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Perfect Passive Question

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Perfect Passive Question

Postby LatinGirly » Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:08 am

Who would have guessed it?, I need more help. So I just learned about the perfect passive system and here is my question related to that:
I know that a perfect passive is the fourth principle part of a verb + the verb to be. What I'm not sure of is does the order matter, must the fourth part verb go befor sum, or could it be written the other way around. I came across "est liberatus" and it seemed like a perfect passive, but all the examples in my text showed the sum after not before the other verb.

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Postby timeodanaos » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:46 pm

It shouldn't matter, since the word order is fairly free. Finite verbs tend to be at the end of sentences, though, making liberatus...sum the probably most common order.
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Postby Alex Sheremet » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:30 pm

liberatus sum is "standard," but you'll definitely encounter other orders, esp. in outside reading.

also, keep in mind that, often, there's only a blurry distinction between perfect passive verbs, and predicate adjectives. thus, "paratus sum" could just as well be "i am prepared," without the meaning "i have been prepared".. in fact, the whole "perfect passive" thing can be much easier if you take it literally, as "adjective + to be," and memorize the paradigms like that.

perhaps analogous to this, i was a fluent speaker of russian before ever studying it formally. thus, imagine my surprise when a simple, common word like "закрытый" ("shut") was technically called a "past passive participle," and not an adjective. sure, it's usable both ways, and participles are technically adjectives, too, but only a linguist or a foreigner would think of the above as a participle. that sounds like a mere quibble, but remember that english students learning latin through wheelock, etc., will render perfect passives and participles in rather clunky, verbose ways, adding, perhaps, a nuance that's not in the original (such as, an implied agent, e.g. "the door has been shut").
Last edited by Alex Sheremet on Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Twpsyn » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:32 pm

You can also dispose with sum altogether, if you're being fancy.
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