Latin Grammar

Latin Grammar

If you're trying to learn the most essential topics about Latin you will find some useful resources including a course about adjectives, adverbs, articles, gender (feminine, masculine...), negation, nouns, numbers, phrases, plural, prepositions, pronouns, questions, verbs, vocabulary, excercises... to help you with your Latin grammar Enjoy our courses!

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Latin Lessons

Learning Latin can help you communicate with other people who speak Latin. The following courses will provide you with some help based on the lessons you choose. Here is a list of what we offer:

1-    Cases Lesson

a)    Introduction, Nominative and Accusative:

In English, a noun’s role in a sentence is determined by its position in that sentence, and/or by any prepositions immediately before it. For example, the subject of a sentence (the person performing the action) usually goes at the start of the sentence, while the object (the person to whom the action is done) goes at the end:

The boy [subject] loves the girl [object].

 

In Latin, a noun’s role is determined by its case. The subject of a sentence is always in the Nominative case, and the object in the Accusative case:

puer puellam amat*.

(The boy [subject] loves the girl [object].)

 

In contrast to English, word order is unimportant, so you could reverse the words and the meaning would stay the same:

puellam puer amat.

(The boy loves the girl)

 

The accusative can also indicate extent of space or time:

puer quinque pedes altus est

(The boy is five feet tall)

puer puellam duos annos amavit

(The boy loved the girl for two years)

 

b)    Vocative:

The Vocative case is used when calling or addressing someone, and is the same as the nominative except for 1st Declension masculine singular nouns ending in -us or –ius. Examples:

 

Nominative

Vocative

puer (boy)

puer! (“Boy!”)

puella (girl)

puella! (“Girl!”)

servus (slave)

serve! (“Slave!”)

Julius

Juli! (“Julius!”)

 

c)    Genitive:

The Genitive case denotes ownership, and has the same meaning as (-‘s) in English:

pueri liber

(The boy’s book)

puellae liber

(The girl’s book)

 

d)    Dative:

In an English sentence, the recipient of an item is preceded by to” or “for”. In Latin they are put in the Dative case, for example:

puella dat librum puero

(The girl gives the book to the boy)

puer dat librum puellae

(The boy gives the book to the girl)

 


e)    Ablative:

The Ablative case has several uses. Used on its own, it can denote authorship, use of something as a tool (like “with” in English), the time when or the time within which something happens:

puella amatur puero

(The girl is loved by the boy)

puella pulsat puerum libro

(The girl hits the boy with the book)

esurientes implevit bonis

(He has filled the hungry with good things)

resurrexit tertia die

(On the third day He rose again)

puer librum tribus diebus legit

(The boy read the book in three days)

 

2-    Declensions Lesson

In Latin a noun’s ending is determined both by its case and by its declension. There are five declensions, of which 1-3 are by far the most common. Here are examples of words from each declension, showing the endings for all cases in the singular and plural:

 

Singular

 

Case

1st declension (almost all feminine)           

2nd declension

3rd declension

(masc/fem/neut)

4th declension

(usually masculine)

5th declension

(feminine)

Masculine

Neuter

Nom

/Voc.

puella (girl)

servus/

serve (slave)

puer (boy)

templum (temple)

mercator (merchant)

gradus (step)

dies (day)

Acc.

puellam

servum

puerum

templum

mercatorem

gradum

diem

Gen.

puellae

servi

pueri

templi

mercatoris

gradūs

diei

Dat.

puellae

servo

puero

templo

mercatori

gradui

diei

Abl.

puellā

servo

puero

templo

mercatore

gruadu

die

 

Plural

 

Case

1st decl.

           

2nd declension

3rd decl.

4th decl.

5th decl.

 

Masculine

Neuter

Nom

/Voc.

puellae

servi

pueri

templa

mercatores

gradūs

dies

Acc.

puellas

servos

pueros

templa

mercatores

gradūs

dies

Gen.

puellarum

servorum

puerorum

templorum

mercatorum

graduum

dierum

Dat.

puellis

servis

pueris

templis

mercatoribus

gradibus

diebus

Abl.

puellis

servis

pueris

templis

mercatoribus

gruadibus

diebus

 

Three general rules about case endings:

·         For all neuter nouns, the accusative singular ending is the same as the nominative singular, and the accusative plural is identical to the nominative plural.

