I totally dropped the ball when I posted this originally, but I must send an acknowledgment to my wife, the Buxom and Comely and Ailurophobic Boudicca who helped me with the translation, suggesting that I turn the second part into a question so that it made a little story.
If you remember back a couple of weeks ago, I was instructing you fine-ass ladies who read my blog (and you are, all, fine-ass) on how to tell a guy to go fuck himself (which, I am thrilled to hear, Girl 1nterrupted has used! Oh, glorious day!). CoolRed asked which word translated as "fuck". I gave a long and winding explanation about tenses and subject and such. It was then that I figured maybe--just maybe--I should actually work a little something into this Latin Lesson that was, you know, an actual lesson.
Behold, your first, honest to Caesar Latin lesson: present tense conjugation.
First, though, we need to back up. We need to remember (or to learn) the infinitive of a verb. The infinitive form of a verb is simply the base form of the verb and often (in English) includes the word to in front of it. To drink, to sleep, to dance, to make sweet, sweet love. These are all infinitive forms of the verb. The infinitive is sort of the purest form of a verb, before it does any actions. Smell it. It has that new verb smell, doesn't it?
Conjugation is taking the infinitive form of the verb and getting it to agree with the subject doing the action. For example, when conjugating "to be", we say "I am", "You are", "he/she/it is" and so on. In Latin, we take what is called the "stem" of the verb and place different suffixes on the verb in order to conjugate it. Therefore, we can infer any pronouns in the sentence by looking at the ending of the verb form.
Now for the fun part. There are four conjugations (or five or six, depending on whom you ask) for regular verbs. Plus, then there's active and passive voice, six general tenses, three grammatical moods, along with three persons and two numbers (and, for now, we'll completely ignore the irregular verbs). For today, let's focus on just the present tense, active voice, first conjugation of the verb.
The First Conjugation deals with verbs whose infinitive ends with -are. A few examples are amare (to love), ambulare (to walk), cruciare (to torture), cogitare (to think) and negare (to deny). When we go to conjugate these, we take off the -re ending and add the appropriate suffix to tell the person (first, second, third) and number (singular, plural). Here is a little table to help you with the suffixes:
The first person singular is a principle part of the verb. Therefore, we would conjugate amare as amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant for "I love, you love, he/she loves, we love, you (pl) love, they love." These also can be translated as "I am loving, you are loving..." or "I do love, you do love..." and so on.
Got it? Good, because here comes a sentence with all first-conjugation verbs in it, whether you're ready or not:
Pronounced: "Coom tay ee-oo-woe lah-warr-aye, ahs-toh. May-nay nay-goss? See-bee free-coh."