Usefulness of Search Results
Combining the completeness and the ease of use discussed above, Words by Whitaker’s Online Latin Dictionary offers students of Latin useful results for word searches. For example, if you look up “amatus sint," the third-person plural pluperfect passive subjunctive mood form of the verb "amo," Words by Whitaker returns the following:
amat.us VPAR 1 1 NOM S M PERF PASSIVE PPL
amo, amare, amavi, amatus V (1st) [XXXAO]
love, like; fall in love with; be fond of; have a tendency to;
amat.us ADJ 1 1 NOM S M POS
amatus, amata, amatum ADJ [XXXEO] uncommon
s.int V 5 1 PRES ACTIVE SUB 3 P
sum, esse, fui, futurus V [XXXAX]
be; exist; (also used to form verb perfect passive tenses) with NOM PERF PPL
Notice that the first line tells us that “amatus" is a nominative singular masculine perfect passive participle. The second line tells us the principal parts of “amo," that the word is a verb, and that it belongs to the first conjugation. Several other attributes of the verb are also given in the next few lines including the definition of the word and some other forms the verb can take.
The next set of information tells us that “sint" is the third-person plural present active voice subjective form of the word “sum." Possible definitions of the word are also given. Notice, however, that the verb phrase “amatus sint" is not directly translated by the dictionary. Words by Whitaker breaks the verb phrase down into its component words and treats them separately.
This is one limitation of the dictionary and is likely a limitation of all dictionaries. Granted the dictionary is not an online Latin to English translator. However, beginning Latin students, the group of Latin students for whom the dictionary was created, may find that Words by Whitaker is comprehensive but a bit too technical. However, simpler verb constructions such as those outside of the perfect system are still easy for beginning Latin students.