"Second conjugation verbs mainly are descended from the second conjugation in Latin. The -ire ending of Latin infinitives becomes -ir"
I believe the -ire (-īre) infinitive suffix is characteristic of Latin fourth conjugation verbs; the corresponding infinitive suffix of Latin second conjugation verbs is -ēre.
A note on etymologyEdit
The table below shows pairs of verbs. One of each pair is Modern French and the other Classical Latin. In each pair, the Classical Latin verb is presumably the etymological ancestor of the Modern French verb. (Note the long vowels: ā, ē, and ī in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th conjugation (respectively) infinitive suffixes. The 3rd conjugation infinitive suffix has short vowels: faciō, facere (3rd conjugation) versus habeō, habēre (2nd conjugation).)
|Modern French Verb||Classical Latin Verb|
|Nominal Form/Infinitive||(Nominal Form) Infinitive Conjugation: Meaning|
|aimer||(amō) amāre 1st: love, like|
|avoir||(habeō) habēre 2nd: have|
|devoir||(dēbeō) dēbēre 2nd: owe, ought, should, must|
|voir||(videō) vidēre 2nd: see|
|faire||(faciō) facere 3rd: make, do|
|mettre||(mittō) mittere 3rd: send|
|venir||(veniō) venīre 4th: come|
Grosbach 22:01, 2 September 2011 (UTC)