Latin Grammar I, Lesson 05. Various Classes of Adjectives

This is a translation of chapter 5 of Book I of the Latin Grammar of Rev. Emmanuel Alvarez, S.J., by William C. Michael

In the last lesson, we learned that Nouns can be divided into Substantives and Adjectives. In this lesson, we look at the different classes of Adjective nouns. This is a long and important lesson that you should study carefully and use as a reference.

1. Interrogativum nomen est quo de re aliqua quaerimus, ut Quis? Uter? Quantus?, etc..

An Interrogative Noun is that by which we ask about some other things, as “Who?”, “Which?”, “How much?”, etc.

2. lnterrogativum substantiae est cui respondemus per nomen substantivum vel per pronomen demonstrativum, ut quis, quae, quod; uter, utra, utrum. Quis hic loquitur? Davus. Ille.

An Interrogative of Substance is that to which we respond by a substantive noun or by a demonstrative pronoun, as qui, quae, quod; uter, utra, utrum. Who here speaks? David speaks. He speaks.

3a. lnterrogativum accidentis est cui respondemus per nomen adjectivum, ut Quantus?, Qualis?, Quot?, Quotus?, Cujus?, Cujas?, ut Qualis fuit Hector? Hector fuit fortis, magnanimus.

An Interrogative Adjective of Accident is that to which we respond by an adjective noun, as Quantus? Qualis? Quot? Quotus? Cujus? Cujas?, as “What kind (of man) was Hector? Hector was (a) strong (man). Hector was (a) courageous (man).

3b. lnterrogativis accidentis sic respondemus:

To Interrogative Adjectives of Accident we respond as follows:

  • Quantus? magnus, parvus, longus, brevis, etc.
    How much? great, small, long, short, etc.
  • Qualis? bonus, malus, doctus, imperitus, etc.
    What kind? good, evil, learned, ignorant, etc.
  • Quot? unus, duo, tres, etc.
    How many? one, two, three, etc.
  • Quotus? primus, secundus, tertius, etc.
    In what order? first, second, third, etc.
  • Quoteni? singuli, bini, etc.
    How many at a time? one at a time, two at a time, etc.
  • Quotuplus? simplus, duplus, etc.
    How many times as much? once, twice, etc.
  • Quotuplex? simplex, duplex, etc.
    How many times? single, double, etc.
  • Quotennis? anniculus, bimus vel biennis, trimus vel triennis. etc.
    How often? annual, every two years, every three years, etc.
  • Cuja vestis? mea, tua, etc. vel Caesaris, Laelii, etc.
    Whose clothing? mine, yours, etc. or Caesar’s, Laelius’s, etc.
  • Cujas es? Italus, Romanus, Stoicus.
    Whose are you? Italian, Roman, Stoic.

3c. Quoteni, quotuplus, quotuplex, et quotennis silentio involvimus, quia non sunt in usu. Sic fere cujus, cuja, cujum, pro quo libentius accipies provocabuli quis gignendi casum cujus; quanquam et Virgil dixit Cujum pecus? et Cicero, Cuja res sit, cujum periculum.

3c. Quoteni, quotuplus, quotuplex and quotennis we shall cover in silence, because they are not in use. So in general cujus, cuja, cujum for which more freely you shall accept of the pronoun quis, the genitive case cujus; nevertheless, also Vergil has said, “Whose cattle?” and Cicero, “Whose property it is, is his whose risk it is.”

4. Relativum est quod nomen antecedens in memoriam reducit: id duplex est, substantiae et accidentis.

4. A Relative adjective is that reduces an antecedent noun to memory: it is twofold: Relative of Substance, and of Accident.

5. Relativum substantiae est quod nomen substantivum in memoriam reducit, ut qui, quae, quod. Legi Ciceronem, qui fuit eloquentissimus Romanorum.

5. A Relative of Substance is that which reduces a substantive noun to memory, as qui, quae, quod. “I have read Cicero, who was the most eloquent of the Romans.”

