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

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97. Observe the sentences

This is my shield
This shield is mine

In the first sentence my is a possessive adjective; in the second mine is a possessive pronoun, for it takes the place of a noun, this shield is mine being equivalent to this shield is my shield. Similarly, in Latin the possessives are sometimes adjectives and sometimes pronouns.

98. The possessives my, mine, your, yours, etc. are declined like adjectives of the first and second declensions.

1st Pers. meus, mea, meum my, mine
2d Pers. tuus, tua, tuum your, yours
3d Pers. suus, sua, suum his (own), her (own), its (own)
1st Pers. noster, nostra, nostrum our, ours
2d Pers. vester, vestra, vestrum your, yours
3d Pers. suus, sua, suum their (own), theirs

Note. Meus has the irregular vocative singular masculine , as mī fīlī, O my son.

a. The possessives agree with the name of the thing possessed in gender, number, and case. Compare the English and Latin in

Sextus is calling his boy Sextus suum puerum vocat
Julia is calling her boy Iūlia

Observe that suum agrees with puerum, and is unaffected by the gender of Sextus or Julia.

b. When your, yours, refers to one person, use tuus; when to more than one, vester; as,

Lesbia, your wreaths are pretty Corōnae tuae, Lesbia, sunt pulchrae
Girls, your wreaths are pretty Corōnae vestrae, puellae, sunt pulchrae

c. Suus is a reflexive possessive, that is, it usually stands in the predicate and regularly refers back to the subject. Thus, Vir suōs servōs vocat means The man calls his (own) slaves. Here his (suōs) refers to man (vir), and could not refer to any one else.

d. Possessives are used much less frequently than in English, being omitted whenever the meaning is clear without them. (Cf. §22. a.) This is especially true of suus, -a, -um, which, when inserted, is more or less emphatic, like our his own, her own, etc.


First learn the special vocabulary, p. 286.

1. Mārcus amīcō Sextō cōnsilium suum nūntiat.
2. Est cōpia frūmentī in agrīs nostrīs.
3. Amīcī meī bonam cēnam ancillae vestrae laudant.
4. Tua lōrīca, mī fīlī, est dūra.
5. Scūta nostra et tēla, mī amīce, in castrīs Rōmānīs sunt.
6. Suntne virī patriae tuae līberī? Sunt.
7. Ubi, Cornēlī, est tua galea pulchra?
8. Mea galea, Sexte, est in casā meā.
9. Pīlum longum est tuum, sed gladius est meus.
10. Iūlia gallīnās suās pulchrās amat et gallīnae dominam suam amant.
11. Nostra castra sunt vestra.
12. Est cōpia praedae in castrīs vestrīs.
13. Amīcī tuī miserīs et aegrīs cibum et pecūniam saepe dant.
1. Our teacher praises Mark's industry.
2. My son Sextus is carrying his booty to the Roman camp.[1]
3. Your good girls are giving aid to the sick and wretched.[2]
4. There are [3] frequent battles in our villages.
5. My son, where is the lieutenant's food?
6. The camp is mine, but the weapons are yours.

Latin for beginners (1911) 63.png




  1. Not the dative. Why?
  2. Here the adjectives sick and wretched are used like nouns.
  3. Where should sunt stand? Cf. I. 2 above.