention (unless I have overlooked something). You may want to take a closer look at this in a grammar such as Allen & Greenough's. You definitely need a resource like that since you are at an advanced enough level for prose composition. You can always use Textkit's free edition.
Last edited by benissimus
on Wed Sep 07, 2005 2:53 am, edited 8 times in total.
flebile nescio quid queritur lyra, flebile lingua murmurat exanimis, respondent flebile ripae