Latin/Lesson 2-Genitive and Dative

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Latin
Intro: 12
Chapter 1 123456
Chapter 2 12345678
Chapter 3 12345678
Chapter 4 12345678910
Chapter 5 123456789

Noun Tables[edit]

1st declension 2nd declension
-a -us/er -um (neuter)
SINGULAR PLURAL SINGULAR PLURAL SINGULAR PLURAL
nominative puell-a puell-ae serv-us/puer serv bell-um bell-a
genitive puell-ae puell-ārum serv serv-ōrum bell bell-ōrum
accusative puell-am puell-ās serv-um serv-ōs bell-um bell-a
dative puell-ae puell-īs serv serv-īs bell bell-īs

The Genitive[edit]

The genitive case is a descriptive case. The genitive case describes the following features of the described noun:

  • Possession e.g. The dog of Marcus or Marcus's dog (canis Marcī)
  • Origin e.g. Marcus of Rome (Marcus Romae)
  • Relation e.g. A thing of beauty (rēs pulchrae)
  • Quantity e.g. A gallon of water
  • Quality e.g. Day of wrath (diēs irae)

Quite simply, a word in the genitive case is translated with the preposition "of". Note that Latin does not have a separate form for the possessive genitive (Marcus's dog vs The dog of Marcus), as English does. A word in the genitive case showing possession can be translated either way.

Latin Examples[edit]

Latin English
canis puerī malī est bonus The dog of the bad boy is good
nominative noun genitive verb nominative adj. nominative noun genitive verb nominative adj.
Latin English
canis puerōrum malōrum est bonus The dog of the bad boys is good
nominative noun genitive (plural) verb nominative adj. nominative noun genitive verb nominative adj.

Exercise 1[edit]

Indicate the word in the genitive:

  1. Flavia's dog is good.
  2. The man has his mother's good taste.
  3. Māter Flāviae est domina.
  4. The sword of justice is swift.

Agreeing with the Adjectives[edit]

When adjectives are used to describe nouns in the genitive case, they must have the same case, number, and gender as the noun to which it refers.

Example[edit]

A road of beautiful Rome → Via Romae pulchrae.
If we look at the bare necessities, namely nouns, in this phrase, then we get "road of Rome," which is translated as "via Romae." Now, let's look at the adjective: beautiful (pulchra). Its antecedent (the noun it modifies) is Rome. Since Rome is in the genitive case, pulchra also needs to be in the genitive case. Both are already feminine, so we don't need to change that.
To make pulchra in the genitive singular case, we replace the final "-a" with a "-ae," and we get pulchrae.

It's that simple.

The Dative[edit]

The dative case, also known as the indirect object case indicates:

  • For whom, e.g., I made this car for him.
  • To whom, e.g., I gave this car to him.

Latin does not distinguish between "to" or "for", though this is sometimes the case in English:

  • I made this car for him. ↔ I made him this car.
  • I gave this car to him. ↔ I gave him this car.

Example 1[edit]

He made the desk for his friend
nominative noun verb accusative dative prep. dative

'For' is the preposition indicating a dative. 'For' can be used in some other constructs. To determine whether it is dative, analyse the meaning of the sentence (see Example 3). Practice will enable you to quickly spot the case of a noun in the sentence without much effort.

Example 2[edit]

He gave the book to John; He gave to John the book; or He gave John the book.

This demonstrates how English can use prepositions to change word order and even 'presume' a certain preposition exists that has been left out, giving a dative construct.

Latin Examples[edit]

Latin English
Donō amīcō meō[1] donum. I gave my friend a gift.
verb dative noun/adj. pair accusative verb dative noun/adj. pair accusative
Latin English
Feret mihi[2] stylum. He brought me a pen.
verb dative pronoun accusative verb dative pronoun accusative
  1. Note how the word "meus" become "meo" in order to agree with "amico".
  2. Note that the pronouns have a dative case as well, which can be reviewed in the chapter on pronouns.

Exercise 2: Translate into English[edit]

Latin English
dō, dāre to give
reddō, reddĕre to give back
liber, librī (m.) book
amīcus, -ī (m.) friend
scrībō, -ĕre to write
epistula, -ae (f.) letter, message
Imperator, Imperatoris (m.) Emperor
placeo, -ēre (+dat.) to please, be pleasing to

Note that placeo requires the dative case, as opposed to the accusative case. Verbs such as this are denoted with (+dat.) or similar abbreviations.

EXERCISE • Lesson 2-Genitive and Dative • Questions
  1. Do librum amico.
  2. Amicus meum librum legit et mihi librum reddit.
  3. Scribo epistulas Imperatori.
  4. Meae epistulae Imperatori placent.
SOLUTION • Latin/Lesson 2-Genitive and Dative • Questions
  1. I give the book to a friend
  2. The friend read my book and returned the book to me.
  3. I am writing letters to the Emperor.
  4. My letters are pleasing to the Emperor.

Roman Numerals[edit]

The Romans did not use the Hindu-Arabic numerals we use today. They used their own symbols and own numeric system. We still use Roman Numerals today.

Roman Numeral Latin Number English Number Hindu-Arabic Numeral Spanish Number French Number Italian Number Portuguese Number
I ūnus -a -um one 1 uno un uno um
II duo -ae two 2 dos deux due dois
III trēs, tria three 3 tres trois tre três
IV quattor four 4 cuatro quatre quattro quatro
V quinque five 5 cinco cinq cinque cinco
VI sēx six 6 seis six sei seis
VII septem seven 7 siete sept sette sete
VIII octō eight 8 ocho huit otto oito
IX novem nine 9 nueve neuf nove nove
X decem ten 10 diez dix dieci dez
XV quindecim fifteen 15 quince quinze quindici quinze
XX viginti twenty 20 veinte vingt venti vinte
XXV viginti quinque twenty-five 25 veinticinco vingt-cinq venticinque vinte e cinco
L quinquaginta fifty 50 cincuenta cinquante cinquanta cinqüenta
C centum one hundred 100 cien cent cento cem
D quingentī, -ae, -a five hundred 500 quinientos cinq cents cinquecento quinhentos
M mille one thousand 1000 mil mille mille mil

Note the declensions of the first three numbers. Nullus is the Latin equivalent of zero, for example: nullam puellam in agro video means I see no girl in the field.

Nominative Accusative Genitive Dative Ablative
nullus nullum nullius nulli nullo
nulla nullam nullius nulli nulla
nullum nullum nullius nulli nullo
unus unum unius uni uno
una unam unius uni una
unum unum unius uni uno
duo duos duorum duobus duobus
duae duas duarum duabus duabus
duo duo duorum duobus duobus
tres tres trium tribus tribus
tres tres trium tribus tribus
tria tria trium tribus tribus

Exercise 3[edit]

Write the word form of the numbers in the following sentences in the correct case.

  1. III homines me salutant
  2. magistro II libros reddo
  3. D senatoribus multa (many things) dico
  4. III horas diligenter laboro