Latin declension

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Latin declension is the set of patterns according to which Latin words are declined, or have their endings altered to show grammatical case, number and gender. Nouns, pronouns, and adjectives are declined (verbs are conjugated), and a given pattern is called a declension. There are five declensions, which are numbered and grouped by ending and grammatical gender. Each noun follows one of the five declensions, but some irregular nouns have exceptions.

Adjectives are of two kinds: those like bonus, bona, bonum 'good' use first-declension endings for the feminine, and second-declension for masculine and neuter. Other adjectives such as celer, celeris, celere belong to the third declension. There are no fourth- or fifth-declension adjectives.

Pronouns are also of two kinds, the personal pronouns such as ego 'I' and 'you (sg.)', which have their own irregular declension, and the third-person pronouns such as hic 'this' and ille 'that' which can generally be used either as pronouns or adjectivally. These latter decline in a similar way to the first and second noun declensions, but there are differences; for example the genitive singular ends in -īus or -ius instead of or -ae.

The cardinal numbers ūnus 'one', duo 'two', and trēs 'three' also have their own declensions (ūnus has genitive -īus like a pronoun), and there are also numeral adjectives such as bīnī 'a pair, two each', which decline like ordinary adjectives.

Contents

Grammatical cases[edit]

A complete Latin noun declension consists of up to seven grammatical cases: nominative, vocative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative and locative. However, the locative is limited to few nouns: generally names of cities, small islands and a few other words.

The case names are often abbreviated to the first three letters.

Order of cases[edit]

In Britain and countries influenced by Britain, the Latin cases are usually given in the order NomVocAccGenDatAbl(–Loc). This order was first used in Benjamin Hall Kennedy's Latin Primer (1866), and it reflects the tendencies of different cases to share similar endings (see below).

However, in American books the traditional order NomGenDatAccVocAbl or its modification NomGenDatAccAblVoc is found. The former is used in the well-known grammar of Gildersleeve and Lodge (1895) and was also formerly used in England, for example in The School and University Eton Latin Grammar (1861).[1] The latter, with the vocative case at the end, is used in Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar (1903) and in Wheelock's Latin (first published in 1956).

Whichever order is used in grammars, in dictionaries nouns are always cited using the nominative and genitive singular, for example rēx, rēgis "king". From the genitive ending (-ae, -ī, -is, -ūs, -ēī) it can be discovered whether the noun is 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th declension.

For further information about the various orders, see below.

Syncretism[edit]

Syncretism, where one form in a paradigm shares the ending of another form in the paradigm, is common in Latin. The following are the most notable patterns of syncretism:

Gender-specific[edit]

  • For pure Latin neuter nouns, the nominative singular, vocative singular, and accusative singular are identical; and the nominative plural, vocative plural, and accusative plural all end in -a (both of these features are inherited from Proto-Indo-European, and so are not true syncretism as the case endings were never attested as separate in the first place).

Case-specific[edit]

  • The vocative form is always the same as the nominative in the plural, and usually the same as the nominative in the singular except for second-declension masculine nouns ending in -us and a few nouns of Greek origin. For example, the vocative of the first-declension Aenēās is Aenēā.
  • The genitive singular is the same as the nominative plural in first-, second-, and fourth-declension masculine and feminine pure Latin nouns.
  • The dative singular is the same as the genitive singular in first- and fifth-declension pure Latin nouns.
  • The dative is always the same as the ablative in the singular in the second declension, the third-declension full i-stems (i.e. neuter i-stems, adjectives), and fourth-declension neuters.
  • The dative, ablative, and locative are always identical in the plural.
  • The locative is identical to the ablative in the fourth and fifth declensions.

History of cases[edit]

Old Latin had essentially two patterns of endings. One pattern was shared by the first and second declensions, which derived from the Proto-Indo-European thematic declension. The other pattern was used by the third, fourth and fifth declensions, and derived from the athematic PIE declension.

Nouns[edit]

There are two principal parts for Latin nouns: the nominative singular and the genitive singular. Each declension can be unequivocally identified by the ending of the genitive singular (-ae, -i, -is, -ūs, -ei). The stem of the noun can be identified by the form of the genitive singular as well.

There are five declensions for Latin nouns:

First declension (a stems)[edit]

Nouns of this declension usually end in -a in the nominative singular and are mostly feminine, e.g. via, viae f. ('road') and aqua, aquae f. ('water'). There is a small class of masculine exceptions generally referring to occupations, e.g. poēta, poētae m. ('poet'), agricola, agricolae m. ('farmer') and nauta, nautae m. ('sailor').

The predominant letter in the ending forms of this declension is a. The nominative singular form consists of the stem and the ending -a, and the genitive singular form is the stem plus -ae.

First declension paradigm
Singular Plural
Nominative -a -ae
Accusative -am -ās
Genitive -ae -ārum
Dative -īs
Ablative
familia, familiae poēta, poētae
poet m.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative familia familiae poēta poētae
Accusative familiam familiās poētam poētās
Genitive familiae[i] familiārum poētae poētārum
Dative familiīs poētīs
Ablative familiā poētā
  1. ^ The archaic genitive ending in -ai (as in aquai) occurs occasionally in Virgil and Lucretius, to evoke the style of older writers. Plus, the archaic genitive ending in -ās is used in expressions like pater familiās (also possible in conjunction with māter, fīlius and fīlia).

The locative endings for the first declension are -ae (singular) and -īs (plural), similar to the genitive singular and ablative plural, as in mīlitiae 'in war' and Athēnīs 'at Athens'.[2]

First declension Greek nouns[edit]

The first declension also includes three types of Greek loanwords, derived from Ancient Greek's Alpha Declension. They are declined irregularly in the singular, but sometimes treated as native Latin nouns, e.g. nominative athlēta ('athlete') instead of the original athlētēs. Archaic (Homeric) first declension Greek nouns and adjectives had been formed in exactly the same way as in Latin: nephelēgeréta Zeus ('Zeus the cloud-gatherer') had in classical Greek become nephelēgerétēs.

For full paradigm tables and more detailed information, see the Wiktionary appendix First declension.

Second declension (o stems)[edit]

The second declension is a large group of nouns consisting of mostly masculine nouns like equus, equī ('horse') and puer, puerī ('boy') and neuter nouns like castellum, castellī ('fort'). There are several small groups of feminine exceptions, including names of gemstones, plants, trees, and some towns and cities.

In the nominative singular, most masculine nouns consist of the stem and the ending -us, although some end in -er, which is not necessarily attached to the complete stem. Neuter nouns generally have a nominative singular consisting of the stem and the ending -um. However, every second-declension noun has the ending attached as a suffix to the root of the noun in the genitive singular form. The predominant letter in the ending forms of this declension is o.

