Introduction to Latin/Second Declension Nouns and Adjectives

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Second Declension[edit]

Like the 1st Declension, the 2nd Declension consists of 'stem + ending'. However, the 2nd Declension has different endings and a different stem. The genders of the 2nd Declension are masculine and neuter (not feminine).

Generally, the nominative singular of masculine 2nd Declension nouns ends in either -us, -er, or -ir; the neuter nominative singular ends in -um.

So let's go ahead and learn the 2nd Declension.

2nd Declension Masculine Endings[edit]

Case Singular Plural
Nominative -us/er -i
Genitive -i -orum
Dative -o -is
Accusative -um -os
Ablative -o -is
Vocative -e/er -i

Notes: 1) for nouns ending in '-er' or '-ir', the vocative singular is the same as the nominative; 2) the stem of each noun is attained from the genitive singular form (just like in the 1st Declension):

2nd Declension Neuter Endings[edit]

Case Singular Plural
Nominative -um -a
Genitive -i -orum
Dative -o -is
Accusative -um -a
Ablative -is
Vocative -um -a

Notes: 1) In all neuter nouns (not just 2nd Declension; neuter nouns in other declensions will be encountered later on in this course), the nominative and accusative have the same form in both numbers; 2) Notice that the vocative in both numbers has the same form as the nominative.

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE BRITISH SYSTEM GOES LIKE THIS- NOM. ACC. GEN. DAT. ABL.

Declining Some Nouns[edit]

Now that we know the appropriate endings, we can decline any 2nd Declension noun, right?

Let's give it a try:

Hortus, horti (m.) - garden

  • Stem = hort- which we can see from the genitive singular in the dictionary entry


Case Singular Plural
Nominative hortus horti
Genitive horti hortorum
Dative horto hortis
Accusative hortum hortos
Ablative hortō hortis
Vocative horte horti

Now let's try this noun:

puer, pueri (m.) - boy

Case Singular Plural
Nominative puer pueri
Genitive pueri puerorum
Dative puero pueris
Accusative puerum pueros
Ablative puerō pueris
Vocative puer pueri