Amo, Amas, Amat pt. II (Your first Latin lesson!)

I never thought that this post would get so much attention.  But, it seems like there are quite a few people in the world looking for what amo, amas and amat mean, and find my blog in their search.

I think all the following is the correct information, but we’re only on our 5th week of Latin, so please forgive/correct if I’ve erred.

Every verb in Latin has a pronoun enclosed.

So, these are the endings of the verbs in the first conjugation: 

                         Singular          Plural
1st person      -o                     -mus
2nd person     -s                     -tis
3rd person      -t                     -nt

The stem for “to love” is ama.

amo = I love
amas = you (singular) love
amat = he, she or it loves
amamus = we love
amatis = you (plural) love
amant = they love

There are also endings for nouns, depending on how they’re used in a sentence, and that’s called “declensions,” but we haven’t gotten there yet.

Hope that helps!!


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on October 7, 2006, in Homeschooling, Random Stuff. Bookmark the permalink. 46 Comments.

  1. “Latin’s a dead language
    As dead as dead can be
    It killed off all the Romans
    And now it’s killing me!”

    • I agree completely. I took Latin at school and we hated each other! Boring and utterly useless [we both probably were then] and I got a grade 9 at O-level in it in 1967. I thought that was pretty good considering I hardly knew my amat from my amas!

  2. I really, really wish I’d kept latin up past my first two years at secondary school. It’s such an amazing basis for so many things.

  3. Did you ever get a word or phrase stuck in your brain? Of course you did. Well it happened to me last night with amo, amas, amat. I thought the rest included amamus and amatis, but couldn’t remember the last one (from my one year, in 9th grade,a lonng time ago, of Latin, in which I did not do that well). So thank you for helping me out!

  4. We’re using LCI for the first time this year, and we’re really enjoying it. My 10 and 8 year old are actually spotting derivatives everywhere in real life! And I’ve even learned a lot, having never taken Latin before now. I didn’t even know what Amo, Amat, Amas meant until 3 months ago!

  5. Same as mouse – kept going round and round with amo,amas,amat but kept thinking about the plurals and couldn’t get them right in my head.
    School was 30 years ago I suppose!

  6. thank you. you realy help my translation.


  7. Quintia Fabius

    this is just what i need to know!!!! AMO LATINAM!!!!!

  8. Latin is a wonderful Language to learn …I had 3 yrs of it in HS along with French…….And it expanded my English Vocabulary enormously…plus it made me able to figure out the meaning of words if they had a Latin Root…..knowing LAtin made it much easier for me to tackle Russian in HS…..

  9. Regarding the unexpected traffic, amo, amas and amat is from Candide, and your site is the first result.

  10. I came searching for “amo amas amat” because I’ve been reading Ian McEwan’s ‘Atonement’.

    In the novel, one character is the manufacturer of a chocolate bar called the Amo bar. Another character remarks “Amo amas amat,” to which the first replies “Exactly so.”

  11. Can beat Russell 18/11/ s abt 45 yrs since school and Latin.Tho i didn t greatly enjoy at the time ,over the years i ve seen words which reminded me of their Latin derivation.However,like others , the plurals of amo etc had slipped my mind…now refreshed I hope they remain!
    Sadly my daughter couldn t take Latin (not sufficient numbers) and now many schools don t offer the subject at all.Don t suppose things will change………

  12. I took 3 years of Latin in high school way back in the late 60’s. I had saved a badly mauled rabbit. I named her, Amar. I am loved. Now, in my 50’s I am preparing to re-learn Latin in college. I could not recall the basics past Amo, Amas, Amat! Thank you for your help. I plan on pursuing your site often, Karen Joy 🙂

  13. Thanks, I was looking it up because its mentioned in the book and movie ‘Atonement’

  14. the reason for the surge in hits is because it is a clue in the tuesday new york times crossword:
    “___, amas, amat …”

  15. My second name is Amas and it seems to be really uncommon. I don’t know anyone else apart from our family who has that name.