Second declension paradigm
Singular Plural
Masculine Neuter Masculine Neuter
Nominative -us -um -a
Vocative -e
Accusative -um -ōs
Genitive -ōrum
Dative -īs
Ablative
Masculine
dominus, dominī
master m.
Singular Plural
Nominative dominus dominī
Vocative domine
Accusative dominum dominōs
Genitive dominī dominōrum
Dative dominō dominīs
Ablative
Neuter
bellum, bellī
war n.
Singular Plural
Nominative bellum bella
Accusative
Genitive bellī bellōrum
Dative bellō bellīs
Ablative

The locative endings for the second declension are (singular) and -īs (plural); Corinthī "at Corinth", Mediolānī "at Milan", and Philippīs "at Philippi".[3]

Second-declension -ius and -ium nouns[edit]

Nouns ending in -ius and -ium have a genitive singular in in earlier Latin, which was regularized to -iī in the later language. Masculine nouns in -ius have a vocative singular in at all stages. These forms in are stressed on the same syllable as the nominative singular, sometimes in violation of the usual Latin stress rule. For example, the genitive and vocative singular Vergilī (from Vergilius) is pronounced Vergílī, with stress on the penult, even though it is short.[4] In Old Latin, however, the vocative was declined regularly, using -ie instead, e.g. fīlie "[Oh] son", archaic vocative of fīlius.

There is no contraction of -iī(s) in plural forms and in the locative.

fīlius, filiī
son m.
auxilium, auxiliī
aid, help n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative fīlius fīliī auxilium auxilia
Vocative fīlī
Accusative fīlium fīliōs
Genitive fīliī fīliōrum auxiliī auxiliōrum
Dative fīliō fīliīs auxiliō auxiliīs
Ablative

In the older language, nouns ending with -vus, -quus and -vum take o rather than u in the nominative and accusative singular. For example, servus, servī ('slave') could be servos, accusative servom.

Second-declension -r nouns[edit]

Some masculine nouns of the second declension end in -er or -ir in the nominative singular. For such nouns, the genitive singular must be learned to see if the e is dropped. For example, socer, socerī ('father-in-law') keeps its e. However, the noun magister, magistrī ('teacher') drops its e in the genitive singular. Nouns with -ir in the nominative singular, such as triumvir, never drop the i.

The declension of second-declension -r nouns is identical to that of the regular second declension, except that the vocative suffix -e is optional.

For declension tables of second-declension nouns, see the corresponding Wiktionary appendix.

puer, puerī
boy m.
ager, agrī
field m.
vir, virī
man m.
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative puer puerī ager agrī vir virī
Vocative puer
(puere)
Accusative puerum puerōs agrum agrōs virum virōs
Genitive puerī puerōrum agrī agrōrum virī virōrum
(virum)
Dative puerō puerīs agrō agrīs virō virīs
Ablative

Second-declension Greek nouns[edit]

The second declension contains two types of masculine Greek nouns and one form of neuter Greek noun. These nouns are irregular only in the singular, as are their first-declension counterparts. Greek nouns in the second declension are derived from the Omicron declension.

Some Greek nouns may also be declined as normal Latin nouns. For example, theātron can appear as theātrum.

Irregular forms[edit]

Deus[edit]

The inflection of deus, deī ('god') is irregular. The vocative singular of deus is not attested in Classical Latin. In Ecclesiastical Latin the vocative of Deus ('God') is Deus.

In poetry, -um may substitute -ōrum as the genitive plural ending.

deus, deī
god m.
Singular Plural
Nominative deus deī
diī
Accusative deum deōs
Genitive deī deōrum
deum
Dative deō deīs
diīs
dīs
Ablative
Virus[edit]

The Latin word vīrus (the ī indicates a long i) means "1. slimy liquid, slime; 2. poison, venom", denoting the venom of a snake. This Latin word is probably related to the Greek ῑ̓ός (ios) meaning "venom" or "rust" and the Sanskrit word विष viṣa meaning "toxic, poison".[5]

Since vīrus in antiquity denoted something uncountable, it was a mass noun. Mass nouns pluralize only under special circumstances, hence the non-existence of plural forms in the texts.[6]

In Neo-Latin, a plural form is necessary in order to express the modern concept of ‘viruses’, which leads to the following declension:[7][8][9]

vīrus, vīrī
poison, venom, virus n.
Singular Plural
Nominative vīrus vīra
Accusative
Genitive vīrī[i] vīrōrum
Dative vīrō vīrīs
Ablative
  1. ^ antique, heteroclitic: vīrus

Third declension[edit]

The third declension is the largest group of nouns. The nominative singular of these nouns may end in -a, -e, , , -y, -c, -l, -n, -r, -s, -t, or -x. This group of nouns includes masculine, neuter, and feminine nouns.

Consonant stems[edit]

The stem of a consonant-stem noun may be found from the genitive case by removing the ending -is. For example, the stem of pāx, pācis 'peace' is pāc-.

Examples are flūmen, flūminis n. 'river', flōs, flōris m. 'flower', and pāx, pācis f. 'peace'.

Masculine, feminine and neuter nouns often have their own special nominative singular endings. For instance, many masculine nouns end in -or (amor, amōris, 'love'). Many feminine nouns end in -īx (phoenīx, phoenīcis, 'phoenix'), and many neuter nouns end in -us with an r stem in the oblique cases (onus, oneris 'burden'; tempus, temporis 'time').

Third declension paradigm
(consonant stems)
Masculine &
feminine
Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative (-s) -ēs [i] -a
Accusative -em
Genitive -is -um -is -um
Dative -ibus -ibus
Ablative -e -e
  1. ^ The nominative and accusative of neuter nouns are always identical.
dux, ducis
leader m.
virtūs, virtūtis
virtue f.
nōmen, nōminis
name n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative dux ducēs virtūs virtūtēs nōmen nōmina
Accusative ducem virtūtem
Genitive ducis ducum virtūtis virtūtum nōminis nōminum
Dative ducī ducibus virtūtī virtūtibus nōminī nōminibus
Ablative duce virtūte nōmine

The locative endings for the third declension are or -e (singular) and -ibus (plural), as in rūrī 'in the country' and Trallibus 'at Tralles'.[10]

Third declension i-stem and mixed nouns[edit]

The third declension also has a set of nouns that are declined differently. They are called i-stems. i-stems are broken into two subcategories: pure and mixed. Pure i-stems are indicated by special neuter endings. Mixed i-stems are indicated by the double consonant rule. Stems indicated by the parisyllabic rule are usually mixed, occasionally pure.

Masculine and feminine
Parisyllabic rule: Some masculine and feminine third-declension i-stem nouns have the same number of syllables in the genitive as they do in the nominative. For example: nāvis, nāvis ('ship'); nūbēs, nūbis ('cloud'). The nominative ends in -is or -ēs.
Double consonant rule: The rest of the masculine and feminine third-declension i-stem nouns have two consonants before the -is in the genitive singular. For example: pars, partis ('part').
Neuter
Special neuter ending: Neuter third-declension i-stems have no rule. However, all of them end in -al, -ar or -e. For example: animal, animālis ('animal'); cochlear, cochleāris ('spoon'); mare, maris ('sea').

