A Practical Grammar of the Latin Language/Lesson 2

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Of the First Declension.[edit]

  • A. The first declension comprises all substantives and adjectives which form their genitive in ae. The nominative of such of these words as are of purely Roman origin ends in a, that of a few Greek words in ē, ēs, and ās. Those in ā and ē are mostly feminine, the rest are masculine. The singular of a noun in a in connection with mea, "my", and tua, "thy" or "your" is thus inflected:—
Nom. my paper mea charta
Gen. of my paper meae chartae
Dat. to or for my paper meae chartae
Acc. my paper meam chartam
Voc. O my paper mea charta
Abl. with, from, or by my paper meā chartā
Nom. your table tua mēnsa
Gen. of your table tuae mēnsae
Dat. to or for your table tuae mēnsae
Acc. your table tuam mēnsam
Voc. O your table tua mēnsa
Abl. with, from, or by your table tuā mēnsā

So decline taenia, fascia, hōra, penna

Remark.—The a of the ablative of the first declension is always long, and sometimes printed â. - But in all other cases of words declined, the final a is generally short, as charta (Nom.); candēlābra, candlesticks; templa, temples.

N.B.—In the vocabularies of the Grammar the quantity of every Latin word will be given, and the paradigms of the inflection will show the the quantity of the different case-terminations. From these data the student will accent according to the Rules of Lesson I., page 6. Examples of the application of these principles of accentuation are furnished in the phrases of each Lesson.

Have you? Habēsne?1 Num habēs?
Estne tibi? An habēs?
Yes, Sir, I have. Ita est2, domine, habeō
Sane quidem, domine, est.
Have you the hat? Habēsne (tū) pilleum?3
Estne tibi pilleus?
Yes, Sir, I have the hat. Sīc est, domine, habeō pilleum.
Etiam, domine, est mihi pilleum.
  • B. Obs. The verb habeō, being transitive, is followed by the accusative of the object, and the neuter verb est by the nominative.
The pen. *Penna, ae, f.
The ribbon. Taenia, ae, f.; fascia, ae, f.
The table. Mēnsa, ae, f.
The paper. *Charta, ae, f.
The hat. *Pilleus, ī, m., Acc. pilleum, or
Pilleum, ī, n. (Nom. & Acc.)
The sugar. Saccharum, ī, n. (Nom. & Acc.)
The salt. Sāl,4 gen. sălis, m., acc. sălem.
Sāl, gen. sălis, n., acc. sāl.
  • C. Obs. Words of the neuter gender have the nominative, accusative, and vocative, singular and plural always alike.
Masc. Fem. Neut.
My. Nom. meus mea meum
Acc. meum meam meum
Thy (your). Nom. tuus tua tuum
Acc. tuum tuam tuum
  • D. Rule. Adjectives and adjective pronouns agree with their substantives in gender, number, and case. Thus:—
My sugar. Nom. & Acc. Meum saccharum.
My hat. Nom. pilleus meus (m.), pilleum meum (n.).
Acc. pilleum meum, or meum pilleum.
My pen. Nom. mea penna, or penna mea.
Acc. meam pennam, or pennam meam.
Your salt. Nom. sāl tuum (or m. tuus).
Acc. sāl tuum, or tuum sālem.
Have you my hat? Habēsne meum pilleum?
Yes, Sir, I have your hat. Vērō, domine, pilleum tuum habeō.
Have you my ribbon? Habēsne taeniam meam?
I have your ribbon. Habeō tuam taeniam.
Have you the pen? Estne tibi penna?
Habēsne pennam?
I have the pen. Est mihi penna.
Habeō pennam.

Exercise 1.[edit]

See the answers here.

  1. Have you the table?—Yes, Sir, I have the table.
  2. Have you my table?—I have your table.
  3. Have you your pen?—I have my pen.
  4. Have you the sugar?—I have the sugar.
  5. Have you my sugar?—I have your sugar.
  6. Have you the paper?—I have the paper.
  7. Have you your paper?—I have my paper.
  8. Have you the salt?—I have the salt.
  9. Have you my salt?—I have your salt.


1 In asking questions, the Romans usually employed certain signs of interrogation, of which the most common are the enclitic ne (always affixed either to the verb or to some other word of the sentence), the particles num, an, ecquid, numquid, utrum, nōnne, &c.—The enclitic ne and ecquid can be used in questions of every description, whether the expected answer be affirmative or negative; num and numquid, only when it is expected to be "no"; nōnne, only when it is to be "yes"; an and utrum chiefly in double questions.
2 The most current Latin adverbs corresponding to our English "yes" are: etiam (= even, even so), vērō (indeed), rēctē (you are right), certē (certainly), ita, ita est, sīc, sīc est (it is so), sānē or sānē quidem (indeed, surely), immō or immō vērō (yes, yes). But the Romans frequently reply by a simple repetition of the verb or of the emphatic word of the inquiry, e.g. here with a simple Habeō and Est.—The ceremonious use of a word like our "Sir" was unknown to the ancients. To domine, however, the vocative of dominus (master, lord), there can be no objection.
3 The Romans have no article. Its place is in certain cases supplied by demonstrative pronoun, by ūnus, aliquis, some one, &c. But ordinarily the distinctions expressed by our articles must be mentally supplied from the context.—The learner will also notice the omission of the pronouns ego, which the Latin language employs only for the sake of emphasis or contrast.
4 The substantives pīleus and sāl have two forms, i.e. the masculine and neuter, without any difference of signification.