6. Relativum accidentis est quod in memoriam revocat nomen adjectivum, ut qualis, quantus, quot. Cicero fuit eloquens, qualis fuit Hortensius.

6. A Relative of Accident is that which reduces to memory an adjective noun, as qualis, quantus, quot. “Cicero was eloquent, as was Hortensius.”

7. Reddita sunt tantus, talis, tot, totidem, quae relativis quantus, qualis, quot ante vel post redduntur, ut Quales in republica principes sunt, tales reliqui solent esse cives; cura, ut talis sis, qualis haberi cupis. Quot homines, tot sententiae. Totidem ad te epistolas dedi, quot tu ad me misisti.

7. Redditives are tantus, talis, tot, totidem, which answer to the relatives quantus, qualis, quot going before or after them, as “Of what sort the princes in a republic are, of such sort are the rest of the citizens accustomed to be.” “Take care, that such a kind (of man) you may be, as what kind (of man) you desire to be considered.” “However many (are the) men, so many (are the) opinions.” “As many letters to you I have given, as you have sent to me.”

8a. Quis vel qui, quae, quod, uter, utra, utrum, quantus, qualis et cetera interrogativa, quando ponuntur post verba audio, video, scio, intelligo, nescio, et alia ejusdem significationis appellantur infinita; ut Nescio quis sit: audio quid dicas: ignoro quantus aut qualis sis.

The Interrogatives quis or qui, quae, quod, uter, utra, utrum, quantus, qualis and the other interrogatives, when they are placed after the verbs audio, video, scio, intelligo, nescio, and others of the same signification are called “Infinites”, as “I don’t know who you may be.” “I hear what you say.” “I don’t know how much or of what kind you may be.”

8b. Infinita sunt ea quae certam non recipiunt personam, sed cuilibet aptari possunt. Quis, quae, quod etiam cum particulis si, nisi et ne infinitum dicitur, ut si quis, nisi quis, ne quis pro si aliquis; nisi aliquis, ne aliquis; si qua pro si aliqua: si quid pro si aliquid, etc. Quis et quid nunquam sunt relativa, sed aut interrogativa aut infinita.

Infinites are those which do not respect a certain person, but are able to be applied to anyone. Quis, quae, quod also with the particle si, nisi and ne are called “infinite”, as “si quis”, “nisi quis”, “ne quis” for “si aliquis”, “nisi aliquis”, “ne aliquis”; “si qua” for “si aliqua”; “si quid” for “si aliquid”, etc. Quis and quid never are relatives, but either interrogative or infinite.

9. Possessivum nomen est quod aut rem possessam aut ad aliquem pertinentem significat, ut equus regius, miles Pompejanus.

9. A Possessive Noun is that which signifies either a thing possessed or a thing pertaining to another person, as a royal horse; a Pompeian soldier.

10. Patrium nomen est quod patriam indicat, ut Romanus, Atheniensis.

A Patrial Noun is that which indicates one’s native city, as Roman, Athenian.

11. Gentile nomen est quod gentem vel nationem indicat, ut Italus, Graecus.

A Gentile Noun is that which a race or nation indicates, as Italian, Greek.

12. Partitivum nomen est quod aut unum ex multis significat, aut multa
singillatim.

A Partitive Noun is that which either one out of many signifies or many individually.

13. Unum ex multis significant alius, aliquis, alter, alteruter, quis, quidam, quilibet, quivis, quispiam, quisquam, solus, unus, (idest solus), ullus, uter, utercumque, uterlibet, utervis: quae etiam particularia vocantur.

13. “One out of many” signify alius, aliquis, alter, alteruter, quis, quidam, quilibet, quivis, quispiam, quisquam, solus, unus, (that is, solus), ullus, uter, utercumque, uterlibet, utervis: which also are called “Particular” nouns.

14. Multa singillatim significant complures, plerique, neuter, uterque, et quae dicuntur “universalia”, ut cuncti, omnes, quicumque, quisquis, quisque, unusquisque, nemo, nullus.

