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Introduction Edit

SALVETE Edit

Welcome to the Latin course!

No articles Edit

There are no articles in Latin! The sentence "Ego vir sum." could mean "I am a man." but also "I am the man." However, don't forget to use the correct articles when translating into English!

Personal Pronouns Edit

Personal subject pronouns are used for emphasis and can be left out.

Example: Ego vir sum. = Vir sum

Latin English
ego I
tu you (sg)
is, ea* he, she
nos we
vos you (pl)
ii, eae* they
  • *Forms of the demonstrative pronoun is, ea, id

Word Order Edit

Latin is very flexible. The most common structure is SOV (subject - object - verb), especially in prose, but there are many other possibilities, depending on what you want to emphasize.

Gender Edit

Latin has three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. In this first skill you will only encounter masculine and feminine nouns.

First declension nouns are (generally) feminine nouns ending in -a in the nominative case. Examples are femina and puella.

Second declension nouns are (generally) masculine nouns ending in -us and (generally) neuter nouns ending in -um in the nominative case. Examples are the names Stephanus and Marcus. Vir and puer are masculine nouns that follow the second declension as well.

To Be Edit

In this skill you will learn the singular forms of the verb to be (esse, sum).

Latin English
sum I am
es you are
est he, she, it is

Pronunciation Edit

This course uses Classical Pronunciation. A few things worth noting:

  • V sounds like the English W
  • C always sounds like a K
  • G is always hard and never J
  • AE sounds like the English word "eye"

Cases Edit

Latin uses grammatical cases: words change when they get a different function in a sentence.

Nominative Edit

The nominative is the form of a noun you will find a dictionary. It is used for the subject of a sentences and for predicates following a form of "to be".

You can find a subject by asking the question "Who/What + verb?"

Example:

  • The man is sleeping. Who is sleeping? -> The man
  • I love you. Who loves you? -> I

The predicate is the second part of a sentence following the "X is Y" pattern.

Example:

  • I am a man. -> a man
  • These women are engineers. -> engineers
Declension Ending
1st -a
2nd (neut.) -us
2nd (neut.) -um

Translation of Names Edit

A little convention: we will not accept translations of names as alternatives in this course. Marcus's name is Marcus, not Mark, and Stephanus in not Stephen or Steven.

New Vocabulary Edit

Latin English Additional info (Declension, gender, etc.)
femina woman 1st, fem
vir man 2nd, masc
puer boy 2nd, masc
puella girl 1st, fem
pater father 3rd, masc
mater mother 3rd, fem
soror sister 3rd, fem
frater brother 3rd, masc
non not
et and
sed but
quis who?
dormit he, she sleeps
studet he, she studies
scribit he, she writes
in urbe in the city
domi at home

Greetings Edit

Salve(te)! Edit

In Latin, we use salve to greet someone. When you want to say hello to more than one person, you use salvete.

Ave and avete are more formal greetings.

Vocative Edit

Let's have a look at the following sentence.

Salvete, Stephane et Marce!

Stephanus and Marcus are being addressed in this case; you are saying "salvete" to Stephanus and Marcus. Most* masculine words ending in -us (2nd declension) will get the ending -e in this situation. Names ending in -a don't change. (Salve, Livia!)

This is the vocative case, used for people being addressed.

  • *Words ending in -ius, however, change to -i (not -e)

When translating vocatives to English, we keep the nominative/normal form.

Nomen mihi est Edit

This is the most common way to say "my name is". For now, we will not go too deep into the grammar of this construction, but it is a useful phrase to know. Remember that Latin has no strict word order.

Latin English
Nomen mihi est Marcus. My name is Marcus.
Tibi nomen est Livia. Your name is Livia.
Nomen ei Lucius est. His name is Lucius.
Nomen ei est Lesbia. Her name is Lesbia.

How are you? Edit

You will learn two ways to ask how someone is doing in this skill.

1) Quid + ago? -> Quid agis?

Literally, this means "What are you doing?"

Subject Verb
ego ago
tu agis
is, ea agit

2) Quomodo + se + habeo? -> Quomodo te habes?

Literally, this means "How do you have yourself/How do you feel?"

Subject Verb
ego habeo
tu habes
is, ea habet

Se is the reflexive pronoun. (-self in English)

Subject Pronoun Reflexive Pronoun English
ego me myself
tu te yourself
is, ea se himself/herself

Adverbs Edit

Bene (well) and male (badly) are adverbs. Adverbs are words that give more information about verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. In English these forms usually get -ly added, while in Latin adverbs of 1st and 2nd declension adjectives end in -e.

  • Bene dormio. - I sleep well. (and not "I sleep good.")

-ne Edit

You stick the suffix -ne to the first word of a sentence to indicate that it is a yes/no question. The -ne is not mandatory and can be omitted.

Latin English Potential answers
Estne Roma in Italia? Is Rome in Italy? (Yes, it is./No it is not.)
Roma in Italia est? Is Rome in Italy? (Yes, it is./No it is not.)

First conjugation (-are) Edit

Habitare/habito (to live somewhere, to reside) is a verb that follows the first conjugation. You can recognize these verbs by the -a- in the verb stem. (The -a- merges with the -o for the first person singular.)

Subject Habitare Amare (to love) Stare (to stand)
ego habito amo sto
tu habitas amas stas
is, ea habitat amat stat

New Vocabulary Edit

Latin English Additional Info
nomen name 3rd, neut.
Italia Italy 1st, fem.
Roma Rome 1st, fem.
Romae in Rome
habito I live, I reside (habitare, 1st conj)
me habeo I feel, I am doing (well/poorly/...) (se habere, 2nd conj.)
ago I do, I act (agere, 3rd conj.)
salve(te) hello
quid what
quomodo how
ubi where
bene well
male badly. poorly
ita yes, so
minime no, not at all
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