seeming passive / by Anthony Gibbins

Passive Verbs are fairly straight forward in Latin. In the three Tenses formed around the Present Stem, it is only a matter of changing the Verb’s ending. porto, for example, means ‘I am carrying’, whereas portor means ‘I am being carried’. ducit means ‘she is leading’, whereas ducitur means ‘she is being led’.

The difference is a little more pronounced in the three Tenses based around the Perfect Stem. portavi, for example, means ‘I carried’, whereas portatus sum means ‘I was carried.’ duxit means ‘she led’, whereas ducta est means ‘she was led’. This might be a good time to recall to mind the Four Principal Parts of the Verb that make this manipulation possible. For example, porto, portare, portavi, portatum.

The verb video, videre, vidi, visum pulls off a pretty neat trick in the Passive Voice. videt means ‘she sees’, but the Passive videtur can mean either ‘she is seen’ or ‘she seems’. On this page we see femina videtur aliquid spectare, ‘the woman seems to be watching something.’

In my opinion, the woman seems to be watching something. Unless I am mistaken, the woman is intently watching that small room situated on the roof.