Q: Is the iri in the future passive infintive (example: celatum iri) a passive infinitive for esse (to be)? (see also Q2.001)
Vocabulary: eo (I go), ire (to go). sum (I am), esse (to be). celo (I hide), celare (to hide), celatum (to have hidden).
A: No. In fact, iri is a present passive infinitive form for the intransitive verb eo, ire (to go). Even though the irregular Latin verb ire (to go) is intransitive, it does have impersonal passive forms -- the word iri happens to be the present passive infinitive.
This construction of a future passive infinitive with 'iri' is a curious idiomatic construction with two counterparts in modern English.
Example: "I am going to read Tolstoy's War and Peace."
"I will read Tolstoy's War and Peace [in the near future(?)]."
(but not equivalent to:)
"I am going someplace [e.g. the library] in order to read Tolstoy's War and Peace."
(Hmmm. I wonder what an autocorrecting grammar checker set to filter out passive voice might do with a deponent construction like this...)
The underlying problem is that these forms are idiomatic and thus defy reason. Perhaps they were inserted into the language by some ancient omniprescient Luddite demigod who wanted to drive modern day computer programmers and mathematicians into fits of madness...
Q: (followup from Q1.001) Are the future tense forms of esse (to be) cognate to ire (to go)? [Open]
Last updated: Wed May 24 19:07:21 EDT 2006