Latin declension

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Latin declension is the patterns according to which Latin words are declined, or have their endings altered to show grammatical case 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. For simple declension paradigms, visit the Wiktionary appendices: first declension, second declension, third declension, fourth declension, fifth declension. 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' belong to the first and second declensions, using 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

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.

They are often abbreviated to the first three letters.

The Latin cases have usually been given in the order NomVocAccGenDatAbl(–Loc) in Britain and many Commonwealth countries since the publication of Benjamin Hall Kennedy's Latin Primer (1866). This order reflects the tendencies of different cases to share similar endings (see below). For a discussion of other sequences taught elsewhere, see below.

However, some didactic approaches or schools teach it in the order NomAccGenDatVocAbl or NomAccGenDatAblVoc, the order also used before the Latin Primer by Benjamin Hall Kennedy. This order is used in The School and University Eton Latin Grammar (1861),[1] with the ablative case always cited last, and a similar one is used in grammars of Ancient Greek (except without the ablative case, which does not occur in Greek), and has been retained by some modern didactic approaches to allow comparison of Latin and Greek.[2]

Meanings and functions of the various cases

  • The nominative case marks the subject of a statement and denotes the person or object that performs the action of the verb in the sentence. For example, "Mary is going to the store" or "Mary is my sister". It is also used for the predicate: "Mary is my sister". The nominative singular (for adjectives, masculine nominative singular) is used as the reference form of the word.
  • The vocative case is used to address someone or something in direct speech. In English, this function is expressed by intonation or punctuation: "Mary, are you going to the store?" or "Mary!" In most declensions, the vocative singular form is identical to the nominative singular form; for example, to say "sailor!" the noun nauta has the vocative form nauta. There are a few exceptions. For the masculine singular second declension nouns, -us and -ius become -e and , respectively. For example, Brutus becomes Brute (English "Brutus!"). Similarly, Vergilius becomes Vergilī (English "Virgil!"). Finally, in Greek masculine first declension names Aenēās becomes Aenēā (English "Aeneas!"). In the plural the vocative is always identical to the nominative.
  • The accusative case marks the direct object of a verb. It also has various other functions, e.g., it is governed by some prepositions. It can be used to express motion towards something, with or without a preposition.
  • The genitive case expresses possession, measurement, or source. Many of its uses correspond in English to uses of the preposition 'of', and in some situations to the English possessive.
  • The dative case marks the recipient of an action, the indirect object of a verb. In English, the prepositions to and for frequently correspond to this case, though there are also many uses of these prepositions which do not correspond to the dative case.
  • The ablative case expresses separation, indirection, or the means by which an action is performed. In English, the prepositions by, with, from, in, and on are most commonly used to indicate these meanings.
  • The locative case expresses the place where an action is performed. In early Latin the locative case had extensive use, but in Classical Latin the locative case was very rarely used, applying only to the names of cities and small islands and to a few other isolated words. For this purpose, the Romans considered all Mediterranean islands to be small except for Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Crete, and Cyprus. Much of the case's function had been absorbed into the ablative. In the first and second declension singular, the locative is identical to the genitive singular, and in the third declension singular it is identical to the dative singular. For plural nouns of all declensions, the locative is also identical to the ablative. The few fourth- and fifth-declension place names would also use the ablative form for the locative case. However, a few nouns use the locative instead of a preposition: bellumbellī 'at war'; domusdomī 'at home'; rūsrūrī 'in the country'; humushumī 'on the ground'; mīlitiamīlitiae 'in military service, in the field'; focusfocī 'at the hearth', 'at the center of the community'. In archaic times, the locative singular of third declension nouns was interchangeable between the ablative and dative but, in the Augustan period, the use of the dative became fixed.

Syncretism

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

  • 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 separate in the first place).

Case-specific

  • The vocative form is the same as the nominative in both singular and plural, 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 plural, and 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.[citation needed]

History of cases

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

There are five declensions for Latin nouns:

First declension (a stems)

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.

aqua, aquae
water f.
poēta, poētae
poet m.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative aqua -a aquae -ae poēta -a poētae -ae
Vocative
Accusative aquam -am aquās -ās poētam -am poētās -ās
Genitive aquae[i] -ae aquārum -ārum poētae -ae poētārum -ārum
Dative aquīs -īs poētīs -īs
Ablative aquā poētā
  1. ^ The archaic genitive aquai occurs frequently in Virgil, Cicero, Lucretius and others, to evoke the style of older writers.

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'.[3]

First declension Greek nouns

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 are sometimes treated as if they were native Latin nouns, e.g. nominative athlēta ('athlete') instead of the original athlētēs. Interestingly, 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)

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.

