Latin/Personal Pronouns Lesson 1
Welcome to all Latin learners! If you’re just joining us and want to catch up, the links you’ll need are on the right.
This lesson, we will begin the complex process of learning Latin pronouns (Latin prōnōmina, literally, “in the place of nouns”). Now, we actually learned the nominatives of the personal pronouns, way back in the Basics lessons. To review:
We did not learn the three forms of they: eī (they masculine), eae (they feminine), ea (they neuter). But we’ll put them off for a few more lessons.
These forms are used as subject pronouns, but are not required in Latin, unlike most modern European languages, even if there is no expressed subject. This is because the verb contains a personal ending, making a subject pronoun unnecessary. Thus you can say Ego videō or just Videō, and both expressions mean “I see.” In Latin a subject pronoun is rarely expressed except for emphasis or to avoid confusion.
This lesson, we’ll learn the 4 other cases besides the nominative, but just for the first person pronouns ego and nōs. First person is the grammatical term for the person(s) speaking. Pronouns may not be used consistently in the nominative case, but they are used quite a bit in the various objective cases, particularly in conversational Latin. It’s a little like learning a unique declension of a noun, and for the overview on the case uses, I refer you back to the lessons on the 1st 3 declensions of nouns.
Although there is a genitive form for 1st person pronouns, more commonly the possessive adjective
- meus, mea, meum (my/mine) or
- noster, nostra, nostrum (our/ours) is used.
We’ve already used these forms quite a bit, and they follow the rules for 1st/2nd declension adjectives.
Any of the objective cases of the 1st person pronouns can be used reflexively, that is, referring to the subject. In this usage, it will be translated “myself” or “ourselves.” And when the preposition “cum” is used with a personal pronoun, the usual order is reversed and it is contracted into one word, e.g., “mēcum” (not cum mē) = with me.
|case name||singular||plural||typical use||notes|
|nominative||ego = I||nōs = we||subject|
|genitive||meī = of me||nostrī/nostrum = of us||possession, “of” phrases|
|dative||mihi = (to/for) me||nōbīs = (to/for) us||indirect object, the “to/for” case|
|accusative||mē = me||nōs = us||direct object (also some objects of preps.)|
|ablative||mē = (by/with/from) me||nōbīs = (by/with/from) us||objects of prepositions, etc.|
|speculum, ī||mirror||2nd declension neuter noun|
|prō (prep. w. abl.)||on behalf of, for, before, in front of, in place of|
|medius, media, medium||middle, midst|
|meus, mea, meum||my, mine||usually used instead of meī|
|noster, nostra, nostrum||our, ours||usually used instead of nostrī/nostrum|
|(Tū) mē vidēs.||You see me.|
|(Ea) nōs videt.||She sees us.|
|Māter mē ad cenam vocat.||Mom calls me to dinner.|
|Nōmen mihi est ...||My name is/ The name for me is ...|
|Nōmen (praenōmen) meum est...||My (first) name is ...|
|(Vōs) pecūniam nōbīs datis.||You give us money.|
|Agricolae hortum prō nōbīs faciunt.||The farmers make a garden for us.|
|Lūcia mālum mihi dat.||Lucia gives me an apple.|
|Liber est meus.||The book is mine.|
|Victōria est nostra!||The victory is ours!|
|Tū pars meī es.||You are a part of me.||Note use of genitive pronoun|
|Prō mē labōrat.||He works for me.|
|Prō patre meō labōrat.||He works for my father.|
|Vīta nostra||our lives||Note singular form used collectively in Latin, but in English the plural is needed|
|Vīta omnium nostrum||The lives of all of us/ all our lives||Note use of genitive pronoun|
|(Ego) in speculō mē videō.||I see myself in the mirror.|
|(Nōs) nōs in speculō vidēmus||We see ourselves in the mirror.|
|(Nōs) inter nōs pugnāmus.||We fight among ourselves.|
|Avia crūstulum mihi dat.||Grandma gives me a cookie.|
|(Ego) crūstulum mihi dō.||I give myself a cookie.|
|Sunt hostēs in mediō nostrī.||There are enemies in the midst of us/ in our midst.|
|Mārcus et Paula mēcum veniunt.||Marcus and Paula come with me.|
|Prō nōbīs labōrant.||They are working for us.|
|Puer nōbīscum ad lūdum ambulat.||The boy walks with us to school.|
|Nōn nōbīs solum nātī sumus (Cicero)||We were not born for ourselves alone.|
|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 look at 2nd person pronouns. Until then, valēte!