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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Tenses of the Finite Verb

161. The Perfect Indicative has two separate uses,—the Perfect Definite and the Perfect Historical (or Indefinite).

  1. The Perfect Definite represents the action of the verb as completed in present time, and corresponds to the English perfect with have: as, scrīpsī, I have written.
  2. The Perfect Historical narrates a simple act or state in past time without representing it as in progress or continuing. It corresponds to the English past or preterite and the Greek aorist: as, scrīpsit, he wrote.

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