Latin/Lesson 3-Subjunctive Imperfect

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The conjugation of the subjunctive imperfect active follows a simple rule. The verb in its infinitive form, that is, the second principle part, (amare, to love, for example) simply has the subjunctive endings appended onto it as follows:

ego amarem

tu amares

is amaret

nos amaremus

vos amaretis

ei amarent

the passive voice is formed by the addition of passive voice endings onto the infinitive stem

ego amarer

tu amareris

is amaretur

nos amaremur

vos amaremini

ei amarentur


The imperfect subjunctive is only used for complex syntactic constructions; cum clauses and indirect questions and the like. Rarely, if ever, does it stand alone.


One application is in its use with 'cum' in the sense of 'because' as a clause. e.g.

Diutius cum sustinere nostrorum impetus non possent, Helvetii se in montem receperunt.
When(Because) the Helvetis could not sustain/resist our attacks for long, they retreated to the mountains.