Latin/1st Declension Lesson 3

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Salvēte omnēs!

Welcome back to the weekly installment of Latin. Many people keep expressing a desire to learn Latin; here is a series of lessons we hope you will find helpful – see these links for previous information:

New Grammar[edit]

This week, we continue with 1st declension nouns, and we will add the genitive case. You may already have noticed that nouns are listed with the genitive singular (or at least its ending) given as the second part of the listing: terra, ae. All 5 declensions are listed in this way, and the genitive singular form is the marker to help you classify which declension it belongs to. Thus, if you see a noun and its genitive singular ends in “ae,” you know it is in the 1st declension. (There are a few 1st declension nouns that are only used in the plural, so their marker is the genitive plural ending, arum: litterae, litterarum).

Genitive is used to show possession, and in general for modifying uses that would take an “of” phrase in English. In effect, it turns the noun into a possessive noun/adjective. Note that sometimes there is already a possessive adjective that will be used in the same case as its noun, e.g., pecūnia mea, my money. But for expressions that would either require an apostrophe or an of, we use the genitive, e.g., pecūnia puellae, the girl’s money. As always in Latin, the word order is flexible, but the genitive usually comes after the noun it modifies. We will now add it to the case table:

case name sing. pl. typical use
nominative -a -ae subject or predicate noun
genitive -ae -ārum possession, the “of” case
accusative -am   -ās direct object (also some objects of preps.)
ablative -ā   -īs objects of prepositions, etc.,“in/by/with/from” case

One other thing to note: the gen. s. of the 1st declension is the same as the nom. pl., and their meanings have to be determined by context. I have tried to give some sentences that will give practice to sort out this potential confusion. (It will get worse for a while before it gets better, as we add case endings for different declensions… fair warning!)

New Vocabulary[edit]

Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
avia, ae grandmother
fīlia, ae daughter
lingua, ae language
lingua Latina, the Latin language, Latin
memoria, ae memory
tuus, a, um your, yours (of one person)
vester, vestra, vestrum your, yours of more than one person

New Sentences[edit]

Latin English Notes
Vīlla nautae in Britanniā est. The sailor’s house is in Britain.
Vīlla puellārum magna est. The girls’ house is big/ The house of the girls is big.
Viae Americae longae sunt. The roads of America are long.
Culīna Paulae est parva. Paula’s kitchen is small.
Mārcus fīliam pulchram habet. Marcus has a beautiful daughter.
Lūcia et Gāius epistulam agricolae legunt. Lucia and Gaius read the farmer’s letter.
Puerī cēnam puellārum edunt. The boys eat the girls’ dinner.
Est mea pecūnia! It is my money!
Est pecūnia Lūciae! It is Lucia’s money!
Parva puella est fīlia Lūciae. The small girl is Lucia’s daughter.
Fīliae agricolae parvae sunt. The farmer’s daughters are small.
Puellae cum fīliā nautae ambulant. The girls walk with the sailor’s daughter.
Memoria tua est bona. Your memory is good.
Memoria agricolae bona est. The farmer’s memory is good.
Fīlia fēminae valet. The woman’s daughter is well.
Valetne fīlia tua? Is your daughter well?
Nautae multās terrās Eurōpae vident. The sailors see many lands of Europe.
Vīllae vestrae sunt in Americā. Your houses are in America.
Vīllae fēminārum sunt in Asiā. The women’s houses (houses of the women) are in Asia.
Fēmina cum aviā Paulae labōrat. The woman works with Paula’s grandmother.
Mārcus cum aviā Paulae, Lūciā, labōrat. Marcus works with Paula’s grandmother, Lucia./ with Lucia, the grandmother of Paula.
Memoria mea linguae Latinae nōn est bona! My memory of Latin is not good!

Practice[edit]

Practice and learn the words and phrases in this lesson
Step one First learn the words using this lesson:
Step two Next try learning and writing the sentencing using this:
Note that the Memrise stage covers the content for all lessons in each stage.
If you are skipping previous stages you may need to manually "ignore" the words in previous levels (use the 'select all' function)

Until next time, then, we hope this last sentence is not true... Utinam bonās memoriās linguae Latinae habeātis! May you all have good memories of Latin!