    Its nice to find out what it means, and it seems to have a really nice meaning. But do you know where this name comes from because we know very little of our famly history.

  16. I was looking for it because of the book and movie Atonement, as well.

  17. Thanks Karen.. Very Interesting Stuff..

  18. D.H. Lawrence writing on Poe: “The motto, Nemo me impune lacessit, might just as well be Nemo me impune amat.”

  19. I found this Amo, Amas and Amat information in the below site. It seems to have pretty cool stuff including other crossword clues and answers…

  20. Mireya Santana

    For me Latin is pretty easy because i know Spanish and English, and well Latin is both mixed together.


    Well, you’ve also got all the other tenses which have not been included, and if you really want then you can find out by LEARNING LATIN. Remember that there are also 5 latin conjugations, if you include mixed (I think), 5 or 6 declensions of nouns (I think), and 6 tenses, or at least those are the ones I know. There’s also the passives in all these tenses, and numerous other forms of verbs such as subjunctives, gerunds and god-knows-what.

    Latin is a real good language. The literature’s pretty good as well. Pretty hard though, since it’s what we call an inflected language, i.e. it’s all about the word-endings baby!, even names decline.

  22. Latin is a wonderful language to learn and sounds even better than it looks when it is properly pronounced by experts, Check out this website for how Latin and Greek should sound:

    Have fun!

  23. I loved Latin!! I had a wonderful teacher and that had a lot to do with it. Thanks for the love series! Can’t forget them.

  24. the translation for the stem is not techicaly correct ama is not “to love”, an infinitive which looks like amare.

  25. Thrasumacus is right about the stem thing. “Ama” is actually a command, telling someone to love. It’s an imperative, formed by taking the ending off of the infinitive “amare”. Amo Latinam!!

  26. My Latin teacher taught us a little rhyme to remember this:
    Amo, amas, amat.
    I had a little cat.
    Amamus, amatis, amant.
    I gave it to my aunt.

    Ok, amant doesn’t rhyme with aunt but it’s close enough.
    I was taught this at the age of 8, and still remember it 19 years later so it must work.

    • That’s cool, Luke! I guess, though, it depends on your accent. The materials we used taught “amat” more like “ahmaht”, a soft “ah”/a, where “cat” is more like the a in “apple.”

  27. Well done . I love Latin as it is the root language of so many English words .

  28. Also, in the “Pennypress Master’s Variety puzzles, Challenger series magazine Volume 78”, the clue under Christmas season is “Amo, amas, or amat, e.g.”. Its part of the word games puzzle #3. I was thinking the words were Latin and present tense. However, I never had Latin, so decided to google it and ended up here. I found out I was right after looking at the answer in the back.

  29. Amo, Amas, Am at it again . . .

    an old joke but finding this blog reminded me of it.

  30. i was adopted by two teachers so latin is my third language lol. Although i didnt realise it at the helped me see the “i”, “we”, “he/she” etc. in real life, ie. HOW TO SEE OTHER HUMANS AND UNDERSTAND THAT THEY ARE “i’s” aswell as me. Woke me up straight away to the world and the rest is history. Keep up the good work on the kids and spread the word. credo,and im not religious x

  31. My Latin basics really were basic and not long lasting, as well as having been a very long time ago, so, I really need to start the basics all over again. But I do want to redo it because I realised, much later on, how useful it is for understanding so many different words, by using the Latin origins as a filter. I may decide to attend evening school if I can find one that still teaches Latin as a standalone course. Wish me luck!

  32. This is the only Latin I truly remember but I think studying the language provided a foundation which has allowed me to compose deadly puns!