The mixed declension is distinguished from the consonant type only by having -ium in the genitive plural (and occasionally -īs in the accusative plural). The pure declension is characterized by having in the ablative singular, -ium in the genitive plural, -ia in the nominative and accusative plural neuter, and -im in the accusative singular masculine and feminine (however, adjectives have -em).

The accusative plural ending -īs is found in early Latin up to Virgil, but from the early empire onwards it was replaced by -ēs.[11]

The accusative singular ending -im is found only in a few words: always in tussis 'cough', sitis 'thirst', Tiberis 'River Tiber'; usually in secūris 'axe', turris 'tower'; occasionally in nāvis 'ship'. Most nouns, however, have accusative singular -em.[12]

The ablative singular is found in nouns which have -im, and also, optionally, in some other nouns, e.g. in ignī or in igne 'in the fire'.

There are two mixed-declension neuter nouns: cor, cordis ('heart') and os, ossis ('bone'). Also, the mixed declension is used in the plural-only adjective plūrēs, plūra ('most').

Third declension paradigm
(i-stem nouns)
Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative -ēs -ia
Accusative -em
-im
-ēs
-īs
Genitive -is -ium -is -ium
Dative -ibus -ibus
Ablative -e
Third declension paradigm
(mixed nouns)
Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative -ēs -a
Accusative -em -ēs
-īs
Genitive -is -ium -is -ium
Dative -ibus -ibus
Ablative -e -e
turris, turris
tower m. (pure)
pars, partis
part, piece f. (mixed)
animal, animālis
animal, living being n. (pure)
Parisyllabic rule Double consonant rule Special neuter ending
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative turris turrēs pars partēs animal animālia
Accusative turrem
turrim
turrēs
turrīs
partem partēs
partīs
Genitive turris turrium partis partium animālis animālium
Dative turrī turribus partī partibus animālī animālibus
Ablative turre
turrī
parte
(partī)

The rules for determining i-stems from non-i-stems and mixed i-stems are guidelines rather than rules: many words that might be expected to be i-stems according to the parisyllabic rule actually are not, such as canis ('dog') or iuvenis ('youth'), which have genitive plural canum 'of dogs' and iuvenum 'of young men'. Likewise, pater ('father'), māter ('mother'), frāter ('brother'), and parēns ('parent') violate the double-consonant rule. This fluidity even in Roman times resulted in much more uncertainty in Medieval Latin.

Some nouns in -tāt-, such as cīvitās, cīvitātis 'city, community' can have either consonant-stem or i-stem genitive plural: cīvitātum or cīvitātium 'of the cities'.[13]

Peculiarities[edit]

In the third declension, there are four irregular nouns.

Case vīs, vīs
force, power f.
sūs, suis
swine, pig, hog m.f.
bōs, bovis
ox, bullock m.f.
Iuppiter, Iovis
Jupiter m.
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular
Nominative vīs vīrēs sūs suēs bōs[i] bovēs Iuppiter
Iūpiter[i]
Accusative vim vīrēs
vīrīs
suem bovem Iovem
Genitive vīs[ii] vīrium suis suum bovis boum
bovum
Iovis
Dative [ii] vīribus suī suibus
sūbus
bovī bōbus
būbus[i]
Iovī
Ablative sue bove Iove
  1. ^ a b c Here ō or ū come from Old Latin ou. Thus bō-/bū- and Iū- before consonant endings are alternate developments of the bov- and Iov- before vowel endings. The double pp in the preferred form Iuppiter 'Father Jove' is assimilated from the etymological form Iūs piter. i is weakened from a in pater (Allen and Greenough, sect. 79 b).
  2. ^ a b Genitive and dative cases are seldom used.

Fourth declension (u stems)[edit]

The fourth declension is a group of nouns consisting of mostly masculine words such as fluctus, fluctūs m. ('wave') and portus, portūs m. ('port') with a few feminine exceptions, including manus, manūs f. ('hand'). The fourth declension also includes several neuter nouns including genū, genūs n. ('knee'). Each noun has the ending -ūs as a suffix attached to the root of the noun in the genitive singular form. The predominant letter in the ending forms of this declension is u, but the declension is otherwise very similar to the third-declension i stems.

Fourth declension paradigm
-us ending nouns ending nouns
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative -us -ūs -ua
Accusative -um
Genitive -ūs -uum -ūs
-uum
Dative -uī -ibus -uī
-ibus
Ablative
portus, portūs
port, haven, harbor m.
cornū, cornūs
horn n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative portus portūs cornū cornua
Accusative portum
Genitive portūs portuum cornūs
cornū
cornuum
Dative portuī portibus cornuī
cornū
cornibus
Ablative portū cornū

In the dative and ablative plural, -ibus is sometimes replaced with -ubus. This is so for only a few nouns, such as artūs pl., ('limbs').

The locative endings for the fourth declension are (singular), and probably (singular) as well; senātī "at [the] senate", domī "at home".

Domus ('house, dwelling, building, home, native place, family, household, race') is an irregular noun, mixing fourth and second declension nouns at the same time (especially in literature). However, in practice, it is generally declined as a regular -us stem fourth declension noun (except by the ablative singular and accusative plural, using and -ōs instead).[14]

domus, domūs/domī f.
All possible declensions
Singular Plural
Nominative domus domūs
Accusative domum domūs
domōs
Genitive domūs
domī
domuum
domōrum
Dative domuī
domū
domō
domibus
Ablative domū
domō
domus, domūs f.
Most common paradigm
Singular Plural
Nominative domus domūs
Accusative domum domōs
Genitive domūs domuum
Dative domuī domibus
Ablative domō

Fifth declension (e stems)[edit]

The fifth declension is a small group of nouns consisting of mostly feminine nouns like rēs, reī f. ('affair, matter, thing') and diēs, diēī m. ('day'; but f. in names of days). Each noun has either the ending -ēī or -eī as a suffix attached to the root of the noun in the genitive singular form.

Fifth declension paradigm
-iēs ending nouns -ēs ending nouns
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative -iēs -iēs -ēs -ēs
Accusative -iem -em
Genitive -iēī -iērum -eī -ērum
Dative -iēbus -ēbus
Ablative -iē
diēs, diēī
day m., f.
rēs, reī
thing f.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative diēs diēs rēs rēs
Accusative diem rem
Genitive diēī diērum reī rērum
Dative diēbus rēbus
Ablative diē

Nouns ending in -iēs have long ēī in the dative and genitive, while nouns ending in a consonant + -ēs have short in these cases.

The locative ending of the fifth declension was (singular only), identical to the ablative singular, as in hodiē ('today').

Pronouns[edit]

Personal pronouns[edit]

The first and second persons are irregular, and both pronouns are indeclinable for gender; and the third person reflexive pronoun sē, suī always refers back to the subject, regardless of whether the subject is singular or plural.