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

The locative singular ending for the second declension was , like the genitive singular, as in Corinthī "at Corinth". The locative plural ending for the second declension was -īs, like the ablative plural, as in Philippīs "at Philippi".[4]

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 [werˈɡiliː], with stress on the penult, even though it is short.[5]

There is no contraction of -iī(s) in plural forms and in the locative.[6]

fīlius, filiī
son m.
auxilium, auxiliī
aid, help n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative fīlius -ius fīliī -iī auxilium -ium auxilia -ia
Vocative fīlī
Accusative fīlium -ium fīliōs -iōs
Genitive fīliī
(earlier) fīlī
-iī
(earlier)
fīliōrum -iōrum auxiliī
(earlier) auxilī
-iī
(earlier)
auxiliōrum -iōrum
Dative fīliō -iō fīliīs -iīs auxiliō -iō auxiliīs -iīs
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

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, with the exception of the vocative singular, which is identical to the nominative rather than ending in -e.

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
Accusative puerum -um puerōs -ōs agrum -um agrōs -ōs virum -um virōs -ōs
Genitive puerī puerōrum -ōrum agrī agrōrum -ōrum virī virōrum -ōrum
Dative puerō ō puerīs -īs agrō ō agrīs -īs virō ō virīs -īs
Ablative

Second-declension Greek nouns

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

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 be substituted for -ōrum as the genitive plural ending.

deus, –ī
god m.
Singular Plural
Nominative deus -us deī
diī
-eī
-iī
Vocative deus
dee
-us
-e
Accusative deum -um deōs -ōs
Genitive deī deōrum
deum
-ōrum
-um
Dative deō deīs
diīs
dīs
-eīs
-iīs
-īs
Ablative

Third declension (i and consonant stems)

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. Examples are flūmen, flūminis n. ('river'), flōs, flōris m. ('flower'), and pāx, pācis f. ('peace'). Each noun has the ending -is as a suffix attached to the root of the noun in the genitive singular form. Masculine, feminine and neuter nouns each 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').

dux, ducis
leader m.
virtūs, virtūtis
virtue f.
nōmen, nōminis
name n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative dux -s[i] ducēs -ēs virtūs -s[i] virtūtēs -ēs nōmen [i][ii] nōmina -a
Vocative
Accusative ducem -em virtūtem -em
Genitive ducis -is ducum -um virtūtis -is virtūtum -um nōminis -is nōminum -um
Dative ducī ducibus -ibus virtūtī virtūtibus -ibus nōminī nōminibus -ibus
Ablative duce -e virtūte -e nōmine -e
  1. ^ a b c The nominative singular is formed in one of four ways: with -s, with no ending, or by one of these two with a different stem from the oblique cases. The same is true of other forms that are the same as the nominative singular: the vocative singular and the neuter accusative singular.
  2. ^ The nominative and accusative of neuter nouns are always identical. It should not be assumed that -en is always the appropriate ending, as it might appear above.

The locative endings for the third declension were or -e (singular) and -ibus (plural), as in rūrī 'in the country' and Trallibus 'at Tralles'.[7]

Third declension i-stem nouns

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 the parisyllabic rule or special neuter endings. Mixed i-stems are indicated by the double consonant rule.

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: amnis, amnis ('stream'). The nominative ends in -is.
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').

Pure i-stems may exhibit peculiar endings in both singular and plural. Mixed i-stems employ normal (consonant) 3rd declension endings in the singular but i-stem endings in the plural. Note the alternative i-stem endings indicated in parentheses.

amnis, amnis
stream, torrent 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 amnis -s[i] amnēs -ēs pars -s[i] partēs -ēs animal [i] animālia -ia
Vocative
Accusative amnem
amnim
-em
–im
amnēs
amnīs
-ēs
-īs
partem
partim
-em
–im
partēs
partīs
-ēs
-īs
Genitive amnis -is amnium -ium partis -is partium -ium animālis -is animālium -ium
Dative amnī amnibus -ibus partī partibus -ibus animālī animālibus -ibus
Ablative amne
amnī
-e
–ī
parte -e
  1. ^ a b c The nominative singular is formed in one of four ways: with -s, with no ending, or by one of these two with a different stem from the oblique cases. The same is true of other forms that are the same as the nominative singular: the vocative singular and the neuter accusative singular.

The rules for determining i-stems from non-i-stems and mixed i-stems should be thought of more as guidelines than rules: even among the Romans themselves, the categorization of a third-declension word as an i-stem or non-i-stem was quite fluid. The result is that many words that should be i-stems according to the parisyllabic and consonant stem rules actually are not, such as canis ('dog') or iuvenis ('youth'). By the parisyllabic rule, canis should be a masculine i-stem and thus differ from the non-i-stems by having an extra -i- in the plural genitive form: *canium. In reality, the plural genitive of canis is canum, the form of a non-i-stem. This fluidity even in Roman times results in much more uncertainty in Medieval Latin, as scholars were trying to imitate what was fluid to begin with.

Peculiarities

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[i]
Vocative
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 Rarely used.

Fourth declension (u stems)

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.

portus, portūs
port, haven, harbor m.
cornū, cornūs
horn, strength n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative portus -us portūs -ūs cornū cornua -ua
Vocative
Accusative portum -um
Genitive portūs -ūs portuum -uum cornūs
cornū
-ūs
–ū
cornuum -uum
Dative portuī -uī portibus -ibus cornū
cornuī

–uī
cornibus -ibus
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').

