Latin/Print Version

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A Progressive Latin Grammar and Exercises

Introduction to the origins and structure of Latin:


How to study a language on the Internet and in your head

How do you think about languages as you study them? Typically, you will consider every punctuation mark and letter, all the verbs and nouns, adverbs and adjectives, and study them in order to make connections. Ideally, you will have a teacher to point you in the right direction, and help you make those connections. But when you have no teacher, these connections are left for you to discover. They may be clear or hidden, but either way you will have to make them yourself. As you explore this Wikibook, it will require the skill of critical thinking.

You can never go wrong studying a language if you remember that exposing yourself to a language, even if you stumble in practice, is itself learning it. Looking things up too much can sometimes impede progress. Stretch your memory, read slowly, and re-read. As you will soon discover, you are about to study a language that is rich and full of meaning, an ancestor of many modern languages spoken around the world, including romance languages, like Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian, and even English.

So do not assume that...

...Latin is like any other language. Do not assume ancient Roman culture is entirely unlike other cultures, however. The Romans grappled with issues that are universally dealt with.

We, the authors, endorse memorization, and after that, immersion. You must develop Latin muscles, and a willingness to write or type things out, or drill using software, or with a friend. Note the patterns after you have memorized the forms, not before. Allow yourself to be mesmerized by them. Similarly, seek out explanation only after you have memorized forms. Memorize forms, then make sentences, then use your knowledge to speak the language.

See also


Special consideration: How to use a Wikibook when progress may mean inaccuracy

The current rules for dealing with inaccuracy in this book is to simply delete what you don't understand and to note your level of schooling and your country of origin and that you were confused in the summary box. Try to use the "revert?" keyword.

In other words, do not tolerate inaccuracy!


Grammatical Introduction to Latin

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

What is Latin?

Parts of this introduction were taken from The Latin Language on the Wikipedia.

Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around the city of Rome called Latium. It gained great importance as the formal language of the Roman Empire.

All Romance languages descend from a Latin parent, and many words in English and other languages today are based on Latin roots. Moreover, Latin was a lingua franca, the learned language for scientific and political affairs in Europe, for more than one and a half thousand years, being eventually replaced by French in the 18th century and English by the middle of the 20th. Latin remains the formal language of the Roman Catholic Church to this day, and as such is the official national language of the Vatican.

Romance languages are not derived from Classical Latin, the language spoken by Caesar and Cicero, but rather from Vulgar Latin, the language spoken by the common people, or vulgus, of Rome. Classical Latin and Vulgar Latin (Romance) differ (for example) in that Romance had distinctive stress whereas Classical had distinctive length of vowels. In Italian and Sardo logudorese, there is distinctive length of consonants and stress, in Spanish only distinctive stress, and in French even stress is no longer distinctive.

Another major distinction between Classical and Romance is that modern Romance languages, excluding Romanian, have lost their case endings (suffixes at the end of the word used in place of prepositions) in most words (some pronouns being exceptions). Romanian is still equipped with several cases (though some, notably the ablative, are no longer represented).

It is also important to note that Latin is, for the most part, an inflected language — meaning that the endings change to show how the word is being used in the sentence.

Introduction to the Latin Language

Simple and Compound Words

In Latin, words are either:

  • simple (words that consist of only one part). For example:
Latin English
eo I go
fero I carry
do I give
  • compound (words that consist of more than one part, for example, a root word combined with a prefix). For example:
Latin English
abeo I go away
transfero I carry across
reddo I give back

Word Parts

Inflected words (i.e., words having ending- or spelling-changes according to their grammatical functions in the sentence) have a stem and a root.

The Stem

The stem is the part of the word to which various suffixes are added. The final suffix determines either the role of the word in the sentence (for example, when a Roman slave wished to address his dominus (master), he used the vocative form domine -- equivalent to "O master" in English) or the person involved in the action (for example, "I dominate" may be expressed as "domin-or", and "they dominate" as "domin-antur"). In these cases, domin- is the stem and -us, -e, -or and -antur are suffixes. The addition of such suffixes is called inflection. This is discussed further in the Summary.

The Root

The root is the part of the word that carries the essential meaning. For example the stem of agito (I drive onward) is agit-, whose root is ag (do, drive), which is in common to words of similar meaning: ago (I do, drive), agmen (that which is driven, such as a flock), etc. Notice the essential difference between a root and a stem. To the root "ag" has been added a suffix "(i)to-" which denotes frequency of action (so "agit-" means to do or drive more than once, hence "agit-o", I agitate, I keep (something) moving, I urge, I impel).

In contrast, English uses word order more than inflection to determine the function of a word within a sentence. English also uses words like pronouns (I, she, etc.) and prepositions (to, at, etc.) where Latin generally prefers inflexions. Thus "dom-i" (noun -- "at home"), "ag-unt" (verb -- "they do/drive").

Primitives

Primitives occur when both the stem and the root are the same. For example, in the word agere (to do, drive) both the stem and the root are the same: "ag-".

Derivatives

Derivatives occur when the root or stem is modified. For example, the stem flamm- from the noun flamma has the root "flag" ("blaze"), "nosco" (I know) from the verb "noscere" has the root "gno-" ("know").

Suffixes

Latin attaches suffixes ("endings") to stems to turn them into words (most stems and roots cannot be used in sentences without an ending). This inflection is essential to forming Latin sentences. The various suffixes and their translations will be learned in the later lessons.

Types of Words used in Latin

Nouns

A noun (Latin: nomen) is "something perceived or conceived by the mind."

There are two kinds of nouns: Substantives and Pronouns.

1. Substantive (nomen substantivum) is a name simply denoting something perceived or conceived: psittacus - the parrot, nix - the snow, virtus - virtue.

2. Pronoun (pronomen) is a word used in place of a substantivum, usually when the substantivum is already known: ea - she, ille - that man

Nouns have changing endings on the stem (known as declension) and three incidents: number, gender and case. Number concerns whether the thing referred to is singular or plural (and the ending shows this); gender classifies a substantive as masculine, feminine or neuter (this determines how the endings of adjectives and pronouns behave) and case (where the ending must show how the noun fits in to the sentence). Adjectives and Pronouns must agree in all incidents when they refer to a substantive.

Verbs

Verbs (verba) express an action or a state of being, e.g., ago (I do), dixit (he said), venis (you come). "Conjugation" is the term for adding inflections to verb stems to indicate person (first, second or third), number (singular or plural), tense (present, future, imperfect, perfect, pluperfect or future perfect), voice (active or passive), and mood (indicative, subjunctive or imperative).

A verb can be either finite or infinite:

1. Finite verbs (verba finita) are inflected and have a subject, e.g., I run, you run, he runs, they drive, the computer is turned on.

2. The infinite verbs (verba infinita) are not inflected and have no subject, e.g. to run, to drive, to turn on, to have drawn. Participles, which are inflected as substantives rather than as verbs, may also be considered infinite, e.g., the running boy.

Modifiers

1. Adjectives (adiectiva) are used to describe nouns. They indicate a quality perceived or conceived as inherent in, or attributed to, something denoted. E.g., vir magnus (the great man), puella pulchra (the fair girl)

2. Adverbs (adverbia) are similar to adjectives, except that they are used to qualify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs, rather than nouns. In practice, they restrict the meaning of the verb or adjective by specifying how or how much. E.g., curro celeriter (I run quickly), pugnat fortiter (he fights bravely), "vere jucundus est" (he's really nice"), "incredibile callida est" (she's incredibly clever).

Other

Particles are uninflected words that provide extra meaning.

1. Prepositions (praepositiones) are little words which tell you how one thing (noun) is behaving in relation to another thing ("the duck was near the pond", "she went towards the wood"). In Latin, the noun that follows a preposition takes a particular ending (called a "case"), depending on the nature of the relationship, or on the nature of the preposition itself. E.g., ad (by), in (in), sub (under). What all this means is that a preposition is a sort of adverb, telling you how something is done. For example, "you go" is a simple statement, but "you go in" suggests that you don't just "go", you go so as to enter something, and so you need a noun for the "something". In English, we might say "you go into the house". In Latin, this would be: "in domum inis". Notice the form "in domum", which means "into" the house -- you're going into it, you're not yet exactly inside it (the ending -um of "domum" is called "accusative"). When you are inside the house, what you do is "in" the house, which is "in domo" (the ending -o of "domo" is called "ablative").

2. Conjunctions (coniunctiones) join together clauses and sentences. E.g., et (and), atque (as well as), sed (but).

3. Interjections (interiectiones) are exclamations used to express feeling or to gain attention. E.g., o! (oh!) eheu! (alas!) ecce! (behold!)

Articles

Latin has NO articles (words for 'the' and 'a'). When translating Latin into English, insert a 'the' or 'a' when appropriate.

Summary

Parts of Speech
Inflected Uninflected
Substantives: things perceived or conceived Adverbs: describe adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs
Adjectives: indicate a quality perceived or conceived as inherent of something in the substantive Prepositions: help nouns define their relations to other nouns
Pronouns: nouns used in place of substantives and adjectives Conjunctions: Join clauses and sentences
Verbs: mark the beginning of an independent clause. The verb in Latin is inflected so that we know the subject ("I learn"), and its tense (to what general or specific time the clause relates to). We call the inflection of a verb conjugation Interjection: exclamation

Exercises

1. What is the shared root in the following English words?

  • actor, reaction, radioactive
  • transfer, fertile, interference

2. In the following English words, what is the stem and what is the ending?

  • knights
  • riding
  • horses
  • jumped

3. What parts of speech are each of the English words in (2), as well as the following:

  • with
  • and
  • because
  • hooray
  • silently
  • never

4. Answer the following questions about the Latin language:

  • In what area of Italy was Latin originally spoken?
  • Name the two varieties of Latin that existed in antiquity.
  • What major organization still uses Latin today?


Basic Grammar

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

Pronunciation

Latin pronunciation has varied somewhat over the course of its long history, and there are some differences between Classical Latin, as spoken in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire, and Medieval or Ecclesiastical Latin, as spoken in the Middle ages and in the Catholic Church. This text focuses on the classical pronunciation.

a /a/, about, between ah and uh, ad is pronounced almost like "odd"
e /ɛ/, get or bed
i /ɪ/, hit, pin, in
i (Before vowel and not accented) /j/, Y as in yes
j Sometimes used in place of the letter I when making a /j/ sound, as above
o /ɔ/, on, cot
u /ʊ/, put, foot
ā /aː/, father
ē sounds like saying the letter "A", /eː/, hay
ī sounds like saying the letter "E", /iː/, eat
ō sounds like saying the letter "O", /oː/, clover
ae (Diphthong) sounds like saying the letter "I", /aɪ/, aisle
au (Diphthong) /aʊ/, brown, how
oe (Diphthong) /ɔɪ/, oil, boy
ou (Diphthong) oo
ui (Diphthong) we
bs (At the end of word) the B sounds a P
bt (At the end of a word) the B sounds a P
ch /kʰ/, pronounced separately as in archaic, not like in church
gn /ŋn/ hangnail, sing now
ph up hill, never sounds an F in philosophy
th Pronounced separately as in pot hole, never like this or theater
c /k/, always hard as in cat
g /g/, always hard as in get, never soft like adage
r Rolled like in the Spanish and Italian languages
s Always voiceless as in see, never voiced as in ease
v /w/, equivalent to an English W, never sounding an English V (sounds U as a consonant), some texts will write the "v" as a "u" when it serves as a vowel
x Equivalent to an English Ks as in box, never like exert
(y) Rarely exists in Latin except in words borrowed from Greek
(z) Rarely exists in Latin except in words borrowed from Greek

Note that Latin, as written by the Romans, did not include macrons (the longmarks over long vowels) or the letters J and U. Macrons are used today as pronunciation guides and do not necessarily need to be written. The sound value of the letter U was filled by the letter V, which sounded either /w/ or /ʊ/ depending on context. Modern texts often preserve the V when it is making a /w/ sound and change it to a U when making a /ʊ/ sound. The letter J is sometimes used in modern times (this Wikibook not included) when the letter I is being used in diphthongs.

Declension Tables

The following tables will be both referenced and explained in all of the following sections, and hence are placed here.

Singular Nouns
Declension (Gender) 1st (F) 2nd (M/N) 3rd (M/F/N) 4th (M/N) 5th (F)
Nominative
Subject
puella servus rēx gradus rēs
Genitive
Possessive
puellae servī rēgis gradūs rēī
Dative
Indirect Object
puellae servō rēgī grad rēī
Accusative
Object
puellam servum rēgem gradum rēm
Ablative
Modifies or Limits Verb
puellā servō rēge gradū rē
Vocative
Direct Address
puella serve rēx gradus rēs

Note that nouns in the 3rd declension nominative can have any ending, hence why none is given in bold.

Plural Nouns
Declension (Gender) 1st (F) 2nd (M/N) 3rd (M/F/N) 4th (M/N) 5th (F)
Nominative puellae servī rēgēs cornūs rēs

Grammar Part 1: Nouns and Their Role in Sentences

Nouns in Latin are inflected, which means that endings (also known as suffixes or suffices) are appended to the end of the stem to denote these things:

  1. Number (whether the noun is singular or plural)
  2. Case of the noun (role of the noun in the sentence)
  3. Gender (the gender of the word - one of masculine, feminine, or neuter)

Most nouns in English can be modified to indicate number (cat versus cats), and many pronouns can be modified to indicate case (who versus whose) or gender (he versus she, his versus hers). Case is especially important in Latin as meaning cannot be determined by word order as it can be in English, but purely by word endings, or "inflection". Indeed, the words in a Latin sentence can appear in almost any order with little change in meaning. Two sentences with the word orders "Sam ate the orange" and "The orange ate Sam" could potentially mean the same thing in Latin, though the spellings of "orange" and "Sam" would have to change slightly to denote which was the subject (the one eating) and which was the object (the one being eaten).

It is important to note here that although the genders of many words make sense (for example, "puella", meaning a girl, is feminine) many are simply assigned and hold no real meaning. Luckily, as you will find, the gender can often be determined by the spelling of the word (words ending in "us" are almost always masculine, and words ending in "a" are almost always feminine). For many words, however, you will simply have to memorize their gender.

Adjectives themselves must match the number, case, and gender of the noun (be it a substantive or a pronoun) they modify. If a noun is nominative singular feminine (see case table below), then the adjective describing it must also be nominative singular feminine. If the noun is accusative plural masculine, then the adjective must be accusative plural masculine. This will be expanded on in the Adjectives section below. The advantage of this system is that adjectives do not need to be adjacent to their respective nouns, as one would be able to tell which noun they modify by which noun they appear to agree with.

Declension

All substantives are part of one of 5 categories, called declensions. Each declension has a set of standard suffixes that indicate case and number. Usually gender is indicated by the suffix, although there are many exceptions. Therefore, you must memorize the gender of every substantive you learn.

By familiarizing yourself with the above tables, you could deduce that originally the suffix indicating number, case, and gender was the same for every noun. However, as the language developed, nouns with a common stem formed declensions and sounds changed. Similar processes happen continually over time, even today.

The above tables allow you to familiarize yourself with the existence of each declension, though by no means are you expected to memorize it now. Nonetheless, you will have to memorize it as you are formally introduced to individual cases and declensions in future lessons. Because of its introductory purpose, it is considerably simplified and incomplete, and therefore should not be used as a reference in the future.

Adjectives are also classed into declensions:

  1. 1st/2nd declension adjectives...
    1. ...Use 1st declension suffixes from the substantive declension table when describing feminine nouns.
    2. ...Use 2nd declension masculine suffixes from the above table when describing masculine nouns.
    3. ...Use 2nd declension neuter suffixes (not found in the above table) when describing neuter nouns.
  2. 3rd declension adjectives behave as 'i' stem substantives unless specified. Masculine and Feminine suffixes (which are the same) will be used if describing masculine and feminine nouns, and Neuter suffixes will be used when describing neuter nouns.

Pronouns are not part of any declension, as they are all irregular, and simply have to be memorized.

Case

Cases (Latin: casus) determine the role of the noun in the sentence in relation to other parts of the sentence.

There are six cases, Nominative, Vocative, Accusative, Genitive, Dative and Ablative. Vocative (Lesson 3) can be considered a sort of miniature case, generally not being accepted as a true one. Additionally, some nouns have a locative case, which will be covered later. As nominative and accusative are the most basic, these will be taught first (the rest will be covered in later lessons).

The Use of the Cases
(all words in bold are in the case specified in the first column)
Case Role in sentence Example (Latin) Example (English)
Nominative Subject (performs the verb) Vir lupum vult. The man wants a wolf.
Genitive Description and possession Lupus virī est. It is the man's wolf/It is the wolf of the man.
Dative Indirect object (receives the direct object) Lupō dedit vir. The man gave to the wolf.
Accusative Direct object (receives the action of the verb) Vir lupum videt. The man sees the wolf.
Ablative Various (modify or limit nouns by ideas of where, when, how, etc.) Ā quō datum? Ā virō. By whom given? By a man.
Vocative Direct address (speaking to somebody directly) Salvē, Brute! Hello, Brutus!

Gender

All substantives, including inanimate objects, have a particular gender (genera), which is either masculine, feminine, or neuter.

For example, Vir, "a man," is masculine. Marītus, "a husband," is also masculine. Puella, "a girl," is feminine. Māter, "a mother," is feminine. Even inanimate objects are assigned gender, including all the moons, stars, trees, tools, and so forth. Logic will give you little help in determining what the genders of inanimate objects are, and with many nouns memorization is required. Luckily, for many nouns, the spelling of the word indicates the gender.

Certain rules may be utilized to determine the gender of an inanimate substantive. Declension is a good indication of gender, especially for 1st and 2nd declension substantives. 1st declension substantives (substantives with an -a suffix) are usually feminine and second declension nouns (substantives with an -us suffix) are usually masculine or neuter. There are a few exceptions, and they will have to be learned. 3rd declension nouns can be either masculine, feminine or neuter (thus the gender will often have to be memorized). 4th declension nouns are usually masculine, sometimes neuter while 5th declension nouns are usually feminine.

1st/2nd declension adjectives alternate the set of endings depending on the gender of noun it describes (see above: Agreement of the Gender of Nouns and the Adjective). If the adjective describes a feminine noun, the adjective must use 1st declension endings, if the adjective describes a masculine noun, the adjective must use 2nd declension masculine endings, if the adjective describes a neuter noun the adjective must use 2nd declension neuter endings.

3rd declension adjectives use the same set of endings for masculine and feminine nouns. However, a slightly different set of endings are used when describing neuter nouns.

Adjectives

As stated above, adjectives must match the gender, number, and case of the noun (be the noun a substantive, or a pronoun) they modify. However, there are many occasions where logic cannot be used to determine the gender of inanimate objects, as genders are generally arbitrary when the noun has no literal gender. Furthermore, the declension of the noun, often determined by the spelling, can in turn be used to determine the gender, especially for the 1st and 2nd. However, this is never the case for the third declension, as the declension itself is not primarily assigned to any gender and the spelling of the nominative ("default") stem is random, leaving you with no hints.

A noun and its adjective must also be in the same case. Otherwise, it is impossible to tell which nouns pair up to their respective adjectives in a sentence, as the words in a Latin sentence can appear in any order. See the examples below.

Notice how "magna" changes to "magnae" to agree with the pluralized "puellae".
Latin English
Puella (nominative sing., fem.) Girl
Puella magna The big girl
Puellae (nominative pl., fem.) Girls
Puellae magnae The big girls
Notice how "magna" becomes "magnus" to agree with the masculine word "servus". Also notice that "magnus" changes to "magnum" to agree with the noun it's describing in case, though do not concern yourself with the difference between cases for the time being.
Latin English
Servus (nominative sing, mas.) Slave
Servus magnus The big slave
Servum (accusative sing, mas.) Slave
Servum magnum The big slave
Notice that "magna" is feminine because "arbor" is feminine, despite that it does not end in "a" like "puella". The word "arbor" is one of the situations where you will simply have to memorize the gender.
Latin English
Arbor (nominative sing, fem.) Tree
Arbor magna The big tree

Recapitulation

  • Declensions are used to categorize nouns in groups. There are 5 declensions total.
  • Each of the five declensions has a distinct set of endings which are appended to nouns of that declension.
  • The endings indicate the case and number when appended to the stem of a noun.
  • A substantive may use only the endings of the declension of which it is a part.
  • Each substantive has a predefined gender which almost never changes and is separate from the suffix.
  • Adjectives are a part of the 1st/2nd declension and 3rd declension.
  • Adjectives use the gender of the noun that they modify.

Therefore:

  • An adjective of the 1st/2nd declension uses 1st declension endings when describing a feminine noun, a 2nd declension masculine ending when describing masculine noun, and 2nd declension neuter when describing a neuter noun.
  • An adjective of the 3rd declension uses the same set of endings when describing masculine and feminine nouns and another set of endings when describing neuter nouns. (Actually, there are 3-termination, 2-termination, and 1-termination 3rd declension adjectives. If the adjective is 3-termination, e.g., acer (f. sing.), acris (m. sing.), acer (n. sing.), acres (f. pl.), acres (m. pl.), or acria (n. pl.), then use the appropriate ending; if the adjective is 2-termination, then one termination will be masculine/feminine and the other neuter; if the adjective is 1-termination, the common form is used.)

Before you proceed to the next lesson, complete the exercises below so you will be able to apply this knowledge to Latin.

Exercises

EXERCISE • Print Version • Questions
  1. What are the three genders?
  2. What is the number (singular/plural) of the following English words:
    1. cow
    2. dogs
    3. genders
    4. adjective
    5. children
    6. slice
    7. mice
    8. geese
  3. Describe the relationship between an adjective and the noun which it modifies.
  4. How many declensions are there?
  5. Determine the declension of each Latin word:
    • puella (girl)
    • ianua (door)
    • amicus (friend)
    • ludus (game)
    • casa (house)
    • rex (king)
  6. What gender are 1st declension substantives mostly?
  7. What genders are 2nd declension substantives mostly?
  8. What grammatical features of a word that can be determined by looking at its ending?
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Questions
  1. Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter
  2. What is the number (singular/plural) of the following English words:
    1. S
    2. P
    3. P
    4. S
    5. P
    6. S
    7. P
    8. P
  3. The adjective takes on the number, case and gender (but not always the declension) of the noun it describes
  4. Five
  5. Determine the declension of each Latin word:
    1. 1st
    2. 1st
    3. 2nd
    4. 2nd
    5. 1st
    6. 3rd
  6. Feminine
  7. Masculine
  8. It varies slightly from word-to-word; Declension/Case, Number, and sometimes Gender.

Chapter 1: Basic Sentences


The Nominative Case

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

The Nominative Case

The nominative case refers to the subject of the sentence. It is also one of the three cases of modern English. Every sentence must have a subject. For example:

Caesar is emperor of Rome.

Caesar is the subject of this sentence therefore Caesar is given in the nominative case.

Caesar's army entered Rome

Above is the genitive case which shows possession; the army was Caesar's army. We have changed the case of the word "Caesar" by altering its end. The nominative case has been changed to the genitive case by the addition of an apostrophe and the letter "s".

Latin cases are formed in the same way. The first step is to learn some words in their nominative case so as to become familiar with their endings which will later be changed to form the other cases.

Notes on Vocabulary

Lesson Vocabulary
Latin English
magn-us -a -um great
bon-us -a -um good
mal-us -a -um bad
puell-a -ae (f.) girl
puer (m.) boy
māter (f.) mother
domin-a (f.) mistress
domin-us (m.) master
lūd-us (m.) school
triclīni-um (n.) dining room
templ-um (n.) temple
esse
(ego) sum
(tū) es
est
(nōs) sumus
(vōs) estis
sunt
to be
I am
you (singular) are
(he/she/it) is*
we are
you (plural) are
(they) are
ambula-t, ambula-nt (he/she/it is) walking, (they are) walking
curri-t, curru-nt (he/she/it is) running, (they are) running
nōn An adverb placed before a verb meaning 'not' thus negating the verb.
Some second declension masculine end in -r instead of -us in the nominative case — boy is puer, not puer-us. Of the nouns discussed on this page, this rule only applies to puer.

Of the "to be" verbs listed in the table, only est and sunt will be covered in this lesson. The table simply allows you to familiarize yourself with them, as verbs will be covered more in future lessons.

The nominative case is used for the subject of the sentence (or any noun that is the equivalent of the subject).