14. “Many things individually” signify complures, plerique, neuter, uterque, and those which are called “Universals”, as cuncti, omnes, quicumque, quisquis, quisque, unusquisque, nemo, nullus.

15. Nomen numerale est quod numerum significat, cujus tres sunt species: cardinale, ordinale, distributivum.

15. A Numeral Noun is that which signifies a number, of which there are three species: Cardinal, Ordinal and Distributive.

16. Cardinale est quod numerum absolute et sine ordine significat, ut unus, duo, tres.

16. A Cardinal Noun is that which signifies a number absolutely and without order, as one, two, three, etc.

17. Ordinale nomen est quod numerum ordine digestum significat aut ultimum ex eo numero, ut primus, secundus (vel alter), tertius, quartus, etc.

17. An Ordinal Noun is that which signifies a number arranged in order or the last of that number, as first, second (or the other of two), third, fourth, etc.

18. Distributiva sive divisiva nomina sunt quae distributionem seu divisionem significant, quibus fere utuntur oratores numero multitudinis, ut singuli, bini, terni, quaterni; exempli gratia, Pueri redite domum bini aut terni, ad summum quaterni; cavete ne singuli eatis. Heus tu dato victoribus quaterna mala, victis singula, ne animis concidant. Quaterna, idest unicuique quatuor; singula, hoc est unicuique unum.

Distributive or divisive nouns are those which distribution or division signify, which orators often used for the number of a multitude, as singuli, one at a time, bini, two at a time, three at a time, four at a time; for the sake of example,

Pueri redite domum bini aut terni, ad summum quaterni; cavete ne singuli eatis.
“Return home boys two at a time or three at a time, at the most four at a time; beware that you not go individually.”

“Hey, give you to the victors evils by fours, to the conquered by one, lest

19.  Non abs re fuerit hoc loco seriem cardinalium, ordinalium ac distributivorum numerorum subtexere, quo tironibus, cum opus fuerit, ad manus sint.

For the sake of reference in this place, the list of cardinals, of ordinals and of distributives numbers shall be attached, by which for students, when (the) necessity shall be, may be at hand.

The Cardinal numbers are unus, una, unum, one; duo, duae, duo, two; hi and hae tres and haec tria (of the third declension), three;  after which none are declined until centum:  quatuor, four; quinque, five; sex, six; septem, seven; octo, eight; novem, nine; decem, ten; undecim, eleven; duodecim, twelve; tredecim, thirteen; quatuordecim, fourteen; quindecim, fifteen; sedecim or sexdecim, sixteen; septemdecim, seventeen; decem et octo or duodeviginti, eighteen; novemdecim or undeviginti, nineteen; so hereafter for the other tens: duodetriginta, twenty-eight; undetriginta, twenty-nine; duodequadraginta, thirty-eight; undequadraginta, thirty-nine, etc.;  viginti, twenty; vigintiunus or unus et viginti, twenty-one; vigintiduo or duo et viginti, twenty-two, etc. triginta, thirty; quadraginta, forty; quinquaginta, fifty; sexaginta, sixty; septuaginta, seventy; octaginta, eighty; nonaginta, ninety; centum, one hundred;  centum unus, one hundred and one; centum duo or duo et centum, one hundred and two, etc. centum nonaginta novem, one hundred ninety-nine; bis centum, two hundred;  tercentum, three hundred, etc.  Or, declining hereafter: ducentiducentae, ducenta, two hundred;  trecenti, tercentae, tercenta, likewise quadringenti, quingenti, sexcentiseptingenti, octingenti, noningenti or nongenti, mille.

20.  The noun mille, one thousand, if it is of plural number, is an indeclinable adjective of the common-of-three gender: mille milites, one thousand soldiers; mille militum of one thousand soldiers;  mille militibus, by one thousand soldiers; likewise,  mille oves, a thousand sheep; mille ovibus, in one thousand sheep; mille mancipia, one thousand slaves; mille mancipiis, by one thousand slaves.

