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Unit 2
Stage 13 – infinitives; -que
Infinitives – These are the base form of the verb; they tell you what conjugation a verb belongs to.
Conjugations are to verbs as declensions are to nouns. They don’t alter the translation; they basically govern
the spelling rules for verbs. There are 4 conjugations, plus irregulars.
Infinitives will end in the following manner.
1st Conjugation: -āre (clamat – clamāre)
2nd Conjugation: -ēre* (habet – habēre)
*notice the long mark over the first e
3rd Conjugation: -ere (credit – credere)
4th Conjugation: -īre (audio – audīre)
Infinitives are translated as “to verb” (to shout, to have, to trust, to hear, etc.) The frequently follow verbs like
potest (he is able) and vult (he wants). These are called complementary infinitives, because they complete the
idea of the main verb. (He is able to walk. She wants to eat the brisket.)
-que – This is an enclitic (a type of suffix) that is translated as “and.” It should be translated before the word it
is attached to. (pueri puellaeque laetae = “the boys and happy girls” NOT “the boys, girls, and happy”) -que
can be added to most parts of speech.
Stage 14 – adjectives; prepositional phrases
Adjectives – Adjectives must agree with the nouns they modify in case, number, and gender. If a noun is in the
dative case, then the adjective modifying that noun must also be dative. If a noun is singular, then its adjective
must be singular. If a noun is feminine, the adjective going with it must also be feminine.
However, although nouns and their adjectives must have the same case, number, and gender, this does not mean
that they have to have the same endings. For instance, servus and tristis are both masculine, singular, and
nominative, but their endings (-us and -is) are not the same. This is because nouns and adjectives can belong to
separate declensions.
Nouns (with rare exception) belong to only one declension. servus is 2nd declension and will always be so.
femina will always be 1st declension. Adjectives are a bit more flexible and belong in two groups. Adjectives
will either be 1st/2nd Declension Adjectives or 3rd Declension Adjectives, but not both.
1st/2nd Declension Adjectives will use 1st and 2nd declension endings to modify nouns. The declension will
change depending on the gender of the noun. 1st/2nd Declension Adjectives use the 1st declension endings when
they are modifying feminine nouns, 2nd declension endings when they are modifying masculine nouns, and the
2nd declension neuter endings when they are modifying neuter nouns. They will use these endings regardless of
the declension of the noun they are modifying.
The dictionary entry for 1st/2nd Declension Adjectives looks like the example below:
bonus, bona , bonum or bonus, -a, -um.
3rd Declension Adjectives will use 3rd declension endings to modify masculine or feminine nouns and 3rd
declension neuter endings to modify neuter nouns.
The dictionary entry for 3rd Declension Adjectives will take multiple forms.
ingens, ingentis (gen.)
All three genders have the same nominative, singular form.
tristis, triste
Neuter has a separate nominative, singular form.
acer, acris, acre
All three genders have separate nominative, singular forms.
To decline an adjective so that it agrees with the noun, we need to find the base of the adjective. For 1st/2nd
declension adjectives, we go to the feminine form of the adjective (the second form provided), remove the “-a”
and add the appropriate ending. Most 1st/2nd declension adjectives follow the regular –us, -a, -um pattern, so
there isn’t much difference between forms. However, some 1st/2nd declension adjectives do not follow this
pattern. Look at the example below:
pulcher, pulchra, pulchrum
Notice that the “e” drops out of the feminine and neuter forms, but is present in the masculine form. When
declining the adjective, that “e” will drop out of everything but the masculine, nominative, singular form.
The same rule applies to 3rd declension adjectives.
Prepositions – Prepositions in Latin require an object in either the accusative or ablative case. While most
prepositions will take only the accusative or the ablative, some will take both, depending on the meaning. A list
of prepositions and the cases they take can be found on my website.
Stage 15 – relative clauses; gender
Relative Clauses – Relative clauses are phrases that give more information about a noun (antecedent). Like
adjectives, relative pronouns need to agree with their antecedent in number and gender, but not necessarily case.
This is because the relative clause functions as its own unit and can have separate grammatical structure from
the main sentence. For example:
The boy, whom I saw yesterday, was riding his bike today. The relative clause (whom I saw yesterday) gives us
more information about its antecedent (the boy); however, while the boy is the subject of the main sentence
(The boy...was riding his bike today.) he is the direct object of the relative clause. In Latin, the boy would be
masculine, nominative, singular, but the relative pronoun would be masculine, accusative, singular. Relative
pronouns can agree in case as well, but this is not always the case.
The relative pronoun chart (qui, quae, quod) can be found in the back of the book or on my website.
Gender – In Latin all nouns have one of three genders: masculine, feminine, or neuter. In English, men are
masculine, women are feminine, and anything else (with rare exception) is neuter. In Latin, men are still
masculine, women are still feminine, but inanimate objects can be any gender. A basic rule of thumb is that 1st
declension nouns are feminine and 2nd declension nouns are masculine. This is not always the case, but it is
usually the case.
