Latin Nouns
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Latin nouns enjoy the choice of
2 "numbers": singular or plural,
3 "genders": masculine, feminine, or neuter,
6 "cases": nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, ablative or vocative.

There are five declensions for Latin nouns. The endings of the singular genitive case of these declensions are:

1) "-ae", 2) "-i", 3) "-is", 4) "-us", 5) "-ei".

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The different grammatical functions a word can have in a
sentence is called "case".

"The girl saw the dog."

"I like him, them I despise."

The words "he" and "they" change their forms as their grammatical function in the sentence changes. This change is called "inflection". (I, my, me; we, our, us)

* NOMINATIVE CASE [return to Cases]

A noun in the nominative case is often the subject of a verb.

* GENITIVE CASE [return to Cases]

The genitive case generally denotes the idea "belonging to" and origin.

1) Possession or origin
Liber Vergili [a book of Virgil]
Stulti est haec dicere. [It is (the mark) of a fool to say this.]

2) Part of a whole:
Magna pars civium [a great part of the citizens]
Satis pecuniae [enough (of) money]
Nimis honoris [too much (of) respect]
Quid negotii est [what (of) trouble is there?]
Aliquid artifici [some (of) skill]
Multi nostrum [many of us]

3) Objective or subjective genitive:
Memor nostri [mindful of us, our remembering]
Amor tui [love of/for you]

4) Value:
Homo nihili [a man of nothing]

5) Description of content or material:
Filia eximiae pulchritudinis [a daughter of outstanding beauty]
Poculum aquae [a cup of water]

6) Description of quality or character:
vir magnae sapientiae [a man of great wisdom]

7) Like:
vir mei similis [a man like me]

8) Many verbs and adjectives require the genitive case:
verborum obliviscor [I forget the words.]
me miseret tui [I feel pity for you]
cibi egeo [I need food]
plenus aquae [full of water]

* DATIVE CASE [return to Cases]

The dative case shows that a noun is indirectly affected by the action of the sentence - the "indirect object". (English can indicate this function by putting the indirect object before the direct object. e.g.: George gave the girl the ball.)

In Latin, the word for "girl" would be in the dative case. So the form would be "mensae".

1) To indicate the indirect object:
Mihi librum dat.[He gives me a book.]

2) to indicate the person to whose advantage or disadvantage something is done.
Bene est mihi. [It is fine for me]

3) to indicate possession with the verb 'to be'
est mihi pecunia [there is money to me]

4) as agent
haec mihi dicta sunt [these things have been said by me]
hoc mihi faciendum est [this is to be done by me]

5) to indicate the person interested in the action
quid mihi Celsus agit? [what is Celsus doing? (it interests me)]

6) to indicate the person judging
Quintia formosa est multis [Quintia is beautiful (in the eye of many)]

7) with certain verbs:
credo (believe), faveo (favour), fido (trust), ignosco (pardon), impero (order), invideo (envy), irascor(angry), minor(threaten), noceo(harm), parco(spare), pareo(obey), persuadeo(persuade), placeo(please), resisto(resist), subvenio(come to help).

8) with certain adjectives:
proximus ei [near (to) him]
Caesari similis [resembling Caesar]
Mihi utilis [useful to me]

9) abstract nouns in the dative showing that which a thing serves for.
Odio sum Romanis [I serve for a hatred to the Romans]
Voluptati sum ei [I serve for a pleasure to him/her]
Milites auxilio misit [He sent the soldiers to be a help]

* ACCUSATIVE CASE [return to Cases]

The noun which is directly affected by the action of a verb is put into the accusative case - the "direct object"

* ABLATIVE CASE [return to Cases]

1) separation - away from
natus Jove [born from Jupiter]
dominatione liberatus [freed from tyranny]

2) comparison
quid mollius unda? [what is softer than water?]

3) locative/temporal ablative
terra marique [on land and sea]
dextra [on the right]
tribus horis [in three hours]

4) the accompanying ablative
description: vir magna virtute [a man (with) of great bravery]
manner: summa (cum) celeritate venit [he came with very great speed]
circumstance: te duce vincemus [with you as leader, we shall win.]

5) instrumental ablative
agent: ab his laudatur [he is praised by these people]
means: saxis se defendunt [they defend themselves with rocks]
cause: amore periit [he died (because) of love]
measure: tu multo altior es [ you are much taller]
price: multo auro hance aulam emi [I bought this pot at a price of much gold]
respect: vir pietate gravis [a man serious in respect of his piety]

6) verbs followed by ablative case:
fungor [perform], fruor [enjoy], utor [use], potior [take possession of], dono [present], abundo [abound in], opus est [there is need]

7) adjectives followed by ablative case:
fretus voce [relying on the voice], plena gratia [full of grace], dignus poena [worthy of punishment]

* VOCATIVE CASE [return to Cases]

The vocative case calls someone or something by name to get some attention.