First Person Second Person Third Person
ego, nōs
I, we
, vōs
you
sē, suī
himself, herself, itself,
oneself,
themselves
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative ego
egō
nōs vōs
Accusative
sēsē
Genitive meī nostrī,
nostrum
tuī vestrī,
vestrum
suī
Dative mihi nōbīs tibi vōbīs sibi
Ablative
sēsē

The genitive forms meī, tuī, nostrī, vestrī, suī are used as complements in certain grammatical constructions, whereas nostrum, vestrum are used with a partitive meaning ('[one] of us', '[one] of you'). To express possession, the possessive pronouns (essentially adjectives) meus, tuus, noster, vester are used, declined in the first and second declensions to agree in number and case with the thing possessed, e.g. pater meus 'my father', māter mea 'my mother'. The vocative singular masculine of meus is : mī Attice 'my dear Atticus'.[15]

Possessive pronouns declensions[edit]

meus, mea, meum
my, mine
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative meus mea meum meī meae mea
Vocative
Accusative meum meam meōs meās
Genitive meī meae meī meōrum meārum meōrum
Dative meō meō meīs
Ablative meā
tuus, tua, tuum
your, yours (for singular possessor)
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative tuus tua tuum tuī tuae tua
Accusative tuum tuam tuōs tuās
Genitive tuī tuae tuī tuōrum tuārum tuōrum
Dative tuō tuō tuīs
Ablative tuā
suus, sua, suum
his, her, its, theirs (reflexive)
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative suus sua suum suī suae sua
Accusative suum suam suōs suās
Genitive suī suae suī suōrum suārum suōrum
Dative suō suō suīs
Ablative suā
noster, nostra, nostrum
our, ours
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative noster nostra nostrum nostrī nostrae nostra
Accusative nostrum nostram nostrōs nostrās
Genitive nostrī nostrae nostrī nostrōrum nostrārum nostrōrum
Dative nostrō nostrō nostrīs
Ablative nostrā

The possessive adjective vester has an archaic variant, voster; similar to noster.

vester, vestra, vestrum
voster, vostra, vostrum
your, yours (for plural possessor)
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative vester
voster
vestra
vostra
vestrum
vostrum
vestrī
vostrī
vestrae
vostrae
vestra
vostra
Accusative vestrum
vostrum
vestram
vostram
vestrōs
vostrōs
vestrās
vostrās
Genitive vestrī
vostrī
vestrae
vostrae
vestrī
vostrī
vestrōrum
vostrōrum
vestrārum
vostrārum
vestrōrum
vostrōrum
Dative vestrō
vostrō
vestrō
vostrō
vestrīs
vostrīs
Ablative vestrā
vostrā

Usually, to show the ablative of accompaniment, cum would be added to the ablative form. However, with personal pronouns (first and second person), the reflexive and the interrogative, -cum is added onto the end of the ablative form. That is: mēcum 'with me', nōbīscum 'with us', tēcum 'with you', vōbīscum, sēcum and quōcum (sometimes quīcum).

Pronouns have also an emphatic form bi using the suffix -met (egomet, tūte/tūtemet, nosmet, vosmet), used in all cases, except by the genitive plural forms.

In accusative case, the forms mēmē and tētē exist as emphatic, but they are not widely used.

Sē, suī has a possessive adjective: suus, sua, suum, meaning 'his/her/its/their own':

Patrem suum numquam vīderat. (Cicero)[16]
"He had never seen his [own] father."

When 'his' or 'her' refers to someone else, not the subject, the genitive pronoun eius (as well as eōrum and eārum) 'of him' is used instead of suus:

Fit obviam Clodiō ante fundum eius. (Cicero)[17]
"He met Clodius in front of the latter's farm."

When one sentence is embedded inside another with a different subject, and suus can refer to either subject:

Patrēs conscrīptī ... lēgātōs in Bīthȳniam miserunt quī ab rēge peterent, nē inimīcissimum suum secum haberet sibique dēderet. (Nepos)[18]
"The senators ... sent ambassadors to Bithynia, who were to ask the king not to keep their greatest enemy with him but hand him over to them."

For the third-person pronoun is 'he', see below.

Demonstrative pronouns and adjectives[edit]

Relative, demonstrative and indefinite pronouns are generally declined like first and second declension adjectives, with the following differences:

  • the nominatives are often irregular
  • the genitive singular ends in -īus rather than -ae or .
  • the dative singular ends in : rather than -ae or .

These differences characterize the pronominal declension, and a few special adjectives (tōtus 'whole', sōlus 'alone', ūnus 'one', nūllus 'no', alius 'another', alter 'another [of two]', etc.) are also declined according to this pattern.

All demonstrative, relative, and indefinite pronouns in Latin can also be used adjectivally, with some small differences; for example in the interrogative pronoun, quis 'who?' and quid 'what?' are usually used for the pronominal form, quī and quod 'which?' for the adjectival form.

Third person pronoun[edit]

The weak demonstrative pronoun is, ea, id 'that' also serves as the third person pronoun 'he, she, it':

Third person
is, ea, id
he, she, it
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative is ea id
eae ea
Accusative eum eam eōs eās
Genitive eius eōrum eārum eōrum
Dative eīs
iīs
Ablative

This pronoun is also often used adjectivally, e.g. is homo 'that man', ea pecunia 'that money'. It has no possessive adjective; the genitive is used instead: pater eius 'his/her father'; pater eōrum 'their father'.

Declension of īdem[edit]

The pronoun or pronominal adjective īdem, eadem, idem means 'the same'. It is derived from is with the suffix -dem. However, some forms have been assimilated.

īdem, eadem, idem
the same, same as
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative īdem eadem idem eīdem
īdem
iīdem
eaedem eadem
Accusative eundem eandem eōsdem eāsdem
Genitive eiusdem eōrundem eārundem eōrundem
Dative eīdem eīsdem
īsdem
iīsdem
Ablative eōdem eādem eōdem

Other demonstrative pronouns[edit]

hic, haec, hoc
this, this one (proximal)
ille, illa, illud
that, that one (distal)
iste, ista, istud
that of yours (medial)
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative hic haec hoc hae haec ille illa illud illī illae illa iste ista istud istī istae ista
Accusative hunc hanc hōs hās illum illam illōs illās istum istam istōs istās
Genitive huius[i] hōrum hārum hōrum illīus illōrum illārum illōrum istīus istōrum istārum istōrum
Dative huic hīs illī illīs istī istīs
Ablative hōc hāc hōc illō illā illō istō istā istō
  1. ^ Sometimes spelled hūius. Here, the macron indicates that the syllable is long or heavy, because the consonantal i between vowels is pronounced double, like *huiius, and the doubled consonant makes the first syllable heavy.[citation needed]

Similar in declension is alius, alia, aliud 'another'.