Stage 16 – pluperfect tense; num/-ne/nonne
Pluperfect Tense – The pluperfect tense is used to show that something happened in the past before something
else happened in the past. The pluperfect tense is always translated as “had verbed.”
To form the pluperfect tense, you begin with the perfect base and add the following chart:
eram eramus
eras eratis
The perfect base is found by dropping the “i” from the 3rd principle part of the verb.
amo, amāre, amavi – amavvideo, vidēre, vidi – vidimitto, mittere, misi – misaudio, audīre, audivi – audivExamples: amaveram, habuerat, miseramus, audiverant, etc.
num/-ne/nonne – num, ne, and nonne are three different ways to ask a question in Latin. num begins a
sentence, and is used when you expect the person to answer with “no.” It is usually translated “Surely...not?”
num domum ivisti? – Surely you didn’t go home?
nonne begins a sentence, and is used when you expect the person to answer with “yes.” It is usually translated
ne domum ivisti? – Surely you went home?
-ne is attached to the first word of a sentence, usually a verb, and is used to ask a question with no expected
answer. It is the Latin equivalent of a question mark.
ivistine domum? – Did you go home?
Stage 17 – genitive case
Genitive Case – The genitive case is usually used to show possession and can best be translated as “of the
noun.” You could also say “the noun’s.” The genitive is used with more than just possession, so I encourage
“of the noun” because that covers most of the other uses as well.
When looking at a dictionary entry (e.g. servus, servi, m. – slave) the second form given is the genitive, singular
form (servi). This is the form used to identify the declension and base of the noun.
Each declension has a unique genitive singular ending, (-ae, -i, -is, -us, -ei), which makes declension
identification simple.
Nouns may also change their base when not in the nominative, singular form (e.g. custos, custodis). The
genitive, singular form will always show this change and gives the base (custod-) to which the other
endings are added.
Stage 18 – neuter gender; 4th, 5th declension
Neuter Gender – The neuter gender has one key feature that separates it from masculine and feminine nouns.
The nominative and accusative singular forms of neuter nouns will always be the same. Pronouns also follow
this rule. Always. For example:
Also, the nominative plural and accusative plural form of all neuter nouns will end with –a. For example:
*Not all pronouns will follow this rule, but their nominative and accusative plural forms will match.
4th and 5th Declensions – These declensions behave no differently than the first three. The 4th declension is
easily identified by the proliferation of u’s in the forms, and most nouns will be masculine, though there are
some feminine and neuter nouns. The 5th delcension is easily identified by the proliferation of e’s in the forms,
and most nouns will be feminine, though masculine forms exist, as well.
Stage 19 – hic/ille; imperatives; vocative
hic/ille – hic and ille are a demonstrative adjectives/pronouns. hic points out something that is close to the
speaker and is translated as “this.” ille points out something farther away from the speaker and is translated as
“that”. They can be used to modify a noun (hic/ille servus – this/that slave) or they can stand on their own as a
pronoun (hic/ille – this/that thing/guy).
Imperative – The imperative is the form of the verb that expresses a command (Close the door. Open your
books. Sit down.). The singular imperative is formed simply by using the present base of a verb (infinitive –
amo, amāre, amavi – ama!
video, vidēre, vidi – vidē!
mitto, mittere, misi – mitte!
audio, audīre, audivi – audi!
The plural imperative is formed by adding –te to the end of the singular imperative:
amā! --> amate!
vidē! --> vidēte!
mitte! --> *mittite!
audi! --> audite!
*Notice the short e once again changes into an i in the 3rd conjugation.
Vocative – The vocative is the case used when directly addressing someone (Cornelia, open the door. Boys,
you are late.). The vocative singular form is identical to the nominative singular form except for 2nd declension
words ending with –us (servus, Marcus, Cornelius, Salvius).
When a 2nd declension word ends with just –us, the –us is turned into a short –e.
servus --> serve
Marcus --> Marce
But, if a 2nd declension words ends with –ius, then you just drop the –us.
Cornelius --> Corneli
Salvius --> Salvi
The vocative plural is always identical to the nominative plural.
servi --> servi
puellae --> puellae
custodes --> custodes
Stage 20 – present participles; is/ea/id
Present participles – A participle is a verbal adjective. That is, it is an adjective that is taken from a verb and
retains some verbal qualities. It is, however, primarily an adjective and must, therefore, agree with the noun it
modifies in case, number, and gender, and must also use adjectival endings. All present participles are 3rd
declension adjectives. Present participles are translated as the –ing form of the verb (running, sitting, laughing,
throwing, etc.)
The present participle is formed by adding –ns to the present base of the verb. This will give you the
nominative singular form of the participle.
amo, amāre, amavi – amans
video, vidēre, vidi – vidēns
mitto, mittere, misi – mittens
audio, audīre, audivi – *audiens
*Notice the extra e added before –ns.
To get the remaining forms of the participle, switch the –ns to –nt- and add the appropriate 3rd declension
Present active participles can be recognized because the –nt– in the participle matches the -nt in present.
is/ea/id – is, ea, and id are 3rd person pronouns. They take the place of a noun in a sentence. They exist in all
genders, numbers, and cases.