·         For second declension nouns, the ablative singular ending is the same as the dative singular (-o)

·         With all nouns, the ablative plural is identical to the dative plural (‘-is’ for declensions 1 and 2, ‘-ibus’ for declensions 3-5)

 

3-    Adjectives Lesson

While in English an adjective doesn’t change when the noun changes, in Latin an adjective should agree in gender, number and case with the noun. For example:

a)    Masculine to feminine example:

hic est filius parvus meus (this is my little son) becomes: haec est filia parva mea (this is my little daughter)

b)    Singular to plural example:

hic est servus novus meus (this is my new slave) becomes: hi sunt servi novi mei (these are my new slaves)

c)    Nominative to accusative example:

haec pulchra puella me amat (this beautiful girl loves me) becomes ego amo hanc pulchram puellam (I love this beautiful girl)

As you can see from the first two examples, the adjective usually (but not necessarily) comes after the noun.

 

As with nouns, an adjective’s ending is determined by its gender, number, case and declension. Most adjectives either belong to both the first and second declension, or to the third declension:

 

1st/2nd Declension Adjectives - Singular

 

 

Nominative in –us/-a/-um

Nominative in –er/-a/-um

Case

Masc.

Fem.

Neut.

Masc.

Fem.

Neut

Nom./Voc.

bonus/

bone (good)

bona

bonum

pulcher

(beautiful)

pulchra

pulchrum

Acc.

bonum

bonam

bonum

pulchrum

pulchram

pulchrum

Gen.

boni

bonae

boni

pulchri

pulchrae

pulchri

Dat.

bono

bonae

bono

pulchro

pulchrae

pulchro

Abl.

bono

bonā

bono

pulchro

pulch

pulchro

 

Plural 

 

 

Nominative in –us/-a/-um

Nominative in –er/-a/-um

Case

Masc.

Fem.

Neut.

Masc.

Fem.

Neut

Nom./Voc.

boni

bonae

bona

pulchri

 

pulchrae

pulchra

Acc.

bonos

bonas

bona

pulchros

pulchras

pulchra

Gen.

bonorum

bonarum

bonorum

pulchrorum

pulchrarum

pulchrorum

Dat.

bonis

bonis

bonis

pulchris

pulchris

pulchris

Abl.

bonis

bonis

bonis

pulchris

pulchris

pulchris

                                   


3rd Declension Adjectives – Singular

 

 

Nominative in -ns

Nom. in -x

Nom. in -is/-e

Nom. in –er/-is/-e

 

M/F

Neut

M/F

Neut

M/F

Neut

Masc.

Fem

Neut

N/V

amans (loving)

amans

felix (lucky)

felix

levis (light)

leve

acer (sharp)

acris

acre

Acc

amantem

amans

felicem

felix

levem

leve

acrem

acrem

acre

Gen

amantis

amantis

felicis

felicis

levis

levis

acris

acris

acre

Dat.

amanti

amanti

felici

felici

levi

levi

acri

acri

acri

Abl.

amanti/e

amanti/e

felici/e

felici/e

levi/e

levi/e

acri/e

acri/e

acri/e

 

3rd Declension Adjectives – Plural

 

 

Nominative in -ns

Nom. in -x

Nom. in -is/-e

Nom. in –er/-is/-e

 

M/F

Neut

M/F

Neut

M/F

Neut

M/F

Neut

N/V

amantes

amantia

felices

felicia

leves

levia

acres

acria

Acc

amantes

amantia

felices

feliia

leves

levia

acres

acria

Gen

amantium

amantium

felicium

felicium

levium

levium

acrium

acrium

Dat.

amantibus

amantibus

felicibus

felicibus

levibus

levibus

acribus

acribus

Abl.

amantibus

amantibus

felicibus

felicibus

levibus

levibus

acribus

acribus

 

General rules:

·         1st/2nd declension adjectives decline like puella, servus or templum, depending on whether they are respectively feminine, masculine or neuter.

·         Masculine and feminine 3rd declension adjectives decline like mercator.

·         For neuter 3rd declension adjectives the accusative singular ending is the same as the nominative singular (‘-e’) and the accusative plural the same as the nominative plural (‘-ia’).