Intensive pronoun[edit]

ipse, ipsa, ipsum
himself, herself, itself
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative ipse ipsa ipsum ipsi ipsae ipsa
Accusative ipsum ipsam ipsōs ipsās
Genitive ipsīus ipsōrum ipsārum ipsōrum
Dative ipsī ipsīs
Ablative ipsō ipsā ipsō

Interrogative pronouns[edit]

The interrogative pronouns are used strictly for asking questions. They are distinct from the relative pronoun and the interrogative adjective (which is declined like the relative pronoun). Interrogative pronouns rarely occur in the plural. The plural interrogative pronouns are the same as the plural relative pronouns.

Singular
quis? quid?
who?, what?
Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter
Nominative quis? quid?
Accusative quem?
Genitive cuius?[i]
Dative cuī?
Ablative quō?

Relative pronouns[edit]

quī, quae, quod
who, which, that
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative quī quae quod quī quae quae
Accusative quem quam quōs quās
Genitive cuius[i] quōrum quārum quōrum
Dative cuī quibus
Ablative quō quā quō
  1. ^ a b Sometimes spelled cūius. Here, the macron indicates that the syllable is long or heavy, because the consonantal i between vowels is pronounced double, like *cuiius, and the doubled consonant makes the first syllable heavy.[citation needed]

Adjectives[edit]

First- and second-declension adjectives[edit]

First- and second-declension adjective are inflected in the masculine, the feminine and the neuter; the masculine form typically ends in -us (although some end in -er, see below), the feminine form ends in -a, and the neuter form ends in -um. Therefore, some adjectives are given like altus, alta, altum.

Adjectives ending -ius use the vocative -ie (ebrie, "[O] drunk man", vocative of ebrius), just as in Old Latin all -ius nouns did (fīlie, "[O] son", archaic vocative of fīlius).

altus, alta, altum
high, long, tall
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative altus alta altum altī altae alta
Vocative alte
Accusative altum altam altōs altās
Genitive altī altae altī altōrum altārum altōrum
Dative altō altō altīs
Ablative altā
sōlitārius, sōlitāria, sōlitārium
solitary, lonely
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative sōlitārius sōlitāria sōlitārium sōlitāriī sōlitāriae sōlitāria
Vocative sōlitārie
Accusative sōlitārium sōlitāriam sōlitāriōs sōlitāriās
Genitive sōlitāriī sōlitāriae sōlitāriī sōlitāriōrum sōlitāriārum sōlitāriōrum
Dative sōlitāriō sōlitāriō sōlitāriīs
Ablative sōlitāriā

First- and second-declension -r adjectives[edit]

Some first- and second-declension adjectives' masculine form end in -er. As with second-declension -r nouns, some adjectives retain the e throughout inflection, and some omit it. Sacer, sacra, sacrum omits its e while miser, misera, miserum keeps it.

miser, misera, miserum
sad, poor, unhappy
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative miser misera miserum miserī miserae misera
Accusative miserum miseram miserōs miserās
Genitive miserī miserae miserī miserōrum miserārum miserōrum
Dative miserō miserō miserīs
Ablative miserā
sacer, sacra, sacrum
sacred, holy
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative sacer sacra sacrum sacrī sacrae sacra
Accusative sacrum sacram sacrōs sacrās
Genitive sacrī sacrae sacrī sacrōrum sacrārum sacrōrum
Dative sacrō sacrō sacrīs
Ablative sacrā

First and second declension pronominal adjectives[edit]

Nine first and second declension pronominal adjectives are irregular in the genitive and the dative in all genders. They can be remembered by using the mnemonic acronym ūnus nauta. They are:

ūllus, ūlla, ūllum
any
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative ūllus ūlla ūllum ūllī ūllae ūlla
Accusative ūllum ūllam ūllōs ūllās
Genitive ūllīus ūllōrum ūllārum ūllōrum
Dative ūllī ūllīs
Ablative ūllō ūllā ūllō

Third-declension adjectives[edit]

Third-declension adjectives are normally declined like third-declension i-stem nouns, except for the fact they usually have rather than -e in the ablative singular (unlike i-stem nouns, in which only pure i-stems have ). Some adjectives, however, like the one-ending vetus, veteris ('old, aged'), have -e in the ablative singular, -um in the genitive plural, and -a in the nominative and accusative neuter plural.

Third-declension adjectives with one ending[edit]

These have a single nominative ending for all genders, although as usual the endings for the other cases vary. As with nouns, a genitive is given for the purpose of showing the inflection.

atrōx, atrōx
terrible, mean, cruel
Singular Plural
Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter
Nominative atrōx atrōx atrōcēs atrōcia
Accusative atrōcem atrōcēs
atrōcīs
Genitive atrōcis atrōcium
Dative atrōcī atrōcibus
Ablative
Non-i-stem variant[edit]
vetus, vetus
old, aged
Singular Plural
Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter
Nominative vetus vetus veterēs vetera
Accusative veterem
Genitive veteris veterum
Dative veterī veteribus
Ablative vetere

Third-declension adjectives with two endings[edit]

Third-declension adjectives that have two endings have one form for the masculine and feminine, and a separate form for the neuter. The ending for the masculine and feminine is -is, and the ending for the neuter is -e. It is not necessary to give the genitive, as it is the same as the nominative masculine singular.

agilis, agile
nimble, swift
Singular Plural
Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter
Nominative agilis agile agilēs agilia
Accusative agilem agilēs
agilīs
Genitive agilis agilium
Dative agilī agilibus
Ablative

Third-declension adjectives with three endings[edit]

Third-declension adjectives with three endings have three separate nominative forms for all three genders. Like third and second declension -r nouns, the masculine ends in -er. The feminine ends in -ris, and the neuter ends in -re. The genitive is the same as the nominative feminine singular.

celer, celeris, celere
swift, rapid, brash
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter
Nominative celer celeris celere celerēs celeria
Accusative celerem celerem
Genitive celeris celerium
Dative celerī celeribus
Ablative
alacer, alacris, alacre
lively, jovial, animated
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter
Nominative alacer alacris alacre alacrēs alacria
Accusative alacrem alacrem alacrēs
alacrīs
Genitive alacris alacrium
Dative alacrī alacribus
Ablative

Comparative and superlative forms of adjectives[edit]

As in English, adjectives have superlative and comparative forms. For regular first and second declension and third declension adjectives with one or two endings, the comparative is formed by adding -ior for the masculine and feminine, and -ius for the neuter to the stem. The genitives for both are formed by adding -iōris. Therefore, they are declined in the third declension, but they are not declined as i-stems. Superlatives are formed by adding -issimus, -issima, -issimum to the stem and are thus declined like first and second declension adjectives.

