Latin/Adjectives Lesson 1

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Welcome back to Latin for Wikiversity! If you’re just joining us and want to catch up, the links you will need on the right.

New Grammar

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This week we begin a unit on adjectives. Latin adjectives break down into two basic groups: those declined like nouns of the 1st and 2nd declensions; and those declined (more or less) like nouns of the third declension. It is important to remember the rule that an adjective must agree in case, number, and gender with the noun it modifies. I’ve already introduced several adjectives of the 1st/2nd declension variety; they are fairly easy to master because the endings are the same as the nouns of the first and second declension. This week we will focus just on this easier group. To see a complete declension, with masculine, feminine and neuter, here is a chart of the endings:

case masc. fem. neut. masc. pl fem. pl neut. pl
Declension endings for 1st/2nd declension adjectives
nom. us/er a um ī  ae a
gen. ī  ae ī  ōrum ārum ōrum
dat. ō  ae ō  īs īs īs
acc. um am um ōs ās a
abl. ō  ā ō  īs īs īs

For complete declensions and better formatting, see adjective declensions

Adjectives must agree with the noun they modify in case, number, and gender. Adjectives of quantity (how big? how many?) usually precede their nouns, while adjectives of quality (what kind of?) usually follow them... although this rule is bent a lot. (Sometimes in Latin poetry you’ll find an adjective a few lines removed from its noun, but I’ll try to keep our sentences less confusing.) Just be careful – 3rd declension nouns combined with these adjectives can be tricky, and so can those 1st declension masculine nouns.

Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
Adjectives (1st/2nd Declension)
acidus, a, um sour
altus, a, um high, tall, deep
bonus, a, um good
longus, a, um long
magnus, a, um large, great
malus, a, um bad
meus, a, um my, mine
miser, misera, miserum wretched, poor
multus, a, um much, many
noster, nostra, nostrum our, ours
parvus, a, um small
pulcher, pulchra, pulchrum beautiful, handsome
Rōmānus, a, um Roman
salsus, a, um salty, salted
tuus, a, um your, yours (of one person)
ūnus, a, um one in s. only gen. ūnīus, dat. ūnī
vegetariānus, a, um vegetarian
vester, vestra, vestrum your, yours of more than one person

Yes, these above are all review from past lessons!

New vocabulary

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And here are a few new adjectives following:

Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
New vocabulary: more adjectives (1st/2nd Declension)
antīquus, a, um ancient, old Not of a person if you want to be polite!
benignus, a, um kind
calidus, a, um hot, warm
frīgidus, a, um cold, cool
līber, lībera, līberum free  
novus, a, um new

New Sentences

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Latin English Notes
Rōma est urbs magna et antīqua. Rome is a great and ancient city.
Parvī puerī māla acida edunt. The little boys eat sour apples.
Mālum nōn est malum. The apple is not bad.
Lūcia benigna theam calidam agricolae frīgidō dat. Kind Lucia gives hot tea to the cold farmer.
Homō miser mulierem pulchram in magnā sīlvā videt. The poor man sees a beautiful woman in the big forest.
Oppidum antīquum est pulchrum. The old town is beautiful.
Amīcus meus sorōrem tuam amat. My friend loves your sister.
Anas nostra fēlem vestram nōn amat. Our duck does not like your cat.
Līberī virōrum lībērōrum longōs librōs legunt. The children of the free men read long books. Līberī came to mean children as “free-born” rather than slaves; liber, libri is a different word meaning book
Est leō novus in vīvāriō. There is a new lion at the zoo.
Est leō in vīvāriō novō. There is a lion at the new zoo.
Multum lac nōn habeō. I do not have much/ a lot of milk.
Gāius nōn est vegetariānus, sed nōn multam carnem edit. Gaius is not a vegetarian, but he does not eat much meat.
Mārcus multōs nepōtēs habet. Marcus has many grandchildren.
Altī frātrēs jūs salsum et calidum in culīnā nostrā edunt. The tall brothers eat the salty and hot soup in our kitchen.
Medicus benignus prō bonō labōrat. The kind doctor works for free/ for the good of humanity/ donates his work/ performs charity work. pro bono literally means “for the good” and is used this way in English.


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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)

Next time, we’ll learn the declension for 3rd declension adjectives. Bonam fortūnam!