edited by Meagan Ayer et al.

The Perfect Stem

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177. The Perfect Stem is formed as follows.

a. The suffix v (u) is added to the verb stem,


or to the root.

son-u-ī (sonā-re, root SON
mon-u-ī (monē-re, MON treated as a root)1

Note— In a few verbs the vowel of the root is transposed and lengthened.

strā-v-ī (sternō, STAR
sprē-v-ī (spernō, SPAR)

b. The suffix -s- is added to the root.

carp-s-ī (CARP), 
tēx-ī (for tēg-s-ī, TEG)2

Note— The modifications of the present stem sometimes appear in the perfect.

fīnx-ī (FIG, present stem fingĕ-
sānx-ī (SAC, present stem sancī-)

c. The root is reduplicated by prefixing the first consonant—generally with ĕ, sometimes with the root-vowel.

ce-cid-ī (cadō, CAD
to-tond-ī (tondeō, TOND)

Note—In fid-ī (for †fe-fid-īfind-ō  scid-ī (for †sci-scid-īscindō), the reduplication has been lost, leaving merely the root.

d. The root vowel is lengthened, sometimes with vowel change.

lēg-ī (lĕg-ō
ēm-ī (ĕm-ō
vīd-ī (vĭd-e-ō
fūg-ī (fŭg-i-ō
ēg-ī (ăg-ō)

e. Sometimes the perfect stem has the same formation that appears in the present tense.

vert-ī (vert-ō
solv-ī (solv-ō)

f. Sometimes the perfect is formed from a lost or imaginary stem.

petī-v-ī (as if from †peti-ō, †petī-re, PET)



1. The -v- Perfect is a form of uncertain origin peculiar to the Latin.

2. The -s- Perfect is in origin an aorist. Thus, dīx-ī (for †dīcs-ī) corresponds to the Greek aorist ἔ-δειξ-α (for †ἔ-δεικσ-α ).


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Suggested Citation

Meagan Ayer, Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-04-7. http://dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/latin/perfect-stem