Latin for beginners (1911)/Part II/Lesson VII

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57. In the preceding lessons we have now gone over all the cases, singular and plural, of nouns whose nominative singular ends in -a. All Latin nouns whose nominative singular ends in -a belong to the First Declension. It is also called the Ā-Declension because of the prominent part which the vowel a plays in the formation of the cases. We have also learned what relations are expressed by each case. These results are summarized in the following table:

Case Noun Translation Use and General Meaning of Each Case
  • Nom.
  • Gen.
  • Dat.
  • Acc.
  • Abl.
  • do’min-a
  • domin-ae
  • domin-ae
  • domin-am
  • domin-ā
  • the lady
  • of the lady, or the lady’s
  • to or for the lady
  • the lady
  • from, with, by, in, the lady
  • The subject
  • The possessor of something
  • Expressing the relation to or for, especially the *indirect object
  • The direct object
  • Separation (from), association or means (with, by), place where or time when (in, at)
  • Nom.
  • Gen.
  • Dat.
  • Acc.
  • Abl.
  • domin-ae
  • domin-ā’rum
  • domin-īs
  • domin-ās
  • domin-īs
  • the ladies
  • of the ladies, ox the ladies’
  • to or for the ladies
  • the ladies
  • from, with, by, in, the ladies

The same as the singular

58. The Base. That part of a word which remains unchanged in inflection and to which the terminations are added is called the base.

Thus, in the declension above, domin- is the base and -a is the termination of the nominative singular.

59. Write the declension of the following nouns, separating the base from the termination by a hyphen. Also give them orally.

pugna, terra, lūna, ancil’la, corō’na, īn’sula, silva

60. Gender. In English, names of living beings are either masculine or feminine, and names of things without life are neuter. This is called natural gender. Yet in English there are some names of things to which we refer as if they were feminine; as, "Have you seen my yacht? She is a beauty." And there are some names of living beings to which we refer as if they were neuter; as, "Is the baby here? No, the nurse has taken it home." Some words, then, have a gender quite apart from sex or real gender, and this is called grammatical gender.

Latin, like English, has three genders. Names of males are usually masculine and of females feminine, but names of things have grammatical gender and may be either masculine, feminine, or neuter. Thus we have in Latin the three words, lapis, a stone; rūpēs, a cliff; and saxum, a rock. Lapis is masculine, rūpēs feminine, and saxum neuter. The gender can usually be determined by the ending of the word, and must always be learned, for without knowing the gender it is impossible to write correct Latin.

61. Gender of First-Declension Nouns. Nouns of the first declension are feminine unless they denote males. Thus silva is feminine, but nauta, sailor, and agricola, farmer, are masculine.


First learn the special vocabulary, p. 284.

I. 1. Agricola cum fīliā in casā habitat. 2. Bona fīlia agricolae cēnam parat. 3. Cēna est grāta agricolae[1] et agricola bonam fīliam laudat. 4. Deinde fīlia agricolae gallīnās ad cēnam vocat. 5. Gallīnae fīliam agricolae amant. 6. Malae fīliae bonās cēnās nōn parant. 7. Fīlia agricolae est grāta dominae. 8. Domina in īnsulā magnā habitat. 9. Domina bonae puellae parvae pecūniam dat.


1. Where does the farmer live?
2. The farmer lives in the small cottage.
3. Who lives with the farmer?
4. (His) little daughter lives with the farmer.
5. (His) daughter is getting (parat) a good dinner for the farmer.
6. The farmer praises the good dinner.
7. The daughter's good dinner is pleasing to the farmer.
Latin for beginners (1911) 47.png

What Latin words are suggested by this picture ?


Answer the questions in Latin.

1. Quis cum agricolā in casā habitat?
2. Quid bona fīlia agricolae parat?
3. Quem agricola laudat?
4. Vocatne fīlia agricolae gallīnās ad cēnam?
5. Cuius fīlia est grāta dominae?
6. Cui domina pecūniam dat?



  1. Note that the relation expressed by the dative case covers that to which a feeling is directed. (Cf. §43.)