Latin/1st Declension Lesson 4

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New Grammar[edit]

This week we are ready to introduce the dative case for 1st declension nouns (and adjectives). There are 5 cases in common use in Latin, and now we will know all 5, but just for this declension – there are still 4 more declensions to learn!

The dative case is used for indirect objects, and for the objects of a few specific verbs. This is a complicated concept for some English speakers, so take a look at this sentence:

“The boy gives the girl a gift.”

(It could also be expressed with the same meaning using a prepositional phrase, “The boy gives a gift to the girl”, but in Latin there is no distinction). In this sentence, “the girl” is the indirect object, “a gift” is the direct object.

The indirect object receives whatever is named in the direct object, and must be put in the dative case in Latin. Often the dative case is remembered as the case expressing “to/for”, but you need to be careful. It is NOT the case that we use to say “We go to Rome” or “I am voting for you.” If you remember that “dative” comes from the Latin word for “give” it may help.

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

Since the easiest use of the dative case is with the verb “to give,” let’s learn its conjugation in present tense:

I give
dās you give
dat he, she, it gives
damus we give
datis you (pl.) give
dant they give

New Vocabulary[edit]

Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
, dare, dedī, datum give
arca, ae box, chest
corōna, ae crown
gemma, ae jewel, gem
magistra, ae teacher (female)
nauta, ae (m.) sailor
poēta, ae poet (usually masculine)
rēgīna, ae queen
rosa, ae rose
schola, ae school

New Sentences[edit]

Latin English Notes
Puer puellae rosam dat. The boy gives a rose to the girl/ The boy gives the girl a rose.
Puer puellae rosās dat. The boy gives roses to the girl.
Mālum magistrae dās. You give the teacher an apple.
Māla magistrīs dās. You give apples to the teachers.
Magistrīs nōn multam pecūniam datis. You do not give much money to the teachers.
Paula arcam nautae dat. Paula gives the sailor a box.
Est gemma in arcā. There is a jewel in the box.
Sunt gemmae in arcā. There are jewels in the box.
Nauta gemmam puellae dat. The sailor gives a jewel to the girl.
Nauta gemmās puellīs dat. The sailor gives jewels to the girls.
Lūcia agricolae pecūniam nōn dat. Lucia does not give money to the farmer.
Nautae fēminīs rosās dant. The sailors give the women roses.
Nauta fēminae rosās dat. The sailor gives the woman roses.
Aviae et puellae pecūniam damus. We give money to the grandmother and the girl. here aviae and puellae are both in the dative case, a compound indirect object.
Aviae puellae pecūniam damus. We give money to the girl’s grandmother. both aviae and puellae have the same ending, but the first is dative and the second is genitive; they are not performing the same function in the sentence! The only sure way to determine this is context but remember that the genitive usually follows the noun it is modifying.
Puellīs parvīs rosās dō. I give roses to the little girls.
Rēgīnae corōnam dat. He gives a crown to the queen.
Rēgīna et puellae poētae corōnam dant. The queen and the girls give a crown to the poet. here puellae is nom. pl., part of a compound subject, poētae is dat. s.
Puellae et nautae poētae corōnam rēgīnae dant. The girls and the sailors give the queen’s crown to the poet. puellae and nautae are both nom. pl., poētae is dat. s., corōnam acc.s., and rēgīnae is gen. s.

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)

This will be our last lesson specifically dealing with the 1st declension for now. Next time we’ll start exploring the 2nd declension, home of masculine and neuter nouns. We’ll go slowly through it just like we did through the 1st. We hope you all are enjoying these Latin lessons as much as we enjoy writing them!