In this chapter, the following conventions will be used for nouns:

  • m. = masculine
  • f. = feminine
  • n. = neuter
  • First and second declension substantives are given with at least the nominative case. (We will add the genitive singular as time permits. It is not strictly necessary, but you should get in the habit now of declining nouns based on the genitive stem and not the nominative. This chapter is therefore slightly misleading in this regard.)
  • Third, fourth, and fifth declension substantives are given with the nominative and genitive singular.
Latin
Intro: 12
Chapter 1 123456
Chapter 2 12345678
Chapter 3 12345678
Chapter 4 12345678910
Chapter 5 123456789

Overview of Adjectives

An adjective is simply any word that describes a noun, such as an object or subject in a sentence. Of course, whole phrases may be used to describe nouns, but adjectives are individual words. For example:

English Latin
The good boy walks. Puer bonus ambulat.

An adjective can also be used in a sentence opposite a form of "to be." The "to be" verb simply serves as a linking verb, as "the good boy" is an incomplete sentence, but "the boy is good" is a complete sentence.

English Latin
The boy is good. Puer bonus est.

As shown above, the same is true in Latin.

Adjectives in Latin

Like nouns, adjectives in Latin are declined. The vast majority take either the first and second declension (antiquus -a -um) or the third declension (ferox, ferocis). All such adjectives must agree with the nouns they describe in gender, number, and case, but not necessarily declension.

  • First and second declension adjectives have three distinct genders. Feminine adjectives require the first declension, masculine the second, and neuter the second. First/second declension adjectives use all three gender suffixes: -us, -a, -um (masculine, feminine, and neuter, respectively). This is because description is not limited to a single gender. For example, being good is not a quality limited to a single gender. Boys can be good, girls can be good, and things can be good. So, since all three genders must apply, we don't label adjectives as particularly m., f., or n..
  • Third declension adjectives are given with the nominative and genitive singular. This, however, is only true for third declension adjectives of one termination, so again this chapter is misleading in this regard. Most third declension adjectives do not have separate masculine and feminine forms. (Neuter adjectives follow the third declension neuter pattern.)

These words will look like the adjective antiquus (old, ancient):

antiquus (masculine), antiqua (feminine), antiquum (neuter).

Third declension adjectives typically look more like ferox, ferocis (wild, bold). This is because the third declension has no stem assigned to the nominative singular and is a "wild card" in that regard.

Adjectives often come after the word they describe. (But since word order is not central to the meaning of a Latin sentence, the adjective may appear anywhere within the sentence. In poetry, for example, several words often separate an adjective from the noun it modifies.)

For example: Nota bene: In the following examples the -us ending stands for the masculine (m.) gender, the -a for the feminine (f.) gender, and the -um stands for the neuter (n.) gender. So magnus is masculine, magna is feminine and magnum is neuter.

Latin English
Puella bona est. The girl is good.
Dominus bonus est. The master is good.
Templum magnum est. The temple is big.

Bona is an adjective describing a feminine substantive, such as puella.
Bonus is an adjective describing a masculine substantive, such as dominus.

Grammar: Pluralizing Nominatives

Number First declension feminine Second declension masculine Second declension neuter
Singular puell-a lūd-us triclīni-um
Plural puell-ae lūd-ī triclīni-a

To pluralize most first and second declension nouns, replace the singular suffix with the equivalent plural suffix. All adjectives that describe the noun must be pluralized as well because adjectives must agree in case, number, and gender (but not necessarily declension). With the adjectives given, use first declension with feminine nouns and second declension with masculine nouns. In English we use the same nominative plural endings for words we have borrowed from Latin, so it may be helpful to remember we say one vertebr-a but two vertebr-ae, one radi-us but two radi-ī, and one medium but multi-medi-a.

Basic verbs

Verbs in Latin work quite differently than those in English. Study the following table, then view the examples below, though keep in mind that you only need to fully understand the difference between numbers for the time being.

English Latin
Number Only pluralize the noun that is being pluralized, not the adjectives that describe it or the verb that it is performing. All three are pluralized. In this context, singular verbs end in "-t" (est, ambulat), and plural verbs end in "-nt" (sunt, ambulant).
Tense The ending is sometimes changed, though the words surrounding the verb can also be used to denote tense. Consider these examples: "he will walk, he is walking, he walks, he walked". The stem is used to denote the tense, though this will be covered in a future lesson. In this lesson, only the present tense is being taught.
Person The subject of the sentence is used to determine the person. If I am the subject of the sentence, then the sentence is in the first person. If you are the subject, then the second person, and so forth with the third. In this lesson, only the third person is being taught, which refers to anyone other than the speaker or the listener. The stem also denotes the person, though as previously stated, only third person is being taught in this lesson.

Examples

Notice how "magnum" changes to "magna" to agree with the pluralized "triclīnia".
Latin English
puell-a bon-a es-t. The girl is good.
And to pluralize:
puell-ae bon-ae su-nt The girls are good.
Note that verbs do not have gender, in that they do not change to the gender of the word that they are describing.
Puer bon-us ambula-t. The good boy is walking.
And to pluralize:
Puer-ī bon-ī ambula-nt The good boys are walking.
You will notice that neither the linking verbs "est" nor "sunt" appear in the previous two sentences. The meaning of the linking verbs are assumed in Latin sentences, as their respective meanings already exist in the verb stems.
triclīni-um magn-um es-t The dining room is large.
And to pluralize:
triclīni-a magn-a su-nt The dining rooms are large.

Further Examples

Example 1

Latin English
templum magnum est The temple is big.
Notes
  • The adjective magnus -a -um must agree with templum in gender, number, and case, so the correct form is magnum (neuter nominative singular).
  • Something like templum magnus est is incorrect because magn-us does not agree with templ-um. To a Latin speaker, this would sound like nonsense.

Example 2

Latin English
puella magna est. The girl is big.

Notes: In the same way, the adjective magnus -a -um must agree with puella in gender, number, and case, so the correct form is magna (feminine nominative singular, a-declinatio).

Example 3

Latin English
Puer currit. The boy is running.
Puerī currunt. The boys are running

Notes: You may notice that, when pluralized, "currit" becomes "currunt". The original spelling was probably "currint", but changed to "currunt" over time to make it easier to say. This is true of any pluralized verbs that would otherwise be ending in "-int".

Example 4

Latin English
lūdī magnī sunt The schools are big.

Notes: The adjective magnus -a -um in this case must agree with lūdī in gender, number, and case, so the correct form is magnī (masculine nominative plural).

Third Declension Nouns and Adjectives

Third declension nouns and adjectives follow a different pattern. The nominative singular stem is not defined, and as such, any letter (or letters) can serve as a third declension stem. For example, Māter (mother) is a third declension noun in the nominative case. When pluralized, it becomes Mātrēs. "-ēs" is attached to the end of a third declension noun to pluralize it, as opposed to changing the ending completely, because there is no uniform way to do so given the third declension's random nature.

You may have also noticed that that the "e" in "Māter" was dropped when pluralized. This often happens when a stem is attached to a third declension noun of similar spelling (example, "Pater" (father) becomes "Patrēs")

Examples:

Latin English
māter bona est The mother is good.
mātrēs bonae sunt The mothers are good.
pater magnus est The father is large.
patrēs magnī sunt The fathers are large.
amīcus fortis est The friend is strong.
amīcī fortēs sunt The friends are strong

Third declension nouns are listed with the nominative case and the genitive case to provide the main stem, which will be covered in a few lessons. All other nouns are also listed with the genitive for standardization, but often just the genitive ending is given. For example:

Latin English
pater, patris father
oratio, orationis speech
uxor, uxoris wife
canis, canis dog
proelium, -ī battle
oculus, -ī eye
amīcus, -ī friend

All other types of nouns are also generally listed with the genitive

Adjectives with a nominative ending in -is and the same stem in the nominative and in the other cases (eg. fortis) end in -e in the neuter and -ia in the neuter plural.

For example:

  • dies difficilis = the difficult day
  • proelium difficile = the difficult battle
  • proelia difficilia = the difficult battles

Exercises

EXERCISE • Print Version • Translation
  1. Translate the following Latin words into English.
    1. dominus bonus
    2. ludus malus
    3. puella magna
    4. triclinium est magnum
  2. Translate into Latin.
    1. the good boy
    2. the large master
    3. The temple is large.
    4. The master is bad.
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Translation
  1. Translate the following Latin words into English.
    1. The good master
    2. The bad school
    3. The big girl
    4. The dining room is large
  2. Translate into Latin.
    1. Puer bonus
    2. dominus magnus
    3. templum magnum est
    4. dominus malus est


Present indicative active construct

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

Grammatical Introduction to Verbs

This introductory section may be a bit overwhelming, but is an overall look at verbs. The majority of this section will be covered in later chapters. Nevertheless, looking over this chapter may help you to familiarize yourself with verbs.

Verbs are parts of speech which denote action. There are two main forms of verbs in Latin:

• Principal Verbs (the main verb which is found in every sentence. e.g.,: vir ambulat = the man is walking)

• Adjectival Verbs (also known as participles, gerunds and gerundives which describe the state of the described noun. e.g.,: vir ambulans = the walking man. The verb behaves as an adjective)

Every sentence must have a verb. In a sense, the principal verb is the sentence and all the nouns, adverbs and participles are only describing the scenario of the verb. Thus in Latin this constitutes a sentence:

est.

If you want to explain 'who' is or exists, you add a nominative substantive:

Cornēlia est.

We now know Cornelia 'is'. But what is she? So we add an adjective.

Cornēlia est bona.

Now we can see that Cornelia is good, but to elaborate further we can add an adverb:

Cornēlia vix est bona.

Now we know that Cornelia is 'hardly' (vix: hardly, scarcely, barely) good.

Thus, in English, the shortest Latin sentence is:

You are.

in Latin:

es

Examples

These two examples will demonstrate the difference between an adjectival verb and a principal verb.

The resurrected Jesus appeared to his disciples.
'resurrected' is a perfect participle (Adjectival) describing Jesus, while 'appeared' is the principal verb in the sentence.
The shocked disciples see Jesus.
'shocked' is a perfect participle (Adjectival) describing the disciples, while 'see' is the principal verb in the sentence.

Exercises

EXERCISE • Print Version • Answer
  1. What is the difference between a principal and adjectival verb?
  2. What constitutes a sentence?
  3. Write a sentence in English, and Latin.
  4. Conjugate the verb 'to be' in the present tense in English and Latin (I am, You are, He is etc.)
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Answer
  1. Principal verbs are main verb which is found in every sentence. Adjectival Verbs are participles, gerunds and gerundives which describe the state of the described noun.
  2. a verb
  3. Egō Sum, I am
  4. Sum, es, est, sumus, estis, sunt


Personal Endings

Verbs in Latin are inflected to reflect the person who performs the action. English does the same to some extent in the verb to be:


Latin English
sum I am
es You are
est (He/she/it) is
sumus We are
estis You (all) are
sunt They are

Latin, however, inflects all verbs, and is much more extensive than English, allowing writers and speakers of Latin to often drop the personal pronoun (as mentioned last lesson), as the performer of the action is understood by the formation of the verb. The Personal pronoun is only usually added for emphasis. In a way, the ending on Latin verbs are a type of pronoun.

Exercises

EXERCISE • Print Version • Answer
  1. What do the personal pronouns indicate?
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Answer
  1. Personal pronouns (ego, tu, nos, vos, etc.) add emphasis. They are usually omitted (left out) because they are understood.
    Example: [Ego] amō patrem meum et matrem meam.
    I love my mother and my father. (you don't have to write ego, it is understood)

Moods

There are several moods. Each has its own uses to convey certain ideas. The most commons moods are:

• Indicative • Subjunctive or Conjunctive • Imperative

The two moods we will first learn are the imperative (commands and orders) and the indicative (declarative statements and factual questions).

Exercises

EXERCISE • Print Version • Answer
  1. List the most common moods.
  2. What two moods are we going to learn about in this lesson, and what do they let us construct?
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Answer
  1. Indicative, subjunctive (or conjunctive) and imperative.
  2. The moods we are going to learn about first are:
    Imperative: Which we use when we make orders.
    Go away. Fetch me the keys. Do not order me around!
    Indicative: Statements which are declarative, and questions concerning facts.
    John plays football.

Voice

There are two constructions verbs can have regarding voice.

Verbs can have either an active or passive voice.

E.g. 'I smash the car.' 'smash' is an active verb construct.

The passive is used when the nominative is affected by the verb.

E.g. 'The car is smashed by me.' 'is smashed' is a passive construct.

Exercises

EXERCISE • Print Version • Translate
  1. What is 'voice'?
  2. What is active voice?
  3. What is passive voice?
  4. Construct a sentence in English using each of these voices.
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Translate
  1. Voice is how a verb is constructed.
  2. When the subject affects the verb
  3. When the nominative is affected by the verb
  4. Ex.- I carried, I am being carried.

Tense

Tense in Latin comprises two parts: TIME and ASPECT. Time reflects when the action is occurring or did occur: past, present, or future. Aspect refers to the nature of the action: simple, completed, or repeated. The "completed" aspect is generally termed "perfective" and repeated aspect "imperfective."

Theoretically, a verb could have nine tenses (combinations of time and aspect). However, Latin only has six, since some possible combinations are expressed by the same verb forms. Latin tenses do not correspond exactly to English ones.

Below is a rough guide to tense in Latin.


Time
A
S
P
E
C
T
Present Future Past
Simple Present Tense
"I walk"
Future Tense
"I will walk"
Perfect Tense
"I walked"
Imperfective Present Tense
"I am walking"
Future Tense
"I will be walking"
Imperfect Tense
"I was walking"
Perfective Perfect Tense
"I have walked"
Future Perfect Tense
"I will have walked"
Pluperfect Tense
"I had walked"

As is evident, some Latin tenses do "double duty." The Latin Present and Future Tenses can either express simple or progressive aspect. Particularly difficult to grasp is the Latin Perfect tense, which can either express an action completed from the point of view of the present ("I have just now finished walking"), or a simple action in past time (its "aorist" sense, from the old Indo European aorist tense, which Latin lost but is still present in Greek).

Exercises

EXERCISE • Print Version • Translate
  1. Copy out the above table.
  2. Study the table.
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Translate

Vide (see) the table above.

Infinitive

The infinitive (impersonal) is the form of the verb which simply means 'to (verb)' e.g. 'to do', or 'to be', or 'to love', or 'to hate' etc. All forms which are not in the infinitive are in the finite (personalised) form.

The infinitive has a -re at the end of the stem of the verb. The infinitive of 'to be' is an exception and is 'esse'.

Dēbeō currere nunc = I ought to run now.

Esse, aut nōn esse = To be, or not to be?

Exercises

Answer these two question about the infinitive and finite.

EXERCISE • Print Version • Answer
  1. What is the infinitive? Give an example.
  2. What is the finite? Give an example.
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Answer
  1. The infinitive is the verb-form that simply mean "to (verb)".
    To sing, to dance, to drink, to love.
  2. Every verb which is not in the infinitive, is in the finite.
    He smells, we plot, she had drunk, he pours.

Irregularities

Verbs which use the passive formation in an active sense are known as deponent. Verbs which don't have a form for every tense and mood are known as defective. You will meet a few words like this soon.

Exercises

EXERCISE • Print Version • Answer
  1. What is a deponent verb?
  2. What is an irregular verb?
  3. What is a defective verb?
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Answer
  1. A verb which uses the passive voice in an active sense.
  2. A verb that does not follow the normal rules of conjugation.
  3. A verb missing forms for some tenses or moods.

Personal Pronouns

In case you do ever use a personal pronoun to emphasise the SUBJECT of the verb, you must remember that the personal pronoun must be in the nominative case and the number and person of the verb must match that of the subject. (Review Lesson 7 if unfamiliar with the terms person and subject).

Exercises

EXERCISE • Print Version • Translate
  1. What case should the subject (performer) of the verb be in?
  2. What number should the principal verb be?
  3. What person and number is 'ego'?
  4. What person and number is 'I'?
  5. What person and number is 'we'?
  6. What person and number is 'thou'?
  7. What person and number is 'ye'?
  8. What person and number is 'vōs'?
  9. What person and number is 'nōs'?
  10. What person and number is 'tū'?
  11. What person and number is 'boy'?
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Translate
  1. Nominative case
  2. First person, singular.
  3. First person, singular.
  4. First person, singular.
  5. First person, plural.
  6. Second person, singular.
  7. Second person, plural.
  8. Second person, plural.
  9. First person, plural.
  10. Second person, singular.
  11. Third person, singular.

Principal Parts

When one looks up a verb in the dictionary, the principal parts are given. From these principal parts you can find the correct form of the verb for every circumstance.


Present Indicative Active 1st Person Present Infinitive Perfect Indicative Active 1st Person Supine
amō amāre amāvi amātum
Determines whether the vowel is dropped in the 1st person singular present. Gives the imperfect stem and infinitive Gives the perfect stem Allows you to form adjectival forms of the verb (Participles)

Exercises

Answer this question about principal parts.

EXERCISE • Print Version • Answer
  1. What do the principal parts allow you to do?
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Answer
  1. The principal parts are the verb-forms you find when you look in the dictionary. E.g. if you look for the verb amō (love) in a dictionary you would find:
    amō • amāre • amāvi • amātum
These four forms will help you form every Latin verb you want.

Using the Dictionary

All nouns are given in the nominative, as well as the declension and gender of the noun. Verbs are alphabetized using the 1st person singular (the first principal part) and the infinitive is given. Supplementary principal parts are given if the various other principal parts do not follow the standard pattern of formation from the infinitive and 1st person singular.

Verbs: Conjugation in the Present Imperfect

The present imperfect is the simplest tense. To form the present imperfect all that is required is to place the personal endings at the end of the verb stem.

Thus, if you have the stem 'ama' (love), to make it 'I love' you place an ō at the end.

I love  =  amō (amaō*)
we love =  amāmus
  • Latin drops the 'a' in amaō forming amō.

Latin could add personal pronouns, however only for added emphasis and in conjunction with the corresponding person ending on the verb. Otherwise the sentence will not make sense. For example:

ego amō = I (not you) love

nōs amāmus = We (not you) love

but that would be for special emphasis: It's I, not you, who love.

Here are the forms of the verb 'porta', carry, in the present imperfect tense:

portō     I carry                     first person singular
portās    thou carriest, you carry    second person singular
portat    he, she, it carries         third person singular 
portāmus  we carry                    first person plural
portātis  you (all) carry             second person plural
portant   they carry                  third person plural

'porto' can also be translated 'I am carrying' (present imperfect), 'I do carry' (present emphatic). 'I carry' is known as the 'present simple' tense in English.. Again the 'a' gets dropped when the 'ō' is placed on porta. Porta, and ama are known as 1st conjugation verbs; in other words, verbs which have a stem ending in 'a'.

There are three other conjugations, and below are some examples of verbs from each of the four conjugations (present imperfect tense):


porta, carry (1st. Conj) mone, warn (2nd Conj) rege, rule (3rd Conj.) audī, hear (4th Conj)
portō, I carry moneō, I warn regō, I rule audiō, I hear
portās, thou carriest monēs, thou warnest regis, thou rulest audis, thou hearest
portat, he/she/it carries monet, he/she/it warns regit, he/she/it rules audit, he/she/it hears
portāmus, we carry monēmus, we warn regimus, we rule audimus, we hear
portātis, ye carry monētis, ye warn regitis, ye rule auditis, ye hear
portant, they carry monent, they warn regunt, they rule audiunt, they hear

Each verb uses the same final letter or letters to indicate the 'subject' - I, thou, he/she/it, we, you, they.

Before these final letters, the first conjugation has an 'a' (although when an 'o' is placed, the 'a' is often dropped), the second an 'e', and the third and fourth usually an 'i'. The third person plural forms in the third and fourth conjugations have a 'u'. These verb forms really should be learned by heart.

The most common verb of all is irregular (see next lesson). Here is a table of the verb 'to be' in Latin, English, and four Romantic languages (French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese)

esto: be
Latin English French Spanish Italian Portuguese
sum I am je suis yo soy sono eu sou
es thou art tu es tú eres sei tu és
est he/she/it is il/elle est él/ella es è ele/ela é
sumus we are nous sommes nosotros/-as somos siamo nós somos
estis ye are vous êtes vosotros/-as sois siete vós sois
sunt they are ils/elles sont ellos/-as son sono eles/elas são

The personal endings are the same as in the four regular conjugations.

Exercises

Conjugate (find how a verb is in different forms) the verb 'amõ'.
EXERCISE • Print Version • Translate

What form of the verb 'amõ' (hint: amõ is conjugated like portõ in the table above) would the following words use to become the suffix:

  1. ego (I)
  2. tū (thou)
  3. puer (the boy)
  4. nōs (we)
  5. vōs (ye)
  6. puellae (the girls)
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Translate
  1. [ego] amõ (I love)
  2. [tu] amās (thou lovest pl., you love pl.)
  3. puer amat (the boy loves)
  4. [nos] amāmus (we love)
  5. [vos] amātis (ye love pl., you love pl.)
  6. puellae amant (the girls love)


Imperative Mood

The imperative mood conveys an order (e.g. Go!, Run!, Away Now!). The imperative mood is formed by simply using the stem of the verb. If the order is to a large group of people, or you are trying to show respect, you must use the -te suffix.

amō eum = I love him.

amā eum = Love him!.

amāte eum = Love (respectful, or plural) him!


currō casam = I run home.

curre casam = Run home!

currite casam = Run (respectful, or plural) home!


Regō prudente = I rule wisely.

Rege prudente = Rule wisely!

Regite prudente = Rule (respectful order) wisely!

Exercises

  • Translate Latin verbs:
EXERCISE • Print Version • Translate

Translate the following verbs:

  1. portāmus • regunt • monēs • estis • audītis • monent • regō • portās • sunt
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Translate
  1. we carry • they rule • thou warnest • ye are •ye hear • they warn • I rule • you carry • they are
  • Translate sentences into Latin:
EXERCISE • Print Version • Translate

Translate Into Latin:

  1. I carry my book.
  2. Thou kill not.
  3. They hear music.
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Translate
  1. Meum lībrum portō.
  2. Interficis nōn.
  3. Mūsicam audiunt.


Adverbs & Prepositions

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

Comparatives and Superlatives of Adjectives (Comparativa et superlativa adjectivorum)

Lesson Vocabulary
Latin English
fortis, forte strong, brave
vir man
long-us, -a, -um long
ingeniosus, -a, -um clever, talented
denarius, -i, m. denarius (unit of currency)
soror, sororis, f. sister
quam than
habet he/she has

There are three types of adjectives: Positive (the 'normal' adjective, eg. the brave man: fortis vir), Comparative (eg. the braver man, or the rather brave man: fortior vir) and Superlative (eg. the bravest man, or the very brave man: fortissimus vir). Comparatives and superlatives of adjectives are usually formed by appending the suffix -ior (genitive is -ioris) for comparatives and -issimus for superlatives. All comparatives are declined like third declension nouns while superlatives are declined like second declension nouns, and thus must match the gender of the noun the superlative modifies. Often stem changes occur when appending theses suffixes.

Adjective: longus (long)
longus longior longissimus
long longer longest

Irregular Adjectives

Fortunately, there are only a few irregular adjectives.

Irregular Adjectives
Meaning Positive Comparative Superlative
good bonus melior (better) optimus (best)
bad malus peior (worse) pessimus (worst)
large, great magnus maior maximus
small parvus minor minimus
many multus plus plurimus



Examples:

Latin English
Marcus est fortior quam Publius Marcus is stronger than Publius
Publius ingeniosior est quam Marcus Publius is more clever than Marcus
Marcus plures denarios habet quam Publius Marcus has more denariuses1 than Publius
Publius plures sorores habet quam Marcus Publius has more sisters than Marcus
1: We won't say "Marcus has more money" (pecunia) since plus in the singular takes the genitive case, which will not be covered for a few more lessons

Adverbs

Adverbs are formed usually by replacing the suffix appended to the stem with the -e, or -i and sometimes -um. Adverbs modify the verb in the clause that contains the adverb. The adverb may be placed anywhere with the clause. Adverbs may be of positive, comparative and superlative form. Unlike adjectives and substantives, adverbs do not have declension or gender. And thus they are referred to as being 'indeclinable.' Following suffices are appended to form the comparative and superlative forms of adverbs: -ius for comparatives and -issime for superlative.

Example

Adverbs
fortiter fortius fortissime
bravely more bravely most bravely

Irregular adjectives form adverbs regularly from the adjective forms.

