Latin/Lesson 3-Subjunctive Imperfect

The conjugation of the subjunctive imperfect active follows a simple rule. The verb in its infinitive form, that is, the second principle part, (amāre, to love, for example) simply has the active personal endings (-m/ō, -s, -t, -mus, -tis, -nt) added:

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ego amārem

tu amārēs

is amāret

nos amārēmus

vos amārētis

ei amārent

the passive voice is formed by the addition of passive personal endings (-r, -ris (-re), -tur, -mur, -minī, -ntur) onto the infinitive stem

ego amārer

tu amārēris (-re)

is amārētur

nos amārēmur

vos amārēmini

ei amārentur



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.