 

In Latin there are five Possessive Adjectives, which denote ownership:

 

meus

My/mine

tuus

Your/yours (sing.)

suus

His/her/hers or Their/theirs

noster

Our/ours

vester

Your/yours (pl.)

 

meus, tuus and suus decline like bonus, except that the vocative singular of meus is mi, and that  tuus and suus do not require vocative endings. noster and vester decline like pulcher. (See 1st/2nd Declension Adjectives, above).

 

4-    Adverbs Lesson

In English adverbs are usually formed by adding (-ly) to adjectives. In Latin too many adverbs are formed from adjectives. With 1st/2nd declension adjectives this is done by changing the ending to ‘-e. Examples:

tardus (slow) becomes tarde (slowly)

verus (true) becomes vere (truly)

 

With 3rd declension adjectives, the ending is ‘-(i)ter’:

prudens (wise) becomes prudenter (wisely)

felix (lucky) becomes feliciter (luckily)

levis (light) becomes leviter (lightly)

 

However, that’s not always the case, as miser (wretched) is 3rd declension but takes the -e’ ending when it becomes an adverb:

misere (wretchedly)

 

Adjectives of extent take their singular neuter form when used as adverbs, e.g.:

multum  (much)

paulum (a liitle)

primum (first, firstly)

nimium (too much)

 

Some words are adverbs by nature, and thus do not need a special ending, such as

nunc (now), saepe (often), sic (thus) and mox (soon).

 

Adverbs come before the verb that they modify, with adjectives of time coming at the beginning of a sentence:

vehementer errabas, Verres.

(You were erring grievously, Verres)

bis consul

(twice consul)

cras mane se putat venturum esse

(He thinks he will come early tomorrow morning)

 

5-    Numbers Lesson

In Latin numbers from 1 to 10 are unique and therefore need to be memorized individually. Numbers from 11 to 17 are formed by using 1 + 10 while connecting them: 11 = undecim. 18 and 19 are formed by using 2 from 20 and 1 from 20 respectively: duodeviginti and undeviginti. These patterns repeat themselves, but with numbers above 20 putting the tens before the units, so that 21 is vigintiunus and 31 trigintaunus. Similarly, 28 is duodetriginta (‘2 from 30’) and 29 undetriginta (‘1 from 30’).

 

unus (one), duo (two), and tres (three) all agree with the noun that they describe. unus and duo decline like a 1st/2nd declension adjective (e.g. bonus) and tres declines like a 3rd declension adjective (e.g. amans):

 

Singular

 

 

Masc.

Fem.

Neut.

Nom./

Voc.

unus/

une

una

unum

Acc.

unum

unam

unum

Gen.

uni

unae

uni

Dat.

uno

unae

uno

Abl.

uno

unā

uno

 

Plural

 

 

Masc.

Fem.

Neut.

Masc.

Fem.

Neut.

Masc./Fem.

Neut.

Nom./Voc.

uni

unae

una

duo

duae

dua

tres

tria

Acc.

unos

unas

una

duos

duas

dua

tres

tria

Gen.

unorum

unarum

unorum

duorum

duarum

duorum

trium

trium

Dat.

unis

unis

unis

duis

duis

duis

tribus

tribus

Abl.

unis

unis

unis

duis

duis

duis

tribus

tribus

 

You can see from the above tables that duo and tres do not exist in the singular, as they are only needed to describe plural nouns. unus, surprisingly, does exist in the plural when describing nouns such as epistolae (letter) and castra (camp). Although these nouns refer to singular objects, they have plural endings (epistolae is 1st declension feminine and castra is 2nd declension neuter) and thus require their number to be in the plural.

 

6-    Articles Lesson

There are no articles in Latin. For example, domus (house) can mean ‘the house’ or ‘a house’, depending on context.

 

7-    Verbs Lessons

 

Present Tense

In Latin, most verbs exist in the Active voice, where the subject of the sentence is performing an action, and in the Passive voice, where the subject is having an action performed on them. An example of a sentence in the Active voice would be:

 

puer puellam amat

The boy [subject] loves the girl [object].