Domus ('home') is declined like a full fourth-declension noun, and also like a second-declension noun, except in the dative and ablative plural, which are always domibus. Its locative case is domī (plural, domibus)

domus, domūs domus, domī
house, home f.
as fourth declension as second declension
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative domus -us domūs -ūs domus -us domī
Vocative
Accusative domum -um domum -um domōs -ōs
Genitive domūs -ūs domuum -uum domī domōrum -ōrum
Dative domū
domuī

-uī
domibus -ibus domō ō domibus* -ibus[i]
Ablative domū
  1. ^ Also declined as in fourth declension.

Fifth declension (e stems)

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.

diēs, –ēī
day m., f.
rēs, –eī
thing f.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative diēs -ēs diēs -ēs rēs -ēs rēs -ēs
Vocative
Accusative diem -em rem -em
Genitive diēī -ēī diērum -ērum reī -eī rērum -ērum
Dative diēbus -ēbus rēbus -ēbus
Ablative diē

Note that 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').

Locative case

The locative case expresses the place where an action is performed. In early Latin the locative case had extensive use, but in Classical Latin the locative case was very rarely used, applying only to the names of cities and small islands and to a few other isolated words. For this purpose, the Romans considered all Mediterranean islands to be small except for Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Crete, and Cyprus. Much of the case's function had been absorbed into the ablative. In the first and second declension singular, the locative is identical to the genitive singular, and in the third declension singular it is identical to the dative singular. For plural nouns of all declensions, the locative is also identical to the ablative. The few fourth- and fifth-declension place names would also use the ablative form for the locative case. However, a few nouns use the locative instead of a preposition: bellumbellī 'at war'; domusdomī 'at home'; rūsrūrī 'in the country'; humushumī 'on the ground'; mīlitiamīlitiae 'in military service, in the field'; focusfocī 'at the hearth', 'at the center of the community'. In archaic times, the locative singular of third declension nouns was interchangeable between the ablative and dative but, in the Augustan period, the use of the dative became fixed.

Locative case declensions in Latin
Locative case by declension Comments
Singular Plural
1st declension Romae -ae Athenīs -īs Same as in 1st case dative.
2nd declension
(masculine)
mūrī mūrīs In singular, same as in 2nd case genitive.
In plural, same as in 2nd case dative/ablative.
2nd declension
(neuter)
bellī bellīs
3rd declension urbī urbibus -ibus Same as in 3rd case dative.
4th declension rūrī rūribus
5th declension fidē fidē -ēbus Same as in 5th case ablative.

Pronouns

Personal pronouns

The first and second persons are irregular, and both pronouns are indeclinable for gender.

First Person Second Person
ego, meī
I
nōs, nostrī
we
tū, tuī
you (sg.)
vōs, vestrī
you (pl.)
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative ego
egō
nōs vōs
Accusative
Genitive meī nostrī,
nostrum
tuī vestrī,
vestrum
Dative mihi
mihī
nōbīs tibi
tibī
vōbīs
Ablative

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'.[8]

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).

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

Reflexive pronoun (sē)

The third person reflexive pronoun sē, suī always refers back to the subject, regardless of whether the subject is singular or plural:

sē, suī
himself, herself
itself, oneself, themselves
Nominative
Accusative sē, sēsē
Genitive suī
Dative sibi
Ablative sē, sēsē

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

Patrem suum numquam vīderat. (Cicero)[9]
"He had never seen his [own] father."

When 'his' or 'her' refers to someone else, not the subject, the genitive pronoun eius 'of him' is used instead of suus:

Fit obviam Clodio ante fundum eius. (Cicero)[10]
"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:

Patres conscripti ... legatos in Bithyniam miserunt qui ab rege peterent, ne inimicissimum suum secum haberet sibique dederet. (Nepos)[11]
"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."

Demonstrative pronouns and adjectives

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

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

Third person
is, eī
he, they m.
ea, eae
she, they f.
id, ea
it, they n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative is eī,
ea eae id ea
Accusative eum eōs eam eās
Genitive eius eōrum eius eārum eius eōrum
Dative eīs,
iīs
eīs,
iīs
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

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

Other demonstrative pronouns

hic, haec, hoc
this, this one (proximal)
ille, illa, illud
that, that one (distal)
iste, ista, istud
that of yours (medial)
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative hic haec hae hoc haec ille illī illa illae illud illa iste istī ista istae istud ista
Accusative hunc hōs hanc hās illum illōs illam illās istum istōs istam istās
Genitive huius[i] hōrum huius hārum huius hōrum illīus illōrum illīus illārum illīus illōrum istīus istōrum istīus istārum istīus istōrum
Dative huic hīs huic hīs huic hīs illī illīs illī illīs illī illīs istī istīs istī istīs 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

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

Interrogative pronouns

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 and feminine Neuter
Nominative quis? quid?
Accusative quem?
Genitive cuius?
Dative cuī?
Ablative quō?