General pattern for comparatives[edit]

altior, altius
higher, deeper (comparative of altus)
Singular Plural
Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter
Nominative altior altius altiōrēs altiōra
Accusative altiōrem
Genitive altiōris altiōrum
Dative altiōrī altiōribus
Ablative altiōre
altissimus, altissima, altissimum
highest, deepest (superlative of altus)
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative altissimus altissima altissimum altissimī altissimae altissima
Vocative altissime
Accusative altissimum altissimam altissimōs altissimās
Genitive altissimī altissimae altissimī altissimōrum altissimārum altissimōrum
Dative altissimō altissimō altissimīs
Ablative altissimā

Comparatives and superlatives with normal endings[edit]

Adjective Positive Comparative Superlative
clārus, clāra, clārum ('clear, bright, famous') clārior, clārius clārissimus, clārissima, clārissimum
frīgidus, frīgida, frīgidum ('cold, chilly') frīgidior, frīgidius frīgidissimus, frīgidissima, frīgidissimum
pugnāx, pugnāx (pugnācis) ('pugnacious') pugnācior, pugnācius pugnācissimus, pugnācissima, pugnācissimum
benevolēns, benevolēns (benevolentis) ('kind, benevolent') benevolentior, benevolentius benevolentissimus, benevolentissima, benevolentissium
fortis, forte ('strong, robust') fortior, fortius fortissimus, fortissima, fortissimum
aequālis, aequāle ('equal, even') aequālior, aequālius aequālissimus, aequālissima, aequālissimum

Comparatives and superlatives of -er adjectives[edit]

Adjectives (in the first and second as well as third declensions) that have masculine nominative singular forms ending in -er are slightly different. As with normal adjectives, the comparative is formed by adding -ior to the stem, but for the superlative, -rimus is added to the nominative masculine singular.

Adjective Positive Comparative Superlative
pulcher, pulchra, pulchrum ('pretty, beautiful') pulchrior, pulchrius pulcherrimus, pulcherrima, pulcherrimum
sacer, sacra, sacrum ('sacred, holy') sacrior, sacrius sacerrimus, sacerrima, sacerrimum
tener, tenera, tenerum ('delicate, tender') tenerior, tenerius tenerrimus, tenerrima, tenerrimum
ācer, ācris, ācre ('valliant, fierce') ācrior, ācrius ācerrimus, ācerrima, ācerrimum
celeber, celebris, celebre ('celebrated, famous') celebrior, celebrius celeberrimus, celeberrima, celeberrimum
celer, celeris, celere ('quick, fast') celerior, celerius celerrimus, celerrima, celerrimum

Comparatives and superlatives of -lis adjectives[edit]

Some third declension adjectives with two endings in -lis in the masculine–feminine nominative singular have irregular superlative forms. The following are the only adjectives that do.

Adjective Positive Comparative Superlative
facilis, facile ('easy') facilior, facilius facillimus, facillima, facillimum
difficilis, difficile ('hard, difficult') difficilior, difficilius difficillimus, difficillima, difficillimum
similis, simile ('similar, like) similior, similius simillimus, simillima, simillimum
dissimilis, dissimile ('unlike, dissimilar') dissimilior, dissimilius dissimillimus, dissimillima, dissimillimum
gracilis, gracile ('slender, slim') gracilior, gracilius gracillimus, gracillima, gracillimum
humilis, humile ('low, humble') humilior, humilius humillimus, humillima, humillimum

Comparatives and superlatives of -eus/-ius adjectives[edit]

First and second declension adjectives that end in -eus or -ius are unusual in that they do not form the comparative and superlative by taking endings at all. Instead, magis ('more') and maximē ('most'), the comparative and superlative degrees of magnoperē ('much, greatly'), respectively, are used.

Many adjectives in -uus, except those in -quus or -guus, also follow this rule.

Adjective Positive Comparative Superlative
idōneus, idōnea, idōneum ('suitable, fitting, proper') magis idōneus maximē idōneus
sōlitārius, sōlitāria, sōlitārium ('solitary, lonely') magis sōlitārius maximē sōlitārius
ebrius, ebria, ebrium ('drunk') magis ebrius maximē ebrius
meritōrius, meritōria, meritōrium ('meritorious') magis meritōrius maximē meritōrius
grāmineus, grāminea, grāmineum ('grassy') magis grāmineus maximē grāmineus
bellātōrius, bellātōria, bellātōrium ('warlike, bellicose') magis bellātōrius maximē bellātōrius
arduus, ardua, arduum ('lofty, steep') magis arduus maximē arduus

Irregular comparatives and superlatives[edit]

As in most languages, Latin has adjectives that have irregular comparatives and superlatives.

Adjective Positive Comparative Superlative
bonus, bona, bonum ('good') melior, melius ('better') optimus, optima, optimum ('best')
malus, mala, malum ('bad, evil') pēior, pēius ('worse') pessimus, pessima, pessimum ('worst')
magnus, magna, magnum ('great, large') māior, māius ('greater') maximus, maxima, maximum ('greatest')
parvus, parva, parvum ('small, slight') minor, minus ('lesser') minimus, minima, minimum ('least')
multus, multa, multum ('much, many') plūs[i] ('more') plūrimus, plūrima, plūrimum ('most')
propinquus, propinqua, propinquum ('near, close') propior, propius ('nearer') proximus, proxima, proximum ('nearest, next')
mātūrus, mātūra, mātūrum ('ripe, mature') mātūrior, mātūrius ('riper') mātūrrimus, mātūrrima, mātūrrimum[ii] ('ripest')
nēquam[iii] ('worthless') nēquior, nēquius ('more worthless') nēquissimus, nēquissima, nēquissimum ('most worthless')
posterus, postera, posterum ('next, future') posterior, posterius ('later') postrēmus, postrēma, postrēmum ('last, latest')
postumus, postuma, postumum
superus, supera, superum ('above') superior, superius ('upper') suprēmus, suprēma, suprēmum ('uppermost')
summus, summa, summum
exterus, extera, exterum ('outward') exterior, exterius ('outer') extrēmus, extrēma, extrēmum ('outermost')
extimus, extima, extimum
īnferus, īnfera, īnferum ('below') īnferior, īnferius ('lower') īnfimus, īnfima, īnfimum ('lowest')
īmus, īma, īmum
senex, senis ('old, aged') senior, senius ('older, elder') senissimus, senissima, senissimum ('oldest, eldest')
iuvenis, iuvenis ('young, youthful') iuvenior, iuvenius ('younger')
iūnior, iūnius
iuvenissimus, iuvenissima, iuvenissimum ('youngest')
iūnissimus, iūnissima, iūnissimum [20][21]
  1. ^ Noun used with genitive to express more of something in the singular; in the plural used as an adjective: plūrēs, plūra, genitive plūrium.
  2. ^ Often replaced by the regular form mātūrissimus, mātūrissima, mātūrissimum.
  3. ^ Indeclinable.

Declension of numerals[edit]

There are several different kinds of numeral words in Latin: the two most common are cardinal numerals and ordinal numerals. There are also several more rare numerals, e.g., distributive numerals and adverbial numerals.