 

Here the boy is the subject, and is thus in the nominative case (puer). The girl is the object, and is in the accusative (puellam). ‘Loves’ takes the present active ending (amat). If you wanted to express the same idea using the Passive voice, you would write:

 

puella puero amatur

The girl [subject] is loved by the boy

 

The girl is now the subject, and thus now takes the nominative (puella). The verb takes the passive ending (amatur = ‘is loved’), and the boy is now in the ablative (see Cases Lesson).

 

The endings that a verb takes depend on its conjugation. There are four conjugations plus a few irregular verbs. The table below shows the present tense endings for the four conjugations and for two of the most common irregular verbs:

 

Present tense – Active voice

 

 

1st conj

2nd conj

3rd conj

4th conj

Irregular

Singular

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st person

amo*

(I love)

moneo

(I warn)

sumo

(I take)

audio

(I hear/listen)

sum

(I am)

eo

(I go)

2nd person

amas

mones

sumis

audis

es

is

3rd person

amat

monet

sumit

audit

est

it

Plural

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st person

amamus

monemus

sumimus

audimus

sumus

imus

2nd person

amatis

monetis

sumitis

auditis

estis

itis

3rd person

amant

monent

sumunt

audiunt

sunt

eunt

 


Present tense – Passive voice

 

 

1st conj

2nd conj

3rd conj

4th conj

Singular

 

 

 

 

1st person

amor

(I am loved)

moneor

(I am warned)

sumor

(I am taken)

audior

(I am heard)

2nd person

amaris

moneris

sumeris

audiris

3rd person

amatur

monetur

sumitur

auditur

Plural

 

 

 

 

1st person

amamur

monemur

sumimur

audimur

2nd person

amamini

monemini

sumimini

audimini

3rd person

amantur

monentur

sumuntur

audiuntur

 

·         Verbs such as possum (I am able) and absum (I am absent) are derived from sum and take the same endings. Similarly, verbs like ineo (I enter), take the same endings as eo.

·         sum and eo do not exist in the passive voice.

 

Future Tense

As in English, the future tense denotes actions that are going to happen:

 

cras ibo Romam

(I shall go to Rome tomorrow)

diceris in carminibus poetarum

(You will be celebrated in the songs of poets)

 

Future tense endings – Active voice

 

 

1st conj

2nd conj

3rd conj

4th conj

Irregular

Singular

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st person

amabo

(I shall love)

monebo

(I shall warn)

sumam

(I shall take)

audiam

(I shall hear)

ero

(I shall be)

ibo

(I shall go)

2nd person

amabis

monebis

sumes

audies

eris

ibis

3rd person

amabit

monebit

sumet

audiet

erit

ibit

Plural

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st person

amabimus

monebimus

sumemus

audimus

erimus

ibimus

2nd person

amabitis

monebitis

sumetis

audietis

eritis

ibitis

3rd person

amabunt

monebunt

sument

audient

erunt

ibunt

 

Future tense – Passive voice

 

 

1st conj

2nd conj

3rd conj

4th conj

Singular

 

 

 

 

1st person

amabor

(I shall be loved)

moneor

(I shall be warned)

sumar

(I shall be taken)

audiar

(I shall be heard)

2nd person

amaberis

moneris

sumeris

audieris

3rd person

amabitur

monetur

sumetur

audietur

Plural

 

 

 

 

1st person

amabimur

monemur

sumemur

audiemur

2nd person

amabimini

monemini

sumemini

audiemini

3rd person

amabuntur

monentur

sumentur

audientur

 


Past Tenses

There are three main types of past tense in Latin – the Imperfect, the Perfect and the Pluperfect:

 

a)    Imperfect:

As in English, the imperfect tense describes an action that happened over a length of time or repeatedly. It can also describe an action that was interrupted as it was happening or about to happen. Examples:

 

cantores audiebam

(I was listening to the singers)

Roma Gallis obsedebatur

(Rome was being besieged by the Gauls)

Romani fortiter pugnabant

(The Romans used to fight bravely/kept fighting bravely)

Romam intrabam

(I was about to enter Rome)

 

Imperfect tense – Active voice

 

 

1st conj

2nd conj

3rd conj

4th conj

Irregular

Singular

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st person

amabam

(I was loving)

monebam

(I was warning)

sumebam

(I was taking)

audiebam

(I was hearing)

eram

(I was)

ibam

(I was going)