Relative pronouns

quī, quae, quod
who, which, that
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative quī quae quod quae
Accusative quem quōs quam quās
Genitive cuius[i] quōrum cuius[i] quārum cuius[i] quōrum
Dative cuī quibus cuī quibus cuī quibus
Ablative quō quā quō
  1. ^ a b c 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]

Correlatives

Correlatives are the corresponding demonstrative, relative, interrogative, and indefinite forms of pronouns, pronominal adjectives, and adverbs. These are shown below:[12]

Demonstrative Relative Interrogative Indefinite relative Indefinite
vowel
or t-[13]
qu-, c-, u- reduplicated
or -cumque
ali-
basic is quī quis quisquis aliquis
number tantus quantus quantuscumque aliquantus
type tālis quālis quāliscumque aliquālis
place where ibi ubi ubiubi alicubi
place to, whither quō quōquō aliquō
manner quā quāquā aliquā
place from, whence inde unde undecumque alicunde
time tum cum quandō quandōcumque aliquandō
counting tot quot quotquot aliquot
repetition totiēns quotiēns quotiēnscumque aliquotiēns

Adjectives

First- and second-declension adjectives

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.

altus, alta, altum
high, long, tall
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative altus -us altī alta -a altae -ae altum -um alta -a
Vocative alte -e
Accusative altum -um altōs -ōs altam -am altās -ās
Genitive altī altōrum -ōrum altae -ae altārum -ārum altī altōrum -ōrum
Dative altō altīs -īs altīs -īs altō altīs -īs
Ablative altā

First- and second-declension -r adjectives

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
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative miser -er miserī misera -a miserae -ae miserum -um misera -a
Vocative
Accusative miserum -um miserōs -ōs miseram -am miserās -ās
Genitive miserī miserōrum -ōrum miserae -ae miserārum -ārum miserī miserōrum -ōrum
Dative miserō miserīs -īs miserīs -īs miserō miserīs -īs
Ablative miserā
sacer, sacra, sacrum
sacred, holy
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative sacer -er sacrī sacra -a sacrae -ae sacrum -um sacra -a
Vocative
Accusative sacrum -um sacrōs -ōs sacram -am sacrās -ās
Genitive sacrī sacrōrum -ōrum sacrae -ae sacrārum -ārum sacrī sacrōrum -ōrum
Dative sacrō sacrīs -īs sacrīs -īs sacrō sacrīs -īs
Ablative sacrā

First and second -īus genitive adjectives

Nine first and second declension 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'
  • nūllus, nūlla, nūllum 'no, none'
  • uter, utra, utrum 'which [of two], either'
  • sōlus, sōla, sōlum 'sole, alone'
  • neuter, neutra, neutrum 'neither
  • alius, alia, aliud (genitive singular alīus often replaced by alterīus 'another'
  • ūnus, ūna, ūnum 'one'
  • tōtus, tōta, tōtum 'whole'
  • alter, altera, alterum 'other [of two]'
ūllus, ūlla, ūllum
any
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative ūllus -us ūllī ūlla -a ūllae -ae ūllum -um ūlla -a
Vocative ūlle -e
Accusative ūllum -um ūllōs -ōs ūllam -am ūllās -ās
Genitive ūllīus -īus ūllōrum -ōrum ūllīus -īus ūllārum -ārum ūllīus -īus ūllōrum -ōrum
Dative ūllī ūllīs -īs ūllī ūllīs -īs ūllī ūllīs -īs
Ablative ūllō ūllā ūllō

Third-declension adjectives

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

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, atrōcis
terrible, mean, cruel
Masculine and feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative atrōx -ōx atrōcēs -ēs atrōx -ōx atrōcia -ia
Vocative
Accusative atrōcem -em atrōcēs
atrōcīs
-ēs
-īs
Genitive atrōcis -is atrōcium -ium atrōcis -is atrōcium -ium
Dative atrōcī atrōcibus -ibus atrōcī atrōcibus -ibus
Ablative
Non-i-stem variant
vetus, veteris
old, aged
Masculine and feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative vetus -us veterēs -ēs vetus -us vetera -a
Vocative
Accusative veterem -em
Genitive veteris -is veterum -um veteris -is veterum -um
Dative veterī veteribus -ibus veterī veteribus -ibus
Ablative vetere -e vetere -e

Third-declension adjectives with two endings

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
Masculine and feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative agilis -is agilēs -ēs agile -e agilia -ia
Vocative
Accusative agilem -em agilēs
agilīs
-ēs
-īs
Genitive agilis -is agilium -ium agilis -is agilium -ium
Dative agilī agilibus -ibus agilī agilibus -ibus
Ablative