If, however, it be of singular number, it is a substantive of the neuter gender, indeclinable in the singular and is joined with the genitive case in the manner of substantives, as:

Mille militum interfectum est.
A thousand of soldiers has been killed.

In the plural, however, it is declined, millia, millium, millibus, as

Duo, tria, quatuor millia militum capta sunt.
Two, three, four thousands of soldiers have been captured.

We say, therefore, undeclined, bis mille milites, twice one thousand soldiers, or (declined) duo millia militum, two thousands of soldiers.  Likewise, ter mille, three times one thousand or tria millia, three thousands; quater mille, four times one thousand, or quatuor millia, four thousands; decem millia, ten thousands, or decies mille, ten times one thousand; centum millia, one hundred thousands, or centies mille, one hundred times one thousand; ducenta millia, two hundred thousands; trecenta millia, three hundred thousands; decies centena millia, ten times one hundred thousands (one million); undecies centena millia, eleven times one hundred thousands, that is, one million and one hundred thousand;  vicies centena millia, twenty times one hundred thousands, two million. tricies centena millia, thirty times one hundred thousands, three million; millies centena millia, one thousand times one hundred thousands, one hundred million. 

Avoid saying duo centum or duo mille because it is improper to join two adjectives.

21.  The Ordinal Numbers are:  primus, first; secundus or alter, second; tertius, third; quartus, fourth; quintus, fifth; sextus, sixth; septimus, seventh; octavus, eighth; nonus, ninth; decimus, tenth; undecimus, eleventh; duodecimus, twelfth; decimustertius or tertiusdecimus, thirteenth; decimusquartus or quartusdecimus, fourteenth; quintusdecimus, fifteenth; sextusdecimus, sixteenth. septimusdecimus, seventeenth; octavusdecimus or duodevicesimus, eighteenth; nonusdecimus or undevicesimus, nineteenth;  Likewise also duodetricesimus, twenty-eighth; undetricesimus, twenty-ninth; duodequadragesimus, thirty-eighth;  undequadragesimus, thirty-ninth, etc.  vigesimus or, more correctly, vicesimus, twentieth; vicesimusprimus or primus et vicesimus, twenty-first;  likewise hereafter, trigesimus or more correctly, tricesimus, thirtieth; quadragesimus, fortieth; quinquagesimus, fiftieth; sexagesimus, sixtieth; septuagesimus, seventieth; octogesimus, eightieth; nonagesimus, ninetieth; centesimus, one hundredth; centesimusprimus or primus et centesimus, one hundred first; etc. ducentesimus, two hundredth; trecentesimus, three hundredth; quadringentesimus, four hundredth; quingentesimus, five hundredth; sexcentesimus, six hundredth; septingentesimus, seven hundedth; octingentesimus, eight hundredth; nongentesimus or noningentesimus, nine hundredth; millesimus, one thousandth; millesimusprimus or primus et millesimus, one thousand and first; bis millesimus, two thousandth; ter millesimus, three thousandth; centies millesimus, one hundred thousandth; etc.

22.  The Distributive numbers, which we use chiefly when we divide the same thing equally into more, and whatever we join to those nouns, which are lacking forms in the singular are, singuli, singulae, singula, one by one; binibinae, bina, two by two; likewise, terniquaterni, quini, seni, septeni, octoni, novenimdeni, undeniduodeni, ternideni, quaternideni, quinideni (or, by contraction, terdeni, quaterdeni, quindeni); senideni, septenideni; octonideni or duodeviceni, novenideni or undeviceni; likewise, duodetriceni, undetriceni; duodequadrageni, undequadrageni, etc. viceni, viceni singuli or singuli et viceni; viceni bini or bini et viceniviceni terni, etc.  triceni, quadrageni, quinquageni, sexageni, septuageni, octogeni, nonageni, centeni, centeni singuli, centeni bini, etc. ducenteni, trecenteni, quadringenteni,  quingenteni,  sexcenteni, septingenteni, octingenteni, nongenteni.  We also say, by contraction, duceni, treceni, quadringeni, quingeni, sexceni, septingeni, octingeni, nongenimilleni, bis milleni, ter milleni, and likewise hereafter.