For example:

  • melior (better) -> melius
  • maximus (greatest) -> maxime

Some adverbs do not come from adjectives but rather exist on their own:

  • diu (for a long time) -> diutius, diutissime
  • saepe (often) -> saepius, saepissime

Exercise 1

EXERCISE • Print Version • Answer
  1. What is the comparitive adverbial form of sol-us, sol-a, sol-um (alone)?
  2. What is the positive adverbial form of laetus? (happy)
  3. What is the positive adjectival form of īrātior? (angrier)
  4. What is the postive adverbial form of certus? (certain)
  5. What is the superlative adjectival form of certus?
  6. What is the superlative adverbial form of certe?
  7. What is the superlative adjectival form of male?
  8. What is the superlative adverbial form of malus?
  9. What is the comparative adjectival form of dēsertus? (deserted)
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Answer
  1. Solius
  2. Laete
  3. Īrātus
  4. Certe
  5. Certissimus
  6. Certissime
  7. Pessimus
  8. Pessime
  9. Dēsertior

Conjunctions

Conjunctions are indeclinable particles that join clauses together to form sentences. Examples of forms of conjunctions in English are: and, but and so. Conjunctions are either coordinating (joining two main clauses) or subordinating (joining a subclause to a main clause).


List of Common Conjunctions
Coordinating Conjunctions
atque and
aut or
aut...aut^^ either...or
enim (usually placed second in sentence) for
ergo and so, therefore
et and
et...et^ both...and
igitur therefore
itaque and so
nam for
nec/necque and not, nor
nec/necque...nec/necque^ neither...nor
-que* and
sed but
tamen (usually placed second in a sentence however
Subordinating Conjunctions
cum when
dum while, for the time
nisī unless, except
quamquam however
quod because
if
ubi where, when
ut as/with result clauses: in order to, so, to

Exercise 2

Latin English Notes
virtus, virtutis virtue, courage
in animo habeo I have in mind, I intend Takes an infinitive
ire to go The indicative forms (I go, you go, etc) are eo, is, it, imus, itis, eunt
hodie today hodie is an adverb, don't try to use it as a noun ("Today is a good day")
domi at home An instance of the locative case, normally used for cities
ambulat he/she walks
forum, -i marketplace

Based upon your reading of the table of conjunctions, how would one translate these sentences?

  1. Aut tu es bonus aut tu es malus ergo dīc mihi vēritātem (tell me the truth).
  2. Cavēte canem quod nec estis fortes nec cum virtūte.
  3. Puer ē forō cum canē ambulat
  4. Et canis et cattus sunt laetī.
  5. In animō habeō īre ad grammaticum hodiē sed habeō labōrem (work) domī.

Prepositions

You have met a few prepositions already. Prepositions are indeclinable and genderless. Prepositions are placed before substantives and adjectives. Most prepositions take only the accusative or ablative case. Some prepositions may take both, however their meanings differ depending on the case.

List of Common Prepositions
Prepositions Taking the Accusative Case
ad to
ante before
circum around
contra against
extra outside
in* into
inter between, among
per through
post after
prope near
propter because of
super above
trans across
Prepositions Taking The Ablative Case
a/ab** from
cum with
de about, down from
e/ex** out of
in* in
pro for, on behalf of
sine without
sub under
*notice the two different meanings of in depending on the case
** Just like a/an in English, the form with a consonant is used when the following word begins with a vowel
Ablative case forms for nouns and adjectives
Nominative singular puell-a (1st decl.) domin-us (2nd decl. m.) triclini-um (2nd decl. n.) canis (3rd decl.)
Ablative singular puell-ã domin-o tricilini-o can-e
Ablative plural puell-is domin-is triclini-is can-ibus

Exercise 3

Latin English
ero
eris
erit
erimus
eritis
erunt
I will be
You will be
He/she will be
We will be
You will be
They will be
dives, divitis wealthy
aedificium, -i building
anima, -ae mind, soul
venit he/she comes

Translate the following sentences:

  1. eo domum (Latin omits 'ad' with 'domus,' specific city names, and small islands; e.g. Eunt Romam = They go [to] Rome.)
  2. cum bona fortuna ero dives!
  3. circum agrum est aedificium cum atrio
  4. tu non es vir sine animis.
  5. familia venit cum amore.

List of Frequent Adverbs, Prepositions, and Conjunctions in Latin

Taken from http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/irvinem/classics203/resources/latin.lex

  • atque, ac (conj): and [also], and; atque is used before consonants, ac before vowels
  • ad modum: adv. very, quite; fully; + neg. = at all
  • ad huc/adhuc: thus far, as yet, still, in addition, in the future
  • aliquam: in some degree
  • aliqui -qua -quod: some, any
  • aliquis -qua -quid: someone, something; some, any
  • aliquando: at times, sometimes; once, formerly
  • aliquotiens: several times, at different times
  • at (form of ad = in addition to): but (intro startling transitions)
  • atque: and as well, even, together with, in everything;
  • atque...atque, both..and
  • atqui: rather, however, but at any rate, but for all that (transition in arg.)
  • aut: or, at least, or else; aut...aut: either...or
  • autem: but, on the other hand, however
  • coram: adv. and prep. in the presence of, before
  • dehinc: adv. while, from here, from now, henceforth; then, next
  • deinde: adv. from there; then, afterwards; secondly, next (in order), in the second (next) place
  • demum: adv. at last, finally, not till then; precisely, exactly, just, in fact, certainly, to be sure; modo demum: only now, just now.
  • denique: adv. finally
  • donec: while, as long as, until
  • dum: conj. while, now; so long as, provided that, if only; until
  • enim: (conj) namely, indeed, certainly, in fact, for, because
  • eo quod: because
  • etenim: (conj) and indeed, for, as a matter of fact
  • etiam: also, besides; even, actually; (time) still
  • etsi: (conj.) though, although, and yet
  • fas (est): indecl. (it is) right, proper
  • huc: here, to this place; so far, for this purpose
  • ibi: there, then, therein, on that occassion
  • idcirco: for that reason, on that account, therefore
  • ideo: therefore, for this reason
  • illuc: (adv.) (to) there; to that; to him/her
  • immo: (adv.) or rather; indeed; no, yes (emphasis)
  • interdum: occasionally, sometimes, now and then
  • inde: from there, from that source, then, after; from then
  • iuxta: (adv) near by, alike, equally; (prep) close to, right after, near to, beside.
    • iuxta (7th-15th c.): according to
    • iuxta aliquid: to some extent
  • ita: thus, so, in this way; ita...ut: just as, so...that
    • ita...quomodo: just as
  • licet: all right; (with dat + inf) it is right for someone to; (conj) although, even if
  • modo: only, just now
  • necnon: also, moreover, certainly, besides
  • nempe: to be sure, of course
  • non numquam: sometimes
  • nondum: not yet
  • nonnullus -a -um: some, several
  • nuper: recently, lately
  • nusquam: nowhere
  • ob: before, in front of; on account of, because of; for the sake of; instead of; in proportion to
    • ob rem: to the purpose, usefully
    • quam ob rem: wherefore, accordingly
  • olim: once; of old; one day
  • praeterea: besides, moreover; hereafter
  • postea: afterwards
  • postmodum: afterwards; presently
  • procul: far off
  • proinde: adv. consequently, therefore; just as
  • propterea: for that reason, therefore
  • prorsus/prorsum: (adv.) forwards; absolutely; in short
  • prout: (conj) according as
  • qua: (adv) where, as far as, how; qua..qua: partly...partly
  • qualibit: anywhere, any way, as you please
  • qualis -e: what sort of, what kind of, such as, as
  • qualiter: adv. how, as, just as
  • quam: (adv) how, how much; as, very
  • quamdiu: as long as; while; inasmuch as
  • quamquam: although
  • quamvis: (adv) however; (conj) although
  • quando: when (after nisi, ne) ever; (conj) when, since, because
  • quandoque: (adv) at some time; (conj) whenever, as often as, since
  • quantum: (adv) as much as, as far as, so much as, to what extent
  • quantus: how great, how much
    • in quantum: to what extent
    • quanto: for how much
  • quantum ad: in terms of, as far as x is concerned, with respect to
  • quapropter: wherefore
  • quare: by what means, how; why, wherefore
  • quasi: as if, as though
  • quatenus: adv.(inter.) how far, how long? (rel.) as far as, in so far as, since
  • quemadmodum: (adv) in what way, how; (conj) as, just as
  • quicquam: anything
  • quicumque quae- quod-: whoever, whatever; all that, any whatever
  • quidam quae- quid-: a certain one, someone, a kind of
  • quidem: indeed, in fact
  • quippe: adv. certainly, of course; conj.(explaining) for in fact, because, since
  • quisquam quid-: anyone, anything
  • quisque quidque: each, each one, every
  • quisquis, quidquid: whoever, whatever; all
  • quo: where, what for, to what end
  • quoad: as to, with respect to
  • quocumque: wither so ever, how so ever
  • quod: (conj) because, as far as, in so far as, as for the fact that, in that, that
    • quod si: but if
  • quodamodo: in a way
  • quomodo: how, in what way; (rel) as, just as
  • quondam: once, sometimes, formerly
  • quoniam: because, since, seeing that, now that
  • quoque: also, too
  • quot: how many; (conj) as many
  • quotiens: how often (rel) as often as
  • rursus: again, in turn
  • recte: rightly, correctly
  • rursum: again
  • sane: reasonably, sensibly; certainly, doubtless, truly; of course; c. neg. = really, at all; to be sure, however
  • scilicet: adv. evidently, naturally, of course; (as explan. particle:) namely, that is to say, in other words
  • semel: once
  • seu: and
  • simul: at the same time; together; likewise
  • sin: but if
  • siquidem: if in fact; if only, if indeed; since indeed, since that
  • talis -e: adj. such, of such a kind, the following
  • taliter: in such a manner, so
  • tam: so, so greatly; tam...quam: so...as, much...as well as
  • tamen: yet, nevertheless, still
  • tamquam: as, just as; (conj) as if, just as if
  • tandem: at last, finally
  • tantum: (adv) so much, so greatly; to such a degree; so far; only
  • tantus -a -um (adj): of such (a size); so great, so much
  • tot: as many, so many
  • tunc: (avd) then, just the; thereupon, accordingly, consequently
  • ubicumque: wherever, everywhere
  • unde: whence, from where; wherefore; this being the case
  • usque: as far as, all the way, continually, straight on, up to; until
  • ut...ita: while...nevertheless
  • uterque -raque -rumque: both, each (of two)
  • utinam: would that, if only
  • utique: anyhow, at least, at any rate
  • utpote: as, in as much as
  • utrum: (conj) either, whether
  • velut: as, just as, as it were, as though
  • verumtamen: but yet, nevertheless
  • vero (conj): but, truly
  • videlicet: clearly, evidently; namely


The Accusative Case

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


Exercises

EXERCISE • Print Version • Give the accusative singular.

Give the accusative singular for:

  1. lud-us
  2. magn-us
  3. triclīni-um
  4. bell-um
  5. puell-a
  6. serv-us
  7. ager
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Give the accusative singular.
  1. ludum
  2. magnum
  3. triclīnium
  4. bellum
  5. puellam
  6. servum
  7. agrum
EXERCISE • Print Version • Give the accusative plural.

Give the accusative plural for:

  1. lud-us
  2. magn-us
  3. triclīni-um
  4. bell-um
  5. puell-a
  6. serv-us
  7. ager
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Give the accusative plural.
  1. ludos
  2. magnos
  3. triclīnia
  4. bella
  5. puellas
  6. servos
  7. agros
EXERCISE • Print Version • Give the nominative singular.

Give the nominative singular for:

  1. bon-ī
  2. bell-a
  3. triclīni-a
  4. puell-am
  5. agr-ōs
  6. serv-ōs
  7. puell-ae
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Give the nominative singular.
  1. bonus
  2. bellum
  3. triclīnium
  4. puella
  5. ager
  6. servus
  7. puella
Lesson Vocabulary
Latin English
vendit he/she sells
videt he/she sees
amat he/she loves
cist-a -ae (f.) box
ferox, ferocis (m/f.) wild
ager (m.) field
bell-um (n.) war
serv-us (m.) slave

Grammar: The Accusative

As you learned in the last lesson, the verb 'esse' (to be) usually takes the nominative case, because then the word after it is a complement. Most other verbs take the 'accusative' case.

In a sentence, the accusative is the "what" - in English grammar, this is known as the direct object.

For example: The girl sells the box.

What did the girl sell? The box. Thus, box is the direct object, and when we translate it into Latin:

Example
English: The girl sells the box.
Latin: Puella vendit cistam.
Explanation: NOMINATIVE VERB ACCUSATIVE

Cistam, then, is in the accusative, because it is the direct object.

Again, when an adjective describes a noun in the accusative case, the adjective must agree in number, case, and gender.

Example
English: The girl sells the big box.
Latin: Puella vendit magnam cistam.
Explanation: NOMINATIVE VERB ADJECTIVE ACCUSATIVE NOUN ACCUSATIVE

Because Latin uses cases to mark the subject and the object of a sentence, word order does not matter. Consider:

puer puellam videt The boy sees the girl
puerum puella videt The girl sees the boy
puellam puer videt The boy sees the girl
puella puerum videt The girl sees the boy

Examples of Adjectives Agreeing with the Nominative and Accusative Case

Explanation- The good boy loves the wild dog.
Latin: puer bonus amat canem (acc) ferocem (acc).
English: [The] boy good [he] loves [the] dog wild.

Bonus, a first and second declension adjective, is masculine, nominative, and singular to agree with puer, the word it is describing.

Ferocem, a third declension adjective, is masculine, accusative, and singular to agree with canem. Canem is accusative because it is the object of amat.

Here is an example of plural adjectives:

Explanation- The good boys love the wild dogs.
Latin: Pueri (plur) boni (plur) amant (plur) canes (plur, acc) feroces (plur, acc).
English: [The] boys good [they] love [the] dogs wild.

The words bonus and ferocem become boni and feroces to agree with the plurals pueri and canes.

However, if a girl (puella) happened to love that boy:

Explanation- The good girl loves the good boy.
Latin: Puella bona amat puerum (acc) bonum (acc).
English: [The] girl good [she] loves [the] boy good.

Bonus must become bona in order to modify puella, which is feminine.

Finally, if the girl isn't good, but rather wild:

Explanation- The wild girl loves the good boy.
Latin: Puella ferox amat puerum (acc) bonum (acc).
English: [The] girl wild [she] loves [the] boy good.

Even though puella is first declension, ferox remains third declension. In the same way, a good lion would be bonus leo.

Exercise 3

Determine whether the adjective agrees with the substantive in all three categories: case, gender, number.


Questions: Does it Agree?
1. magn-us agr-ōs True/False
2. magn-a puella True/False
3. poet-a* bon-us True/False
4. magn-um serv-um True/False
5. poet-ae* magn-ae True/False
6. bell-a magn-a True/False
* Nota bene: Poeta (meaning poet) is a masculine noun, even though it ends in -a.
EXERCISE • Print Version • Answer

See table above. Determine whether the adjective (magnus, bonus..) agrees with the substantives (ager, puella, poeta) in both case (nominative, accusative...), gender (masculine, female and neuter) and number (singular and plural).

SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Answer
  1. False. Magnus doesn't agree with agrōs; in number and case.
    Magnus: Masculine, singular, nominative.
    Agrōs: Masculine, plural, accusative.
  2. True. Magna agrees with puella.
    Magna: Feminine, singular, nominative.
    Puella: Feminine, singular, nominative.
  3. True. Bonus agrees with poeta.
    Bonus: Masculine, singular, nominative.
    Poeta: Masculine, singular, nominative.
  4. True. Magnum agrees with servum.
    Magnum: Neuter, singular, nominative.
    Servum: Neuter, singular, nominative.
  5. False. Magnae doesn't agree with poetae; in gender.
    Magnae: Feminine, plural, nominative.
    Poetae: Masculine, plural, nominative.
  6. True. Bella agrees with magna.
    Bella: Neuter, plural, nominative.
    Magna: Neuter, plural, nominative.

Grammar: The Use of the Accusative

Lesson Vocabulary
Latin English
curri-t he/she runs
porta-t he/she carries
specta-t he/she watches
da-t he/she gives
fuisse
fuī
fuistī
(puer) fuit
fuimus
fuistis
fuērunt
to have been
I have been
you have been
(the boy) has been
we have been
you (pl.) have been
they have been
Nota Bene: 'fuisse' and all the forms of it, the past tense of 'esse', behaves exactly like the present tense.


The newly introduced verbs, ama-t, curri-t, and porta-t take the accusative as the 'object'. Unless specified, any verb you look up in the dictionary will take the accusative, not the nominative. This means that they are transitive verbs, verbs that happen to someone or something, e.g.:

I heal you. (acc.)
You make my day. (acc.)
She hit your arm. (acc.)

In the examples above, the bold words are the subject of the sentence clause. Because something happens "to" them, they can't be in nominative.

Grammatical Explanation Using English Sentences

Grammatical Explanation 1
English: The boy hits the car.
Explanation: NOMINATIVE VERB ACCUSATIVE


Grammatical Explanation 2
English: The girl hugs the boy.
Explanation: NOMINATIVE VERB ACCUSATIVE


Grammatical Explanation 3
English: He who flees, deserves the guillotine.
Explanation: NOMINATIVE VERB VERB ACCUSATIVE

Exercise 4: Find the Nominative and Accusative

EXERCISE • Print Version • Find the Nominative and Accusative (if present) in each the sentence.

Find the Nominative and Accusative (if present) in each the sentence.

  1. The boy is good.
  2. The girl kisses the boy.
  3. The boy gives the book.
  4. The child watches the TV.
  5. Whom it concerns.
  6. To the kitchen I run
  7. I eat the pizza.
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Find the Nominative and Accusative (if present) in each the sentence.
  1. The boy {nom} is good {nom}.
    Puer {nom} est bonus {nom}.
  2. The girl {nom} kisses the boy {acc}.
    Puella {nom} puerum {acc} basiat.
  3. The boy {nom} gives the book {acc}.
    Puer {nom} librum {acc} dat.
  4. The child {nom} watches the TV {acc}.
    Infans {nom} televisorium {acc} videt.
  5. Whom {acc} it {nom} concerns.
    ???
  6. To the kitchen {acc} I {nom} run.
    Ad culinam {acc} [ego {nom}] curro.
  7. I {nom} eat the pizza {acc}.
    Pittam {acc} [ego {nom}] edo.
EXERCISE • Print Version • In the following sentences, identify the accusative and nominative. Then translate.

In the following sentences, identify the accusative and nominative. Then translate.

  1. Puer est bonus.
  2. Puella puerum amat..
  3. Puer cistam portat.
  4. Fīlius virum spectat.
  5. Ad culīnam currit.
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • In the following sentences, identify the accusative and nominative. Then translate.
  1. Puer {nom} est bonus {nom}.
    The boy {nom} is good {nom}.
  2. Puella {nom} puerum {acc} amat.
    The girl {nom} loves the boy {acc}.
  3. Puer {nom} cistam {acc} portat.
    The boy {nom} carries the box {acc}.
  4. Fīlius {nom} virum {acc} spectat.
    The son {nom} watched the husband {acc}.
  5. Ad culīnam {acc} currit.
    To the kitchen {acc} [he {nom}] runs.


Pronouns

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

Personal Pronouns in English

Lesson Vocabulary
Latin English
cibus food
laborat he/she works

Pronouns are nouns which are used instead of another noun ('pro', in place of 'noun', noun.)

There are three categories of pronouns which are divided up into persons: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. In addition, pronouns can be singular or plural. They are declined like all other nouns.

Person Singular Plural
1st I We
2nd You, Thou You (all)
3rd He/She/It They

Personal Pronouns in Latin

1st/2nd Person Pronouns

Table of Personal Pronouns in all of their cases: I, thou, we, ye

Note: Thou is the archaic singular of the archaic plural ye - useful for distinguishing you (singular) from you (plural)

Singular Plural
Case 1st Person 2nd Person 1st Person 2nd Person
Nominative ego I you nōs we vōs you
Genitive meī of me tuī of you nostrī(nostrum) of us vestrī (vestrum) of you
Dative mihi to me tibi to/for you nōbīs to us vōbīs to/for you
Accusative me you nōs us vōs you
Ablative from me from you nōbīs from us vōbīs from you

Nota Bene: the genitive is used in certain phrases like:

  1. memor nostrī, mindful of us
  2. paucī vestrum, a few of you.

For the possessive uses (my sister, your bicycle), Latin does not use the genitive, but the possessive adjectives:

Latin English
meus, mea, meum my
tuus, tua, tuum thy
suus, sua, sum his/hers, its, their
noster, nostra, nostrum our
vester, vestra, vestrum your
Pater noster Our father

3rd Person Pronouns

Technically, 3rd person pronouns do not exist in Latin as they do in English. However, they do have equivalents.

Adjectives modify nouns and take the gender of the noun which they modify. However, adjectives do not necessarily need a substantive present in the sentence to modify. The substantive can be presumed. In this way, '3rd person' pronouns are formed.

Example 1

Take the masculine form of the adjective 'ille'. Literally it means 'That (masculine) thing.' However one could take it for simply meaning 'he', depending on the context. Similarly, the pronoun 'iste' means 'this (masc.) thing'. Iste and ille are declined in exactly the same way.

If no substantive is provided assume words like these: 'man', 'woman', 'thing', 'idea', 'concept', 'reason' etc. Let context be your guide.

Common Adjectives Used as 3rd Person Pronouns In Latin

Declension of Ille (that)

Declension of ille (that): Singular
Latin English
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative ille illa illud he she it
Genitive illius illius illius his her, hers its
Dative illī illī illī to him to her to it
Accusative illum illam illud him her it
Ablative illō illā illō by, with, from him her it
Declension of ille (that): Plural
Latin English
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative illī illae illa they, those
Genitive illōrum illārum illōrum their, theirs, of those
Dative illīs illīs illīs to them, to those
Accusative illōs illās illa them, those
Ablative illīs illis illīs by, with, from them, those

Ille is often used as a kind of pronoun. In situations with multiple phrases or sentences, however, it is syntactically different from is, ea, id (see below).

For example: "Canis puero cibum dat. Is laborat in agro." means "The dog gives food to the boy. The dog works in the field".

However: "Canis puero cibum dat. Ille laborat in agro." means "The dog gives food to the boy. The boy works in the field".

Thus, ille, unlike the other pronouns makes a previous object into the subject (and vice versa).

Examples of the Usage of Ille:

Latin English
Ille est dominus. He is the master. (ille as pronoun)
Ille dominus est malus. That master is bad. (ille as adjective)
Illam videt He sees her. (or 'she sees her' - illam as pronoun)
Illam puellam videt He (or she) sees that girl (illam as adjective).

Declension of Is, ea, id: (personal pronouns w/ translations)

Singular
Case Latin English
M F N M F N
Nominative is ea id he she it
Genitive eius his her, hers its
Dative to him to her to it
Accusative eum eam id him her it
Ablative by/with him by/with her by/with it
Plural
Case Latin English
M F N M F N
Nominative ei eae ea they, those
Genitive eōrum eārum eōrum their, theirs, of those
Dative eīs, iīs to them, to those
Accusative eōs eās ea them, those
Ablative eīs, iīs by, with, from them, those

Like ille, is can be used as a form of a pronoun.

Examples of the Usage of Is

Latin English
Is est dominus. He is the master. ("is" as pronoun)
Is dominus est malus. The master is bad. ("is" as adjective)
Eam videt. He sees her. (or 'she sees her', "eam" as pronoun)
Eam puellam videt. He (or she) sees the girl. ("eam" as adjective)

Declension of the Relative pronoun qui, quae, quod: (meaning who, which, he)

Singular
M F N M F N
Nominative quī quae quod who which
Genitive cuīus whose of which
Dative cuī to whom to which
Accusative quem quam quod whom which
Ablative quō quā quō by, with, from whom, which
Plural
M F N M F N
Nominative quī quae quae who which
Genitive quorum quarum quorum whose of which

Uses of the Relative Pronoun

The relative pronoun takes on the case depending on the function it serves in the relative clause. For example, in the sentence "He sees the man who has a slave," "who" is translated as nominative because it is the subject of the clause "who has a slave." The antecedent (noun to which the pronoun refers) is usually before the relative clause.

Examples of the Usage of the Relative Pronoun

  1. Virum videt (he/she sees) qui servum (servant) habet (he/she has).
    He sees the man who has a slave
  2. Ille est vir cujus servus est malus.
    That's the man whose slave is bad.
  3. Quis eum videt?
    Who sees him?