Cardinal numerals[edit]

All cardinal numerals are indeclinable, except ūnus ('one'), duo ('two'), trēs ('three'), plural hundreds ducentī ('two hundred'), trecentī ('three hundred') etc., and mīlle ('thousand'), which have cases and genders like adjectives. Ūnus, ūna, ūnum is declined like a first- and second-declension pronoun with -īus in the genitive, and in the dative. Duo is declined irregularly, trēs is declined like a third-declension plural adjective, -centī ('hundred') numerals decline like first- and second-declension adjectives, and mille is invariable in the singular and declined like a third-declension i-stem neuter noun in the plural:

The existence of plural endings for ūnus might seem unnecessary; however, they are used with pluralia tantum nouns, e. g. ūna castra (one [military] camp), ūnae scālae (one ladder).

ūnus, ūna, ūnum
one
Singular Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative ūnus ūna ūnum ūnī ūnae ūna
Vocative ūne
Accusative ūnum ūnam ūnōs ūnās
Genitive ūnīus ūnōrum ūnārum ūnōrum
Dative ūnī ūnīs
Ablative ūnō ūnā ūnō

The word ambō ('both'), is declined like duo except that its o is long. Both declensions derive from the Indo-European dual number, otherwise defunct in Latin, rather than the plural.

duo, duae, duo
two
Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative duo duae duo
Accusative duōs
duo
duās
Genitive duōrum duārum duōrum
Dative duōbus duābus duōbus
Ablative
ambō, ambae, ambō
both
Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative ambō ambae ambō
Accusative ambōs
ambō
ambās
Genitive ambōrum ambārum ambōrum
Dative ambōbus ambābus ambōbus
Ablative
trēs, tria
three
Plural
Masculine &
Feminine
Neuter
Nominative trēs tria
Accusative trēs
trīs
Genitive trium
Dative tribus
Ablative

The numeral centum ('one hundred') is indeclinable, but all the other hundred numerals are declinable.

ducentī, ducentae, ducenta
two hundred
Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative ducentī ducentae ducenta
Accusative ducentōs ducentās
Genitive ducentōrum ducentārum ducentōrum
Dative ducentīs
Ablative

The word mīlle 'thousand' is a singular indeclinable adjective. However, its plural, mīlia, is a plural third-declension i-stem neuter noun. To write the phrase "four thousand horses" in Latin, the genitive is used: quattuor mīlia equōrum, literally, "four thousands of horses".

mīlle
(one) thousand
mīlia, mīlium
x thousand,
thousands
Nominative mīlle mīlia
mīllia
-ia
Accusative
Genitive mīlium
mīllium
-ium
Dative mīlibus
mīllibus
-ibus
Ablative

The rest of the numbers are indeclinable whether used as adjectives or as nouns.

For further information on the different sets of Latin numerals, see Latin numerals (linguistics).

Adverbs and their comparatives and superlatives[edit]

Adverbs are not declined. However, adverbs must be formed if one wants to make an adjective into an adverb.

Adverbs from first- and second-declension adjectives[edit]

First and second declension adjectives' adverbs are formed by adding onto their stems.

Adjective Adverb
clārus, clāra, clārum ('clear, famous') clārē ('clearly, famously')
validus, valida, validum ('strong, robust') validē ('strongly, robustly')
īnfīrmus, īnfīrma, īnfīrmum ('weak') īnfīrmē ('weakly')
solidus, solida, solidum ('complete, firm') solidē ('completely, firmly')
integer, integra, integrum ('whole, fresh') integrē ('wholly, freshly')
līber, lībera, līberum ('free') līberē ('freely')

Adverbs from third declension adjectives[edit]

Typically, third declension adjectives' adverbs are formed by adding -iter to the stem. However, most third declension adjectives with one ending simply add -er to the stem.

Adjective Adverb
prūdēns, prūdēns (prūdentis) ('prudent') prūdenter ('prudently')
audāx, audāx (audācis) ('bold') audācter ('boldly')
virīlis, virīle ('courageous, spirited') virīliter ('courageously, spiritedly')
salūbris, salūbre ('wholesome') salūbriter ('wholesomely')

Comparative and superlative of adverbs[edit]

Adverbs' comparative forms are identical to the nominative neuter singular of the corresponding comparative adjective. Adverbs' superlative forms are simply formed by attaching the regular ending to the corresponding superlative adjective. As with their corresponding adjectival forms, first and second declensions adjectives ending in -eus or -ius use magis and maximē as opposed to distinct endings.

Positive Comparative Superlative
clārē ('clearly, famously') clārius clārissimē
solidē ('completely, firmly') solidius solidissimē
idōneē ('suitably, properly') magis idōneē maximē idōneē
prudenter ('prudently') prudentius prudentissimē
salūbriter ('wholesomely') salūbrius salūbrissimē

Irregular adverbs and their comparative and superlative forms[edit]

As with adjectives, there are irregular adverbs with peculiar comparative and superlative forms.

Positive Comparative Superlative
bene ('well') melius ('better') optimē ('best')
male ('badly, ill') peius ('worse') pessimē ('worst')
magnopere ('greatly') magis ('more') maximē ('most')
multum ('much, a lot') plūs ('more') plūrimum ('most')
parvum ('little') minus ('less') minimē ('least')
nēquiter ('worthlessly') nēquius ('more worthlessly') nēquissimē ('most worthlessly')
saepe ('often') saepius ('more often') saepissimē ('most often')
mātūrē ('seasonably, betimes') mātūrius ('more seasonably') māturrimē ('most seasonably')
prope ('near') propius ('nearer') proximē ('nearest, next')
nūper ('recently') nūperrimē ('most recently, previously')
potis ('possible') potius ('rather') potissimē ('especially')
prius ('before, previously') prīmō ('first')
secus ('otherwise') sētius
sequius ('less')

Peculiarities within declension[edit]

Irregularity in number[edit]

Some nouns are only used in the singular (singulare tantum) such as:

  • materials, such as aurum 'gold'

Some nouns are only used in the plural (plurale tantum), or when plural have a singular meaning such as:

Indeclinable nouns[edit]

Indeclinable nouns are nouns which only have one form in all cases (of the singular).

Heterogeneous nouns[edit]

Heterogeneous nouns are nouns which vary in respect to gender.

