Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Verbum Hodiernum: PARO

Today's word is the Latin verb PARO, which is a typical first conjugation verb: parō, parāre, parāvī, parātum. The basic meaning of the Latin word is "get ready, set in order," as you can see in the English derivative "prepare" (from the Latin compound praeparō).

The real challenge with this Latin word is distinguishing it from other verbs that have "par" in their root. There is a second-conjugation verb pāreō (pārēre, pāruī, pāritum) which means both "to appear, to be at hand" and also "to obey" (in the sense that a servant appears and is ready to do his master's bidding!). This is the Latin word which gives us the English verb "appear." Then, just to make things even more confusing, there is a third-conjugation verb pariō (parere, peperī, partum), which means "give birth" (as in the English use of the Latin phrase "post-partum," meaning "after birth").

Now, because these verbs are from different conjugations, the number of ambiguous forms is quite small - although the present subjunctive paret (from parō, parāre) can only be distinguished from the present indicative pāret (from pāreō, pārāre) by the macron. In context, of course, the meanings of these verbs are so dramatically different from one another that if you keep the context in mind, you will probably not get confused at all!

Here are some examples of today's word in Latin sayings and proverbs; for more information, see the page at the Scala Sapientiae, which contains notes on some of the proverbs cited below, as well as additional proverbs:

Estote parati.

Fortunam suam quisque parat.

Fortunam suam sibi quisque ipse parat.

In omnia paratus.

Mors omnibus parata est.

Sibi parat malum, qui alteri parat.

Unus Deus, sed plures amici parandi.

Paratur pax bello.

Si vis pacem, para bellum.

Iuveni parandum, seni utendum.

Novos amicos dum paras, veteres cole.

Vina parant animos.

Horam dum petis, ultimam para.

Parvum servabis, donec maiora parabis.

Homines plerique ipsi sibi mala parant.

Bonum para nomen, et dormi secure.

Pax, pax! clamatur; sed pax per bella paratur.

Novos parans amicos, ne obliviscere veterum.

Paratae lacrimae insidias, non luctum indicant.

Antequam viceris ne triumphum pares.

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