Declension of hic, haec, hoc (meaning "this")

Singular
Masculine Femine Neuter
Nominative hic haec hoc this
Genitive huius
Dative huic
Accusative hunc hanc hoc
Ablative hōc hāc hōc
Plural
Masculine Femine Neuter
Nominative hae haec these
Genitive hōrum hārum hōrum
Dative hīs
Accusative hōs hās haec
Ablative hīs

N.B. Hic as an adverb that means 'here'. N.B. Hic can also be used as a pronoun.

Example of the Usage of Hic

Latin English
'Hic' servus, non ille, est malus. This slave, not that one, is bad.


Chapter 1 Verse

Latin I prose

Lesson Vocabulary
Latin English
fulgeo, -ere to shine
aperio, -ire to open
dormio, -ire to sleep
habeo, -ere to have
semper always
tempto, -are to try
dico, -ere to speak, say
femina woman
facio, -ere to make
ecce! look!
velle:
volo
vis
vult
volumus
vultis
volunt
to wish, want:
I want
you want
he/she wants
we want
you want
they want
turba crowd
attonitus astonished
tantus, -a, -um so great
susurro, -are to whisper
patefacio, -ere to open, disclose
rideo, -ere to laugh

The following is a nice easy short story for the Latin novice:


Lucius ad forum it

Sol fulget. Lucius oculos aperit. Videt uxorem suam, Octaviam. Octavia dormit. Ergo, Lucius ad forum it.

Lucius multos amicos habet. Unus ex amicis Claudius est. Claudius semper in foro est. Claudius temptat dicere cum feminis, quod Claudius multas feminas amat. Multae feminae, tamen, Claudium non amant.

Lucius ad forum ambulat. Multos Romanos videt. Unus Romanorum ad cives orationem facit. Est Claudius!

"Ecce! Ecce!" dicit Lucius. Lucius vult dicere cum amico. Claudius, tamen, dicit ad turbam.

"Amicus meus, Lucius" dicit, "hominem necavit."A

Lucius anxius respondet, "Quid dicis, amice?"

Claudius est attonitus. Dicit, "Te non video, mi Luci..."

Lucius respondet, "hominem non necavi! Cur tanta dicis?" Claudius sussurat, "Volo videriB fortissimus, amice. Feminae te amant. Me doletC."

Lucius omniaD turbaeE patefacit.

Multae feminae ad Claudium misserimum rident. Mox, etiam Claudius ad se ridet.



  • A Necavit is the perfect form of necare, meaning "he killed." For more, check out the next chapter.
  • B Videri means "to appear," (or more literally, "to be seen") and is the passive infinitive of video. There is more on that in chapters 2-4.
  • C Me dolet means "makes me suffer".
  • D Omnia means "everything".
  • E turbae is the dative case of "turba", meaning "to the crowd".

Chapter 2: Complicated Sentences


The Imperfect Tense

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Imperfect Active Indicative

The imperfect is a construct like:
I was seeing.
In Latin it would look like this:
Videbam.

English has a similar construct called progressive past. Actions seem incomplete, and so the imperfect label. For example, "I was running," "We were sailing," "They were calling." Note that 'to be' is always there. Latin, however, would sometimes use imperfect like simple past; accordingly, "We were sailing" could be translated as "We sailed." Other translations of imperfect can be used to/kept such as "We used to sail/We kept sailing."

Regardless of language, the concept of an imperfect is important. Imperfect is called imperfect for a reason - in Latin, the verb "perficere" means to finish/complete, which is what perfect is from. Thus, imperfect, in the grammatical sense, means not finished - that the action could be or could not be completed. Perfect instead means it has been finished - I saw. You have already seen, and it is now completed. I was seeing implies that the action is not yet completed.

The perfect tense, which we will learn later, is a more immediate reference to the past. The name, imperfect, helps you remember its use: in situations where you can't say when an event started or ended or happened, you must use the imperfect.

In situations where you can know when an event started or ended or happened, use the perfect.

You conjugate the imperfect tense this way: verb + ba + personal ending

The endings for imperfect are:

singular plural
1st -bam -bamus
2nd -bas -batis
3rd -bas -bant

Note that the only thing we add are ba + the personal endings (the same as in the present tense) to the infinitive stem. This gives us the imperfect conjugation.

Note that in third and fourth conjugations, you will have to form it differently. There is *no* rule to explain this, it just is, although there are memorization techniques that can help.

venire is 4th conjugation and is formed like:

singular plural
1st veniebam veniebamus
2nd veniebas veniebatis
3rd veniebas veniebant

For third conjugation, an example used in some textbooks/study guides is: capere (to capture or seize)

singular plural
1st capiebam capiebamus
2nd capiebas capiebatis
3rd capiebas capiebant

Note that it is easiest to think of what the endings -ere and ire lack. The imperfect -ba + the personal ending, which we can call the imperfect conjugation, must be prefixed by ie.

Lesson Vocabulary
Latin English
amo, amare to love
moneo, monere to warn
vinco, vincere to win, defeat
capio, capere to capture, seize
pello, pellere to drive
sedeo, sedere to sit
lego, legere to read
adsum, adesse to be present
emo, emere to buy
tristis, triste sad
redeo, redire to return, go back
cena, -ae dinner
paratus, -a, -um ready
mater, matris mother
paro, parare to prepare

A few examples:

amabam - I was loving (A-conjugation--1st)
monebatis - You were warning [object/personage] (of something negative) (Pl.) (2nd Conjugation)
vinciebamus - We were defeating (long I-conjugation--3rd conjugation)
capiebant - They were catching (short I-conjugation--3rd conjugation)
pellebat - She/he/it was propelling (drive something (not a vehicle), propel something) (consonantic conjugation)

(Wiki-reading tips: See discussion. Some of the above may be unclear, however the clarifying '--' and '/' indicate verification. We may not know what the original author intended, but we know what conjugations the examples are.)

Conjugation in the Imperfect tense
1st 2nd 3rd mixed 4th Irregular
Infinitive: amare sedere legere capere venire ire velle esse
Singular
1st person: amabam sedebam legebam capiebam veniebam ibam volebam eram
2nd person: amabas sedebas legebas capiebas veniebas ibas volebas eras
3rd person: amabat sedebat legebat capiebat veniebat ibat volebat erat
Plural
1st person: amabamus sedebamus legebamus capiebamus veniebamus ibamus volebamus eramus
2nd person: amabatis sedebatis legebatis capiebatis veniebatis ibatis volebatis eratis
3rd person: amabant sedebant legebant capiebant veniebant ibant volebant erant

Exercises

Translate from Latin to English

1. dum sol fulgebat, puer ambulabat ad forum
2. in foro multus cibus aderat et femina cibum vendebat
3. puer cibum emere volebat sed satis pecuniae (enough money) non habebat
4. puer se vertit (turned (lit. himself) around) et tristis domum rediebat
5. sed ubi domum rediit (returned) cena parata erat quod mater semper cenam parat


The Genitive and Dative Cases

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Noun Tables

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 • Print Version • 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/Print Version • 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

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

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


The Future Tense

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Future I, Passive

Future active is a tense which, unsurprisingly, refers to something which has not yet happened. The endings are fairly basic, and follow fairly regular rules - however, the future endings used in 1st and 2nd conjugation differ from the endings of 3rd, 3rd-io (not a typo!), and 4th.

For example - "amo, amare" (1st conjugation) would be

singular plural
1st Ama bo*
I will love
Ama bimus
We will love
2nd Ama bis
You will love
Ama bitis
Y'all will love
3rd Ama bis
You will love
Ama bunt*
They will love

*1st person singular and 3rd person plural use bo and bunt, not bi. Note the B and the BIs - the distinguishing feature of future tense in Latin.

With "venio, venire" (4th conjugation--io), however, the endings are different. In future, this is what they look like:

singular plural
1st Veni am
I will come
Veni emus
We will come
2nd Veni es
You will come
Veni etis
Y'all will come
3rd Veni es
You will come
Veni ent
They will come

[deleted paragraphs go here. deleted to maintain rigorous accuracy, which we will go back to striving for.)

To clarify: venire, venio.. we know it is 4th conjugation verb and if we look at its first person singular conjugation, we see that it is an io verb, because the conjugation of the first person singular is "venio". (an io category exists within 3rd and fourth conjugations and is a more general concept which we will briefly introduce here by using venire, venio as an example).

Let's first identify what we know.

We know it is 4th conjugation -io because it ends in ire, which tells us that it is 4th conjugation, and io because its nominative singular ends in io (venio). Because it is io, we leave the i in. So, when we are asked (as all textbooks should phrase these new questions):

1. What are the steps to form the future 2nd person conjugation?

We say:

1. It is better to know more than you need: check the infinitive nominative singular, we now know that it is 4th conjugation io. 2. We now know that we can form the stem: the stem is veni and can then add a personal ending--leaving in the i. We leave in the i because it is io. Because it looks weird, we never leave the i in the future perfect.

What is the form for venire, in the future tense, in the 2nd person?

The answer is venies.

Conjugation in the Future tense
1st 2nd 3rd mixed 4th Irregular
Infinitive: amare sedere legere capere venire ire velle esse
Singular
1st person: amabo sedebo legam capiam veniam ibo volam ero
2nd person: amabis sedebis leges capies venies ibis voles eris
3rd person: amabit sedebit leget capiet veniet ibit volet erit
Plural
1st person: amabimus sedebimus legemus capiemus veniemus ibimus volemus erimus
2nd person: amabitis sedebitis legetis capietis venietis ibitis voletis eritis
3rd person: amabunt sedebunt legent capient venient ibunt volent erunt


The Ablative and Vocative Case

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The Ablative Case

The ablative case in Latin has 4 main uses:

  1. With certain prepositions, eg. in, cum, sub
  2. Instrumental ablative, expressing the equivalent of English "by", "with" or "using"
  3. Locative Ablative, using the ablative by itself to mean "in", locating an action in space or time
  4. Ablative of separation or origin, expressing the equivalent of English "from"

The different uses of the ablative will be dealt progressively. For a summary of all forms of the ablative, please consult the Appendix.

Grammar Part 5: The Power of the Ablative Case

Ablative generally indicates position in time and/or space (i.e. when and where). It can also indicate the idea of ways of getting to a location, abstractly or concretely.

Ablative of Means

Exercise

How would you translate "I made the toga by hand"?

  • Hint: You would not (and should not) use the genitive. The case you are studying right now can be used by itself for this goal.
  • Hint: Remember that you won't need to use the pronoun "I," since Latin is based not on word order, but on the endings!
  • Glossary:
    "to make" - Facio ("I make"), facere ("to make"), feci ("I made"), factus ("made")
    "toga" - Toga, togae feminine
    "hand" - Manus, manus feminine (This is fourth declension)
Answer

Answer: Togam manu feci.

In this case, the word "manu" is in the ablative (see fourth declension list) and thus means "by hand."

Exercise

I have my wisdom by means of my teacher.

  • 'Glossary:
    "wisdom" - Sapientia, sapientiae feminine
    "to have" - Habeo ("I have"), habere ("to have"), habui ("I had"), habitus ("had")
    "teacher" - Magister, magistri masculine (This is a second declension word, despite the 'r' at the end, like puer.)
Answer

Answer: Habeo sapientiam magistro.

Ablative of Time

How would you say: I will arrive at the 5th hour.

'at the 5th hour' is indicating position of time. Thus, it can be put into the ablative case, giving:

adveniam quinta hora

In general, therefore, in order to say "In the morning", "At nine O'clock," or "In the tenth year," use ablative. It is generally used to refer to a specific time in which something has, does, or will occur.

Example: I will leave in the night.

Hint: Future tense can be looked up in the appendices of this Wikibook!

Hint: to leave- discedo, discedere; night- nox, noctis(This is a third declension word!)

Answer

Answer: Discedam nocte.

Note the simplicity in which Latin translates the six words into simply two. The ending based language completely negates the need for the words "I," "will," "in," and "the."

Ablative of Place

Naves navigabant mari. The ships were sailing on the sea.

The ablative is also useful for showing the location of things, in general where you would use the words on, in, or at. There is an exception for the slightly more archaic locative, which is used with the words domi (from domus, domus, f., home), ruri (from rus, ruris, n., country [as opposed to city]), and Romae (from Roma, Romae, f., Rome), as well as with the names of towns, cities and small islands.

Latin has its own way of handling prepositions depending on the nouns and their cases in the sentence, including the versatile in, which can take many different meanings depending upon the case of the object.

Ablative with prepositions

Here are a few prepositions that can take the ablative (for a fuller list, see the lesson on adverbs and prepositions in the previous chapter):

Latin English
in[1] in, on
a/ab from
de down from, concerning
e/ex out of, out from
cum with
sine without
pro on behalf of, in front of
super[2] upon, above, beyond
sub[3] under, beneath


  1. Means "into" or "against" when used with the accusative
  2. Has static meaning when used with the ablative but connotes motion when used with the accusative
  3. Usually means "up to" or "up to the foot of" when used with the accusative

As a general rule, when motion is implied, use the accusative, but when location is implied


Example 3

Servus ex agris venit.

"The slave came from the fields."

Note: Ager (ager, agri, m., field) must take an ablative suffix to match the preceding preposition, in this case e/ex.

Incidentally, both ager and campus mean "field," but ager, like its English derivative "agriculture", connotes a farming field, while campus (think "camping" or "college campus") means "open field." The Campus Martius was a large field in Rome used for military training.

The Vocative Case

While you will rarely need to ask Lupus where the bathroom is in Latin, you may find yourself reading either quotes or letters in which a person is being directly addressed. The case it will be in is the vocative.

For example, "Hail, Augustus" will appear in Latin as Ave Auguste, and not Ave Augustus.


Each declension has its own form of the vocative singular and plural. They are listed in the table below.

Furthermore, in all but the second declension, the nominative and vocative are exactly the same!

Number First Second* Third Fourth Fifth
Singular a us->e, ius->i, r->r -- us es
Plural** ae i es us es
  • In the second declension singular, there are three separate possibilities for the vocative, depending on its nominative ending. Hence, if it is a us word, it will become an e and so forth.

Examples for different declensions in the second declension

  • -us:
    Lupus ->Lupe (given name, wolf)
  • -ius:
    Filius -> Fili (son)
    Horatius-> Horati (given name)
  • -r:
    Puer-> Puer (boy)
In all cases, the plural vocative is exactly the same as the plural nominative. This extends to those words which are neuter, which always have an 'a' for the nominative and vocative.

Examples

  1. Hello, Sextus.(Hello= Salve)*
    Salve, Sexte.
  2. Speak, girl! (Speak= dico, dicere, dixi)*
    Dic, puella.
  3. Knee, run!*(Knee= genu; run= curro, currere, cucurri)*
    Genu, curre!
  4. Oh, heart, why do you lead me? (Oh-o; heart- cor, cordis-f.; lead-duco, ducere;
    O, cor! Cur ducis tu me?
  • Note that the first three also require use of the imperative. The imperative is used when ordering or telling someone what to do, e.g.- "Stop," or "Get away from me."

The basic form of the imperative is created by dropping the "re" off of the infinitive form of the verb, as in: Amare, which becomes Ama; at least in the singular active form, which is all that these exercises require. More can be found about this subject in the chapter on verbs.


The 3rd, 4th and 5th declensions

3rd, 4th, and 5th Declension Nouns

We have already seen the first two declensions:

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

We will now complete the table of nouns with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th declensions. These declensions are more difficult to work with because their nominative and accusative plural forms are identical, as are their dative and ablative plural forms. To distinguish the cases, you must use a very simple key: context. Context will tell you the meaning.

3rd Declension Masculine or Feminine (each word has a set gender): rēx, m.

3rd declension nouns have two stems: The nominative and vocative singular stem and the stem used for all other cases. Both stems have to be memorized for each noun. Feminine and masculine forms are indistinguishable.


3rd Declension Singular Plural
nominative rēx rēg-ēs
accusative rēg-em rēg-ēs
genitive rēg-is rēg-um
dative rēg-ī rēg-ibus
ablative rēg-e rēg-ibus

3rd Declension Neuter i-stem: mare

3rd Declension Neuter Singular Plural
nominative* mare mar-ia
accusative mare mar-ia
genitive mar-is mar-ium
dative mar-ī mar-ibus
ablative mar-ī mar-ibus

Other 3rd Declension Neuter: litus

3rd Declension Neuter Singular Plural
nominative* litus litor-a
accusative litus litor-a
genitive litor-is litor-um
dative litor-ī litor-ibus
ablative litor-ī litor-ibus

List of common 3rd declension stem change patterns

Singular Nominative Main stem Main gender Examples
-is -is masc/fem canis, navis, hostis
-s -is masc/fem urbs, rex*, matrix*
-s -tis masc/fem nox*, mons, pons
-o -onis masc/fem legio, auditio, statio
-en -inis neuter carmen, flumen, examen
-or -oris masc/fem amor, timor
-us -oris neuter litus, corpus
-us -eris neuter genus, vulnus
  • regs and matrics, respectively, but the gs and cs both compound into x. The c and g stay in the other cases, hence regis and matricis as their genitives. Nox (gen. noctis) works similarly.

4th Declension Masculine/Feminine (each word has a set gender) gradus, m.

4th Declension Singular Plural
nominative grad-us grad-ūs
accusative grad-um grad-ūs
genitive grad-ūs grad-uum
dative grad-uī grad-ibus
ablative grad-ū grad-ibus

4th Declension Neuter: cornū

4th Declension Neuter Singular Plural
nominative corn-ū corn-ua
vocative corn-ū corn-ua
accusative corn-ū corn-ua
genitive corn-ūs corn-uum
dative corn-ū corn-ibus
ablative corn-ū corn-stopcheatingonyourlatinhomework""

5th Declension Masculine/Feminine (each word has a set gender; most are feminine): rēs, f.

5th Declension Feminine/Masculine Singular Plural
nominative r-ēs -ēs
vocative r-ēs r-ēs
accusative r-ēm r-ēs
genitive r-ēī r-ērum
dative r-ēī r-ēbus
ablative r-ē r-ēbus

Exercises

Exercise 1

Latin English Notes
villa, -ae farmhouse 1st declension feminine
mittō, -ere, mīsī, missum send 3rd conjugation
nomen, nominis name 3rd declension neuter
maledicō, -dicere, -dīxī, -dictum insult 3rd conjugation
placeō, -ere, placui, placitum + dat please Can be used as an impersonal verb, eg. mihi placet + inf = it pleases me to...
quā rē on account of which
iste, ista, istud that damn man/woman/thing Declines like ille, illa, illud (that)
interficiō, -ficere, -fēci, -fectum kill Mixed conjugation
volō, velle, voluī want, be willing The present forms are: volo, vis, vult, volumus, vultis, volunt
mandō, mandere, mansī, mansum chew on 3rd conjugation

Translate the following:

Hodiē militēs ad villam meī amīcī mittō. Meō amicō, Marcō Tulliō nomine, mē in Senatū maledicere placet, quā rē istum interficere volō.

For extra credit, who in the late Republic might have said such a thing?

(The answer should be: Catiline?)


Exercise 2

Translate the following:

Eheu! Mūs meum pānem mandit. Nunc nihil habeō. Me miserum!


Irregular Verbs & Revision

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Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs do not fit in any particular conjugation. Irregular verbs conjugate but not in a predictable manner. An example of an irregular verb that you have met is 'esse'. There are a few others which will be listed in the present indicate active tense below for you to memorise and refer to.


Verb Meaning ego tu is/ea nos vos ei/eae Imperative sing. Imp. pl
ire to go eo is it imus itis eunt i ite
esse to be sum es est sumus estis sunt es este
fieri to become fio fis fit fimus fitis fiunt fi fite
velle to wish volo vis vult volumus vultis volunt (none) (none)
malle to prefer malo mavis mavult malumus mavultis malunt (none) (none)
nolle to be unwilling nolo non vis non vult nolumus non vultis nolunt noli* nolite
ferre* to carry fero fers fert ferimus fertis ferunt fer ferte
The imperatives noli and nolite are used to mean "don't", eg. "nolite ire" = "don't go!"
Sometimes ferre is considered to be an 'o' stem 3rd conjugation verb. For practical purposes ferre is irregular.

Exercise 1

1. Copy out this table and translate.

Translate the following sentences:

1. fero portam. 2. fers portam 3. fert portam 4. ferimus portam 5. fertis portam 6. ferunt portam 7. sum bonus 8. es bonus 9. est bonus 10. sumus bonī 11. estis bonī 12. sunt bonī 13. este bonī! 14. nolī currāre!

Answer the following questions:

15. What do the irregular verbs have in common with regular verbs? 16. Why do we use 'boni' in question 10, 11, and 12 but 'bonus' in question 7, 8 and 9?

Exercise 2

Exercises:

1. Decline the following five nouns in both singular and plural number in the five common cases (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative):


Singular
Nominative nauta ātrium servus dictātor rēx cornū diēs
Accusative
Genitive
Dative
Ablative
Plural
Nominative
Accusative
Genitive
Dative
Ablative

2. Conjugate the verb 'servāre' in both singular and plural number and all three persons.

3. Conjugate the verb 'esse', in both singular and plural number and all three persons.

4. Translate:

Nota Bene: Often Latin uses the present to indicate a 'vivid past'. It would be suitable to translate the following passage in the past tense.

Latin English Notes
heri yesterday heri is an adverb. Don't try to use it as a noun ("Yesterday was a good day")
taberna, -ae shop 1st declension feminine
solea, -ae sandle 1st declension feminine
sic so, and so, thus
solus, -a, -um alone The adverb form (only) is solum
casa, -ae house, hut 1st declension feminine
sto, stare, steti, statum stand One of the few irregular first conjugation verbs

Heri, ad tabernam eō. In tabernā sunt trēs rēs quārum amō duas sōleās et unam mensam. Habeō trēs denariōs, sīc ego emeō mensam sōlum quod sum nōn dīvīnitās. Hodiē, mensa est in casā meā. In triclīnio stat.


Translation Exercise

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

Using a Dictionary

To find a Latin word in the dictionary can be difficult. Foremost, Latin verbs are listed using their the 'present indicative 1st person singular active' construct of the verb. Thus, to find the meaning of the verb 'amāre', one must find 'amō' listed in the dictionary. Thus, one must use their wits to determine what the stem and what is the ending of the verb. A bit of searching around in the dictionary may be required. There are a few verbs which are highly irregular which must be learnt such as 'ferō', I carry.

Nouns are usually much easier. They are always given in the nominative singular case. If you see a noun such as 'vōcem', and do not know what it is, do not fret. If you look for 'vōc' in the dictionary, you will not find what you are looking for. 'em' is typically a third declension accusative ending, thus you should be aware that third declension nouns have radically changing stems. Those which have the consonent 'c' usually have the consonent 'x' replacing it in the nominative singular. Thus the nominative singular of vōcem, is vōx. Likewise, 'g' is also often used when shifting from nominative singular cases to other cases. For example, rēx becomes 'rēgem' in the accusative. There are plenty of other simple rules which one learns through experience.

Unconjugatable and indeclinable words are listed 'as is'.

Exercise 1

Vocabulary

Latin English Notes
confessio, -ōnis confession 3rd declension feminine
liber, libri book 2nd declension masculine
malus, -a, -um bad
de + abl. from, down from, aside; about, concerning

Passage

Translate the following passage:

Confessiōnum meārum librī tredecim et dē malīs et dē bonīs meīs deum laudant iūstum et bonum atque in eum excitant hūmānum intellectum et affectum. Interim quod ad mē attinet, hoc in mē egērunt cum scriberentur et agunt cum leguntur. Quid dē illīs aliī sentiant, ipsī viderint; multīs tamen frātribus eōs multum placuisse et placēre sciō.


Imperfect and Future indicative active constructs

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Intro: 12
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Chapter 5 123456789

Imperfect and Future constructs

Warning: Beyond the imperfect, this page cannot is not entirely clear. Do not use it beyond the basic imperfect if you are a first time Latin student. Specific aspects confused me until I got up in the morning. Of course, I never knew them very well anyway.

See discussion for my thoughts on this.

I have substansially corrected this page. I apologize for my prior errors.

Smkatz 14:14, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I don't believe that it's 3rd conjugation that receives the "ie," but rather only 3rd-io. So, in your example, "vinciebam" ought to be, "vincebam," but "accipiō" will be "accipiebam."


Imperfect Active Indicative

The imperfect is a construct like:
I was seeing.
In Latin it would look like this:
Videbam.

