A Practical Grammar of the Latin Language/Lesson 5
Of the Declension of Adjectives.
- A. Adjectives are inflected like substantives of the first, second, and third declensions. Those in us, a, um and er, a, um belong to the first and second declension; those in er, is, e, those in is, is, e and all the adjectives of one termination, to the third.
- B. Some adjectives have a special termination for each of the three genders (e.g., bonus, a, um, ācer, ācris, ācre), some have one common form for the masculine and feminine (e.g., vīlis, m. & f., vīle, n.), and others have but one ending (in the nominative singular) for every gender (e.g., fēlix, dīves, &c.). The following paradigms exhibit the declension of bonus, pulcher, and turpis, in the singular.
|Bonus, bona, bonum, good.|
|Gen.||of the good||bonī||bonae||bonī|
|Dat.||to the good||bonō||bonae||bonō|
|Voc.||O the good||bonum||bona||bonum|
|Abl.||with the good||bonō||bonā||bonō.|
|pulcher, pulchra, pulchrum,1 beautiful.|
|Gen.||of the beautiful||pulchrī||pulchrae||pulchrī|
|Dat.||to the beautiful||pulchrō||pulchrae||pulchrō|
|Voc.||O the beautiful||pulcher||pulchra||pulchrum|
|Abl.||with the beautiful||pulchrō||pulchrā||pulchrō.|
|turpis, turpis, turpe, ugly.|
|Gen.||of the ugly||turpis||turpis||turpis|
|Dat.||to the ugly||turpī||turpī||turpī|
|Voc.||O the ugly||turpis||turpis||turpe|
|Abl.||with the ugly||turpī2||turpī||turpī.|
|The trunk.||*Riscus, ī, m., arca, ae, f.|
|The button.||*Orbiculus fibulātōrius, ī, m.|
|The money.||Pecūnia, ae, f.|
|The cheese.||Cāseus, ī, m.|
|The silver||Argentum, ī, m.|
|Of silver.||Argenteus, a, um (Adj.).|
|The baker.||Pistor, ōris, m.|
|The neighbor.||Vīcīnus, ī, m. Proximus, ī, m.|
|Anything, something.||Aliquid, quidquam, nōnnihil|
|Nothing.||Nihil (indecl.), nihilum, ī, n.|
|Have you anything||Estne tibi aliquid?
Habēsne tū aliquid?
|I have something||Est mihi aliquid.
|Have you anything||Num quidquam habēs?3
Num est tibi quidquam?
|I have nothing||Est mihi nihil.
Nihil reī habeō.
|Thirsty.||Sitiēns,4 tis. (Vidē Lesson VI.B.)|
|Sleepy.||Somniculōsus, a, um.
|Tired.||Fessus (dēfessus), a, um.|
|Are you hungry?||Ēsurīsne?|
|I am hungry.||Ēsuriō.|
|Are you thirsty?||Sitīsne?|
|I am thirsty.||(Egō vērō) sitiō.|
|I am not thirsty.||Nōn sitiō.|
|Are you sleepy?||Esne tū somniculōsus?
An es cupidus somnī?
|I am sleepy.||Sum cupidus somnī.|
|I am not sleepy.||Nōn sum cupidus somnī.
Egō somniculōsus nōn sum.
|Are you tired?||Esne tū fessus?
Num es fessus?
|I am tired.||Sum fessus.|
|I am not tired.||Nōn sum fessus.|
- C. Rule. When a substantive expresses the relation of property or possession, it is put in the genitive; as,
|The dog of the baker.||Canis pistōris (Nom.)|
|The baker's dog.||Pistōris canem (Acc.)5|
|The coat of the tailor.||Togam sartōris (Acc.)|
|The tailor's coat.||Sartōris toga (Nom.)|
|My brother's paper.||Charta meī frātris6 (Nom.)
Frātris meī chartam. (Acc.)
|My neighbor's good salt.||Meī vīcīnī sāl bonum.
Sāl bonum vīcīnī meī.
|The old bread.||Nom. Panis vetulus.
Acc. Pānem vetulum.
- D. Rule. Adjectives (and the adjective pronouns meus, tuus, &c.) may stand either before or after their substantives; but when the substantive is a monosyllable, the adjective comes always last.
|Have you the neighbor's good salt?||Num habēs sāl bonum vīcīnī?|
|I have it not.||Nōn habeō.|
|Have you my brother's silver candlestick?||An habēs frātris meī candēlābrum argenteum?|
- Have you the leathern trunk?—I have not the leathern trunk.
- Have you my pretty trunk?—I have not your pretty trunk.
- Which trunk have you?—I have the wooden trunk.
- Have you my old button?—I have it not.
- Which money have you?— I have the good money.
- Which cheese have you?—I have the old cheese.
- Have you anything?—I have something.
- Have you my large dog?—I have it not.
- Have you your good gold?—I have it.
- Which dog have you?—I have the tailor's dog?
- Have you the neighbor's large dog?—I have it not.
- Have you the dog's golden ribbon?—No, Sir, I have it not.
- Which coat have you?—I have the tailor's good coat.
- Have you the neighbor's good bread?—I have it not.
- Have you my tailor's golden ribbon?—I have it.
- Have you my pretty dog's ribbon?—I have it not.
- Have you the good baker's good horse?—I have it.
- Have you the good tailor's horse?—I have it not.
- Are you hungry?—I am hungry.
- Are you sleepy?—I am not sleepy.
- Which candlestick have you?—I have the golden candlestick of my good baker.
1 Some adjectives of this declension retain the e of the root-termination, e.g. tener, tenera, tenerum; miser, misera, miserum. But the majority reject it.
2 Adjectives of the third declension have e or i in the ablative singular, but those neuter ends in e have i only.
3 Quidquam is generally put, when the sentence contains a negation (either expressed or implied), a condition, comparison, &c., and also in connection with the particles vix, scarcely, and sine, without. (Compare Lesson VI. C.)
4 Ēsuriēns is and sitiēns, properly, the present participles of the verbs ēsuriō, I am hungry, and sitiō, I am thirsty. When hungry and thirsty are in the predicate of the sentence, it is necessary to use verbs, and not participles.
5 The common rule is that the genitive (and in general every word governed) should be put before the word governing it. This, however, is by no means invariable, and the learner may safely use either of the formulas in the sense of their English equivalents.
6 Instead of the possessive genitive, the Romans sometimes employ an adjective; as domus paterna for domus patris, the father's house; homō ingeniōsus for homō ingeniī, a man of talent, &c.