Latin/Relative and Indefinite Pronouns 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.

We are at an intermediate point in this course, where it becomes increasingly difficult to teach just one point at a time systematically. We’ll do our best to cover the basics of grammar, but if you spot areas that need more clarification, or a mistake, please note them on the talk page. This lesson we want to return to pronouns. We’ve studied them before:

New Grammar[edit]

Pronouns are tricky: we highly recommend review of the lessons above. This lesson will cover nominatives and accusatives of relative pronouns (and review interrogative pronouns and adjectives), and we hope to get to the other cases next time, and indefinite pronouns the lesson after that. A good summary of Latin relative and indefinite pronouns can be found here: relative pronouns.

It can be confusing because there are some pronouns that can be adjectives, and sometimes adjectives are used as pronouns. For now, there are two paradigms we need to know: qui/quae/quod is the relative pronoun, used in relative clauses. But we have seen it used as an interrogative adjective, and we’ll repeat a few sentences from the questions lesson to demonstrate that. And quis/quid is the interrogative pronoun, also used in the questions lesson, but it is the basis of some of the indefinite pronouns we will be learning. Both are declined in full at the Dickinson website linked above. You’ll note that they have the same forms in the plural, and there is some overlap in usage. We won’t be able to note every possible variant translation here, but feel free to ask if you aren’t sure. You’ll note that, whatever the case of the antecedent (the noun that the pronoun takes the place of), the relative pronoun has to have the case that is proper for its function in its own clause.

When teaching this concept in the classroom, teachers often spend a lot of time diagraming/parsing sentences on the board. It might help to take a sample sentence and mark it up similarly if you are confused:

Rosās puellae quae currit dedī. = I gave roses to the girl who is running.
Rosās | puellae | [quae | currit] | dedī.
rosās = acc. pl “roses” |
puellae = dat. s “to the girl” |
quae = nom. s. f. relative pronoun, antecedent is puellae, “(she) who” |
currit = 3rd s. pres., verb of relative clause, agrees with subject pronoun quae, “(she) runs” |
dedī = 1st s. perf., verb of main clause, “I gave”

As Latin sentences get longer, you may like to “clausify” them by putting brackets around each subordinate clause to distinguish it from the main clause, and then look for the antecedents of the relative pronouns. The antecedent is almost always right before the relative clause. At the least we encourage you to look for the subordinate relative clause and put mental brackets around it. We will try to highlight every subordinate clause in this lesson; we hope that helps.

Vocabulary[edit]

Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
quī, quae, quod who, which, whose, whom, what, that
relative pronoun/ interrogative adjective
quis, quid who, what
interrogative pronoun

New Sentences[edit]

Latin English Notes
Quis est? Who is it? (Who is he/she?)
Quis loquitur? Who is speaking?
Quī homō est? Which man is it (is he)?
Quae fēmina est? Which woman is it (she)?
Quid est? What is it?
Quid? (or even “Quid est quod?”) What?/ How?/ Why? and many other variations
Quod diārium est tuum? Which newspaper is yours?
Puer quī dormit frāter meus est. The boy who is sleeping is my brother.
Amīcum quī clavichordō bene canit habeō. I have a friend who plays the piano well.
Quī nōn est hodiē, crās minus aptus erit. He who is not ready today will be less so tomorrow.
Quī mē amat, amat et canem meum. He who loves me, loves my dog too.  
Rosās puellae quae currit dēdī. I gave roses to the girl who is running.
Puella quae currit est Paula. The girl who is running is Paula.
Opus quod mihi placet est difficile. The work that I like is difficult.
Quī estis? Who are you (pl.)?
Quī calceī tibi placent? Which shoes do you like?
Puerōs quī pugnabant vīdī. I saw the boys who were fighting.
Puellās quae clamabant audīvērunt. They heard the girls who were shouting.
Quae nocent saepe docent. The things that hurt often teach.
Bis vincit quī sē vincit in victoriā.   He conquers twice who conquers himself in the hour of victory. Publilius Syrus
Quem vīdisti? Whom did you see?
Ecce liber quem herī lēgī. Here is the book that I read yesterday.
Quam stolam amās? What dress do you like?
Puella quam vidēs soror mea est. The girl (whom) you see is my sister.
Mālum quod Mārcus edit malum erat. The apple that Marcus ate was bad.
Cum omnibus discipulīs quōs vīdī locūtus sum. I spoke with all the students whom I saw.  
Cum omnibus puellīs quās vīdī locūta sum. I spoke with all the girls whom I saw.
Omnia quae mihi dīxistī audīvī. I heard everything (all things) that you said to me.

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)

As always, we appreciate those of you who are following along with these lessons. Next we’ll look at the other three cases of relative pronouns. Bonam fortūnam!