English has a similar construct called progressive past. Actions seem incomplete, and so the imperfect label. For example, "I was running," "We were sailing," "They were calling." Note that 'to be' is always there. Latin, however, would sometimes use imperfect like simple past; accordingly, "We were sailing" could be translated as "We sailed." Other translations of imperfect can be used to/kept such as "We used to sail/We kept sailing."

Regardless of language, the concept of an imperfect is important. Imperfect is called imperfect for a reason - in Latin, the verb "perficere" means to finish/complete, which is what perfect is from. Thus, imperfect, in the grammatical sense, means not finished - that the action could be or could not be completed. Perfect instead means it has been finished - I saw. You have already seen, and it is now completed. I was seeing implies that the action is not yet completed.

The perfect tense, which we will learn later, is a more immediate reference to the past. The name, imperfect, helps you remember its use: in situations where you can't say when an event started or ended or happened, you must use the imperfect.

In situations where you can know when an event started or ended or happened, use the perfect.

You conjugate the imperfect tense this way: verb + ba + personal ending

The endings for imperfect are:

Sg.
1. -bam
2. -bas
3. -bat
Pl.
1. -bamus
2. -batis
3. -bant

Note that the only thing we add are ba + the personal endings (the same as in the present tense) to the infinitive stem. This gives us the imperfect conjugation.

Note that in third and fourth conjugations, you will have to form it differenntly. There is *no* rule to explain this, it just is, although there are memorization techniques that can help.

venire is 4th conjugation and is formed like: veniebam veniebas veniebat veniebamus veniebatis veniebant

For third conjugation, an example used in some textbooks/study guides is: capere (to capture or seize)

capiebam capiebas capiebat capiebamus capiebatis capiebant

Note that it is easiest to think of what the endings -ere and ire lack. The imperfect -ba + the personal ending, which we can call the imperfect conjugation, must be prefixed by ie.

A few examples:

amabam - I was loving (A-conjugation--1st)
monebatis - You were warning [object/personage] (of something negative) (Pl.) (2nd Conjugation)
'vinciebamus - We were defeating (long I-conjugation--3rd conjugation)
capiebant - They were catching (short I-conjugation--3rd conjugation)
pellebat - She/he/it was propelling (drive something (not a vehicle), propel something) (consonantic conjugation)

(Wiki-reading tips: See discussion. Some of the above may be unclear, however the clarifying '--' and '/' indicate verification. We may not know what the original author intended, but we know what conjugations the examples are.)

Future I, Active

Future active is a tense which, unsurprisingly, refers to something which has not yet happened. The endings are fairly basic, and follow fairly regular rules - however, the future endings used in 1st and 2nd conjugation differ from the endings of 3rd, 3rd-io (not a typo!), and 4th.

For example - "amo, amare" (1st conjugation) would be

Ama bo - I will love
* Ama bis - You will love
Ama bit - He/She/It will love
Ama bimus - We will love
Ama bitis - Y'all will love
Ama bunt - They will love
*

  • 1st person singular and 3rd person plural use bo and bunt, not bi.

Note the B and the BIs - the distinguishing feature of future tense in Latin.

With "venio, venire" (4th conjugation--io), however, the endings are different. In future, this is what they look like:

Veni am - I will come
Veni es - You will come
Veni et - He/She/It will come
Veni emus - We will come
Veni etis - Y'all will come
Veni ent - They will come

[deleted paragraphs go here. deleted to maintain rigorous accuracy, which we will go back to striving for.)

To clarify: venire, venio.. we know it is 4th conjugation verb and if we look at its first person singular conjugation, we see that it is an io verb, because the conjugation of the first person singular is "venio". (an io category exists within 3rd and fourth conjugations and is a more general concept which we will briefly introduce here by using venire, venio as an example).

Let's first identify what we know.

We know it is 4th conjugation -io because it ends in ire, which tells us that it is 4th conjugation, and io because its nominative singular ends in io (venio). Because it is io, we leave the i in. So, when we are asked (as all textbooks should phrase these new questions):

1. What are the steps to form the future 2nd person conjugation?

We say:

1. It is better to know more than you need: check the infinitive nominative singular, we now know that it is 4th conjugation io. 2. We now know that we can form the stem: the stem is veni and can then add a personal ending--leaving in the i. We leave in the i because it is io. Because it looks weird, we never leave the i in the future perfect.

What is the form for venire, in the future tense, in the 2nd person?

The answer is venies.

Future conjugation

Example: I will love:
amabo


The table at the end of this page tries to sumamrize the future tense, with both sets of personal endings. As the warning notes, this summary may confuse some.

As an aid to your understanding, this table only applies to the future tense. Do not assume the table is displaying a pattern that is somehow applicable to all of Latin.

(Wiki-reading-tip: This is why they are in the future section, and were not discussed before.)

The A- and the E- conjugation are (relatively) straight-forward. The others are more advanced, and as the warning notes, could confuse a first-time student. Commercial textbooks probably explain it better at this point, although laying their explanation in a table like the one below is well-advised. Leave items marked with a ? in until issues are resolved.

Take a look at the following table:


A E long I (vincere/3rd conj.) short I Consonantic
ama-bo mone-bo vinci-am capi-am pell-am
ama-bis mone-bis vinci-es capi-es pell-es
ama-bit mone-bit vinci-et capi-et pell-et
ama-bimus mone-bimus vinci-emus capi-emus pell-emus
ama-bitis mone-bitis vinci-etis capi-etis pell-etis
ama-bunt mone-bunt vinci-ent capi-ent pell-ent

The vocabulary mostly consists of verbs, and can easily be looked up in a dictionary. We will give a limited translation below, and the rest, for those who are particularly adept at language learning, can be learned through imersion.

capere (3rd conjugation--short ere): to seize, metaphorically or literally [see dictionary for full explanation]

amare (first conjugation -are): to love

EXERCISE: Can you be your own editor?

monere (what conjugation? 2nd Conjugation Does it change based on the macron over the first vowel on the ending? Yes long ere = 2nd short =3rd[long ere vs. short ere?]

It means to warn like in admonish (an English word that means to scold lightly.)


Chapter 2 Verse

Using a Dictionary

Foremost, Latin verbs are listed using the present indicative first person singular active construct of the verb. For example, to find the meaning of the verb amāre, you must find amō listed in the dictionary. Some verbs like esse and ferre are highly irregular and use different stems to form the perfect tenses.

Nouns are usually much easier. They are always given in the nominative singular. If you see a noun such as vōcem and do not know what it is, do not fret. If you look for voc- in the dictionary, you will not find what you are looking for. The ending -em typically belongs to the third-declension accusative; thus, be aware that third-declension nouns have radically changing stems. Those that have the consonant c or g usually have the consonant x in the nominative singular. Thus the nominative singular of vōcem is vōx, and rēx becomes rēgem in the accusative singular. There are plenty of other simple rules which you will learn through experience.

Words that do not conjugate or decline (like prepositions and particles) are listed under their only form.

Exercise 1

Vocabulary

  1. affectus, -ūs, m., goodwill
  2. confessiō, -ōnis, f., confession
  3. , from, about, concerning
  4. liber, librī, m., book
  5. malus -a -um, evil, bad
  6. placeō -ēre + dative, to please (placuīsse is a perfect infinitive)
  7. filia, -ae f., daughter
  8. puella, -ae f., girl

Other Difficulties

  1. quod ad mē attinet, as far as I'm concerned
  2. cum scriberentur, when they were written (imperfect passive subjuntive)
  3. quid sentiant, what they think (present subjunctive in indirect question)
  4. ipsī viderint, (loosely) they will see in their own way (future perfect)
  5. eōs placēre sciō, accusative-infinitive construction for indirect statement: "I know they [the books] please"

Passage

Translate the following passage:

Confessiōnum meārum librī tredecim et dē malīs et dē bonīs meīs deum laudant iūstum et bonum atque in eum excitant humānum intellectum et affectum. Interim quod ad mē attinet, hoc in mē ēgērunt cum scriberentur et agunt cum leguntur. quid dē illīs aliī sentiant, ipsī viderint; multīs tamen frātribus eōs multum placuīsse et placēre sciō.


Chapter 3: Advanced Sentences


Imperatives

Imperative

Positive Imperative

English

In English (and in Latin), the positive imperative is a command. For example:

  • Do it!
  • Stop, in the name of love!
  • Take out the garbage!

Latin

In Latin, the imperative singular is found by taking the last two letters off of the infinitive. The six exceptions to this rule are dicere (dic), ducere (duc), facere (fac), velle, malle (infinitives not used) and nolle (noli). Ferre (fer) and esse (es) are often considered irregular due to the lack of a vowel at the end but we can see that applying the rule of removing the last two letters forms the imperatives correctly.

Examples:

Run, boy!

Curre, puer![1] (from curro, currere; to run)


Go!

I! (from eo, ire; to go)


)


  1. In many cases, the vocative will be used with the imperative, unless the imperative is used in a conversation or at a reader, as in a letter or guide.

Questions

Write out:

  1. Love me, Octavia! (to love = amo, amare)
  2. Come to Rome! (to come = venio, venire; Rome = Roma, Romae, f.)

Plural

To form the plural imperative in Latin, take the 2nd person plural present form of the verb (eg. amatis, sedetis, regitis, venitis) and replace the is at the end with e. The only exceptions to the rule are velle, malle (imperatives not used) and nolle (nolite). Ferre (ferte) and esse (este) are often considered irregular but applying the rule (fertis -> ferte, estis -> este) correctly forms the imperatives.

Go home, boys!

Ite domum, pueri.

Stay, all of you!

Manete, omnes!

Exercises

Write out:

  1. Take them, men! (to take = adripio, adripere)
  2. Fear me, children! (to fear = timeo, timere; children = liberi)

Negative Imperative

English

In English, we use the word "don't" for prohibitions, or negative imperatives. For example:

  • Don't do it!
  • Don't say that!

Latin

Similarly, in Latin the negative imperative is formed with two words, the imperative of nolo, nolle and the infinitive.

Nolo by itself means "I do not want," but in its imperative it means "do not...!"

Nolle is irregular, and its imperative forms are noli and nolite.

Examples

Do not fear me!

Noli me timere!

Don't build the aqueduct there, soldiers!

Nolite aquaeductum ibi aedificare, milites!

Don't wash the dog, boys!

Nolite, pueri, canem lavare!

Exercises

Translate:

  1. Don't cry, daughter! (to cry = fleo, flere)
  2. Don't hurt me, friends! (to hurt = vulnero, vulnerare)
  3. Don't go into the water, boys!
  4. Don't hurt them, soldiers! (them = use eos, masculine accusative plural of is, ea, id)


Active v. Passive Verbs

Latin
Intro: 12
Chapter 1 123456
Chapter 2 12345678
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A verb's voice shows the relationship between the subject and the action expressed by the verb. Latin has two voices: active and passive.

In the active voice, the subject of the clause performs the verb on something else (the object), e.g., "The girl sees the boy."

In the passive voice, the subject of the sentence receives the action of the verb, e.g., "The boy is seen by the girl."

The personal endings in the active voice are: /-m, -s, -t, -mus, -tis, -nt.

The personal endings in the passive voice (present, imperfect, future) are: -r, -ris, -tur, -mur, -mini, -ntur.

In the perfect, pluperfect and future perfect, the passive voice is formed by the fourth principal part plus the proper forms of sum, esse. For the perfect tense, use the present forms of esse, for the pluperfect use the imperfect forms of esse, and for the future perfect use the future forms of esse. The fourth principal part, when used in a passive construction, acts as a first-second declension adjective and is declined accordingly.

As stated before, when the passive voice is used, the subject receives the action of the verb from another agent. This agent, when it is a person, is expressed by the preposition ā/ab plus the ablative case. This construction is called the ablative of personal agent. The ablative of cause is used without a preposition when the agent is not a person.

Examples:

  • Active: Puella puerum videt. (The girl sees the boy.)
  • Passive: Puer ā puellā vidētur. (The boy is seen by the girl.)
Puella takes ā and the ablative, as it is a personal agent.
  • Active: Timor virum capit. (Fear seizes the man.)
  • Passive: Vir a timore capitur. (The man is seized by fear.)
Timore is ablative of cause.
  • Active: Hostēs urbem oppugnābant. (The enemies were attacking the city.)
  • Passive: Urbs ab hostibus oppugnābatur. (The city was being attacked by the enemies.)

Deponent verbs

Some verbs are always passive in form, even though they have an active meaning. For example:

  • filius agricolam sequitur - The son follows the farmer
  • sol ortus est - The sun has risen
  • agricola hostes verentur - The farmers fear the enemies
  • gladio usus sum - I used a sword

Some, called semi-deponent verbs, take on a passive form on only in the perfect. For example:

  • colono confido - I trust the farmer
  • colono confisus sum - I trusted the farmer

Note that some deponent and semi-deponent verbs take the accusative case (eg. vereor, vereri, veritus sum = I fear), some the ablative (eg. utor, uti, usus sum = I use) and some the dative (eg. confido, confidere, confisus sum = I trust). When you first encounter such a verb in Latin, be sure to remember the case of the object the verb is taking along with its spelling and meaning.


Indicative Passive Verbs

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

See discussion for a tutorial on the passive voice and how to use it in Latin, including external links which explain future, imperfect, and present indicative passive verb forms.

I consider commercial textbooks to be inadequate, so I do not believe that this article can wait.


Here are the conjugations for the imperfect passive tenses. The basic rules for going to passive are:

In the first person, add -r if the active ending is a vowel, otherwise change the final constant to an -r. Examples:

paro (I prepare) -> paror (I am being prepared)
aperiebam (I was opening) -> aperiebar (I was being opened)
defendemus (we will defend) -> defendemur (we will be defended)
tenebimus (we will hold) -> tenebimur (we will be held)

In the third person, add -ur. Examples:

parat (he prepares) -> paratur (he is being prepared)
aperiebat (he was opening) -> aperiebatur (he was being opened)
defendent (they will defend) -> defendentur (they will be defended)
tenebunt (they will hold) -> tenebuntur (they will be held)

In the second person, things get more complicated. For the plural, replace "tis" with "mini". Note the exception in "ferre", where "fertis" becomes "ferimini". In the word "ferre", the "rm" letter combination consistently gets separated (ferimus instead of fermus, ferimur instead of fermur and ferimini instead of fermini). For the singular present, take out the active ending, add the thematic vowel (a from -are, e from -ere, i from -ire and nothing from -re, as in ferre) of the verb's infinitive ending and add -ris. Examples:

paras (you prepare) -> pararis (you are being prepared)
tenes (you are holding) -> teneris (you are being held)
defendis (you are defending) -> defenderis (you are being defended)
audis (you are listening) -> audiris (you are being listened to)
defendetis (you will defend) -> defendemini (you are being defended)
amabis (you will love) -> amaberis (you will be loved)

Note the -eris ending in the future passive. The future active bo, bis, bit, bimus, bitis, bunt looks like the third conjugation so the passive bor, beris, bitur, bimur, bimini, buntur looks like the third conjugation. The imperfect passive is bar, baris, batur, bamur, bamini, bantur.

Conjugation in the Present Passive
1st 2nd 3rd mixed 4th Irregular
Infinitive: amare terrere legere capere audire ferre
Singular
1st person: amor terreor legor capior audior feror
2nd person: amaris terreris legeris caperis audiris ferris
3rd person: amatur terretur legitur capitur auditur fertur
Plural
1st person: amamur terremur legimur capimur audimur ferimur
2nd person: amamini terremini legimini capimini audimini ferimini
3rd person: amantur terrentur leguntur capiuntur audiuntur feruntur
Conjugation in the Imperfect Passive
1st 2nd 3rd mixed 4th Irregular
Infinitive: amare terrere legere capere audire ferre
Singular
1st person: amabar terrebar legebar capiebar audiebar ferebar
2nd person: amabaris terrebaris legebaris capibaeris audiebaris ferebaris
3rd person: amabatur terrebatur legebatur capiebatur audiebatur ferebatur
Plural
1st person: amabamur terrebamur legebamur capiebamur audiebamur ferebamur
2nd person: amabamini terrebamini legebamini capiebamini audiebamini ferebamini
3rd person: amabantur terrebantur legebantur capiebantur audiebantur ferebantur
Conjugation in the Future Passive
1st 2nd 3rd mixed 4th Irregular
Infinitive: amare terrere legere capere audire ferre
Singular
1st person: amabor terrebor legar capiar audiar ferar
2nd person: amaberis terreberis legeris capieris audieris fereris
3rd person: amabitur terrebitur legetur capietur audietur feretur
Plural
1st person: amabimur terrebimur legemur capiemur audiemur feremur
2nd person: amabimini terrebimini legemini capiemini audiemini feremini
3rd person: amabuntur terrebuntur legentur capientur audientur ferentur


Principal Parts

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Principal Parts

All Latin verbs are identified by four principal parts. By using the four principal parts, one can obtain any and all forms of the verb, including participles, infinitives, gerunds and the like.

Examples of principal parts from verbs of each conjugation:

1st: ambulō, ambulāre, ambulāvī, ambulātum (to walk)
2nd: doceō, docēre, docuī, doctum (to teach)
3rd: mittō, mittere, mīsī, mīssum (to send)
4th: audiō, audīre, audīvī, audītum (to hear)

For all regular verbs, the principal parts consist of the first person singular present active indicative, the infinitive, the first person singular perfect active indicative, and the supine (or in some texts, the perfect passive participle).

  • Deponent verbs have only three principal parts:
patior, patī, passus sum (to suffer)
ūtor, ūtī, ūsus sum (to use)
  • Likewise, semi-deponent verbs have only three:
audeō, audēre, ausus sum (to dare)
gaudeō, gaudēre, gavīsus sum (to rejoice)

Some verbs lack fourth principal parts (e.g., timeō, timēre, timuī, —; to be afraid); others, less commonly, lack a third in addition (e.g., ferro, ferre, tuli, latum; to bring/carry). Others, such as sum, esse, fuī, futūrus, may use the future active participle (futūrus) as their fourth principal part; this indicates that the verb cannot be made passive.


The Perfect Indicative Tense

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Latin Perfect Active Tense

The perfect tense is used for action that has already been completed. English has two corresponding constructions: present perfect and simple past. The present perfect uses the present of "to have" plus the past participle. ("I have sailed to Athens twice." "These women have spoken the truth.") The simple past is a separate verb form that indicates a completed action. ("I came, I saw, I conquered.") Another related form, which uses "did" as an auxiliary, is used for emphasis, negation or interrogation. ("I did see you at the Forum, didn't I?")

In Latin, the perfect indicative is equivalent to all of these.

The perfect endings:

Person Singular Plural
1st (egō) -īmus (nōs)
2nd -istī (tu) -istis (vōs)
3rd -it (is/ea/id) -ērunt (1) (eī/eae/ea)

(1) There is an alternative third person plural ending, -ēre, used mainly in poetry. For example, amāvēre = amāvērunt.

Although these endings apply to all Latin verbs, each verb's stem changes differently in the perfect tense. To find the stem, use the third principal part, which is the first person singular perfect active indicative form of that verb.

  • To conjugate the perfect present, attach the personal ending to the perfect stem.

Example

  • amō, amāre, amāvī, amātum; to love, like
Note that amāvī is the first person singular perfect active indicative. Drop the to get the stem, which is amāv-, then add personal endings.

Singular:

amāv- + -ī = amāvī (I have loved.)
amāv- + -istī = amāvistī (You have loved.)
amāv- + -it = amāvit (He/She/It has loved.)

Plural:

amāv- + -īmus = amāvīmus (We have loved.)
amāv- + -istis = amāvistis (You have loved.)
amāv- + -ērunt = amāvērunt (They have loved.)

Basically, the Perfect indicative active is the perfect tense under a flash name.

Rules for Finding the Perfect Stem

The perfect stem can often be guessed by knowing the verb's first person singular and infinitive. Here are some rules that perfect stems often follow.

Conjugation in the Perfect tense
Conjugation Perfect First Person Singular Notes
1st (-are) -avi -i -edi -avi is used for the overwhelming majority of verbs. Exceptions include iuvare and lavare (iuvi, lavi) and dare (dedi).
2nd (-eo, -ere): -ui -i -si -ui is the most common but much less so than -avi in the first conjugation. Some verbs, like videre and sedere, become vidi and sedi. . For the -si rule, the letter d at the end of the stem, if present, is dropped and cs and gs compound into x (eg. rideo -> ridsi -> risi).
3rd (-o, -ere): -i -si -idi Many verbs, like defendere, keep the same perfect stem, so the first person perfect singular becomes defendi. This can create tense ambiguity in the third person singular and first person plural (defendit, defendimus). The -si rule follows the same conventions as the 2nd conjugation(eg. ludere -> ludsi -> lusi, regere -> regsi -> rexi). The -idi rule is used with compounds of dare, which are all third conjugation (eg. reddere -> reddidi, credere -> credidi)
mixed (-io, -ere): -i -ivi -si For the -i rule, the last vowel in the stem is often changed to e (eg. capere -> cepi, facere -> feci). For the ivi rule, the stem is unchanged (eg. cupere -> cupivi). For the -si rule, just like in the 3rd conjugation, cs and gs compound into x and the changing vowel rule also applies (eg. conspicere -> conspexi).
4th (-io, ire) -ivi -ui Fairly straightforward. eg. audire -> audivi, aperire -> aperui
ire (irreg.) -ii All ire compounds (eg. transire, redire, inire) follow this rule.
esse (irreg.) fui The perfect of esse is fui, some verbs in the esse family change the perfect slightly (eg. abesse -> afui, posse -> potui)


The Perfect Indicative Passive Verbs

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The perfect passive is an easy tense to form in Latin, and it is also one of the most useful. The verb "to love" in the perfect passive would translate into English as "I was loved".


Forming the Perfect Passive in Latin

In order to form the perfect passive you must be familiar with the principal parts of the verb with which you are working, e.g., amo, amāre, amāvī, amātum. The fourth principal part is the perfect passive participle.

  • In its neuter nominative form, the perfect passive participle is identical to the nominative supine (a fourth-declension noun whose morphology and usage are very restricted). Be careful not to confuse the two.

To use the perfect passive, first determine the gender and number of the subject of the sentence. For example, in the sentence "The queen was killed by the soldier," queen is the subject. In Latin, queen will be feminine nominative singular (regīna).

Now make the participle agree with the subject in gender and number (and case), just as you would with any adjective. As a review, the singular endings for the participle, a first/second declension adjective, are:

  Masculine: -us — (amātus)
  Feminine:  -a — (amāta)
  Neuter: -um — (amātum)

The endings for plural nouns are:

  Masculine:  — (amātī)
  Feminine:  -ae — (amātae)
  Neuter: -a — (amāta)

These participles by themselves can be translated with "having been", eg. amatus = having been loved. Add a present form of sum, and you have the perfect passive, eg. amatus sum = I am having been loved = I have been loved.

Conjugation of Verbs in the Perfect Passive

First Conjugation (amō, to love)

Person Singular Plural
1st amātus(/-a) sum amātī(/-ae) sumus
2nd amātus(/-a) es amātī(/-ae) estis
3rd amātus(/-a/-um) est amātī(/-ae/-a) sunt

Second Conjugation (moneō, to warn)

Person Singular Plural
1st monitus sum monitī sumus
2nd monitus es monitī estis
3rd monitus est monitī sunt


Third Conjugation (regō, to rule)

Person Singular Plural
1st rectus sum recti sumus
2nd rectus es rectī estis
3rd rectus est rectī sunt


Fourth Conjugation (audiō, to hear)

Person Singular Plural
1st audītus sum audītī sumus
2nd audītus es audītī estis
3rd audītus est audītī sunt

Notes

  1. Remember that the subject must agree with the passive participle.
  2. Passive verbs do not take an object. Instead they have an agent or instrument, indicated by the ablative case.

Examples

Regina ā milite interfecta est.

"The queen was killed by the soldier."

Rex ad proelium est ā servīs portātus.

"The king was carried to the battle by his slaves."

Numquam enim ā Pomponiā nostrā certior sum factus esse cuī dare litterās possem. (Cicero, Ad Atticum 1.5)

"For I was never made aware by our Pomponia that there was someone to whom I could give a letter."

Exercises

Convert the following sentences with relative clauses into sentences with the same meaning but using past participles.

eg. Aemilianus vidit urbem quam deleverat -> Aemilianus vidit urbem a se deletam

  1. colonus exit casam quam vendidit
  2. colonus videt nuntium (messenger) quam Romam misit
  3. nuntius colono dedit epistolam quam coloni pater scripserat
  4. colonus gratias egit (gave thanks) nuntio quem saepe viderat


Future and Past Perfect Indicative Tenses

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Future perfect

The future perfect tense is used for an action that will have been completed in the future by the time something else has happened.

