Latin/First Declension

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Latin nouns are divided into five declensions, plus irregulars. Most first declension nouns are of the feminine gender. Our example word will be: Puella, puellae, f. girl. The first declension endings are as follows in the singular:

Case Example Ending
Nominative Puella -a
Genitive Puellae -ae
Dative Puellae -ae
Accusative Puellam -am
Ablative Puellā

Here is the plural:

Case Example Ending
Nominative Puellae -ae
Genitive Puellarum -ārum
Dative Puellis -īs
Accusative Puellas -ās
Ablative Puellis -īs

Common First Declension Words[edit | edit source]

First declension nouns are fairly common in Latin, and are essential to learn. To assist with this, here are a few simple nouns in the first declension that will help you in your studies. Note that the order of the forms used for the example nouns are as follows: Nominative, Genitive, Gender. Translation. (Puella, Puellae, f. Girl) You will see this convention used in Latin dictionaries and elsewhere in the Wikiversity Latin section. Sometimes, instead of the full genitive form, only the ending will be given, as in "Puella, -ae, f. girl." In the vocabulary sections, English words derived from the latin will be provided where available.

Here are some common nouns of the first declension:

  • agricola, agricolae, m. farmer. (Agriculture)
  • aqua, aquae, f. water. (Aquarium)
  • femina, feminae, f. woman (Feminine)
  • insula, insulae, f. island. (Insular)
  • ira, irae, f. anger. (Irate)
  • nauta, nautae, m. sailor. (Nautical)
  • puella, puellae, f. girl.
  • silva, silvae, f. forest. (Sylvan)
  • via, viae, f. road, way

Peculiarities[edit | edit source]

Most first declension nouns are feminine. But a few first declension nouns are masculine. This is very unusual, and you can easily remember these nouns using the acronym P.A.I.N. :

  • Poeta, poetae, m. poet; pirata, piratae, m., pirate
  • Agricola, agricolae, m. farmer
  • Incola, incolae, m. inhabitant
  • Nauta, nautae, m. sailor

While noun gender does not affect declension, it does affect the endings of adjectives applied to the noun.

See also[edit | edit source]