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LATIN CASES CASES A case is the term that defines how a noun, adjective, or pronoun is used in a sentence. In English, case is defined mainly through position in the sentence (syntax). In Latin the cases are identified by the ending changes to the words themselves . NOMINATIVE CASE The nominative case is the subject case. Subjects do the action of verbs. Ex.: Puella currit in agro. Subjects are also used with forms of the verb “to be,” esse. Ex. Puella est benigna. VOCATIVE CASE Vocative is the case of direct address. Ex. Puella, salve. This case often looks just like the nominative. ACCUSATIVE CASE Accusative case is primarily the direct object. Ex. Puer non amat puellam. Accusative case also follows some prepositions. Ex. Puer ambulat ad puellam. GENITIVE CASE This is the case of possession. In English, we use an “s” or the word “of ” to show possession. Ex. Canis puellae in silva ambulat. DATIVE CASE Dative case can show possession. Dative case also functions as the case of indirect object. Ex. Puer donum donat puellae. ABLATIVE CASE There are about twenty uses of ablative in Latin. Ablative is primarily a case of prepositions. Ex. Puer in silva ambulat cum puella. Although the puella above looks the same as that in the nominative and vocative cases, it is different in pronunciation: the “a” in puella, in the ablative, is pronounced as a long “a”. ABLATIVE CONT. In Latin, the prepositions are not always stated; they are often implied by the use of ablative case. Puella ad scholam ducta, illa verba discebat. CONCLUSION A knowledge of the meanings and uses of cases is essential to progressing in Latin. There are six cases, each of which uses a different ending to suggest a different use in the sentence. Each word will have, normally, a total of twelve different endings (six cases plus plural and singular.) As you learn your cases, the ending changes on nouns will start to make sense and help you in translating .