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An Introduction to Latin Adjectives

When an adjective follows a noun, they must agree in the following ways:

1. Number – Singular or Plural

2. Gender – Masculine, Feminine, or Neuter

3. Case – Nominative, Accusative, Genitive, etc.

Adjectives have declensions just like nouns, and this page follows the 1st and 2nd Declension.


All adjectives have a masculine, feminine, and neuter form. The choice on which form to use will depend on the noun it follows, but essentially 1st and 2nd Declension adjectives will follow 1st and 2nd Declension noun endings respectively. An extremely common adjective used in Medieval Latin is ‘Predictus’ which means ‘the aforesaid’.


If the associated noun is a 2nd Declension noun and Masculine, then Predictus will also follow the 2nd Declension endings.

  • (Nom.) Predictus Dominus – The aforesaid lord

  • (Acc.) Predictum Dominum

  • (Gen.) Pridicti Domini

  • (Dat.) Predicto Domino

  • (Abl.) Predicto Domino

If, however, the associated noun is feminine and 1st Declension, Predictus will follow 1st Declension endings.

  • (Nom.) Predicta Via – The aforesaid road

  • (Acc.) Predictam Viam

  • (Gen.) Pridicte Vie

  • (Dat.) Predicte Vie

  • (Abl.) Predicta Via

Latin Adjectives: Resources

You may notice that for 1st and 2nd declension nouns, the adjective merely copies the same ending. This is a nice shortcut to see which noun the adjective is connected to.


Whilst this does work for 1st and 2nd declension nouns, it falls short on 3rd and 4th declension nouns.


The reason for this is because 3rd declension nouns are irregular, and 4th declension nouns have their own set of endings. In these cases, you always follow the gender. 3rd and 4th declension nouns can be either masculine or feminine. If masculine, Predictus follows the 2nd declension endings, if feminine then Predictus follows the 1 st Declension endings.

Latin Adjectives: Text

Practice Questions

As an exercise to grasp case endings, with the following sentences, give the correct form of Predictus for each noun:

1. Elizabetha concedit terras.

2. Lucia filia Johannis tenet messuagium.

3. Robertus dat tres acras Domino.

4. Fratres tenant domum de filiabus Thome.


Answers:

1. Predicta Elizabetha concedit predictas terras.

2. Predicta Lucia filia predicti Johannis tenet predictum messuagium.

3. Predictus Robertus dat predictas tres acras predicto domino.

4. Predicti fratres tenant predictam domum de predictis filiabus Thome.


In terms of charter terminology, Predictus is by far the most common, but there are other words frequently found in Medieval Latin charters that translate and follow nouns in the same way, namely Supradictus and Supernominatus which both mean ‘the abovementioned’, and Suprascriptus which means ‘the abovewritten’.

Latin Adjectives: Text
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