Passive Voice in the Present System
For the tenses of the present system (the present, imperfect, and future), a special set of personal endings is used. The endings you have learned were all for active voice. These passive personal endings appear in their place.
As you can see, they are quite distinctive and you should have no trouble recognizing them. While the r may quickly alert you to a verb being in passive voice, there are some alterations to stem vowels and tense indicators that occur.
There is an alternate form for the second person singular passive personal ending: –re; for example, Cur patientiā meā abute re ? (“Why do you abuse my patience?”) instead of Cur patientiā mea- abute ris ? The ending –ris, however, is far more common.
Table 14-2 Present Tense, Indicative Mood, Passive Voice Across the Conjugations
The most striking oddity of conjugation in the present passive occurs in the second person singular. First and second conjugation verbs behave as you would expect, but in third conjugation you find an –e– where you would expect an –i–. Read down the paradigm for agī, and pay attention to the vowel pattern between the verb base (ag–) and the personal endings: o, e, i, i, i, u. You will see this vowel pattern again. This appearance of an e instead of i can be troublesome in that it makes the form look like future tense.
What is a paradigm?
Broadly speaking, a paradigm is the perfect example of a framework. In grammar, a paradigm is a chart showing a word in all its forms.
Table 14-3 Imperfect Tense, Indicative Mood, Passive Voice Across the Conjugations
Just as the imperfect tense offered regular, predictable forms for the active voice, it also does so in the passive voice.
The passive voice forms for the imperfect subjunctive are also predictable. Rather than have the infinitive with active voice personal endings, you have the infinitive with passive personal endings. So agerem, agerē s, ageret, et cetera, become agerer, agerē ris, agerē tur, and so forth.
Table 14-4 Future Tense, Indicative Mood, Passive Voice Across the Conjugations
As you recall, for active voice there are two different ways to form future tense, depending on the conjugation to which a verb belongs. First and second conjugation verbs follow a –bī, –bi–, –bu– pattern. Third and fourth conjugation verbs use “an a with five e's.” These two different approaches to forming future tense are also present in passive voice. All the forms show the predictable exchange of passive for active personal endings with one exception. In the second person singular for first and second conjugation verbs, the tense indicator changes slightly — the active form –bis becomes –beris. Once again, read the paradigm for amī vertically and you will notice the same unusual vowel pattern you saw previously in the present tense of third conjugation verbs: o, e, i, i, i, u.
Apart from ferō, ferre, all the irregular verbs you recently learned are intransitive, so you don't need to worry about passive voice forms for them. As for ferō, it is only irregular in the present tense: ferō,