Verbs have many conjugations, including in most languages:
A present tense, a preterite, an imperfect, a pluperfect, a future tense and a future perfect in the indicative mood, for statements of fact.
Present and preterite subjunctive tenses, for hypothetical or uncertain conditions. Several languages (for example, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish) have also imperfect and pluperfect subjunctives, although it is not unusual to have just one subjunctive equivalent for preterit and imperfect (e.g. no unique subjunctive equivalent in Italian of the so-called passato remoto). Portuguese and Spanish also have future and future perfect subjunctives, which have no equivalent in Latin.
An imperative mood, for direct commands.
Three non-finite forms: infinitive, gerund, and past participle.
Distinct active and passive voices, as well as an impersonal passive voice.
Note that, although these categories are largely inherited from Classical Latin, many of the forms are either newly constructed or inherited from different categories (e.g. the Romance imperfect subjunctive most commonly is derived from the Latin pluperfect subjunctive, while the Romance pluperfect subjunctive is derived from a new present perfect tense with the auxiliary verb placed in the imperfect subjunctive).
Several tenses and aspects, especially of the indicative mood, have been preserved with little change in most languages, as shown in the following table for the Latin verb dcere (to say), and its descendants.
1The spelling is conservative. Note the pronunciations: dire /di/, dit /di/, disait /diz/, dise /diz/, dis /di/.
2Until the eighteenth century.
3With the disused variant dize.
5In modern times, scheva.
6Derived from the unrelated Latin verb narrre "to tell (a story)". Note also the pronunciations: narrer /narrere/, narat /narada/, at naradu /a nnaradu/, naraiat /naraiada/, nabat /nabata/, nerzat /nertsada/, niet /niete/, nara /nara/.
7Sicilian now uses imperfect subjunctive dicissi in place of present subjunctive.
The main tense and mood distinctions that were made in classical Latin are generally still present in the modern Romance languages, though many are now expressed through compound rather than simple verbs. The passive voice, which was mostly synthetic in classical Latin, has been completely replaced with compound forms.
Owing to sound changes which made it homophonous with the preterite, the Latin future indicative tense was dropped, and replaced with a periphrasis of the form infinitive + present tense of habre (to have). Eventually, this structure was reanalysed as a new future tense.
In a similar process, an entirely new conditional form was created.
While the synthetic passive voice of classical Latin was abandoned in favour of periphrastic constructions, most of the active voice remained in use. However, several tenses have changed meaning, especially subjunctives. For example:
The Latin pluperfect indicative became a conditional in Sicilian, and an imperfect subjunctive in Spanish.
The Latin pluperfect subjunctive developed into an imperfect subjunctive in all languages except Romansh, where it became a conditional, and Romanian, where it became a pluperfect indicative.
The Latin preterite subjunctive, together with the future perfect indicative, became a future subjunctive in Old Spanish, Portuguese, and Galician.
The Latin imperfect subjunctive became a personal infinitive in Portuguese and Galician.
Many Romance languages have two verbs "to be". One is derived from Vulgar Latin *essere < Latin esse "to be" with an admixture of forms derived from sedre "to sit", and is used mostly for essential attributes; the other is derived from stre "to stand", and mostly used for temporary states. This development is most notable in Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan. In French, Italian and Romanian, the derivative of stre largely preserved an earlier meaning of "to stand/to stay", although in modern Italian, stare is used in a few constructions where English would use "to be", as in sto bene "I am well". In Old French, the derivatives of *essere and stre were estre and ester, respectively. In modern French, estre persists as tre "to be" while ester has been lost as a separate verb; but the former imperfect of ester is used as the modern imperfect of tre (e.g. il tait "he was"), replacing the irregular forms derived from Latin (e.g. ere(t), iere(t) < erat). In Italian, the two verbs share the same past participle, stato. sedre persists most notably in the future of *essere (e.g. Spanish/Portuguese/French/etc. ser-, Italian sar-), although in Old French the future is a direct derivation from Latin, e.g. (i)ert "he will be" < erit. See Romance copula for further information.
For a more detailed illustration of how the verbs have changed with respect to classical Latin, see Romance verbs.
During the Renaissance, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and a few other Romance languages developed a progressive aspect which did not exist in Latin. In French, progressive constructions remain very limited, the imperfect generally being preferred, as in Latin.
Many Romance languages now have a verbal construction analogous to the present perfect of English. In some, it has taken the place of the old preterite (at least in the vernacular); in others, the two coexist with somewhat different meanings (cf. English I did vs. I have done). A few examples:
preterite only: Galician, Asturian, Sicilian, Leonese, Portuguese, some dialects of Spanish;
preterite and present perfect: Catalan, Occitan, standard Spanish;
present perfect predominant, preterite now literary: French, Romanian, several dialects of Italian, some dialects of Spanish;
present perfect only: Romansh
Note that in Catalan, the synthetic preterite is predominantly a literary tense, except in Valencian; but an analytic preterite (formed using an auxiliary vad, which in other languages signals the future) persists in speech, with the same meaning. In Portuguese, a morphological present perfect does exist but has a different meaning (closer to "I have been doing").
The following are common features of the Romance languages (inherited from Vulgar Latin) that are different from Classical Latin:
Adjectives generally follow the noun they modify.
The normal clause structure is SVO, rather than SOV, and is much less flexible than in Latin.
Many Latin constructions involving nominalized verbal forms (e.g. the use of accusative plus infinitive in indirect discourse and the use of the ablative absolute) were dropped in favor of constructions with subordinate clause. Exceptions can be found in Italian, for example, Latin tempore permittente > Italian tempo permettendo; L. hoc facto > I. ci fatto.