Third-declension adjectives with three endings

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
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative celer -er celerēs -ēs celeris -is celerēs -ēs celere -e celeria -ia
Vocative
Accusative celerem -em celerēs
celerīs
-ēs
-īs
celerem -em celerēs
celerīs
-ēs
-īs
Genitive celeris -is celerium -ium celeris -is celerium -ium celeris -is celerium -ium
Dative celerī celeribus -ibus celerī celeribus -ibus celerī celeribus -ibus
Ablative
alacer, alacris, alacre
lively, jovial, animated
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative alacer -er alacrēs -ēs alacris -is alacrēs -ēs alacre -e alacria -ia
Vocative
Accusative alacrem -em alacrēs
alacrīs
-ēs
-īs
alacrem -em alacrēs
alacrīs
-ēs
-īs
Genitive alacris -is alacrium -ium alacris -is alacrium -ium alacris -is alacrium -ium
Dative alacrī alacribus -ibus alacrī alacribus -ibus alacrī alacribus -ibus
Ablative

Comparative and superlative forms of adjectives

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

altior, altiōris
higher, taller (comparative of altus)
Masculine and feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative altior -ior altiōrēs -iōrēs altius -ius altiōra -iōra
Vocative
Accusative altiōrem -iōrem
Genitive altiōris -iōris altiōrum -iōrum altiōris -iōris altiōrum -iōrum
Dative altiōrī -iōrī altiōribus -iōribus altiōrī -iōrī altiōribus -iōribus
Ablative altiōre -iōre altiōre -iōre

Comparatives and superlatives with normal endings

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

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 ('sharp') 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

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

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.

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

Irregular comparatives and superlatives

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')
iuvenis, iuvenis ('young, youthful') iuvenior, iuvenius ('younger')
iūnior, iūnius
  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

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

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:

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

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).

Plural
duo, duae, duo
two
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative duo duae duo
Vocative
Accusative duōs
duo
duās
Genitive duōrum
duum
duārum duōrum
Dative duōbus duābus duōbus
Ablative

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.

Plural
trēs, tria
three
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative trēs tria
Vocative
Accusative trēs
trīs
Genitive trium
Dative tribus
Ablative
ducentī, ducentae, ducenta
two hundred
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Plural
Nominative ducentī ducentae ducenta
Vocative
Accusative ducentōs ducentās
Genitive ducentōrum ducentārum ducentōrum
Dative ducentīs
Ablative

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

mīlle
thousand
Singular Plural
Nominative mīlle mīlia -ia
Vocative
Accusative
Genitive mīlium -ium
Dative mīlibus -ibus
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".

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

1 I ūnus, ūna, ūnum 11 XI ūndecim 21 XXI vigintī et ūnus 101 CI centum et ūnus
2 II duo, duae, duo 12 XII duodecim 22 XXII vigintī et duo 200 CC ducentī, ducentae, ducenta
3 III trēs, tria 13 XIII trēdecim 30 XXX trīgintā 300 CCC trecentī, trecentae, trecenta
4 IV quattuor 14 XIV quattuordecim 40 XL quadrāgintā 400 CD quadringentī, quadringentae, quadringenta
5 V quīnque 15 XV quīndecim 50 L quīnquāgintā 500 D quīngentī, quīngentae, quīngenta
6 VI sex 16 XVI sēdecim 60 LX sexāgintā 600 DC sescentī, sescentae, sescenta
7 VII septem 17 XVII septendecim 70 LXX septuāgintā 700 DCC septingentī, septingentae, septingenta
8 VIII octō 18 XVIII duodēvigintī 80 LXXX octōgintā 800 DCCC octingentī, octingentae, octingenta
9 IX novem 19 XIX ūndēvigintī 90 XC nōnāgintā 900 CM nōngentī, nōngentae, nōngenta
10 X decem 20 XX vigintī 100 C centum 1000 M mīlle

The conjunction et between numerals can be omitted: vigintī ūnus, centum ūnus. Et is not used when there are more than two words in a compound numeral: centum trīgintā quattuor. The word order in the numerals from 21 to 99 may be inverted: ūnus et vigintī. Numbers ending in 8 or 9 are usually named in subtractive manner: duodētrīgintā, ūndēquadrāgintā.

Ordinal numerals

Ordinal numerals all decline like normal first- and second-declension adjectives. When declining two-word ordinals (thirteenth onwards), both words decline to match in gender, number and case.

  • prīmus 'first'
  • secundus 'second'
  • tertius 'third'
  • vicēsimus/vicensimus 'twentieth'

Note: secundus only means 'second' in the sense of 'following'. The adjective alter, altera, alterum meaning 'other [of two]' was more frequently used in many instances that English would use 'second'.

Ordinal numbers, not cardinal numbers, are commonly used to represent dates, because they are in the format of "in the tenth year of Caesar", etc. which also carried over into the anno Domini system and Christian dating, e.g. annō post Christum nātum centēsimō for AD 100.

