Latin/Personal Pronouns Lesson 1

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Salvēte omnēs!

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.

New grammar[edit]

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:

Personal pronouns already covered
Latin English Audio (Classical)
ego I
you s.
is he
ea she
id it
nōs we
vōs you pl.

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
Personal pronouns
nominative ego = I nōs = we subject
genitive meī = of me nostrī/nostrum = of us possession, “of” phrases  

instead of genitive pronouns, often the possessive adjectives meus, a, um or noster, nostra, nostrum are used

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.

New Vocabulary[edit]

Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
speculum, ī  mirror   2nd declension neuter noun
prō (prep. w. abl.) on behalf of, for, before, in front of, in place of
ego, meī I
nōs, nostrī/nostrum we
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

New Sentences[edit]

Latin English Notes
(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[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)

Next time we’ll look at 2nd person pronouns. Until then, valēte!