Latin/Relative and Indefinite Pronouns Lesson 2

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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.

In the last lesson we began the complex process of making sense out of relative pronouns, which are used in relative clauses. A good site for learning the forms of the pronouns is here: relative pronouns. We started with relative pronouns (and review of interrogative pronouns and adjectives) in the nominative and accusative cases. This lesson, we’ll work on the genitive, dative, and ablative cases.

In relative clauses, the relative pronoun refers to a previously expressed antecedent. The gender and number of the pronoun must agree with the antecedent, but the case of the relative pronoun depends on how it is used within its own clause; for example:

Puellās quārum pater herī mortuus est videō. = I see the girls whose father died yesterday.
Puellās = acc. pl. fem, this is the direct object of the main clause and the antecedent of quārum. Quārum = gen. pl. fem., agreeing with its antecedent in gender and number, but because it expresses possession it is genitive in the relative clause.

As we did in the last lesson, we will highlight the relative clauses in the sentences so you can study them. If you are confused, it may help to make a stand-alone sentence out of the relative clause by substituting the antecedent in its proper usage: “The girls’ father (father of the girls) died yesterday.” To translate into Latin, you would need the gen. pl.: puellārum and this is your clue to find the proper pronoun form.

Notes: we are using the medieval invention, the letter j, when the Latin uses the letter i in a consonantal way (e.g., cujus/cuius). It helps at least some of us. But if you prefer not to use the letter j, we will try to give the i version as an alternative in the Memrise course. We realize it is probably the more common usage, worldwide.

New Sentences[edit | edit source]

Latin English Notes
Cujus liber est? Whose book is it/that/this?
Cujus calceī sunt? Whose shoes are these?
Mārcus, cujus soror est Lūcia, in hōc aedificiō labōrat. Marcus, whose sister is Lucia, works in this building.
Gladiōs hominibus quōrum urbs in perīculō est dedimus. We gave swords to the men whose city is in danger.
Puellās quārum pater herī mortuus est videō. I see the girls whose father died yesterday.
Cui bonō? Who benefits?   Lit, For whom the good? cui bonō esse?
Puer cui nōmen est Gaius celeriter currit. The boy whose name (for whom the name) is Gaius runs fast.
Homō cui pecūniam dedī tunicam rubram gerēbat. The man to whom I gave money was wearing a red shirt.
Quibus rosās dās? To whom do you give roses?
Fēminae quibus rosās dō sunt magistrae meae. The women to whom I give roses are my teachers.
Quō Paula abīit? Where did Paula go? This uses quō as the interrogative adverb meaning “where to?”
Dē quō loqueris? What are you talking about/ about what are you speaking?/ (or) About whom are you speaking? Here quō is the abl. s. n.(or m.) of the interrogative pronoun.
Culter quō ūtor est tuus. The knife that I am using is yours. Utor takes an object in the ablative; so quo is the abl. s. m. of the relative pronoun.
Quōcum (quibuscum) loquuntur? With whom are they speaking?
Quā horā ībit? At what hour/time will he go?
Urbs in quā Mārcus habitat est Rōma. The city in which Marcus lives is Rome.
Līberī quibuscum lūdēbam sunt amīcī meī. The children I was playing with (with whom I was playing) are my friends.
Some “real world” notable sentences using relative pronouns
Cujus regiō, ejus religiō. Whose region, his religion. The religion of the ruler dictates the religion of the people; from the Peace of Augsburg in 1555, this principle was used to give the prince of each region the authority to decide between Lutheran or Roman Catholic for his and his subjects’ religion.
Gallia est omnia dīvīsa in partēs tres, [quārum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitānī, tertiam [quī ipsōrum linguā Celtae, nostrā Gallī, appellantur.]] All Gaul is divided into three parts, of which the Belgae inhabit one, the Aquitani another, and those who in their own language are called Celts, in ours, Gauls, the third. This is the famous first line of Julius Caesar’s dē Bellō Gallicō.

Practice[edit | edit source]

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 lesson will deal with some of the tricky indefinite pronouns. Valēte!