Deponent verbs (Verba deponentia)

The circumflected accents are used to mark the vowels' length.


The verbs occurring with passive voice forms but with active voice meaning were considered by the ancient grammarians deponent, because in their opinion these verbs have given up (deponere) their active forms. The deponent verbs have three basic forms only:

  1. Present Passive Indicative
  2. Perfect Passive Indicative
  3. Present Passive Infinitive, cf.:
    imitor, imitatus sum, imitari (imitor, 1) to imitate
    polliceor, pollicitus sum, polliceri to promise
    loquor, locutus sum, loqui to speak
    largior, largitus sum, largiri (largior, 4) to give bribes

The deponent verbs have however preserved some of their active infinite forms:

The Present active participle:
    imitans, antis imitating
    pollicens, entis promising
    loquens, entis speaking
    largiens, entis giving bribes

The Future active participle:
    imitaturus, 3 intending to imitate
    polliciturus, 3 intending to promise
    locuturus, 3 intending to speak
    largiturus, 3 intending to give bribes

The Future active infinitive:
    imitaturus, 3 esse
    polliciturus, 3 esse
    locuturus, 3 esse
    largiturus, 3 esse

The Supine:
    imitatum, u imitating, imitation
    pollicitum, u promising, promise
    locutum, u speaking
    largitum, u giving bribes

The Gerund:
    imitandi, o, um, o imitating, imitation
    polliciendi, o, um, o promising, promise
    loquendi, o, um, o speaking
    largiendi, o, um, o giving bribes

The Future passive participle, on the other hand, is used with passive meaning:
    imitandus, 3 who is to be imitated
    polliciendus, 3 what is to be promised
    loquendus, 3 what is to be spoken
    largiendus, 3 who is to be bribed

The passive perfect participles of some deponent verbs have both active and passive meanings, cf.:

    comitatus (comitor, 1) having attended and attended
    populatus (populor, 1) having devastated and devastated

Note that the passive perfect participles of some active verbs have active meanings, cf.:

    cenatus (ceno, 1) having eaten
    potus, (poto, 1) having drunk
    pransus (prandeo, 2) having eaten one’s morning meal
    juratus (juro, 1) having sworn.


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