  33. John Marshall

    As a schoolboy in the UK we had to learn LATIN. The language was fascinating, but sadly the Master who taught it was the meanest teacher in the whole school. He was Mr Nicholas or “Nikki” as we all called him. Wish I had followed into it more. The Headmaster also taught it, but what a wonderful teacher he was. “Excudent alii spirantia morleus aera, credo equident vivos ducent de marmore voltus” was part of a Latin poem we were taught. Can anyone translate it for Me?

    • I just used Google Translate on this, and it came up with “Excudent morleus some breathing air, I believe equident marble the living features” Obviously, it didn’t translate all of it… InterTrans came up with: “Excudent alii spirantia morleus era , to believe indeed to live ducent about like marble vulture.”

      Neither did a search of the phrase come up with any poems. Perhaps some words are misspelled?

    • they moulded the aether, i believe truly, they brought living features out of the marble

      • or much more accurately its from virgil, aeneid ch6 ll.847-849 “excudent alii spirantia mollius aera,,, (credo equidem), vivos ducent de marmore vultus. once put into context with the rest of the sentences around it, it translates a bit like this: others, i believe truly, shall with softer mould beat out the breathing bronze, coax from the marble features to the life. Latin poetry can be really clause filled so really getting the whole verse is the only way to do an accurate translation

  34. chesterprescott76

    I was looking for a translation for amo,amas,amat because its part of a verbal exchange in the film “Naked” by Mike Liegh. The full thing goes like this: Louise: “Why didn’t ya let me know you were coming I’d have met you off the train.” Johnny: “I didn’t come on a train” Louise: “On the bus then.” Johnny: “I didn’t come on a bus either” Louise: “How did ya get here then?” Johnny: “well basically, there was this little dot right…the dot went bang, the bang expanded, energy formed into matter, matter cooled, matter lived, the ameoba to fish, fish to fowl, fowl to froggy, froggy to mammal, mammal to monkey, monkey to man. Amo amas amat, quid pro qou, momento mori, ad infinitum, sprinkle on some of the grated cheese and leave under the grail until doomsday.” It’s a dark disturbing film that i’ve enjoyed for many years. there are comic aspects to it so its not entirely depressing. i recommend this film to anyone interested in seeing characters of twisted morality caught in a labrynth of urban hell and unhappy relationships. what’s best about it is that it’s directed in a method i would call “rehearsed improvisation”. sounds like an oxymoron. is one in fact. but what is rehearsed is not dialogue. the characters are explored diligently. I don’t know much about latin. It used to be required in some schools here apparently as well as in Britain, moreso there. i figured amo amas amat was a phrase having to do with love. not a phrase at all, just three conjugations of the word that means “to love”.

  35. Eddie Izzard’s routine led me here:

    I’ve done a bit of Latin in me time, but I can control it, you know. I never let it get out of hand, I just… have a dealer and… he sells me Latin transcripts, and you know, “Okay…” (mimes effects of Latin) so that late at night you just feel like translating Latin for a bit, upstairs, smoking in the coats’ room. I don’t know what I’m talking about now. No, I did, I did Latin, I learnt “Amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant!,” and it comes in handy. Yes! Sometimes you’re queuing at a petrol station at 3:00A.M. in the morning, and there’s a line of murderers behind you, and you turn around and go, “Amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant!” and they go, “F**k! He knows Latin! (mimes running away) He knows a dead language! Run! Head for the hills! Head for Azerbaijan! Run down the forecourt”

    • Hi Chris, Thanks for your memo. Maybe knowing a smidgeon of Latin may save my life one day. I only wish today I had pursued my Latin studies more. We had the worst and meanest of teachers. Mr. Nicholas, or NIKKI as we called him, But that was Seventy years ago.

      Sincerely, John Marshall

  36. That’s cool Amica, where’s lesson 2? Thank you. 🙂

  37. You’re also probably getting traffic from Sherlock season four viewers like myself.

  38. Krystina Valladares

    Sherlock says it in the new episode. That’s why people are searching it

  1. Pingback: Amo, Amas, Amat… « Only Sometimes Clever

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