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Cassel's Latin Dictionary

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Cassel's Latin Dictionary

Postby Eurysilas » Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:20 am

Well, I was going along fine, doing my first lesson of Latin from Wheelock's, when I decided to look up festino to find its principle parts. You can imagine my displeasure when I looked it up only to find "festino, -are" and that's it! I thought that one needed all the principle parts of a verb in order to fully conjugate it. Is this true, and I've bought a cheap, crappy dictionary, or could I conjugate all forms through just the first person singular present indicative and the infinitive? I have the feeling that I've been ripped off, but I thought it best not to be hasty and jump to any conclusions.
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Postby tienyew » Sat Aug 30, 2008 12:47 am

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Postby Twpsyn » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:09 pm

There are some verbs, however, whose third or fourth principal parts do not exist, either because the verb is not used in the passive or because they are simply unattested. If you're only on the first lesson of Wheelock's, you probably don't need to worry about that, but it is good to keep it in mind. But with run-of-the-mill 1st-conjugation verbs, it is generally safe to fill in the regular endings yourself, as tienyew has laid out.
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Postby Eurysilas » Sun Aug 31, 2008 12:20 am

Oh, OK. Whew! *wipes forehead* I was afraid that $18 had gone down the drain!

tienyew wrote:...and congratulations for reading so deeply into Wheelock! I know I certainly would never have caught that doing my first Latin lesson...


Why, thank you. It's actually a result of a bad habit I have; trying to comprehend everything at once. Actually, I probably wouldn't know what was going on half as well (and considering how little I know, that's saying something) if not for Grote's Comprehensive Guide to Wheelock. Thank you for the tip on principal parts of verbs, though!

Twpsyn wrote:There are some verbs, however, whose third or fourth principal parts do not exist...


*nods* Like salveo. Yeah, that really threw me for a loop, as well as the fact that nihil was "undeclinable".
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Postby Twpsyn » Sun Aug 31, 2008 2:55 pm

It's sometimes too tempting to think of a language as a collection of grids and rules. Languages are steaming morasses of inconsistency, which is what (to my eyes) makes them so beautiful! Whatever 'throws you for a loop', take that and run with it and revel in it!
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