1 I prīmus 11 XI ūndecimus 21 XXI vicēsimus prīmus 101 CI centēsimus prīmus
2 II secundus 12 XII duodecimus 22 XXII vicēsimus secundus 200 CC ducentēsimus
3 III tertius 13 XIII tertius decimus 30 XXX trīcēsimus 300 CCC trecentēsimus
4 IV quārtus 14 XIV quārtus decimus 40 XL quadrāgēsimus 400 CD quadringentēsimus
5 V quīntus 15 XV quīntus decimus 50 L quīnquāgēsimus 500 D quīngentēsimus
6 VI sextus 16 XVI sextus decimus 60 LX sexāgēsimus 600 DC sescentēsimus
7 VII septimus 17 XVII septimus decimus 70 LXX septuāgēsimus 700 DCC septingentēsimus
8 VIII octāvus 18 XVIII duodēvicēsimus 80 LXXX octōgēsimus 800 DCCC octingentēsimus
9 IX nōnus 19 XIX ūndēvicēsimus 90 XC nōnāgēsimus 900 CM nōngentēsimus
10 X decimus 20 XX vicēsimus 100 C centēsimus 1000 M mīllēsimus

Numerals for plurals with singular meaning

Certain nouns in Latin were pluralia tantum, i.e. nouns that did not exist in the grammatical singular, for example litterae 'letter', castra 'camp', catēnae 'set of chains', vestīmenta 'clothes', hibernae 'winter quarters', nūptiae 'wedding', quadrīgae 'quadriga' etc. A special series of numeral adjectives was used for counting these, namely ūnī, bīnī, trīnī, quadrīnī, quīnī, sēnī, and so on. Thus Roman authors would write: ūnae litterae "one letter", trīnae litterae "three letters", quīna castra "five camps", etc.[14]

1 I ūnī 11 XI ūndēnī 21 XXI vīcēnī ūnī 101 CI centēnī singulī
2 II bīnī 12 XII duodēnī 22 XXII vīcēnī bīnī 200 CC ducēnī
3 III trinī 13 XIII trinī dēnī 30 XXX trīcēnī 300 CCC trecēnī
4 IV quadrīnī 14 XIV quadrīnī dēnī 40 XL quādrāgēnī 400 CD quadringēnī
5 V quīnī 15 XV quīnī dēnī 50 L quīnquāgēnī 500 D quīngēnī
6 VI sēnī 16 XVI sēnī dēnī 60 LX sexāgēnī 600 DC sescēnī
7 VII septēnī 17 XVII septēnī dēnī 70 LXX septuāgēnī 700 DCC septingēnī
8 VIII octōnī 18 XVIII duodēvīcēnī 80 LXXX octōgēnī 800 DCCC octingēnī
9 IX novēnī 19 XIX ūndēvīcēnī 90 XC nōnāgēnī 900 CM nōngēnī
10 X dēnī 20 XX vīcēnī 100 C centēnī 1000 M mīllenī

Distributive numerals

Another set of numeral adjectives, similar to the above but differing in the adjectives for 1, 3, and 4, were the distributive numerals: singulī, bīnī, ternī, quaternī, quīnī, sēnī, and so on. The meaning of these is 'one each', 'two each' (or 'in pairs') and so on, for example ibī turrīs cum ternīs tabulātīs ērigēbat "there he began erecting towers with three storeys each" (Julius Caesar); bīnī senātōrēs singulīs cohortibus praepositī "a pair of senators was put in charge of each group of soldiers" (Livy).

1 I singulī 11 XI ūndēnī 21 XXI vīcēnī singulī 101 CI centēnī singulī
2 II bīnī 12 XII duodēnī 22 XXII vīcēnī bīnī 200 CC ducēnī
3 III ternī 13 XIII ternī dēnī 30 XXX trīcēnī 300 CCC trecēnī
4 IV quaternī 14 XIV quaternī dēnī 40 XL quādrāgēnī 400 CD quadringēnī
5 V quīnī 15 XV quīnī dēnī 50 L quīnquāgēnī 500 D quīngēnī
6 VI sēnī 16 XVI sēnī dēnī 60 LX sexāgēnī 600 DC sescēnī
7 VII septēnī 17 XVII septēnī dēnī 70 LXX septuāgēnī 700 DCC septingēnī
8 VIII octōnī 18 XVIII duodēvīcēnī 80 LXXX octōgēnī 800 DCCC octingēnī
9 IX novēnī 19 XIX ūndēvīcēnī 90 XC nōnāgēnī 900 CM nōngēnī
10 X dēnī 20 XX vīcēnī 100 C centēnī 1000 M mīllenī

Adverbial numerals

Adverbial numerals are (as the name states) indeclinable adverbs, but because all of the other numeral constructions are adjectives, they are listed here with them. Adverbial numerals give how many times a thing happened. semel 'once', bis 'twice', ter 'thrice, three times', quater 'four times', and so on.