2nd person

amabas

monebas

sumebas

audiebas

eras

ibas

3rd person

amabat

monebat

sumebant

audiebat

erat

ibat

Plural

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st person

amabamus

monebamus

sumebamus

audiebamus

eramus

ibamus

2nd person

amabatis

monebatis

sumebatis

audiebatis

eratis

ibatis

3rd person

amabant

monebant

sumebant

audiebant

erant

ibant

 

Imperfect tense – Passive voice

 

 

1st conj

2nd conj

3rd conj

4th conj

Singular

 

 

 

 

1st person

amabar

(I was being loved)

monebar

(I was being warned)

sumebar

(I was being taken)

audiebar

(I was being heard)

2nd person

amabaris

monebaris

sumebaris

audiebaris

3rd person

amabatur

monebatur

sumebantur

audiebatur

Plural

 

 

 

 

1st person

amabamur

monebamur

sumebamur

audiebamur

2nd person

amabamini

monebamini

sumebamini

audiebamini

3rd person

amabant

monebantur

sumebantur

audiebantur

 

b)    Perfect:

The perfect tense in Latin corresponds to the simple past tense in English (‘-ed’) in that it describes a single completed past action. It can also correspond to the English perfect tense (‘have/has -ed’) by describing a past action that has been completed but which still has an effect in the present. Examples:

 

puella puerum in via conspexit

(The girl glimpsed the boy in the street)

Caesar monitus est de Bruto et Cassio

(Caesar was warned about Brutus and Cassius)

nunc puella puerum nupsit

(The girl has now married the boy)

 

Perfect tense – Active voice

 

 

1st conj

2nd conj

3rd conj

4th conj

Irregular

Singular

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st person

amavi

I (have) loved

monui

I (have) warned

sumpsi

I (have) taken

audivi

I (have) heard

fui

(I was, have been)

i(v)i

(I went, have gone)

2nd person

amavisti

monuisti

sumpsisti

audivisti

fuistis

iisti

3rd person

amavit

monuit

sumpsit

audivit

fuerit

iit

Plural

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st person

amavimus

monuimus

sumpsimus

audivimus

fuimus

iimus

2nd person

amavistis

monuistis

sumpsistis

audivistis

fuistis

iistis

3rd person

amaverunt

monerunt

sumpserunt

audiverunt

fuerunt

ierunt

 

Perfect tense – Passive voice

 

 

1st conj

2nd conj

3rd conj

4th conj

Singular

 

 

 

 

1st pers

amatus sum

(I was/have been loved)

monitus sum

(I was/have been warned)

sumptus sum

(I was/have been taken)

auditus sum

(I was/have been heard)

2nd pers

amatus es

monitus es

sumptus es

auditus es

3rd pers

amatus est

monitus est

sumptus est

auditus est

Plural

 

 

 

 

1st pers

amati sumus

moniti sumus

sumpti sumus

auditi sumus

2nd pers

amati estis

moniti estis

sumpti estis

auditi estis

3rd pers

amati sunt

moniti sunt

sumpti sunt

auditi sunt

 

Perfect Passive and Pluperfect Passive verb endings match the subject of the sentence in gender, number and case and decline like 1st/2nd declension adjectives such as bonus/bona/bonum (see Adjectives Lesson). 

 

c)    Pluperfect:

The pluperfect tense corresponds to the English pluperfect, ‘had -ed. It denotes an action that was completed before another action happened (the later action is usually in the perfect or imperfect). It can also denote an action that was completed but has since been negated and thus no longer has an effect in the present. For example:

 

cibum edebam quem servi paraverant

(I was eating the food that the slaves had prepared)

iam Hanibal fugerat cum Romani advenerunt

(Hanibal had already fled when the Romans arrived)

Romani civitates liberaverunt quae captae erant Hanibale

(The Romans freed the cities that had been captured by Hanibal)

 


Pluperfect tense – Active voice

 

 

1st conj

2nd conj

3rd conj

4th conj

Irregular

Singular

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st pers

amaveram

(I had loved)

monueram

(I had warned)

sumpseram

(I had taken)

audieram

(I had heard)

fueram

(I had been)

iveram

(I had gone)