English example: "I will have seen the movie by the time it comes out."

To form the future perfect, take the perfect stem and add the future perfect endings:

-erō -erimus
-eris -eritis
-erit -erint

Note the similarities to the future tense of sum, except for the third person plural ending -erint[1] in place of -erunt, which serves as the perfect ending instead.

Hence: amāverō, I will have loved; vīderitis, you (pl.) will have seen


  1. -int as an ending is rare; -erint and sint are two of the most common

Pluperfect

The pluperfect tense is used to describe something in the past that happened before another event in the past.

English example: "I had graduated by the time I applied for a job."

To form the pluperfect, take the perfect stem and add the pluperfect endings:

-eram -erāmus
-erās -erātis
-erat -erant

Hence: amāveram, I had loved; vīderātis, you (pl.) had seen


Examples

De Acutiliano autem negotio quod mihi mandaras (mandaveras), ut primum a tuo digressu Romam veni, confeceram. (Cicero, Ad Atticum 1.5)

"But as to the business of Acutilius that you had entrusted with me, I had already taken care of it when I came to Rome first thing after your departure." Note the relationship of the pluperfect verbs mandaras (-aras is a common contraction for -averas) and confeceram to the perfect verb veni.

Ego certe meum officium praestitero. (Caesar, De Bello Gallico IV)

"I certainly will have prevailed in my duty."


Ablative Absolute and Accusative Infinitive Constructions

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Ablative Absolute

The ablative absolute construction is used in a sentence to provide a background for the main action in the sentence. An ablative absolute is formed with a noun and an adjective or participle in the ablative case.

convivis ingressis ille cenam parat

With the guests having entered, he prepares dinner.

viris in taberna bibentibus feminae diligenter laborabant

With the men drinking in the tavern, the women worked diligently.

omnibus ieiunis multos panes parare debuit

With everyone (being) hungry, he had to prepare lots of bread.

Accusative Infinitive

The accusative infinitive construction is used to indirectly report speech or thoughts. An accusative infinitive construction is formed by taking the indirect clause and putting the subject in the accusative and the verb in the infinitive.

ille credit pueros stultos esse

He believes the boys to be fools = He believes that the boys are fools.

magister parentibus dicit pueros stultos esse

The teacher says to the parents that the boys are fools.

colonus uxori dicit se confectum esse

The farmer says to his wife that he is exhausted.

In this sentence, note how the reflexive se refers to the main subject of the sentence.

colonus uxori dixit se confectum esse

The farmer said to his wife that he was tired.

Note how esse, despite being a present infinitive, is translated into the past tense. This is because the infinitive uses the action of the main verb, in this case dixit as a reference point instead of the present.

But what about sentences such as "the farmer says to his wife that he worked diligently"? For those, you need to use the past infinitive.

Overview of infinitives in all tenses

Tense Active Passive Active Passive Active Passive Active Passive
Present amare amari monere moneri regere regi audire audiri
Past amavisse amatus, -a, -um esse monuisse monitus, -a, -um esse rexisse rectus, -a, -um esse audivisse auditus, -a, -um esse
Future amaturus, -a, -um esse amatum iri moniturus, -a, -um esse monitum iri recturus, -a, -um esse rectum iri auditurus, -a, -um esse auditum iri

The sentence "The farmer says to his wife that he worked diligently" would thus translate as:

colonus uxori dicit se diligenter laboravisse

The following examples show how different infinitives with the main verb in the past and present would appear in English:

  • colonus uxori dixit se diligenter laboravisse = The farmer said to his wife that he had worked diligently.
  • colonus uxori dixit se diligenter laborare = The farmer said to his wife that he was working diligently.
  • colonus uxori dixit se diligenter laboraturum esse = The farmer said to his wife that he would work (or was going to work) diligently.
  • colonus uxori dicit se diligenter laboraturum esse = The farmer said to his wife that he will work (or is going to work) diligently.
  • nuntius mihi dixit urbem deletam esse = The messenger told me that the city had been destroyed
  • nuntius mihi dixit urbem deleri = The messenger told me that the city was being destroyed
  • nuntius mihi dixit urbem deletum iri = The messenger told me that the city would be destroyed (or was going to be destroyed)
  • nuntius mihi dicit urbem deletum iri = The messenger told me that the city will be destroyed (or is going to be destroyed)

Translation Exercises

  1. parentis absentibus pueri ludunt
  2. multis hominibus audientibus consul orationem (speech) habet
  3. consule loquente multi homines audiunt
  4. agro vendito colonus Romam ingressus est
  5. Antonius civibus dixit Brutum victum iri
  6. Bruti fautores (supporters) crediderunt eum victurum esse
  7. illi gaudebant Brutum multas legiones habere
  8. sed paucis post mensibus nuntius venit et dixit Brutum victum esse


Chapter 3 Verse

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The following poem is written in Hendecasyllabic. It is an introductory, dedication poem written by the poet Gaius Valerius Catullus.

it is commonly referred to as "Catullus 1" or by its first line.


Cui dono lepidum novum libellum
arida modo pumice expolitum?
Corneli, tibi: namque tu solebas
meas esse aliquid putare nugas.
Iam tum, cum ausus es unus Italorum
omne aevum tribus explicare cartis...
Doctis, Iuppiter, et laboriosis!
Quare habe tibi quidquid hoc libelli—
qualecumque, quod, o patrona virgo,
plus uno maneat perenne saeclo!

Chapter 4: The Subjunctive Mood and Complex Sentences


The Subjunctive Mood

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Subjunctives

The Subjunctive is one of the three different moods a Latin verb can take. The two other moods are the Indicative and the Imperative. The subjunctive is perhaps the most common and also most difficult to grasp, and there are a great number of different subjunctive uses.

The subjunctive mainly expresses doubt or potential and what could have been. Whereas the indicative declares "this happened" or "that happened," the imperative is called 'jussive,' which is from 'iubere' - to command, bid.

Examples
  • "Let me go" and "May I go?" are statements of potential; the speaker is not entirely certain his/her command will be followed.
  • "Were I a king, I would have a golden toilet" expresses what could be true, but is not. Speaker is not a king, and so will not get the toilet.
  • "May the force be with you" expresses the hope/potential that the force (star wars) will be with you. The essential word here is 'may' - "May the force be with you."

"If this were to happen," or "May this happen!" or "I ask you to make this happen" are all possible uses of the subjunctive.

There are four subjunctives: present, imperfect, perfect, and pluperfect. There are no subjunctives in the future tense, which already incorporates an element of doubt.

The Present Subjunctive

The present subjunctive is similar to the present indicative, except marked by a change of the theme vowel.

present stem + theme vowel change + ending

Form

In the present subjunctive, the theme vowel for every conjugation changes; in effect, the first conjugation masquerades as the second conjugation and all the other conjugations take on the appearance of the first.

1st Conjugation a becomes e
2nd Conjugation e becomes ea
3rd Conjugation e becomes a
3rd -io and 4th i becomes ia

Some ways to remember this are in the following collapsed table.

Example Conjugation

porto, portare, portavi, portatus (1st conjugation - to carry)

Present Indicative

This is the present active indicative form of portare, which has already been covered.

singular plural
1st porto portamus
2nd portas portatis
3rd portas portant

Remember the join vowels.

Present Subjunctive

The present active subjunctive of portare would be conjugated as follows:

singular plural
1st portem portemus
2nd portes portetis
3rd portes portent

Notice:

  • The -a- vowel has changed to an -e-.
  • The personal endings -m, -s, -t, -mus, -tis, -nt are used, as is done for regular indicative verbs.

Present Subjunctive of Esse

The present active subjunctive of sum, esse, the verb "to be", is conjugated as follows:

singular plural
1st sim sīmus
2nd sīs sītis
3rd sīs sint

Unlike the conjugation of the present active indicative form, the present subjunctive is regular. The same personal endings are affixed to si-.

Present Subjunctive of Posse
singular plural
1st possim possīmus
2nd possīs possītis
3rd possīs possint

Translates as "May I/you/he/we/you/they be able"

Imperfect Subjunctive

The imperfect subjunctive is formed by adding the personal endings -m, -s, -t, -mus, -tis, -nt to the present infinitive (often the second principal part).( or passive endings -r, -ris, -tur, -mur, -mini, -ntur. In other words, for

voco, vocare, vocavi, vocatum

The imperfect subjunctives are formed thus:

singular plural
1st vocarem vocaremus
2nd vocares vocaretis
3rd vocares vocarent


For deponent verbs, whose second principal part is the passive infinitive (e.g., conari, vereri, pati, expediri) a pseudo present infinitive is used (e.g, conare, verere, patere, expedire; although these forms do not exist as stand-alone infinitives, they actually ARE the singular imperatives for these deponent verbs)

The imperfect subjunctive of the verb to be (sum, esse) is conjugated regularly, as are ALL irregular verbs, e.g.: possem, vellem, nollem, ferrem, irem)

singular plural
1st essem essemus
2nd esses essetis
3rd esses essent

Uses of the Subjunctive

Verbs in the subjunctive mood may assume special meaning in specific constructions.

Volitive or Optative Clauses

Subjunctives in independent clauses are often translated as volitive/optative (that is, as a wish). Volitives/optatives show an intention for an action to occur; e.g. "amet" may be translated in volitive/optative context as "may he love"

Hortatory

A suggestion or command in first person (most often plural); e.g. "cedamus" as an hortatory subjunctive is "let us depart"

Jussive

A suggestion or command in third person; e.g. "cedat" as a jussive subjunctive is "let her depart"; "deprehendatur"= "Let him be seized"

Potential

The potential or possibility of something happening, in any person: (Fortasse) te amem. "Perhaps I may love you."

All of these Subjunctive types can be used in an independent (main) clause. Note that all can be translated with "let" or "may"; the differences lie in how English will represent the subjunctive verb:

  • Wish (Volitive): May we be friends forever!
  • Hortatory (Suggestion): Let us be friends!
  • Jussive (Command): Let them be friends!
  • Potential (Possibility): They may be friends; we may be friends; you may be friends.

Purpose Clauses

A purpose clause is a dependent clause used, as the name shows, to show purpose. Often initiated by an indicative verb, the clause contains a subjunctive verb in either the present or imperfect tense. Present and imperfect verbs in purpose clauses should be translated with the auxiliary verbs "may" and "might," respectively. For example, "Marcus urbem condidit ut regeret" should be translated as "Marcus built the city so that he would rule." These appear frequently in Latin.


The Uses of the Subjunctive

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.The subjunctive mood has several uses in Latin, the most notable of which are:
  • First Person Exhortations
  • Purpose Clauses
  • Result Clauses
  • Indirect Commands

First Person Exhortations (Hortatory Subjunctive)

Definition, Common Usage and Expression in Latin

An exhortation is a statement which expresses a wish. In English, the most common exhortation is "let's go". Other possibilities are "would go", "should go" and "may go". In Latin, these statements are equally as often used and are expressed in the present subjunctive active tense.

Examples

  • Festinemus ad forum
    Let's hurry to the forum
  • Roma discedamus
    Let's leave Rome
  • Roma non discedam, nam mea familia ibi vivit.
    I should not leave Rome, for my family lives there. (Also, "I will not leave" -- the form is ambiguous.)
  • Cenemus!''
    Let us dine!
  • Cenarem tecum si laborem perficerem[1]
    I would dine with you if I should finish my work.

Purpose Clauses

Definition, Common Usage and Expression in Latin

A purpose clause is a clause which expresses that someone did something in order that something else might happen. In English they usually contain the words in order to or so that. In Latin this concept is expressed by the words ut and ne followed by a verb in the subjunctive mood. Ut means "so that" or "in order to" and ne means "lest." In purpose clauses, only forms of the imperfect (following the secondary sequence of tenses) and present (for the primary sequence) are used.

Examples

  • Quintus donum Scintillae dedit ut eum amaret
    Quintus gave Scintilla a gift so that she would love him. (The imperfect subjunctive is used to indicate a "present/future" time relationship with the perfect main verb, with pluperfect being the only other option, indicating a past time relationship).
  • Fabius equos domum duxit ne tempestate timerentur
    Fabius brought the horses home lest they be frightened by the storm.
  • Marcus Graeciā fugit ut matrem suam Romae inveniret
    Marcus fled Greece to find his mother in Rome.

Result Clauses

Definition, Common Usage and Expression in Latin

Result clauses state that something occurred as a result of something else happening. For a positive result, use ut. For a negative result, use ut... non.

Examples

  • Sextus tam iratus erat ut fratrem interficere vellet
    Sextus was so angry that he wished to kill his brother.
  • Horatia tam laeta erat ut lacrimaret
    Horatia was so happy that she cried.
  • Caesar tam potus erat ut Galliam oppugnare non posset
    Caesar was so drunk that he couldn't attack Gaul.
  • Milo tam defessus erat ut in via dormiret
    Milo was so tired that he slept on the road.

Indirect Commands

Definition, Common Usage and Expression in Latin

An indirect command is a statement like the following: "He ordered her to do x". The English equivalent words are "to" or "that they should" It can also take the form of "I am ordering you to do x", as opposed to the imperative "DO X!". Several verbs in Latin take the subjunctive mood with indirect commands:
  1. rogo, rogare, rogavi, rogatum - to ask
  2. persuadeo, persuadere, persuasi, persuasum - to persuade
  3. impero, imperare, -imperavi, imperatum - to order
  4. peto, petere petivi, petitum - to seek, ask for

These verbs use an ut/ne + the subjunctive construction.

Examples

  • Imperator militibus imperavit ut castra caperent
    The general ordered the soldiers to capture the camp.
  • Eum rogo ut navem emat
    I am asking him to buy the ship.
  • Mater liberis imperavit ne in horto currerent
    The mother asked her children not to run in the garden.

Indirect questions

Definition, Common Usage and Expression in Latin

The subjunctive is used in indirect questions. For example, the question 'What are you doing?' is direct, while "He asked what I was doing" is indirect. In Latin, the verb in the clause containing the indirect question must be in the subjunctive.

Examples

  • Imperator milites rogat si castra ceperint
    The general asks the soldiers if they captured the camp.
  • Eum rogo quid faciat
    I am asking him what he is doing.
  • Magister pueros rogat utrum laborent an ludant
    The teacher asks the boys whether they are working or playing.

Notā bene!

  1. Note that in si... (if...) clauses, the future perfect is often used where the present is in English. "I shall dine with you if I finish my work" would be "I shall dine with you if I shall have finished my work": Tecum cenam si laborem perfecero.


The Subjunctive Imperfect

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The conjugation of the subjunctive imperfect active follows a simple rule. The verb in its infinitive form, that is, the second principle part, (amare, to love, for example) simply has the subjunctive endings appended onto it as follows:

ego amarem

tu amares

is amaret

nos amaremus

vos amaretis

ei amarent


the passive voice is formed by the addition of passive voice endings onto the infinitive stem


ego amarer

tu amareris

is amaretur

nos amaremur

vos amaremini

ei amarentur

Application

The imperfect subjunctive is only used for complex syntactic contructions; cum clauses and indirect questions and the like. Rarely, if ever, does it stand alone.

Because/Cum

One application is in its use of 'cum' in the sense of 'because' as a clause. e.g.

Diutius cum sustinere nostrorum impetus non possent, Helvetii se in montem receperunt.
When(Because) the Helvetis could not sustain/resist our attacks for long, they retreated to the mountains.


The Subjunctive Passive Verbs

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Passive Subjunctive System

Having examined Lessons 15 and 23, forming the passive subjunctive should be quite simple.

Present

Modify the verb stem appropriately with a vowel change (as learned in Lesson 15), then add the present passive endings (Lesson 23).

parer manear regar capiar audiar
pareris manearis regaris capiaris audiares
paretur maneatur regatur capiatur audiatur
paremur maneamur regamur capiamur audiamur
paremini maneamini regamini capiamini audiamini
parentur maneantur regantur capiantur audiantur

Imperfect

The passive endings added to the present active infinitive.

pararer manerer regerer caperer audirer
parareris manereris regereris capereris audireris
pararetur maneretur regeretur caperetur audiretur
pararemur maneremur regeremur caperemur audiremur
pararemini maneremini regeremini caperemini audiremini
pararentur manerentur regerentur caperentur audirentur


The Subjunctive Perfects

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The conjugation of the perfect subjunctive active consists of: the perfect stem + "eri" + the standard active endings (-m, -s, -t, -mus, -tis, -nt). An example conjugation of the first conjugation verb paro, parāre is as follows:
parāverim
parāverīs
parāverit
parāverīmus
parāverītis
parāverint

The conjugation of the pluperfect subjunctive active consists of: the perfect stem + "isse" + the standard active endings. An example conjugation of the first conjugation verb paro, parāre is as follows:
parāvissem
parāvissēs
parāvisset
parāvissēmus
parāvissētis
parāvissent


The Subjunctive Perfect Passive Verbs

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Subjunctive Passive Verbs

Subjunctive Passive Perfect

Subjunctive passive verbs form from the 4th principle part as shown in the example below.

The verb's third principle part, e.g. in the word impedire(to obstruct): impedio, impedire, impedivi, impeditus; gains the passive ending for the appropriate person.


This is an example of the Subjunctive Passive in the perfect tense. muto, mutare, mutavi, mutatum -- to change

To make the verb into a perfect passive, take the fourth principle part, make it agree with the subject in gender, number, and case, and then add in the appropriate form of esse. In the perfect, we use the present form of esse, and specifically the subjunctive present(sim, sis, sit, simus, sitis, sint.)

For example, Do you know what has been done to him? would be made into: scis quid eum factum sit?

            Singular
           mutatus sim      I have been changed.
           mutatus sis      You have been changed.
           mutatus sit      He has been changed.
             Plural*
           mutati simus     We have been changed.
           mutati sitis     You have been changed.
           mutati sint      They have been changed.


  • Note well that in the plural, the word "mutatus" becomes "mutati," thus taking on the plural nominitive. Remember that the perfect passive verbs require the fourth participle to agree in gender and number!


Exercises

In this section, it is only truly necessary to translate the italicized portion. The rest exists in order to make the subjunctive necessary.

the children were so bad that they have been scolded. (Children- Liberi; To scold- vitupero, vituperare, vituperavi)


He asked how I was tricked.(trick-ludo, ludere, lusi, lusus)


My parents drove to town so that now I have been born in a hospital.(born- cresco, crescere, crevi, cretus; Hospital- valetudinarium, valetudinarii-n.)


Subjunctive Passive Pluperfect

The subjunctive passive pluperfect is very similar to the perfect, with the major difference being the way esse is conjugated. In specific, the word esse is simply given the active endings(m,s,t,mus,tis, nt)



mutavi + isse -->

                      Singular
           mutatus essem    I had been changed.
           mutatus esses    You had been changed.
           mutatus esset    He had been changed.
             Plural*
           mutati essemus   We had been changed.
           mutati essetis   You had been changed.
           mutati essent    They had been changed.

Exercises

In these exercises, only the italicized parts require translation. The rest exist to make the subjunctive necessary. Remember, the subjunctive is not used in any but complex sentences or other rare circumstances.

Ovid wrote so much in the Metamorphoses that his hand had been changed into stone.


The Gerund and Participles

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Participles

Participles are verbs which function grammatically like adjectives. English, aided by auxiliary participles, is able have participle phrases in many tenses. Latin has participles that do not have auxiliary supplementary participles. This limits the usage of the participle in Latin, according to some wiki-scholars of Classical Studies.

Example 1
English (the) walking man
Latin ambulans vir
Present Participle Substantive

Present Active Participles

Present participles are formed by adding -ns to the stem of the verb.

Forming the Present Imperfect Participle
1st Conjugation Infinitive: amare
Stem: ama
Present Imperfect Participle: amans
2nd Conjugation Infitive: monere
Stem: mone
Present Imperfect Participle: monens
3rd Conjugation Infinitive: regere
Stem: rege
Present Imperfect Participle: regens
4th Conjugation Infinitive: audire
Stem:audi
Present Imperfect Participle:audiens

Present Participles are declined like 3rd declension adjectives. In cases besides the nominative, the -s becomes -t.

Examples:

1. ferens, ferentis 2. capiens, capientis 3. ens, entis

Exercises

Form the Present Participle and translate of the following Latin verbs:

  • meto, messui, messum, ere
  • metuo, metum, ui, ere
  • milito, avi, atum, are
  • postulo, avi, atum, are
  • sulco, avi, sulcum, are
  • iacio, ieci, iactum, ere

Uses

The examples will show participles of the verb amo, amare, amavi, amatum (to love).

  • present active: base + 'ns.' This forms a two-termination 3rd declension adjective. In the case of amare, the participle is amans, amantis (loving).
  • perfect passive: fourth principle part, with appropriate first or second declension endings: amatus, -a, -um.
  • future active: fourth principle part, minus 'm', add 'rus, -a, -um' This forms a 1st-2nd declension adjective: amaturus, -a, -um (about to love).

In deponent verbs, the perfect passive participle is formed in the same way as in regular verbs. However, since the nature of the deponent verb is passive in form and active in meaning, the participle is translated actively.

Remember that participles are adjectives, and therefore must be declined to agree with the noun which they modify in case, number and gender.

Gerund

The gerund is a verbal noun which is used to refer to the action of a verb. For example: ars scribendi = the art of writing. The gerund is declined as a second declension neuter noun. It is formed by taking the present stem and adding -ndum.

Verb amo, amare video, videre rego, regere capio, capere audio, audire
Gerund amandum videndum regendum capiendum audiendum


Meanings of the gerund

  • Genitive: ars legendi - The art of reading / to read
  • Accusative: ad puniendum - to punish, for punishing
  • Ablative: saepe canendo - through frequently singing; in legendo: while reading
  • Ablative with causa: puniendi causa - in order to punish

Gerundive

The gerundive is a 1st/2nd declension adjective formed the same way as the gerund, and its function overlaps somewhat with the gerund, but otherwise differs. The literal translation of the gerundive is with "to be", eg. defendendus, -a, -um = "to be defended".

  • Accusative: ad ludos fruendos - to the games to be enjoyed - to enjoy the games (Note that if this were a gerund construction, it would be ad ludis fruendum since fruor, -i takes the ablative case. In the gerundive construction, both noun and gerundive are governed by the preposition ad)
  • Gerundive of obligation: Carthago delenda est - Carthage is to be destroyed - Carthage must be destroyed. Note that if there is an object (eg. Carthage is to be destroyed by us), it goes into the dative case.

Exercises

1. Convert the following subjunctive purpose clauses into gerund or gerundive clauses with the same meaning. For example: militabat ut patriam defenderet -> militabat ad patriam defendendum or militabat patriam defendendi causa or militabat ad patriam defendendam. Try to use each construction twice.

  • casam exit ut patrem adiuvet
  • mater in casam rediit ut cenam pararet
  • hostes vincebant ergo scutum abieci (I threw away my shield) ut celerius fugerem
  • in silvas currimus ut nos celemus
  • hostes in silvas ineunt ut nos invenirent
  • Brutus Iulium Caesarem occidit ut Romam liberaret

2. Translate into Latin. For example: I must see the temple -> templum mihi videndum est

  • We must build a large city.
  • Julius Caesar must lead an army into Greece.
  • Scipio (Scipio, -ionis) must defeat Hannibal.


Conditional Clauses

Conditional Clauses

Conditional clauses in English and Latin have the general form:

if (condition clause) (result clause)

Or:

(result clause) if (condition clause)

For example:

  1. If I see anyone, I'll tell you.
  2. If he was sleeping, you should not have knocked.
  3. I cannot hear you if I'm sleeping.
  4. I would have been sad if I had not won.

There are 3 types of conditional clauses in Latin:

  1. Simple Fact (Present or Past)
  2. Contrary to Fact (Present or Past)
  3. Future (More or Less Vivid)

Simple Fact Conditionals

Simple fact conditionals in Latin have the general form:

si (condition clause in the present indicative) (result clause in the present indicative)

Or:

si (condition clause in the imperfect/perfect indicative) (result clause in the imperfect/perfect indicative)

For example:

si diligenter laboras, bonus puer es

If you are working diligently, you are a good boy.

si dominum adiuvabas, bonus servus eras

If you were helping your master, you were a good slave.

Contrary to Fact Conditionals

Contrary to fact conditionals are used if the condition clause is known to be false. For example:

If you weren't playing during class, you would be a good boy (but you were playing, so you aren't a good boy).