1 I semel 11 XI ūndeciēns 21 XXI vīciēns semel 101 CI centiēns semel
2 II bis 12 XII duodeciēns 22 XXII vīciēns bis 200 CC ducentiēns
3 III ter 13 XIII trēdeciēns 30 XXX trīciēns 300 CCC trecentiēns
4 IV quater 14 XIV quattuordeciēns 40 XL quadrāgiēns 400 CD quadringentiēns
5 V quinquiēns 15 XV quīndeciēns 50 L quīnquāgiēns 500 D quīngentiēns
6 VI sexiēns 16 XVI sēdeciēns 60 LX sexāgiēns 600 DC sescentiēns
7 VII septiēns 17 XVII septendeciēns 70 LXX septuāgiēns 700 DCC septingentiēns
8 VIII octiēns 18 XVIII duodēvīciēns 80 LXXX octōgiēns 800 DCCC octingentiēns
9 IX noviēns 19 XIX ūndēvīciēns 90 XC nōnāgiēns 900 CM nōngentiēns
10 X deciēns 20 XX vīciēns 100 C centiēns 1000 M mīlliēns

The suffix -iēns may also be spelled -iēs: quinquiēs, sexiēs, etc.

Multiplicative numerals

Multiplicative numerals are declinable adjectives. They give how many times a thing is. simplex 'single', duplex 'double', triplex 'treble', quadruplex 'fourfold', and so on.

1 I simplex 11 XI ūndecuplex 21 XXI vīgentuplex simplex 101 CI centuplex simplex
2 II duplex 12 XII duodecuplex 22 XXII vīgentuplex duplex 200 CC ducentuplex
3 III triplex 13 XIII trēdecuplex 30 XXX trigintuplex 300 CCC trecentuplex
4 IV quadruplex 14 XIV quattuordecuplex 40 XL quadrāgintuplex 400 CD quadringentuplex
5 V quinquiplex 15 XV quīndecuplex 50 L quīnquāgintuplex 500 D quīngentuplex
6 VI sextuplex 16 XVI sēdecuplex 60 LX sexāgintuplex 600 DC sescentuplex
7 VII septuplex 17 XVII septendecuplex 70 LXX septuāgintuplex 700 DCC septingentuplex
8 VIII octuplex 18 XVIII duodēvīgentuplex 80 LXXX octōgintuplex 800 DCCC octingentuplex
9 IX nonuplex 19 XIX ūndēvīgentuplex 90 XC nōnāgintuplex 900 CM nōngentuplex
10 X decuplex 20 XX vīgentuplex 100 C centuplex 1000 M mīlliplex

Proportional numerals

Proportional numerals are declinable adjectives. simplus 'simple', duplus 'twice as great', triplus 'thrice as great', quadruplus 'four times as great', and so on.

1 I simplus 11 XI ūndecuplus 21 XXI vīgentuplus simplus 101 CI centuplus simplus
2 II duplus 12 XII duodecuplus 22 XXII vīgentuplus duplus 200 CC ducentuplus
3 III triplus 13 XIII trēdecuplus 30 XXX trigintuplus 300 CCC trecentuplus
4 IV quadruplus 14 XIV quattuordecuplus 40 XL quadrāgintuplus 400 CD quadringentuplus
5 V quinquiplus 15 XV quīndecuplus 50 L quīnquāgintuplus 500 D quīngentuplus
6 VI sextuplus 16 XVI sēdecuplus 60 LX sexāgintuplus 600 DC sescentuplus
7 VII septuplus 17 XVII septendecuplus 70 LXX septuāgintuplus 700 DCC septingentuplus
8 VIII octuplus 18 XVIII duodēvīgentuplus 80 LXXX octōgintuplus 800 DCCC octingentuplus
9 IX nonuplus 19 XIX ūndēvīgentuplus 90 XC nōnāgintuplus 900 CM nōngentuplus
10 X decuplus 20 XX vīgentuplus 100 C centuplus 1000 M mīlliplus

Temporal numerals

Temporal numerals are indeclinable adverbs. ūniennis 'in [a period of] one year, of one year'; biennis 'in/of two years'; triennis 'in/of three years'; quadriennis 'in/of four years'; and so on.

1 I ūniennis 11 XI ūndēniennis 21 XXI vīciennis ūniennis 101 CI centiennis ūniennis
2 II biennis 12 XII duodēniennis 22 XXII vīciennis biennis 200 CC duciennis
3 III triennis 13 XIII triennis dēniennis 30 XXX trīciennis 300 CCC treciennis
4 IV quadriennis 14 XIV quadrīniennis dēniennis 40 XL quādrāgiennis 400 CD quadringiennis
5 V quīniennis 15 XV quīniennis dēniennis 50 L quīnquāgiennis 500 D quīngiennis
6 VI sēniennis 16 XVI sēniennis dēniennis 60 LX sexāgiennis 600 DC sesciennis
7 VII septiennis 17 XVII septiennis dēniennis 70 LXX septuāgiennis 700 DCC septingiennis
8 VIII octiennis 18 XVIII duodēvīcēnī 80 LXXX octōgiennis 800 DCCC octingiennis
9 IX noviennis 19 XIX ūndēvīciennis 90 XC nōnāgiennis 900 CM nōngiennis
10 X dēniennis 20 XX vīciennis 100 C centiennis 1000 M mīlliennis

Partitive numerals

Partitive are declinable adjectives. ūninārius 'of one part', bīnārius 'of two parts', ternārius 'of three parts', quaternārius 'of four parts', and so on.