2nd pers

amaveras

monueras

sumpseras

audieras

fueras

iveras

3rd pers

amaverat

monuerat

sumpserat

audierat

fuerat

iverat

Plural

 

 

 

 

 

 

1st pers

amaveramus

monueramus

sumpseramus

audieramus

fueramus

iveramus

2nd pers

amaveratis

monueratis

sumpseratis

audieratis

fueratis

iveratis

3rd pers

amaverant

monuerant

sumpserant

audierant

fuerant

iverant

 

Pluperfect tense – Passive voice

 

 

1st conj

2nd conj

3rd conj

4th conj

Singular

 

 

 

 

1st pers

amatus eram

(I had been loved)

monitus erm

(I had been warned)

sumptus eram

(I had been taken)

auditus eram

(I had been heard)

2nd pers

amatus eras

monitus eras

sumptus eras

auditus eras

3rd pers

amatus erat

monitus erat

sumptus erat

auditus erat

Plural

 

 

 

 

1st pers

amati eramus

moniti eramus

sumpti eramus

auditi eramus

2nd pers

amati eratis

moniti eratis

sumpti eratis

auditi eratis

3rd pers

amati erant

moniti erant

sumpti erant

auditi erant

 

8-    Direct and Indirect Speech/Infinitives

In English there are two ways of reporting speech, thought or perception. Direct Speech is when you directly quote the speaker’s words within quotation marks, e.g.:

 

My teacher says: People who learn Latin are very clever.

 

Indirect Speech does not use quotation marks and need not quote the speaker word for word, although it may do. An indirect speech clause is normally introduced by a verb of telling, perceiving or thinking, followed by ‘that’. For example, in indirect speech the above sentence would be expressed as:

 

My teacher says that people who learn Latin are very clever.

 

In Latin, indirect speech does not use ‘that’, but instead puts the subject of the clause (e.g. ‘people’) in the accusative case, followed by the infinitive form of the verb (‘to be’):

 

magister meus dicit homines qui Latinam discunt callidissimos esse

[Literally]: My teacher says people [acc.] who learn Latin to be very clever

 

There are three types of infinitive in Latin: The Present Infinitive (reporting a current or ongoing action), the Perfect Infinitive (reporting a past action) and the Future Infinitive (reporting a future action). For example:

 

Present Infinitive:

dico te errare

I say that you are making a mistake

[Lit]: I say you [acc.] to make a mistake

Perfect Infinitive:

dico te erravisse

I say that you (have) made a mistake

Future Infinitive:

dico te erraturum esse

I say that you will make a mistake

 

When the main verb of the sentence is in a past tense, the infinitive is translated slightly differently:

 

Present Infinitive:

dixi te errare

I said that you were making a mistake

Perfect Infinitive:

dixi te erravisse

I said that you had made a mistake

Future Infinitive:

dixi te erraturum esse

I said that you would make a mistake

 

Notice how English translates putavi te errare as ‘I said you were making a mistake’, but in the Latin errare remains in the present. This is because the original direct statement would have been in the present tense - “You are making a mistake” - and in Latin indirect speech clauses always keep the tense in which the statement was originally made.

 

Here are the active infinitives for the four regular verb conjugations, sum and eo:

 

Infinitives - Active voice

 

1st conj.

2nd conj.

3rd conj.

4th conj.

Irregular

Present

amare

(to love)

monere

(to warn)

sumere

(to take)

audire

(to hear)

esse

(to be)

ire

(to go)

Perfect

amavisse

(to have loved)

monuisse

(to have warned)

sumpsisse

(to have taken)

audivisse

(to have heard)

fuisse

(to have been)

i(v)isse

(to have gone)

Future

amaturus esse

(to be about to love)

moniturus

esse        (to be about to warn)

sumpturus esse        (to be about to take)

auditurus esse        (to be about to hear)

futurus esse

(to be about to be)

iturus esse (to be about to go)

 

Future infinitive endings agree with their subjects in gender, number and case (the case always being accusative). They decline like 1st/2nd declension adjectives:

 

puto virum Romam iturum esse

(I think that the man will go to Rome)

putavi puellas Romam ituras esse

(I thought that the girls would go to Rome)

imperator promisit templum aedificaturum esse

(The emperor promised that a temple would be built)

 

The Passive Infinitive is used for indirect statements where the verb is passive, e.g.:

 

audio Romam obsideri

(I hear that Rome is being besieged)

audivi Romam obsideri

(I heard that Rome was being besieged)

 

Infinitives - Passive voice

 

 

1st conj.

