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Supine

From Academic Kids

Supine as an adjective generally refers to any upward-facing position. A body that is in supine position is lying face up, as opposed to prone, which means lying face down. When referring to a hand position, supinated means palm upwards. Palm downwards is pronated.

In grammar, a supine is a form of verbal noun used in some languages.

Supines are formed in English by the use of the present participle (-ing ending); thus, 'to swim' becomes 'swimming' in the sense of "Swimming is my favorite sport." A grammatical rule of thumb: if 'the act of...' can be placed before a verb, it is supine.

A Latin supine ends in -um (former supine) or in -u (latter supine). It is used much in the same way that English infinitives are used. The sentence "I call forth the Gladiators to fight" in Latin becomes "Gladiatores voco pugnatum" (the use of the infinitve in a construction like "Gladiatores voco pugnare" is reserved for poetry). Certain idiomatic expressions also include the supine, such as mirabile dictu "wonderful to relate". The form can only be used in the accusative and ablative.

In Slovene, a supine is used after verbs of movement, and is identical to the infinitive except in that it does not include the last letter (-i). See Slovene grammar.

In Sanskrit the supine or verbal noun of every verb (often misnamed "infinitive", though it is not such) is formed by adding -tum to the verb stem, such as kartum "doing" from the verb karomi. It is cognate with the Latin supine.

See also: gerund

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