Contrary to fact conditionals have the general form:

si (condition clause in the imperfect subjunctive) (result clause in the imperfect subjunctive)

Or:

si (condition clause in the pluperfect subjunctive) (result clause in the pluperfect subjunctive)

For example:

si matrem adiuvaret, cena parata esset

If he were helping his mother, the dinner would be ready.

si patrem adiuvisset, pater matrem adiuvare potuisset

If he had helped his father, his father would have been able to help his mother.

Note how English uses would and would have for result clauses, while Latin uses the same tense as in the condition clauses.

Future Conditionals

Future conditionals are, of course, used to express conditions in the future. For example:

If you help me, I will be done faster.

Future conditionals take the following general form:

si (condition clause in the future or future perfect) (result clause in the future)

Or:

si (condition clause in the present subjunctive) (result clause in the present subjunctive)

For example:

si fortiter pugnaveritis, urbs non delebitur

If you fight bravely, the city will not be destroyed.

Note how English uses the present tense for the condition clause, while Latin uses the future or future perfect.

si diligenter laboretis, vobis meridie domum dimittam

If you were to work diligently, I would dismiss you at noon.

This type of clause, known as the future less vivid (as opposed to the future more vivid which uses the future and future perfect), is used to express more improbable conditions in the future.


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Passive/Subjunctive Tenses
Passive is used to describe something like an indirect action affects you - an example is "I was being held". In Latin, it is conjugated through six parts - the present set (present, imperfect, future), and the perfect set (perfect, pluperfect, future perfect). Below is a chart you can use for endings and such.

The present tense through future tenses use the present stem. I'm using the word amo, amare, amavi, amatus - to love, so the present stem is "am".

Present
1st person amor amāmur
2nd person amāris amāminī
3rd person amātur amantur
 
Imperfect
1st person amābar amābāmur
2nd person amābāris amābāminī
3rd person amābātur amābantur
 
Future
1st person amābor amābimur
2nd person amāberis amābiminī
3rd person amābitur amābuntur
 
Perfect
1st person amātus, a, um sum amātī, ae, a sumus
2nd person amātus es amātī estis
3rd person amātus est amātī sunt
 
Pluperfect
1st person amātus, a, um eram amātī, ae, a erāmus
2nd person amātus erās amātī erātis
3rd person amātus erat amātī erant
 
Future Perfect
1st person amātus, a, um erō amātī, ae, a erimus
2nd person amātus eris amātī eritis
3rd person amātus erit amātī erunt


Hope this is all correct and helps!


Idioms

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  • ad unum-to a man
  • aequo animo-contentedly, resignedly, patiently
  • aere alieno premi-to be heavily in debt
  • agere gratias-to thank
  • alius aliam in partem-one in one direction, another in another
  • amico aliquo uti-to be on terms of intimacy with some one
  • animo tenus commoveri-to be moved to the heart


Translation

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Lesson 20, as a bit of a reward is a little translation excercise from the Gospel of Saint Luke.

Excercise 1

Vocabulary

coming soon, at the moment consult your dictionary

Respondens Simon dixit: "Aestimo quia is, cui plus donavit". At ille dixit ei: "Recte iudicasti". Et conversus ad mulierem, dixit Simoni: "Vides hanc mulierem? Intravi in domum tuam: aquam pedibus meis non dedisti; haec autem lacrimis rigavit pedes meos et capillis suis tersit. Osculum mihi non dedisti haec autem, ex quo intravi non cessavit osculari pedes meos. Oleo caput meum non unxisti; haec autem unguento unxit pedes meos. Propter quod dico tibi: Remissa sunt peccata eius multa, quoniam dilexit multrum: cui autem minus dimittitur, minus diligit." Dixit autem ad illam: "Remissa sunt peccata tua". Et coeperunt, qui simul accumbebant, dicere intra se: "quis est hic, qui etiam peccata dimittit?". Dixit autem ad mulierem: Fides tua te salvam fecit; vade in pace!".

Et factum est deinceps, et ipse iter faciebat per civitatem et castekkyn oaeducabs et evangelizans regnum Dei, et Duodecim cum illo, et mulieres aliquae, quae erant curatae ab spiritibus malignis et infirmitatibus, Maria, quae vocatur Magdalene, de qua daemonia septem exierant, et Ioanna uxor Chuza procuratoris Herodis, et Sussanna et aliae multae, quae ministrabant eis de facultatibus suis.


Chapter 4 Verse

Haec est fabula De Faciebus Iani. Ianus, ut dicebatur, erat unus deorum, cui facies duae erant. Altera earum enim in futura et altera in praeterita prospiciebat.

Apollo ei olim sic dixit: "Nonne tibi facies est, qua tempus praesens spectes?" Et paulo post Ianus ita respondit:

"Mundus - orbis terrarum cyclus est similiter ac tempus est cyclicum. Et initium omnium et finem video. Omnia prospicio aeternusque sum, neque opus est porro videre, quae palam iaceant."

Diu cogitavit Apollo de verbis Iani hominesque acutissimā mente in omni orbe terrarum conquaesivit eo consilio, ut ipse tam sapiens ut Ianus fieret. Postea cum quibusdam illustrissimis viris collocutus est, quo sapientior esset. Eo facto tamen unus eorum, cui Minervus nomen, Apollinem monuit, ne summam quaereret sapientiam, quam novisse nullum alium quam Ianum oportebat. Revenit autem Apollo ad Ianum eumque, ut veritatem cognosceret, ea summa rogavit.

"Intellegisne omnino quid roges?" inquit Ianus, "Si dis par fueris, omnibus iuribus privari possis."

Itaque Apollo cognovit sapientissimum omnium fuisse, a quo monitus est.


Translation below:





















This is the story of the faces of Janus. Janus, as it used to be said, was one of the gods who had two faces. It was that one spied into the future while the other into the past.

Apollo once had said to him, "Have you not a face with which to see the present?" After a few moments, thus spoke Ianus:

"The world is a circle. Time is a circle. I see both the beginning and end of all living things. I am foreseeing and eternal; therefore, it is not necessary for me to see that which is lying out of sight."

Apollo thought about these words for a very long time, and thus, that he might become wise like Janus, he sought the keenest minds of the land. He then was speaking with some great men that he might become wiser. However, one, whose name was Minervus, warned him not to seek the ultimate/highest truth because it may only be known by Janus. But he returned again to ask Janus that he might obtain the truth.

"Do you even know for what you're asking? If you enter onto the same level (of the Gods), all your rights might be snatched from you," said Janus.

And so Apollo knows now that the same man who had warned him was the wisest of all.


Verse from the Gospels

< Latin

A Verse From the Gospel of St. Luke

Respondens Simon dixit: "Aestimo quia is, cui plus donavit". At ille dixit ei: "Recte iudicasti". Et conversus ad mulierem, dixit Simoni: "Vides hanc mulierem? Intravi in domum tuam: aquam pedibus meis non dedisti; haec autem lacrimis rigavit pedes meos et capillis suis tersit. Osculum mihi non dedisti haec autem, ex quo intravi non cessavit osculari pedes meos. Oleo caput meum non unxisti; haec autem unguento unxit pedes meos. Propter quod dico tibi: Remissa sunt peccata eius multa, quoniam dilexit multrum: cui autem minus dimittitur, minus diligit." Dixit autem ad illam: "Remissa sunt peccata tua". Et coeperunt, qui simul accumbebant, dicere intra se: "quis est hic, qui etiam peccata dimittit?". Dixit autem ad mulierem: Fides tua te salvam fecit; vade in pace!".


Chapter 5: Review


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What is Latin?

Parts of this introduction were taken from The Latin Language on the Wikipedia.

Latin was the language originally spoken in the region around the city of Rome called Latium. It gained great importance as the formal language of the Roman Empire.

All Romance languages descend from a Latin parent, and many words in English and other languages today are based on Latin roots. Moreover, Latin was a lingua franca, the learned language for scientific and political affairs in Europe, for more than one and a half thousand years, being eventually replaced by French in the 18th century and English by the middle of the 20th. Latin remains the formal language of the Roman Catholic Church to this day, and as such is the official national language of the Vatican.

Romance languages are not derived from Classical Latin, the language spoken by Caesar and Cicero, but rather from Vulgar Latin, the language spoken by the common people, or vulgus, of Rome. Classical Latin and Vulgar Latin (Romance) differ (for example) in that Romance had distinctive stress whereas Classical had distinctive length of vowels. In Italian and Sardo logudorese, there is distinctive length of consonants and stress, in Spanish only distinctive stress, and in French even stress is no longer distinctive.

Another major distinction between Classical and Romance is that modern Romance languages, excluding Romanian, have lost their case endings (suffixes at the end of the word used in place of prepositions) in most words (some pronouns being exceptions). Romanian is still equipped with several cases (though some, notably the ablative, are no longer represented).

It is also important to note that Latin is, for the most part, an inflected language — meaning that the endings change to show how the word is being used in the sentence.

Introduction to the Latin Language

Simple and Compound Words

In Latin, words are either:

  • simple (words that consist of only one part). For example:
Latin English
eo I go
fero I carry
do I give
  • compound (words that consist of more than one part, for example, a root word combined with a prefix). For example:
Latin English
abeo I go away
transfero I carry across
reddo I give back

Word Parts

Inflected words (i.e., words having ending- or spelling-changes according to their grammatical functions in the sentence) have a stem and a root.

The Stem

The stem is the part of the word to which various suffixes are added. The final suffix determines either the role of the word in the sentence (for example, when a Roman slave wished to address his dominus (master), he used the vocative form domine -- equivalent to "O master" in English) or the person involved in the action (for example, "I dominate" may be expressed as "domin-or", and "they dominate" as "domin-antur"). In these cases, domin- is the stem and -us, -e, -or and -antur are suffixes. The addition of such suffixes is called inflection. This is discussed further in the Summary.

The Root

The root is the part of the word that carries the essential meaning. For example the stem of agito (I drive onward) is agit-, whose root is ag (do, drive), which is in common to words of similar meaning: ago (I do, drive), agmen (that which is driven, such as a flock), etc. Notice the essential difference between a root and a stem. To the root "ag" has been added a suffix "(i)to-" which denotes frequency of action (so "agit-" means to do or drive more than once, hence "agit-o", I agitate, I keep (something) moving, I urge, I impel).

In contrast, English uses word order more than inflection to determine the function of a word within a sentence. English also uses words like pronouns (I, she, etc.) and prepositions (to, at, etc.) where Latin generally prefers inflexions. Thus "dom-i" (noun -- "at home"), "ag-unt" (verb -- "they do/drive").

Primitives

Primitives occur when both the stem and the root are the same. For example, in the word agere (to do, drive) both the stem and the root are the same: "ag-".

Derivatives

Derivatives occur when the root or stem is modified. For example, the stem flamm- from the noun flamma has the root "flag" ("blaze"), "nosco" (I know) from the verb "noscere" has the root "gno-" ("know").

Suffixes

Latin attaches suffixes ("endings") to stems to turn them into words (most stems and roots cannot be used in sentences without an ending). This inflection is essential to forming Latin sentences. The various suffixes and their translations will be learned in the later lessons.

Types of Words used in Latin

Nouns

A noun (Latin: nomen) is "something perceived or conceived by the mind."

There are two kinds of nouns: Substantives and Pronouns.

1. Substantive (nomen substantivum) is a name simply denoting something perceived or conceived: psittacus - the parrot, nix - the snow, virtus - virtue.

2. Pronoun (pronomen) is a word used in place of a substantivum, usually when the substantivum is already known: ea - she, ille - that man

Nouns have changing endings on the stem (known as declension) and three incidents: number, gender and case. Number concerns whether the thing referred to is singular or plural (and the ending shows this); gender classifies a substantive as masculine, feminine or neuter (this determines how the endings of adjectives and pronouns behave) and case (where the ending must show how the noun fits in to the sentence). Adjectives and Pronouns must agree in all incidents when they refer to a substantive.

Verbs

Verbs (verba) express an action or a state of being, e.g., ago (I do), dixit (he said), venis (you come). "Conjugation" is the term for adding inflections to verb stems to indicate person (first, second or third), number (singular or plural), tense (present, future, imperfect, perfect, pluperfect or future perfect), voice (active or passive), and mood (indicative, subjunctive or imperative).

A verb can be either finite or infinite:

1. Finite verbs (verba finita) are inflected and have a subject, e.g., I run, you run, he runs, they drive, the computer is turned on.

2. The infinite verbs (verba infinita) are not inflected and have no subject, e.g. to run, to drive, to turn on, to have drawn. Participles, which are inflected as substantives rather than as verbs, may also be considered infinite, e.g., the running boy.

Modifiers

1. Adjectives (adiectiva) are used to describe nouns. They indicate a quality perceived or conceived as inherent in, or attributed to, something denoted. E.g., vir magnus (the great man), puella pulchra (the fair girl)

2. Adverbs (adverbia) are similar to adjectives, except that they are used to qualify verbs, adjectives or other adverbs, rather than nouns. In practice, they restrict the meaning of the verb or adjective by specifying how or how much. E.g., curro celeriter (I run quickly), pugnat fortiter (he fights bravely), "vere jucundus est" (he's really nice"), "incredibile callida est" (she's incredibly clever).

Other

Particles are uninflected words that provide extra meaning.

1. Prepositions (praepositiones) are little words which tell you how one thing (noun) is behaving in relation to another thing ("the duck was near the pond", "she went towards the wood"). In Latin, the noun that follows a preposition takes a particular ending (called a "case"), depending on the nature of the relationship, or on the nature of the preposition itself. E.g., ad (by), in (in), sub (under). What all this means is that a preposition is a sort of adverb, telling you how something is done. For example, "you go" is a simple statement, but "you go in" suggests that you don't just "go", you go so as to enter something, and so you need a noun for the "something". In English, we might say "you go into the house". In Latin, this would be: "in domum inis". Notice the form "in domum", which means "into" the house -- you're going into it, you're not yet exactly inside it (the ending -um of "domum" is called "accusative"). When you are inside the house, what you do is "in" the house, which is "in domo" (the ending -o of "domo" is called "ablative").

2. Conjunctions (coniunctiones) join together clauses and sentences. E.g., et (and), atque (as well as), sed (but).

3. Interjections (interiectiones) are exclamations used to express feeling or to gain attention. E.g., o! (oh!) eheu! (alas!) ecce! (behold!)

Articles

Latin has NO articles (words for 'the' and 'a'). When translating Latin into English, insert a 'the' or 'a' when appropriate.

Summary

Parts of Speech
Inflected Uninflected
Substantives: things perceived or conceived Adverbs: describe adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs
Adjectives: indicate a quality perceived or conceived as inherent of something in the substantive Prepositions: help nouns define their relations to other nouns
Pronouns: nouns used in place of substantives and adjectives Conjunctions: Join clauses and sentences
Verbs: mark the beginning of an independent clause. The verb in Latin is inflected so that we know the subject ("I learn"), and its tense (to what general or specific time the clause relates to). We call the inflection of a verb conjugation Interjection: exclamation

Exercises

1. What is the shared root in the following English words?

  • actor, reaction, radioactive
  • transfer, fertile, interference

2. In the following English words, what is the stem and what is the ending?

  • knights
  • riding
  • horses
  • jumped

3. What parts of speech are each of the English words in (2), as well as the following:

  • with
  • and
  • because
  • hooray
  • silently
  • never

4. Answer the following questions about the Latin language:

  • In what area of Italy was Latin originally spoken?
  • Name the two varieties of Latin that existed in antiquity.
  • What major organization still uses Latin today?


Revision

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

Pronunciation

Latin pronunciation has varied somewhat over the course of its long history, and there are some differences between Classical Latin, as spoken in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire, and Medieval or Ecclesiastical Latin, as spoken in the Middle ages and in the Catholic Church. This text focuses on the classical pronunciation.

a /a/, about, between ah and uh, ad is pronounced almost like "odd"
e /ɛ/, get or bed
i /ɪ/, hit, pin, in
i (Before vowel and not accented) /j/, Y as in yes
j Sometimes used in place of the letter I when making a /j/ sound, as above
o /ɔ/, on, cot
u /ʊ/, put, foot
ā /aː/, father
ē sounds like saying the letter "A", /eː/, hay
ī sounds like saying the letter "E", /iː/, eat
ō sounds like saying the letter "O", /oː/, clover
ae (Diphthong) sounds like saying the letter "I", /aɪ/, aisle
au (Diphthong) /aʊ/, brown, how
oe (Diphthong) /ɔɪ/, oil, boy
ou (Diphthong) oo
ui (Diphthong) we
bs (At the end of word) the B sounds a P
bt (At the end of a word) the B sounds a P
ch /kʰ/, pronounced separately as in archaic, not like in church
gn /ŋn/ hangnail, sing now
ph up hill, never sounds an F in philosophy
th Pronounced separately as in pot hole, never like this or theater
c /k/, always hard as in cat
g /g/, always hard as in get, never soft like adage
r Rolled like in the Spanish and Italian languages
s Always voiceless as in see, never voiced as in ease
v /w/, equivalent to an English W, never sounding an English V (sounds U as a consonant), some texts will write the "v" as a "u" when it serves as a vowel
x Equivalent to an English Ks as in box, never like exert
(y) Rarely exists in Latin except in words borrowed from Greek
(z) Rarely exists in Latin except in words borrowed from Greek

Note that Latin, as written by the Romans, did not include macrons (the longmarks over long vowels) or the letters J and U. Macrons are used today as pronunciation guides and do not necessarily need to be written. The sound value of the letter U was filled by the letter V, which sounded either /w/ or /ʊ/ depending on context. Modern texts often preserve the V when it is making a /w/ sound and change it to a U when making a /ʊ/ sound. The letter J is sometimes used in modern times (this Wikibook not included) when the letter I is being used in diphthongs.

Declension Tables

The following tables will be both referenced and explained in all of the following sections, and hence are placed here.

Singular Nouns
Declension (Gender) 1st (F) 2nd (M/N) 3rd (M/F/N) 4th (M/N) 5th (F)
Nominative
Subject
puella servus rēx gradus rēs
Genitive
Possessive
puellae servī rēgis gradūs rēī
Dative
Indirect Object
puellae servō rēgī grad rēī
Accusative
Object
puellam servum rēgem gradum rēm
Ablative
Modifies or Limits Verb
puellā servō rēge gradū rē
Vocative
Direct Address
puella serve rēx gradus rēs

Note that nouns in the 3rd declension nominative can have any ending, hence why none is given in bold.

Plural Nouns
Declension (Gender) 1st (F) 2nd (M/N) 3rd (M/F/N) 4th (M/N) 5th (F)
Nominative puellae servī rēgēs cornūs rēs

Grammar Part 1: Nouns and Their Role in Sentences

Nouns in Latin are inflected, which means that endings (also known as suffixes or suffices) are appended to the end of the stem to denote these things:

  1. Number (whether the noun is singular or plural)
  2. Case of the noun (role of the noun in the sentence)
  3. Gender (the gender of the word - one of masculine, feminine, or neuter)

Most nouns in English can be modified to indicate number (cat versus cats), and many pronouns can be modified to indicate case (who versus whose) or gender (he versus she, his versus hers). Case is especially important in Latin as meaning cannot be determined by word order as it can be in English, but purely by word endings, or "inflection". Indeed, the words in a Latin sentence can appear in almost any order with little change in meaning. Two sentences with the word orders "Sam ate the orange" and "The orange ate Sam" could potentially mean the same thing in Latin, though the spellings of "orange" and "Sam" would have to change slightly to denote which was the subject (the one eating) and which was the object (the one being eaten).

It is important to note here that although the genders of many words make sense (for example, "puella", meaning a girl, is feminine) many are simply assigned and hold no real meaning. Luckily, as you will find, the gender can often be determined by the spelling of the word (words ending in "us" are almost always masculine, and words ending in "a" are almost always feminine). For many words, however, you will simply have to memorize their gender.

Adjectives themselves must match the number, case, and gender of the noun (be it a substantive or a pronoun) they modify. If a noun is nominative singular feminine (see case table below), then the adjective describing it must also be nominative singular feminine. If the noun is accusative plural masculine, then the adjective must be accusative plural masculine. This will be expanded on in the Adjectives section below. The advantage of this system is that adjectives do not need to be adjacent to their respective nouns, as one would be able to tell which noun they modify by which noun they appear to agree with.

Declension

All substantives are part of one of 5 categories, called declensions. Each declension has a set of standard suffixes that indicate case and number. Usually gender is indicated by the suffix, although there are many exceptions. Therefore, you must memorize the gender of every substantive you learn.

By familiarizing yourself with the above tables, you could deduce that originally the suffix indicating number, case, and gender was the same for every noun. However, as the language developed, nouns with a common stem formed declensions and sounds changed. Similar processes happen continually over time, even today.

The above tables allow you to familiarize yourself with the existence of each declension, though by no means are you expected to memorize it now. Nonetheless, you will have to memorize it as you are formally introduced to individual cases and declensions in future lessons. Because of its introductory purpose, it is considerably simplified and incomplete, and therefore should not be used as a reference in the future.

Adjectives are also classed into declensions:

  1. 1st/2nd declension adjectives...
    1. ...Use 1st declension suffixes from the substantive declension table when describing feminine nouns.
    2. ...Use 2nd declension masculine suffixes from the above table when describing masculine nouns.
    3. ...Use 2nd declension neuter suffixes (not found in the above table) when describing neuter nouns.
  2. 3rd declension adjectives behave as 'i' stem substantives unless specified. Masculine and Feminine suffixes (which are the same) will be used if describing masculine and feminine nouns, and Neuter suffixes will be used when describing neuter nouns.

Pronouns are not part of any declension, as they are all irregular, and simply have to be memorized.

Case

Cases (Latin: casus) determine the role of the noun in the sentence in relation to other parts of the sentence.

There are six cases, Nominative, Vocative, Accusative, Genitive, Dative and Ablative. Vocative (Lesson 3) can be considered a sort of miniature case, generally not being accepted as a true one. Additionally, some nouns have a locative case, which will be covered later. As nominative and accusative are the most basic, these will be taught first (the rest will be covered in later lessons).

The Use of the Cases
(all words in bold are in the case specified in the first column)
Case Role in sentence Example (Latin) Example (English)
Nominative Subject (performs the verb) Vir lupum vult. The man wants a wolf.
Genitive Description and possession Lupus virī est. It is the man's wolf/It is the wolf of the man.
Dative Indirect object (receives the direct object) Lupō dedit vir. The man gave to the wolf.
Accusative Direct object (receives the action of the verb) Vir lupum videt. The man sees the wolf.
Ablative Various (modify or limit nouns by ideas of where, when, how, etc.) Ā quō datum? Ā virō. By whom given? By a man.
Vocative Direct address (speaking to somebody directly) Salvē, Brute! Hello, Brutus!

Gender

All substantives, including inanimate objects, have a particular gender (genera), which is either masculine, feminine, or neuter.

For example, Vir, "a man," is masculine. Marītus, "a husband," is also masculine. Puella, "a girl," is feminine. Māter, "a mother," is feminine. Even inanimate objects are assigned gender, including all the moons, stars, trees, tools, and so forth. Logic will give you little help in determining what the genders of inanimate objects are, and with many nouns memorization is required. Luckily, for many nouns, the spelling of the word indicates the gender.

Certain rules may be utilized to determine the gender of an inanimate substantive. Declension is a good indication of gender, especially for 1st and 2nd declension substantives. 1st declension substantives (substantives with an -a suffix) are usually feminine and second declension nouns (substantives with an -us suffix) are usually masculine or neuter. There are a few exceptions, and they will have to be learned. 3rd declension nouns can be either masculine, feminine or neuter (thus the gender will often have to be memorized). 4th declension nouns are usually masculine, sometimes neuter while 5th declension nouns are usually feminine.

1st/2nd declension adjectives alternate the set of endings depending on the gender of noun it describes (see above: Agreement of the Gender of Nouns and the Adjective). If the adjective describes a feminine noun, the adjective must use 1st declension endings, if the adjective describes a masculine noun, the adjective must use 2nd declension masculine endings, if the adjective describes a neuter noun the adjective must use 2nd declension neuter endings.

3rd declension adjectives use the same set of endings for masculine and feminine nouns. However, a slightly different set of endings are used when describing neuter nouns.

Adjectives

As stated above, adjectives must match the gender, number, and case of the noun (be the noun a substantive, or a pronoun) they modify. However, there are many occasions where logic cannot be used to determine the gender of inanimate objects, as genders are generally arbitrary when the noun has no literal gender. Furthermore, the declension of the noun, often determined by the spelling, can in turn be used to determine the gender, especially for the 1st and 2nd. However, this is never the case for the third declension, as the declension itself is not primarily assigned to any gender and the spelling of the nominative ("default") stem is random, leaving you with no hints.

