Latin Verbs: Active Personal Verb-Endings

LatinPraxis Index



amÔ = I love

amâbâMUS = WE loved

amâbiS = YOU (singular) will love


A Latin verb often has an ending that indicates something about that verb's subject.

The subject is the person or thing about whom the verb is making a statement: I study. You read. They learn.

Note: In most sentences, there are two parts: (1) a "something" (the subject) and then a statement made about that "something" (the predicate). In the sentences just given here, studying is "predicated" of the subject I, reading is predicated of the subject you, and learning is predicated of the subject they.


The ending of the Latin verb can indicate which type of person goes with the verb as its subject, so it is called a personal ending.

When we speak about verbs, we use the word person as a grammatical term. It indicates whether the subject is equivalent to

I / we
you (singular) / you (plural)
he, she, it / they.

1. If the subject is the speaker or speakers, then the statement is made in the first person:

I see, we speak

The typical Latin active endings for the first person are -m or for the singular and -mus for the plural.

[Note: Active merely means that the subject is acting, as contrasted with passive verbs, in which the subject is acted upon, e.g., "I am seen." or "The book has been read." We refer to this difference as one of voice. Passive-voice verbs have different personal endings in Latin. This page is only about active-voice endings.]

côgitô = I think

côgitâbam = I used to think

amô = I love

amâveram = I had loved

habêmus = We have

amâmus = We love


2. If the subject is a person or persons spoken to, then the statement is made in the second person:

you see, you (pl.) speak

The typical Latin active endings for the second person are -s for the singular and -tis for the plural.

côgitâs = you think

amâs = you love

habêtis = you (plural) have

amâtis = you (plural) love


3. If the subject is someone else, a "third party," then the statement is made in the third person:

he / she / it sees, they speak

The typical Latin active endings for the third person are -t for the singular and -nt for the plural.

côgitat = he / she / it thinks

amat = he / she / it loves

habent = they have

amant = they love




Therefore, if a verb ends in:

The subject must be:

-m / -ô





he / she / it




you (pl.)




Compare the passive personal endings.

Compare the regular active perfect endings.


But notice:

The subject can be merely embedded in the form of the verb (Côgitô = "I think.") or it can be expressed, that is, explicit, in a separate word in the sentence (Tempus fugit. = Time escapes.).

If the subject is explicit and the verb is in the third person, the pronoun is usually omitted and the expressed subject is used with the verb.

currunt = They are running.

[Embedded subject: -nt gives the subject, they. No other word in the nominative is there to act as subject.]

puerî currunt = The children are running.

[Explicit subject: the -nt is not translated, since puerî indicates who performs the action.]

mê monet. = He / she / it is reminding me.

[Embedded subject: the -t indicates a third person performing the action.]

mê monet Julia. = Julia is reminding me.

[Explicit subject: the -t is not translated.]

In the two other persons, pronouns and the expressed subject are both used in the translation:

videô = I see.

senex videô = I, an old man, see. As an old man, I see.

timêtis = You (pl.) fear.

Rômânî timêtis. = You Romans fear.




This is a typical way of showing the active personal verb-endings in a table, with the first column containing the singular forms and the second one the plural ones. The rows designate the three different persons.


Singular Number

Plural Number

1st person



2d person



3d person




Note: The grammatical term number usually references whether something is singular or plural.


Go to the practice.





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Latin Teaching Materials at Saint Louis University: © Claude Pavur 1997 - 2009.  This material is being made freely available for non-commercial educational use.