23. Since we usually use the names of Adverbs of Number instead of the names of cardinal or ordinal or distributive numbers, we include them here, though they will be studied in greater detail when we study adverbs.  Adverbs are easier to use because they are not declined, and have only one form.

Adverbs of Cardinal Numbers are these:  semel, bis,  ter, quaterquinquies, sexies, septies, octies, novies, decies, undecies, duodecies, tredecies, quatuordecies, quindecies, sexdecies, septiesdecies or deciesseptiesoctiesdecies or deciesocties or duodevicies, noviesdecies or deciesnovies or undevicies, likewis also duodetriciesundetriciesduodequadragies, undequadragies, etc.  Vicies by contraction for vigintiesvicies semel or semel et viciesbis et vicies, etc.;  tricies, quadragies, quinquagies, sexagies, septuagies, octogies, nonagies, centies semel or semel et centies, etc. ducenties, trecenties, quadringenties,  quingenties, sexcenties, septingenties, octingenties, nongenties, milliesbis milliester milliescenties millies, millies millies, or better, decies centies millies, vicies centies millies.

24.  Adverbs of the Ordinal Numbers are: primo, secundo or iterum, tertio, quarto, and others formed from the ablative case of the ordinal numbers.

Memory Work

The following points provide a summary of the content of this lesson and should be memorized.

  1. An Interrogative Noun is that by which we ask about some other things.
  2. An Interrogative of Substance is that to which we respond by a substantive noun or by a demonstrative pronoun.
  3. An Interrogative of Accident is that to which we respond by an adjective noun.
  4. Adjectives like magnus, parvus, longus, brevis, etc. respond to the interrogative Quantus?
  5. Adjectives like bonus (good), doctus (learned), imperitus (inexperienced), etc. respond to the interrogative Qualis?
  6. Adjectives like unus (one), duo (two), tres (three), etc. respond to the interrogative Quot?
  7. Adjectives like primus (first), secundus (second), etc. respond to the interrogative Quotus?
  8. Adjectives like singuli, bini, etc. respond to the interrogative Quoteni?
  9. Adjectives like simplus, duplus, etc. respond to the interrogative Quotuplus?
  10. Adjectives like simplex, duplex, etc. respond to the interrogative Quotuplex?
  11. Adjectives like anniculus, biennis, triennis, etc. respond to the interrogative Quotennis?
  12. Adjectives like meus, tuus, suus, etc. respond to the interrogative Cujus?
  13. Adjectives like Italus, Romanus, Stoicus, etc. respond to the interrogative Cujas?
  14. The genitive case (cujus) of the relative pronoun qui, quae, quod is commonly used in place of the adjective cujus, cuja, cujum.
  15. A Relative adjective is that which reduces an antecedent noun to memory.
  16. A Relative of Substance is that which reduces a substantive noun to memory.
  17. A Relative of Accident is that which reduces to memory an adjective noun.
  18. Redditives are tantus, talis, tot, totidem, which answer to the relatives quantus, qualis, quot going before or after them.
  19. Infinites are those which do not respect a certain person, but are able to be applied to anyone.
  20. A Possessive Noun is that which signifies either a thing possessed or a thing pertaining to another person.
  21. A Patrial Noun is that which indicates one’s native city.
  22. A Gentile Noun is that which a race or nation.
  23. A Partitive Noun is that which either one out of many signifies or many individually.
  24. “One out of many” signify those adjectives which are called “Particular” nouns.
  25. “Many things individually” signify those adjectives which are called “Universals”.
  26. A Numeral Noun is that which signifies a number.
  27. A Cardinal Noun is that which signifies a number absolutely and without order.
  28. An Ordinal Noun is that which signifies a number arranged in order or the last of that number.
  29. Distributive are those which distribution or division signify, which orators often used for the number of a multitude.