Latin/Demonstratives Lesson 1

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Salvēte omnēs! Welcome back to Latin for Wikiversity. Here you can peruse a new lesson in Latin, in a simple format. If you would like to catch up, you can find a directory of lessons, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses at the links on the right.

New grammar

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If you want to skip the grammar, please feel free to jump to the sentences below and try them out.

This time, we’ll cover the basics of demonstrative pronouns/adjectives. Words like “this, these, that, those” can be used either as pronouns standing alone, or as adjectives modifying a noun. This might be a good time to review the lessons on pronouns from several months ago, specifically the lesson on

Grammarians will talk about the “near demonstrative” (this/these) and the “far demonstrative” (that/those). Latin has one form for the near demonstrative, hic / haec / hoc and for the far demonstrative, either is/ea/id or ille/illa/illud is used. Since is / ea/ id is more commonly used as the plain 3rd person pronoun, ille / illa / illud is the one most commonly used to point out “that” or “those”, and is a little more emphatic.

But in practical terms, they are used interchangeably both as personal pronouns and demonstratives, and it is important to be able to recognize them. To make things easier to remember, you might say that the declension of hic / haec / hoc sounds a little like an aggressive goose, that comes near you and hisses and honks at you: this goose / these geese are a little too close for comfort. ille / illa / illud makes a sound like a shy little bird over there, trilling away in the forest: that tweeting bird/those tweeting birds are shy and don’t come too close. It’s silly but it may help. (And you’ll be used to bird analogies by the time we get to the quacking relative pronouns).

Latin English Notes
Demonstrative Pronouns/Adjectives
hic, haec, hoc this hic (this) is different from hīc (here)
is, ea, id he, she, it, (that) Most commonly used as a personal pronoun, it may also be used to mean “that/those” in a slightly less emphatic way
ille, illa, illud (he, she, it), that ost commonly used to mean “that/those”, it may also be used as a personal pronoun

A table listing of all the pronoun forms can be found here. In this lesson, we’ll work on nominative and accusative forms, and save genitive, dative, and ablative for next lesson.

Nominative Accusative Gender Number English
hic hunc Masc Sing. this
haec hanc Fem Sing. this
hoc hoc Neut Sing. this
hōs Masc Pl these
hae hās Fem Pl these
haec haec Neut Pl these
ille illum Masc Sing that
illa illam Fem Sing that
illud illud Neut Sing that
illī illōs Masc Pl those
illae illās Fem Pl those
illa illa Neut Pl those

Note the forms that may be easy to confuse: hic (nom. s. m.) is the same as the adverb hic meaning “here;” haec is use for both nom. s. f. and nom./acc. pl. n.; hoc is both nom. and acc. s. n. and (to be introduced in a later lesson) abl. s. m. and n.; illa is both nom. s. f. and nom./acc. pl. n. (and in a later lesson illā is abl. s. f.); illud is both nom. and acc. s. n. Note that I have also included in parentheses some forms of is / ea / id as alternatives for ille / illa / illud – it would be tedious to do this for every sentence, but they are often used interchangeably.

New Sentences

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Latin English Notes
Hic est pater meus. This is my father.
Hic vir hīc labōrat. This man works here.
Haec est māter mea. This is my mother.
Haec quaestiō difficilis est. This question is difficult.
Haec puella hīc habitat. This girl lives here.
Hoc est mālum rubrum. This is a red apple.
Hoc lac hīc manet. This milk stays here.
Hoc emō. I am buying this.
Ille nōn labōrat. That man (he) is not working.
Ille puer flet, sed hic rīdet. That boy is crying, but this one is laughing.
Illa puella currit. That girl is running.
Illa (ea) currit. She is running.
Illud (id) flūmen est longum. That river is long.
Placetne tibi illud? Do you like that one (lit. Does that one please you?)
Illud caeruleum volō. I want that blue one.
Hī calceī novī sunt. These shoes are new.
Cūr hī nōn labōrant? Why are these men not working?
Hae puellae sunt sorōrēs nostrae. These girls are our sisters.
Haec tua sunt. These (things) are yours.
Haec mantēlia Paulae sunt. These towels are Paula’s.
Haec volumus. We want these ones.
Illī (eī) fortiter pugnant. They/those men fight bravely.
Illae (eae) avēs pulchrae sunt. Those birds are beautiful.
Illa (ea) bona sunt. Those (things) are good.
Illum (eum) videō. I see that man/ him.
Lūcia illōs (eōs) librōs nōn legit. Lucia does not read those books.
Lūcia illōs (eōs) videt. Lucia sees them (those men/those masculine things).
Emisne hanc stolam? Are you buying this dress?
Vēnditisne hās stolās? Are you (pl.) selling these dresses?
Illam puellam amō. I love that girl.
Mārcus illās fēminās cognōvit. Marcus knows those women.
Hoc verbum nōn intellegō. I do not understand this word.
Illud diārium legunt. They read that newspaper.
Haec verba legō. I read these words.
Illa verba nesciō. I do not know those words.
post hoc, ergō propter hoc after this, therefore because of this
Winnie Ille Pū Winnie the Pooh
Hobbitus Ille The Hobbit


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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)

Once again, I’ve enjoyed preparing this lesson for you and hope you find it helpful. Please let us know of any errors you find on the talk page. Our next lesson will cover the three other cases of demonstratives (genitive, dative, ablative) that were not used here. Until then, valēte!