2nd conj.

3rd conj.

4th conj.

Present

amari

(to be loved)

moneri

(to be warned)

sumeri

(to be taken)

audiri

(to be heard)

Perfect

amatus esse

(to have been loved)

monitus esse

(to have been warned)

sumptus esse

(to have been taken)

auditus esse

(to have been heard)

Future

amatus iri

(to be about to be loved)

monitus iri

(to be about to be warned)

sumptus iri

(to be about to be taken)

auditus iri      (to be about to be heard)

 

Passive perfect and future infinitive endings agree with their subjects, and decline like 1st/2nd declension adjectives:

 

Plutarchus scribit Antonium amatum esse Cleopatrā

(Plutarch writes that Antony was loved by Cleopatra)

nuntius dicit barbaros victos esse

(The messenger says that the barbarians have been defeated)

spero carmina mea audita iri

(I hope that my songs will be heard)

 

As in English, the infinitive can also be used to express a wish to perform an action, or to have an action performed on oneself, e.g.:

 

volo carmina pulchra audire

(I wish to hear beautiful songs)

Caesar voluit amari populo

(Caesar wished to be loved by the people)

 

9-    Asking a Question Lesson

Latin has three ways of turning a statement into a question. The first way is to place the key word at the start of the sentence and add –ne, so that:

 

Marcus in civitate habitat

(Marcus lives in the city)

 

becomes:

 

habitatne Marcus in civitate?

(Does Marcus live in the city?)

 

If you want to alter the emphasis of the question, simply attach -ne to a different word and place that at the beginning of the sentence, for example:

 

Marcusne habitat in civitate?

(Is it Marcus who lives in the city?)

 

The second way is used when a ‘yes’ answer is expected. Simply place nonne at the start of the sentence:

 

nonne Roma optima civitas est in mundo?

(Surely Rome is the best city in the world? / Rome is the best city in the world, isn’t it?)

 

Thirdly, if you expect a ‘no’ answer, begin the sentence with num:

 

num putas barbaros victuros esse?

(Surely you don’t think the barbarians will win? / You don’t think the barbarians will win, do you?)

 

The main interrogatives (question words) in Latin are quis (who?), quantus (how much?), quails (of what kind?), cur (why?), quando (when?), ubi (where?), quo (to where?) and unde (from where?). quantus declines like bonus, and quails declines like levis (see Adjectives Lesson). The endings for quis are shown opposite. All the other interrogatives do not decline but keep the same endings.

 


quis - Singular

 

 

Masculine

Feminine

Neuter

N/V

quis (who?)

quem (whom?)

cuius (whose?/of whom?)

cui (to whom?)

quo (by/from whom?)

quis/quae (who?)

quam (whom?)

cuius (whose?/of whom?)

cui (to whom?)

quo (by/from whom?)

quid (what?)

quid (what?)

cuius (of what?)

cui (to what?)

quo (by/from what?)

Acc

Gen

Dat.

Abl.

 

quis - Plural

 

 

Masculine

Feminine

Neuter

N/V

AccGenDat.

Abl

qui (who?)

quos (whom?)

quorum (whose?/of whom?)

quibus (to whom?)

quibus (by/from whom?)

quae (who?)

quas (whom?)

quarum (whose?/of whom?)

quibus (to whom?)

quibus (by/from whom?)

quae (what?)

quae (what?)

quorum (of what?)

quibus (to what?)

quibus (by/from what?)

 

10- Negation Lesson

In Latin, negation can be made simply by placing "non" before the main verb:

 

non possum hoc facere.

(I can't do this) 

mihi illud non placet.

(I don't like it)

(Literally: “It is not pleasing to me”).