1 I ūninārius 11 XI ūndēnārius 21 XXI vīcēnārius ūninārius 101 CI centēnārius ūninārius
2 II bīnārius 12 XII duodēnārius 22 XXII vīcēnārius bīnārius 200 CC ducēnārius
3 III ternārius 13 XIII tredēnārius 30 XXX trīcēnārius 300 CCC trecēnārius
4 IV quaternārius 14 XIV quattuordēnārius 40 XL quādrāgēnārius 400 CD quadringēnārius
5 V quīnārius 15 XV quīndēnārius 50 L quīnquāgēnārius 500 D quīngēnārius
6 VI sēnārius 16 XVI sēdēnārius 60 LX sexāgēnārius 600 DC sescēnārius
7 VII septēnārius 17 XVII septendēnārius 70 LXX septuāgēnārius 700 DCC septingēnārius
8 VIII octōnārius 18 XVIII duodēvīcēnārius 80 LXXX octōgēnārius 800 DCCC octingēnārius
9 IX novēnārius 19 XIX ūndēvīcēnārius 90 XC nōnāgēnārius 900 CM nōngēnārius
10 X dēnārius 20 XX vīcēnārius 100 C centēnārius 1000 M mīllēnārius

Adverbs and their comparatives and superlatives

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

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

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

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') audāciter ('boldly')
virilis, virile ('courageous, spirited') viriliter ('courageously, spiritedly')
salūbris, salūbre ('wholesome') salūbriter ('wholesomely')

Comparative and superlative of adverbs

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

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

Irregularity in number

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

  • materials, such as aurum ('gold') and aes ('copper, bronze')
  • abstract nouns, such as celeritās ('speed') and scientia ('knowledge)

Some nouns are only used in the plural (plurale tantum) such as:

  • many festivals, such as Saturnālia ('Saturnalia')
  • castra ('camp') and arma ('arms')
  • a few geographical names are plural such as Thēbae ('Thebes')

Indeclinable nouns

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

  • fās ('fate, divine law')
  • īnstar ('likeness')
  • māne ('morning')
  • nefās ('sin, abomination')
  • nihil/nīl ('nothing, none')
  • secus ('sex')

Heterogeneous nouns

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

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, fortūae f. ('luck, chance') fortūnae, fortūārum ('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

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

Nom–(Voc)–AccGenDatAbl–(Loc)

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 and Finland. It is also usual in France, Spain, and Portugal.

NomGenDatAcc–(Voc)–Abl–(Loc)

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

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

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Mongan, James Roscoe (1861). The School and University Eton Latin Grammar, Explanatory and Critical. London 1861.
  2. ^ Lowe, Cheryl (2003). Latina Christiana: Introduction to Christian Latin. USA: Memoria Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-930953-01-7. 
  3. ^ Allen and Greenough. §43 c.
  4. ^ Allen and Greenough. §49 a.
  5. ^ Gildersleeve & Lodge §15, Allen & Greenough §12, §49c
  6. ^ SCHOLA LATINA EUROPÆA & UNIVERSALIS. Latiné loqui disce sine molestiá! Learn to speak Latin with ease! ¡Aprende a hablar latín sin esfuerzo! Apprenez à parler latin sans peine! Impara a parlare latino senza sforzo! Lernen Sie Latein zu sprechen ohne Mühe!
  7. ^ Allen and Greenough. §80.
  8. ^ Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum 6.1.20 etc.
  9. ^ Cicero, Pro Rabirio Postumo 4
  10. ^ Cicero, Pro Milone 29
  11. ^ Cornelius Nepos, Hannibal 12.2
  12. ^ Allen and Greenough. §152: correlatives.
  13. ^ Gibbs, Laura (Spring 2003). "Medieval Latin Online: Correlatives". ONLINE TEXTBOOK for Medieval Latin (online textbook). University of Oklahoma. Retrieved 3 January 2014. 
  14. ^ non dicimus biga una, quadrigae duae, nuptiae tres, sed pro eo unae bigae, binae quadrigae, trinae nuptiae "we don't sayuna biga (one two-horse chariot), duae quadrigae (two four-horse chariots), tres nuptiae (three weddings) but instead unae bigae, binae quadrigae, trinae nuptiae" (Varro).

References

  • Latin declensor (in Spanish)
  • New Latin Grammar, an eBook, originally written by Charles Edwin Bennett, at the Project Gutenberg
  • Interactive Latin Word Endings
  • A Student's Latin Grammar, by Cambridge Latin Course's Robin m. Griffin, Third Edition
  • Gildersleeve, B. L.; Gonzalez Lodge (1895). Gildersleeve's Latin Grammar (3rd ed.). Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-09215-5. 
  • Greenough, J. B.; G. L. Kittredge; A. A. Howard; Benj. L. D'Ooge (1903). Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges. Ginn and Company. 
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