  • A few nouns in the second declension occur in both the neuter and masculine. However, their meanings remain the same.
  • Some nouns are one gender in the singular, but become another gender in the plural. They may also change in meaning.
Singular Plural
balneum n. ('bath') balneae f. or balnea n. ('bathhouse')
epulum n. ('feast, banquet') epulae f. ('feast, banquet')
frēnum n. ('bridle, curb') frēnī m. bridle, curb
iocus m. ('joke, jest') ioca n. or ioci m. ('jokes, fun')
locus m. ('place, location') loca n. ('region'); locī m. ('places in books, arguments')
rāstrum n. ('hoe, rake') rāstrī m. ('hoes, rakes')

Plurals with alternative meanings[edit]

Singular Plural
aedēs, aedis f. ('building, temple') aedēs, aedium ('rooms, house')
auxilium, auxiliī n. ('help, aid') auxilia, auxiliōrum ('auxiliary troops')
carcer, carceris m. ('prison, cell') carcerēs, carcerum ('starting traps')
castrum, castrī n. ('fort, castle, fortress') castra, castrōrum ('military camp, encampment')
cōpia, copiae f. ('plenty, much, abundance') cōpiae, copiārum ('troops')
fortūna, fortūnae f. ('luck, chance') fortūnae, fortūnārum ('wealth, fortune')
grātia, grātiae f. ('charm, favor') grātiae, grātiārum ('thanks')
impedīmentum, impedīmentī m. ('impediment, hindrance') impedīmenta, impedīmentōrum ('baggage, baggage train')
littera, litterae f. ('letter [alphabet]') litterae, litterārum ('letter [message], epistle, scholarship, literature')
mōs, mōris m. ('habit, inclination') mōrēs, mōrum m. ('morals, character')
opera, operae f. ('trouble, pains') operae, operārum m. ('workmen')
*ops, opis f.[i] ('help') opēs, opium ('resources, wealth')
pars, partis f. ('part, piece') partēs, partium ('office, function')
  1. ^ Nominative and dative are not attested except as the name of the goddess Ops.

Order of the cases[edit]

In modern textbooks of Latin, there is no single international standard for the sequence of cases.

Nom–(Voc)–AccGenDatAbl–(Loc)[edit]

This order reflects the syncretic trends of different cases to share similar endings. Usually the vocative and locative cases are omitted because they appear in the paradigm of only a few word classes and are dealt with separately. This makes the paradigm appear normally in the format NomAccGenDatAbl, which is also roughly the order of how frequently the cases appear in Latin text, meaning that the cases are introduced in teaching in this order. This paradigm has been the usual order in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries since the publication of Benjamin Hall Kennedy's Latin Primer (1866). It is the only method nowadays used in Hungary.[citation needed] It is also usual in France[22] and Belgium.[23]

NomGenDatAcc–(Voc)–Abl–(Loc)[edit]

This alternative sequence arose from Byzantine grammarians who were originally writing about Greek. It is standard in the United States, although modern texts increasingly move the vocative at the end to minimize disruption to the declensions in which it is identical to the nominative; some introductory texts such as Wheelock's Latin almost entirely ignore the vocative and locative except for a few brief notes, giving the format NomGenDatAccAbl–(Voc). This paradigm is also used in Poland, as it closely corresponds to the conventional case order in the Polish language, except for the latter's use of an instrumental case instead of an ablative. The same sequence is predominant in the Netherlands, although the modern Dutch language has largely lost its case system; instead, the rationale is that this general order is convenient for the consistent teaching of three different commonly studied declensional languages: Latin, Ancient Greek, and modern German. The order NomGenDatAcc–(Voc)–Abl is also used in Germany itself to echo the conventional order of German cases (NomGenDatAcc), and also in Lithuania because the conventional order of Lithuanian noun cases is the same. The locative is dealt with separately as it is seldom used in Latin and might be considered to be on the verge of extinction in Classical Latin.

The order NomGenDatAccVocAbl is the standard order used in Greece (both for the teaching of Ancient and Modern Greek as well as Latin) and Italy (with the vocative case before the ablative). Here again, the locative is dealt with separately.

Others[edit]

Brazilian grammarian Napoleão Mendes used the unusual sequence NomVocGenDatAccAbl. The Latinum podcast uses NomVocAccAblDatGen, as this facilitates memorisation. Latinum deals with the locative separately.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Rosa (1962), a song by the Belgian singer Jacques Brel, with the declension of rosa, rosa, rosam following the British order of cases.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mongan, James Roscoe (1861). The School and University Eton Latin Grammar, Explanatory and Critical. London 1861.
  2. ^ Allen and Greenough. §43 c.
  3. ^ Allen and Greenough. §49 a.
  4. ^ Gildersleeve & Lodge §15, Allen & Greenough §12, §49c
  5. ^ Chambers's Etymological Dictionary Enlarged Edition 1931
  6. ^ June 1999 issue of ASM News by the American Society for Microbiology
  7. ^ Nuntii Latini: Finnish Broadcasting Company (Radiophonia Finnica Generalis). Archiv I. 19.5.2000 – 6.12.2002: "NOVUM VIRUS COMPUTATORIUM
    Novum viri computatorii genus nomine Code Red in praesenti in Interreti grassatur, ut nuntiavit institutum SANS, cuius est securitati retis informatici providere. Code Red II, quod per cursum electronicum diffunditur, priore viro acerbius est et, postquam in servitoria penetravit, in systema lacunam facit. Ita fieri potest, ut alia vira eaque etiam periculosiora in machinas computatorias irrepant. Iam vermis Code Red I molestissimus fuit, cum biduo in trecenta milia computatrorum in omni orbe terrarum invasit."
  8. ^ Pons: virus
  9. ^ William T. Stearn: Botanical Latin. History, Grammar, Syntax, Terminology and Vocabulary. David & Charles, third edition, 1983. Quote: "Virus: virus (s.n. II), gen. sing. viri, nom. pl. vira, gen. pl. vīrorum (to be distinguished from virorum, of men)."
  10. ^ Allen and Greenough. §80.
  11. ^ Gildersleeve & Lodge (1895), p. 18.
  12. ^ Gildersleeve & Lodge (1895), p. 27.
  13. ^ Gildersleeve & Lodge (1895), p. 18.
  14. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33n1qYq9Liw
  15. ^ Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum 6.1.20 etc.
  16. ^ Cicero, Pro Rabirio Postumo 4
  17. ^ Cicero, Pro Milone 29
  18. ^ Cornelius Nepos, Hannibal 12.2
  19. ^ Gildersleeve & Lodge (1903), Gildersleeve's Latin Grammar, p. 39.
  20. ^ Secundus, Gaius Plinius Caecilius (1518). "C. Plinii Secvndi Novocomensis Epistolarum libri X.: Eiusdem Panegyricus Traiano Principi dictus. Eiusdem de Viris illustrib. In re militari, [et] in administranda rep. Suetonij Tranquilli de Claris Grammaticis, [et] Rhetoribus. Iulij Obsequentis Prodigiorum liber. Indices duo, quorum altero nomina referuntur eorum, ad quos Plinius scribit, altero quicquid memoratu dignum toto opere continetur. Latina interpretatio dictionum, [et] sententiarum, quibus Plinius utitur".
  21. ^ Patin, Guy; Reveillé-Parise, Joseph-Henri (1846). "Lettres de Gui Patin".
  22. ^ Paul Crouzet (1902), Grammaire Latine, simple et complète, p. 7.
  23. ^ See External links: Rosa.

References[edit]