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An Introduction to Latin Nouns

Nouns can be governed by 5 cases. But each case has its own ending. This page will cover the most common 1st and 2nd Declension nouns and their endings.

To recap, here is how you translate each case:

  • Nominative - Subject

  • Accusative - Object

  • Genitive - Of

  • Dative - To / For

  • Ablative - By / With / From

An Introduction to Latin Nouns: Resources

1st Declension Nouns:

1st Declension nouns are almost always feminine and quite possibly are the most common set of nouns found in Latin. For the purposes of this guide, we will be looking at ‘Terra’ meaning ‘Land’ as this is extremely common.

Singular:

  • Nominative - Terra

  • Accusative - Terram

  • Genitive - Terre

  • Dative - Terre

  • Ablative - Terra

Plural:

  • Nominative - Terre

  • Accusative - Terras

  • Genitive - Terrarum

  • Dative - Terris

  • Ablative - Terris

An Introduction to Latin Nouns: Text

2nd Declension Nouns:

2nd Declension Nouns have two genders: masculine and neuter. Like 1st Declension nouns, these noun endings are very popular. For this guide, we will be using the masculine noun ‘Dominus’ meaning ‘Lord’ and the neuter noun ‘Messuagium’ meaning ‘Messuage’ which is a type of medieval holding.

1. Masc. "Dominus" - The Lord

Singular:

  • Nominative - Dominus

  • Accusative - Dominum

  • Genitive - Domini

  • Dative - Domino

  • Ablative - Domino

Plural:

  • Nominative - Domini

  • Accusative - Dominos

  • Genitive - Dominorum

  • Dative - Dominis

  • Ablative - Dominis

2. Neuter. "Messuagium" - The Messuage

Singular:

  • Nominative - Messuagium

  • Accusative - Messuagium

  • Genitive - Messuagii

  • Dative - Messuagio

  • Ablative - Messuagio

Plural:

  • Nominative - Messuagia

  • Accusative - Messuagia

  • Genitive - Messuagiorum

  • Dative - Messuagiis

  • Ablative - Messuagiis

An Introduction to Latin Nouns: Text

Translation Questions:

Let’s examine some Latin sentences using everything we have covered.

For the purposes of focusing on nouns, all you need to understand is that verbs that end in ‘-t’ translate as He/She/It __, and verbs ending in ‘-nt’ translate as They __.


The most popular verbs are:

  • Dat/Dant meaning He/She/It Gives and They Give

  • Tenet/Tenent meaning He/She/It holds and They Hold


When translating the following sentences, be sure to look at the endings and refer to the tables above. Translate:

  1. Tenent domum

  2. Dat messuagium

  3. Dant acram

  4. Tenet terram


Answers:

  1. They hold a house

  2. He gives a messuage

  3. They give an acre

  4. He holds land


Here are some complex sentences that include dative and ablative endings:

  1. Tenet messuagium Roberto.

  2. Tenent acram domino.

  3. Dant unam denarium Philippo.

  4. Dat domum domino.


Answers:

1. He holds a messuage from Robert.

2. They hold an acre from the Lord.

3. They give one penny to the Philip.

4. He gives a house to the Lord.

An Introduction to Latin Nouns: Text
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