A noun and its adjective must also be in the same case. Otherwise, it is impossible to tell which nouns pair up to their respective adjectives in a sentence, as the words in a Latin sentence can appear in any order. See the examples below.

Notice how "magna" changes to "magnae" to agree with the pluralized "puellae".
Latin English
Puella (nominative sing., fem.) Girl
Puella magna The big girl
Puellae (nominative pl., fem.) Girls
Puellae magnae The big girls
Notice how "magna" becomes "magnus" to agree with the masculine word "servus". Also notice that "magnus" changes to "magnum" to agree with the noun it's describing in case, though do not concern yourself with the difference between cases for the time being.
Latin English
Servus (nominative sing, mas.) Slave
Servus magnus The big slave
Servum (accusative sing, mas.) Slave
Servum magnum The big slave
Notice that "magna" is feminine because "arbor" is feminine, despite that it does not end in "a" like "puella". The word "arbor" is one of the situations where you will simply have to memorize the gender.
Latin English
Arbor (nominative sing, fem.) Tree
Arbor magna The big tree

Recapitulation

  • Declensions are used to categorize nouns in groups. There are 5 declensions total.
  • Each of the five declensions has a distinct set of endings which are appended to nouns of that declension.
  • The endings indicate the case and number when appended to the stem of a noun.
  • A substantive may use only the endings of the declension of which it is a part.
  • Each substantive has a predefined gender which almost never changes and is separate from the suffix.
  • Adjectives are a part of the 1st/2nd declension and 3rd declension.
  • Adjectives use the gender of the noun that they modify.

Therefore:

  • An adjective of the 1st/2nd declension uses 1st declension endings when describing a feminine noun, a 2nd declension masculine ending when describing masculine noun, and 2nd declension neuter when describing a neuter noun.
  • An adjective of the 3rd declension uses the same set of endings when describing masculine and feminine nouns and another set of endings when describing neuter nouns. (Actually, there are 3-termination, 2-termination, and 1-termination 3rd declension adjectives. If the adjective is 3-termination, e.g., acer (f. sing.), acris (m. sing.), acer (n. sing.), acres (f. pl.), acres (m. pl.), or acria (n. pl.), then use the appropriate ending; if the adjective is 2-termination, then one termination will be masculine/feminine and the other neuter; if the adjective is 1-termination, the common form is used.)

Before you proceed to the next lesson, complete the exercises below so you will be able to apply this knowledge to Latin.

Exercises

EXERCISE • Print Version • Questions
  1. What are the three genders?
  2. What is the number (singular/plural) of the following English words:
    1. cow
    2. dogs
    3. genders
    4. adjective
    5. children
    6. slice
    7. mice
    8. geese
  3. Describe the relationship between an adjective and the noun which it modifies.
  4. How many declensions are there?
  5. Determine the declension of each Latin word:
    • puella (girl)
    • ianua (door)
    • amicus (friend)
    • ludus (game)
    • casa (house)
    • rex (king)
  6. What gender are 1st declension substantives mostly?
  7. What genders are 2nd declension substantives mostly?
  8. What grammatical features of a word that can be determined by looking at its ending?
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Questions
  1. Masculine, Feminine, and Neuter
  2. What is the number (singular/plural) of the following English words:
    1. S
    2. P
    3. P
    4. S
    5. P
    6. S
    7. P
    8. P
  3. The adjective takes on the number, case and gender (but not always the declension) of the noun it describes
  4. Five
  5. Determine the declension of each Latin word:
    1. 1st
    2. 1st
    3. 2nd
    4. 2nd
    5. 1st
    6. 3rd
  6. Feminine
  7. Masculine
  8. It varies slightly from word-to-word; Declension/Case, Number, and sometimes Gender.



Translation

Latin/Latin/Lesson 1-Nominative



Exercises

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


Exercises

EXERCISE • Print Version • Give the accusative singular.

Give the accusative singular for:

  1. lud-us
  2. magn-us
  3. triclīni-um
  4. bell-um
  5. puell-a
  6. serv-us
  7. ager
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Give the accusative singular.
  1. ludum
  2. magnum
  3. triclīnium
  4. bellum
  5. puellam
  6. servum
  7. agrum
EXERCISE • Print Version • Give the accusative plural.

Give the accusative plural for:

  1. lud-us
  2. magn-us
  3. triclīni-um
  4. bell-um
  5. puell-a
  6. serv-us
  7. ager
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Give the accusative plural.
  1. ludos
  2. magnos
  3. triclīnia
  4. bella
  5. puellas
  6. servos
  7. agros
EXERCISE • Print Version • Give the nominative singular.

Give the nominative singular for:

  1. bon-ī
  2. bell-a
  3. triclīni-a
  4. puell-am
  5. agr-ōs
  6. serv-ōs
  7. puell-ae
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Give the nominative singular.
  1. bonus
  2. bellum
  3. triclīnium
  4. puella
  5. ager
  6. servus
  7. puella
Lesson Vocabulary
Latin English
vendit he/she sells
videt he/she sees
amat he/she loves
cist-a -ae (f.) box
ferox, ferocis (m/f.) wild
ager (m.) field
bell-um (n.) war
serv-us (m.) slave

Grammar: The Accusative

As you learned in the last lesson, the verb 'esse' (to be) usually takes the nominative case, because then the word after it is a complement. Most other verbs take the 'accusative' case.

In a sentence, the accusative is the "what" - in English grammar, this is known as the direct object.

For example: The girl sells the box.

What did the girl sell? The box. Thus, box is the direct object, and when we translate it into Latin:

Example
English: The girl sells the box.
Latin: Puella vendit cistam.
Explanation: NOMINATIVE VERB ACCUSATIVE

Cistam, then, is in the accusative, because it is the direct object.

Again, when an adjective describes a noun in the accusative case, the adjective must agree in number, case, and gender.

Example
English: The girl sells the big box.
Latin: Puella vendit magnam cistam.
Explanation: NOMINATIVE VERB ADJECTIVE ACCUSATIVE NOUN ACCUSATIVE

Because Latin uses cases to mark the subject and the object of a sentence, word order does not matter. Consider:

puer puellam videt The boy sees the girl
puerum puella videt The girl sees the boy
puellam puer videt The boy sees the girl
puella puerum videt The girl sees the boy

Examples of Adjectives Agreeing with the Nominative and Accusative Case

Explanation- The good boy loves the wild dog.
Latin: puer bonus amat canem (acc) ferocem (acc).
English: [The] boy good [he] loves [the] dog wild.

Bonus, a first and second declension adjective, is masculine, nominative, and singular to agree with puer, the word it is describing.

Ferocem, a third declension adjective, is masculine, accusative, and singular to agree with canem. Canem is accusative because it is the object of amat.

Here is an example of plural adjectives:

Explanation- The good boys love the wild dogs.
Latin: Pueri (plur) boni (plur) amant (plur) canes (plur, acc) feroces (plur, acc).
English: [The] boys good [they] love [the] dogs wild.

The words bonus and ferocem become boni and feroces to agree with the plurals pueri and canes.

However, if a girl (puella) happened to love that boy:

Explanation- The good girl loves the good boy.
Latin: Puella bona amat puerum (acc) bonum (acc).
English: [The] girl good [she] loves [the] boy good.

Bonus must become bona in order to modify puella, which is feminine.

Finally, if the girl isn't good, but rather wild:

Explanation- The wild girl loves the good boy.
Latin: Puella ferox amat puerum (acc) bonum (acc).
English: [The] girl wild [she] loves [the] boy good.

Even though puella is first declension, ferox remains third declension. In the same way, a good lion would be bonus leo.

Exercise 3

Determine whether the adjective agrees with the substantive in all three categories: case, gender, number.


Questions: Does it Agree?
1. magn-us agr-ōs True/False
2. magn-a puella True/False
3. poet-a* bon-us True/False
4. magn-um serv-um True/False
5. poet-ae* magn-ae True/False
6. bell-a magn-a True/False
* Nota bene: Poeta (meaning poet) is a masculine noun, even though it ends in -a.
EXERCISE • Print Version • Answer

See table above. Determine whether the adjective (magnus, bonus..) agrees with the substantives (ager, puella, poeta) in both case (nominative, accusative...), gender (masculine, female and neuter) and number (singular and plural).

SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Answer
  1. False. Magnus doesn't agree with agrōs; in number and case.
    Magnus: Masculine, singular, nominative.
    Agrōs: Masculine, plural, accusative.
  2. True. Magna agrees with puella.
    Magna: Feminine, singular, nominative.
    Puella: Feminine, singular, nominative.
  3. True. Bonus agrees with poeta.
    Bonus: Masculine, singular, nominative.
    Poeta: Masculine, singular, nominative.
  4. True. Magnum agrees with servum.
    Magnum: Neuter, singular, nominative.
    Servum: Neuter, singular, nominative.
  5. False. Magnae doesn't agree with poetae; in gender.
    Magnae: Feminine, plural, nominative.
    Poetae: Masculine, plural, nominative.
  6. True. Bella agrees with magna.
    Bella: Neuter, plural, nominative.
    Magna: Neuter, plural, nominative.

Grammar: The Use of the Accusative

Lesson Vocabulary
Latin English
curri-t he/she runs
porta-t he/she carries
specta-t he/she watches
da-t he/she gives
fuisse
fuī
fuistī
(puer) fuit
fuimus
fuistis
fuērunt
to have been
I have been
you have been
(the boy) has been
we have been
you (pl.) have been
they have been
Nota Bene: 'fuisse' and all the forms of it, the past tense of 'esse', behaves exactly like the present tense.


The newly introduced verbs, ama-t, curri-t, and porta-t take the accusative as the 'object'. Unless specified, any verb you look up in the dictionary will take the accusative, not the nominative. This means that they are transitive verbs, verbs that happen to someone or something, e.g.:

I heal you. (acc.)
You make my day. (acc.)
She hit your arm. (acc.)

In the examples above, the bold words are the subject of the sentence clause. Because something happens "to" them, they can't be in nominative.

Grammatical Explanation Using English Sentences

Grammatical Explanation 1
English: The boy hits the car.
Explanation: NOMINATIVE VERB ACCUSATIVE


Grammatical Explanation 2
English: The girl hugs the boy.
Explanation: NOMINATIVE VERB ACCUSATIVE


Grammatical Explanation 3
English: He who flees, deserves the guillotine.
Explanation: NOMINATIVE VERB VERB ACCUSATIVE

Exercise 4: Find the Nominative and Accusative

EXERCISE • Print Version • Find the Nominative and Accusative (if present) in each the sentence.

Find the Nominative and Accusative (if present) in each the sentence.

  1. The boy is good.
  2. The girl kisses the boy.
  3. The boy gives the book.
  4. The child watches the TV.
  5. Whom it concerns.
  6. To the kitchen I run
  7. I eat the pizza.
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • Find the Nominative and Accusative (if present) in each the sentence.
  1. The boy {nom} is good {nom}.
    Puer {nom} est bonus {nom}.
  2. The girl {nom} kisses the boy {acc}.
    Puella {nom} puerum {acc} basiat.
  3. The boy {nom} gives the book {acc}.
    Puer {nom} librum {acc} dat.
  4. The child {nom} watches the TV {acc}.
    Infans {nom} televisorium {acc} videt.
  5. Whom {acc} it {nom} concerns.
    ???
  6. To the kitchen {acc} I {nom} run.
    Ad culinam {acc} [ego {nom}] curro.
  7. I {nom} eat the pizza {acc}.
    Pittam {acc} [ego {nom}] edo.
EXERCISE • Print Version • In the following sentences, identify the accusative and nominative. Then translate.

In the following sentences, identify the accusative and nominative. Then translate.

  1. Puer est bonus.
  2. Puella puerum amat..
  3. Puer cistam portat.
  4. Fīlius virum spectat.
  5. Ad culīnam currit.
SOLUTION • Latin/Print Version • In the following sentences, identify the accusative and nominative. Then translate.
  1. Puer {nom} est bonus {nom}.
    The boy {nom} is good {nom}.
  2. Puella {nom} puerum {acc} amat.
    The girl {nom} loves the boy {acc}.
  3. Puer {nom} cistam {acc} portat.
    The boy {nom} carries the box {acc}.
  4. Fīlius {nom} virum {acc} spectat.
    The son {nom} watched the husband {acc}.
  5. Ad culīnam {acc} currit.
    To the kitchen {acc} [he {nom}] runs.


Exercises

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

Noun Tables

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 • Print Version • 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/Print Version • 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

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

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


Translation

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

The Ablative Case

The ablative case in Latin has 4 main uses:

  1. With certain prepositions, eg. in, cum, sub
  2. Instrumental ablative, expressing the equivalent of English "by", "with" or "using"
  3. Locative Ablative, using the ablative by itself to mean "in", locating an action in space or time
  4. Ablative of separation or origin, expressing the equivalent of English "from"

The different uses of the ablative will be dealt progressively. For a summary of all forms of the ablative, please consult the Appendix.

Grammar Part 5: The Power of the Ablative Case

Ablative generally indicates position in time and/or space (i.e. when and where). It can also indicate the idea of ways of getting to a location, abstractly or concretely.

Ablative of Means

Exercise

How would you translate "I made the toga by hand"?

  • Hint: You would not (and should not) use the genitive. The case you are studying right now can be used by itself for this goal.
  • Hint: Remember that you won't need to use the pronoun "I," since Latin is based not on word order, but on the endings!
  • Glossary:
    "to make" - Facio ("I make"), facere ("to make"), feci ("I made"), factus ("made")
    "toga" - Toga, togae feminine
    "hand" - Manus, manus feminine (This is fourth declension)
Answer

Answer: Togam manu feci.

In this case, the word "manu" is in the ablative (see fourth declension list) and thus means "by hand."

Exercise

I have my wisdom by means of my teacher.

  • 'Glossary:
    "wisdom" - Sapientia, sapientiae feminine
    "to have" - Habeo ("I have"), habere ("to have"), habui ("I had"), habitus ("had")
    "teacher" - Magister, magistri masculine (This is a second declension word, despite the 'r' at the end, like puer.)
Answer

Answer: Habeo sapientiam magistro.

Ablative of Time

How would you say: I will arrive at the 5th hour.

'at the 5th hour' is indicating position of time. Thus, it can be put into the ablative case, giving:

adveniam quinta hora

In general, therefore, in order to say "In the morning", "At nine O'clock," or "In the tenth year," use ablative. It is generally used to refer to a specific time in which something has, does, or will occur.

Example: I will leave in the night.

Hint: Future tense can be looked up in the appendices of this Wikibook!

Hint: to leave- discedo, discedere; night- nox, noctis(This is a third declension word!)

Answer

Answer: Discedam nocte.

Note the simplicity in which Latin translates the six words into simply two. The ending based language completely negates the need for the words "I," "will," "in," and "the."

Ablative of Place

Naves navigabant mari. The ships were sailing on the sea.

The ablative is also useful for showing the location of things, in general where you would use the words on, in, or at. There is an exception for the slightly more archaic locative, which is used with the words domi (from domus, domus, f., home), ruri (from rus, ruris, n., country [as opposed to city]), and Romae (from Roma, Romae, f., Rome), as well as with the names of towns, cities and small islands.

Latin has its own way of handling prepositions depending on the nouns and their cases in the sentence, including the versatile in, which can take many different meanings depending upon the case of the object.

Ablative with prepositions

Here are a few prepositions that can take the ablative (for a fuller list, see the lesson on adverbs and prepositions in the previous chapter):

Latin English
in[1] in, on
a/ab from
de down from, concerning
e/ex out of, out from
cum with
sine without
pro on behalf of, in front of
super[2] upon, above, beyond
sub[3] under, beneath


  1. Means "into" or "against" when used with the accusative
  2. Has static meaning when used with the ablative but connotes motion when used with the accusative
  3. Usually means "up to" or "up to the foot of" when used with the accusative

As a general rule, when motion is implied, use the accusative, but when location is implied


Example 3

Servus ex agris venit.

"The slave came from the fields."

Note: Ager (ager, agri, m., field) must take an ablative suffix to match the preceding preposition, in this case e/ex.

Incidentally, both ager and campus mean "field," but ager, like its English derivative "agriculture", connotes a farming field, while campus (think "camping" or "college campus") means "open field." The Campus Martius was a large field in Rome used for military training.

The Vocative Case

While you will rarely need to ask Lupus where the bathroom is in Latin, you may find yourself reading either quotes or letters in which a person is being directly addressed. The case it will be in is the vocative.

For example, "Hail, Augustus" will appear in Latin as Ave Auguste, and not Ave Augustus.


Each declension has its own form of the vocative singular and plural. They are listed in the table below.

Furthermore, in all but the second declension, the nominative and vocative are exactly the same!

Number First Second* Third Fourth Fifth
Singular a us->e, ius->i, r->r -- us es
Plural** ae i es us es
  • In the second declension singular, there are three separate possibilities for the vocative, depending on its nominative ending. Hence, if it is a us word, it will become an e and so forth.

Examples for different declensions in the second declension

  • -us:
    Lupus ->Lupe (given name, wolf)
  • -ius:
    Filius -> Fili (son)
    Horatius-> Horati (given name)
  • -r:
    Puer-> Puer (boy)
In all cases, the plural vocative is exactly the same as the plural nominative. This extends to those words which are neuter, which always have an 'a' for the nominative and vocative.

Examples

  1. Hello, Sextus.(Hello= Salve)*
    Salve, Sexte.
  2. Speak, girl! (Speak= dico, dicere, dixi)*
    Dic, puella.
  3. Knee, run!*(Knee= genu; run= curro, currere, cucurri)*
    Genu, curre!
  4. Oh, heart, why do you lead me? (Oh-o; heart- cor, cordis-f.; lead-duco, ducere;
    O, cor! Cur ducis tu me?
  • Note that the first three also require use of the imperative. The imperative is used when ordering or telling someone what to do, e.g.- "Stop," or "Get away from me."

The basic form of the imperative is created by dropping the "re" off of the infinitive form of the verb, as in: Amare, which becomes Ama; at least in the singular active form, which is all that these exercises require. More can be found about this subject in the chapter on verbs.


Revision

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

Personal Pronouns in English

Lesson Vocabulary
Latin English
cibus food
laborat he/she works

Pronouns are nouns which are used instead of another noun ('pro', in place of 'noun', noun.)

There are three categories of pronouns which are divided up into persons: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. In addition, pronouns can be singular or plural. They are declined like all other nouns.

Person Singular Plural
1st I We
2nd You, Thou You (all)
3rd He/She/It They

Personal Pronouns in Latin

1st/2nd Person Pronouns

Table of Personal Pronouns in all of their cases: I, thou, we, ye

Note: Thou is the archaic singular of the archaic plural ye - useful for distinguishing you (singular) from you (plural)

Singular Plural
Case 1st Person 2nd Person 1st Person 2nd Person
Nominative ego I you nōs we vōs you
Genitive meī of me tuī of you nostrī(nostrum) of us vestrī (vestrum) of you
Dative mihi to me tibi to/for you nōbīs to us vōbīs to/for you
Accusative me you nōs us vōs you
Ablative from me from you nōbīs from us vōbīs from you

Nota Bene: the genitive is used in certain phrases like:

  1. memor nostrī, mindful of us
  2. paucī vestrum, a few of you.

For the possessive uses (my sister, your bicycle), Latin does not use the genitive, but the possessive adjectives:

Latin English
meus, mea, meum my
tuus, tua, tuum thy
suus, sua, sum his/hers, its, their
noster, nostra, nostrum our
vester, vestra, vestrum your
Pater noster Our father

3rd Person Pronouns

Technically, 3rd person pronouns do not exist in Latin as they do in English. However, they do have equivalents.

Adjectives modify nouns and take the gender of the noun which they modify. However, adjectives do not necessarily need a substantive present in the sentence to modify. The substantive can be presumed. In this way, '3rd person' pronouns are formed.

Example 1

Take the masculine form of the adjective 'ille'. Literally it means 'That (masculine) thing.' However one could take it for simply meaning 'he', depending on the context. Similarly, the pronoun 'iste' means 'this (masc.) thing'. Iste and ille are declined in exactly the same way.

If no substantive is provided assume words like these: 'man', 'woman', 'thing', 'idea', 'concept', 'reason' etc. Let context be your guide.

Common Adjectives Used as 3rd Person Pronouns In Latin

Declension of Ille (that)

Declension of ille (that): Singular
Latin English
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative ille illa illud he she it
Genitive illius illius illius his her, hers its
Dative illī illī illī to him to her to it
Accusative illum illam illud him her it
Ablative illō illā illō by, with, from him her it
Declension of ille (that): Plural
Latin English
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative illī illae illa they, those
Genitive illōrum illārum illōrum their, theirs, of those
Dative illīs illīs illīs to them, to those
Accusative illōs illās illa them, those
Ablative illīs illis illīs by, with, from them, those

Ille is often used as a kind of pronoun. In situations with multiple phrases or sentences, however, it is syntactically different from is, ea, id (see below).

For example: "Canis puero cibum dat. Is laborat in agro." means "The dog gives food to the boy. The dog works in the field".

However: "Canis puero cibum dat. Ille laborat in agro." means "The dog gives food to the boy. The boy works in the field".

Thus, ille, unlike the other pronouns makes a previous object into the subject (and vice versa).

Examples of the Usage of Ille:

Latin English
Ille est dominus. He is the master. (ille as pronoun)
Ille dominus est malus. That master is bad. (ille as adjective)
Illam videt He sees her. (or 'she sees her' - illam as pronoun)
Illam puellam videt He (or she) sees that girl (illam as adjective).

Declension of Is, ea, id: (personal pronouns w/ translations)

Singular
Case Latin English
M F N M F N
Nominative is ea id he she it
Genitive eius his her, hers its
Dative to him to her to it
Accusative eum eam id him her it
Ablative by/with him by/with her by/with it
Plural
Case Latin English
M F N M F N
Nominative ei eae ea they, those
Genitive eōrum eārum eōrum their, theirs, of those
Dative eīs, iīs to them, to those
Accusative eōs eās ea them, those
Ablative eīs, iīs by, with, from them, those

Like ille, is can be used as a form of a pronoun.

Examples of the Usage of Is

Latin English
Is est dominus. He is the master. ("is" as pronoun)
Is dominus est malus. The master is bad. ("is" as adjective)
Eam videt. He sees her. (or 'she sees her', "eam" as pronoun)
Eam puellam videt. He (or she) sees the girl. ("eam" as adjective)

Declension of the Relative pronoun qui, quae, quod: (meaning who, which, he)

Singular
M F N M F N
Nominative quī quae quod who which
Genitive cuīus whose of which
Dative cuī to whom to which
Accusative quem quam quod whom which
Ablative quō quā quō by, with, from whom, which
Plural
M F N M F N
Nominative quī quae quae who which
Genitive quorum quarum quorum whose of which

Uses of the Relative Pronoun

The relative pronoun takes on the case depending on the function it serves in the relative clause. For example, in the sentence "He sees the man who has a slave," "who" is translated as nominative because it is the subject of the clause "who has a slave." The antecedent (noun to which the pronoun refers) is usually before the relative clause.

Examples of the Usage of the Relative Pronoun

  1. Virum videt (he/she sees) qui servum (servant) habet (he/she has).
    He sees the man who has a slave
  2. Ille est vir cujus servus est malus.
    That's the man whose slave is bad.
  3. Quis eum videt?
    Who sees him?

Declension of hic, haec, hoc (meaning "this")

Singular
Masculine Femine Neuter
Nominative hic haec hoc this
Genitive huius
Dative huic
Accusative hunc hanc hoc
Ablative hōc hāc hōc
Plural
Masculine Femine Neuter
Nominative hae haec these
Genitive hōrum hārum hōrum
Dative hīs
Accusative hōs hās haec
Ablative hīs

N.B. Hic as an adverb that means 'here'. N.B. Hic can also be used as a pronoun.

Example of the Usage of Hic

Latin English
'Hic' servus, non ille, est malus. This slave, not that one, is bad.



Chapter 6 Verse

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

Verses are very important. They are exactly like they are in English.



Poem about Latin

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

Latin is a language,

At least it used to be;

It killed the Ancient Romans,

And now it's killing me.

(Iambic Trimeter)


It killed Julius Caesar

And killed those who learned it.

Bless the dead!

They surely earned it.

(Anapestic Dimeter)