 

As in standard English, but unlike, say, Spanish, Russian or colloquial English, a double negative makes a positive:

 

qui non numquam Baias vidit

(He who has indeed seen Baiae)

(Lit: “He who has not never seen Baiae”)

 

Other common negatives are nullus (no…), nemo (nobody), nil (nothing), nihil (nothing) neque…neque…(neither…nor…), nec…nec…(neither..nor..) and numquam (never). The endings for nullus and nemo are shown below, nullus matching the noun that it describes. The other negatives do not decline.

 

nullus - Singular

 

Case

Masc.

Fem.

Neut.

Nom./Voc.

nullus/

 

nulla

nullum

Acc.

nullum

nullam

nullum

Gen.

nullius

nullius

nulli

Dat.

nulli

nulli

nullo

Abl.

nullo

nullā

nullo

 


nullus - Plural

 

Case

Masc.

Fem.

Neut.

Nom./Voc.

nulli

 

nullae

nulla

Acc.

nullos

nullas

nulla

Gen.

nullorum

nullarum

nullorum

Dat.

nullis

nullis

nullis

Abl.

nullis

nullis

nullis

 

nulla in mundo pax sincera

(There is no true peace in the world)

 

voluntas testium nullo negotio flecti et detorqueri potest

(The testimony of witnesses can be bent and distorted with no difficulty)

 

nemo - Singular

 

 

Masc./Fem.

Nom/Voc.

nemo

Acc.

neminem

Gen.

neminis

Dat.

nemini

Abl

nemini/e

 

nemo does not exist in the plural.

 

nemo me impune laecessit

(No-one provokes me with impunity)

 

fabula mea nemini narravi

(I told my story to no-one)

 

Cyclops dixit neminem fugisse

(The Cyclops said that no-one [accusative] had escaped)

 

11- Pronouns Lesson

There are ten pronouns In Latin:

 

ego (I), tu (you [singular]), is (he), ea (she), id...(it).

nos (we), vos…(you [plural]), ei (they [masc.]), eae (they [fem.]) and ea (they [neut.])

 

All the personal pronouns decline, and their endings are shown below:

 

Personal Pronouns - Singular

 

 

Masc/Fem

Masc/Fem

Masc

Fem

Neut

N/V

ego (I)

tu (you)

is(he)

ea  (she)

id (it)

Acc

me (me)

te (you)

eum (him)

eam (her)

id (it)

Gen

mei (of me)

tui (of you)

eius (of him)

eius (of her)

eius (of it)

Dat

mihi (to me)

tibi (to you)

ei (to him)

ei (to her)

ei (to it)

Abl

me (by/with/

from me)

te (by/with/

from you)

eo (by/with/

from him)

eā (by/with/

from her)

eo (by/with/

from it)

 

 

Personal Pronouns - Plural

 

 

Masc/Fem

Masc/Fem

Masc

Fem

Neut

N/V

nos (we)

vos (you)

ei (they)

eae  (they)

ea (they)

Acc

nos (us)

vos (you)

eos (them)

eas (them)

ea (them)

Gen

nostri/nostrum

(of us)

vestri/vestrum

(of you)

eorum (of them)

earum (of them)

eorum (of them)

Dat

nobis (to us)

vobis (to you)

eis (to them)

eis (to them)

eis (to them)

Abl

nobis (by/with/

from us)

vobis (by/with/

from you)

eis (by/with/

from them)

eis (by/with/

from them)

eis (by/with/

from them)

 

Personal pronouns are seldom used in the nominative, as the verb ending by itself is enough to indicate who is performing an action (see Verbs Lessons). The genitive forms, mei, tui, nostri and vestri, are often substituted by the possessive adjectives meus (my/mine), tuus (your/yours [sing.]), noster (our/ours) and vester (your/yours [pl.]).

 

Further Reading

 

Carrol, P.J., Collins Latin Dictionary Plus Grammar (Collins 2001) ISBN 0-00-472092-X

Kennedy, B.H., Revised Latin Primer, (Routledge 2008) ISBN: 0-582-36240-7

 



* Latin does not use capital letters to begin sentences, but only for proper nouns and for adjectives derived from them, e.g. Caesar, Roma, Romanus.

* Whereas in English the dictionary form of a verb is its infinitive (e.g. ‘to love’), in Latin it is the first person singular present active. For example, ‘love’ would be listed as ‘amo’ (‘I love’) rather than ‘amare’.

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