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Latin Grammar I, Lesson 03. The Accidents

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Introduction

In the previous lesson, we learned the names of the eight parts of speech. We learned that four of them are declined, and four of them are free of declined. In this lesson, we will study to become familiar with the “accidents” of the parts of speech. We’ll learn what this word “accidents” means in a moment.

This lesson is part of the Classical Liberal Arts Academy’s Latin Grammar I course. Enroll now!

Lesson

The lesson begins with an introduction:

12. Sunt quaedam quae partes orationis comitantur, ut: Numerus, Casus, Genus, Declinatio et Conjugatio, Modus, Tempus, Persona, Figura, Species, quae accidentia sive attributa partium orationis vocantur.

There are certain things, which accompany the parts of speech, as: Number, Case, Gender, Declension and Conjugation, Mood, Tense, Person, Figure and Species, which “accidents” or attributes of the parts of speech are called.

The word “accident” is often difficult for English students to understand, because the word is used to mean a mistake, as “I’m sorry, that was an accident.” That’s not what the word means here. In Grammar, the word “accident” is used in a philosophical sense, to mean “a property or quality not essential to a substance or object”. Thus, we see that the “accidents” may also be called the “attributes” of the parts of speech. In this lesson, we will learn a little about each of these accidents, and then we will study them in detail throughout the rest of the course.

The first accident we learn of is number. We read:

13. Numeri nominum, pronominum, verborum et participiorum sunt duo: Singularis, ut musa, ego, amo, amans; Pluralis, ut musae, nos, amamus, amantes.

The Numbers of Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, and Participles are two: Singular, as (the noun) muse, (the pronoun) ego, the verb amo, the participle amans; Plural, as (the noun) musae, (the pronoun) nos, (the verb) amamus, (the participle) amantes.

We learn here that there are two numbers: Singular and Plural. The rule gives us several examples of each:

Singular
Noun: musa = (a) muse
Pronoun: ego = I
Verb: amo = I love
Participle: amans = (one who is) loving

Plural
Noun: musae = muses
Pronoun: nos = we
Verb: amamus = we love
Participle: amantes = (ones who are) loving

You are not expected to understand what all of these things mean. As I said above, our goal in this lesson is to become familiar with the accidents of the parts of speech. All you need to learn here is that the first accident of the parts of speech is Number, and there are two numbers: Singular and Plural.

Note that the four parts of speech for which examples are given above are the four which we learned are “declined” in the previous lesson. Thus, when we look at any of these declined parts of speech, we must be able to identify the number.

The second accident we learn of is Case. We read:

14. Casus nominum, participiorum et nonnullorum pronominum sunt sex: Nominativus, Genitivus, Dativus, Accusativus, Vocativus, Ablativus. Nominativus “rectus casus” dicitur, ceteri “obliqui”.

14. The Cases of Nouns, of Participles and of some Pronouns are six: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Vocative and Ablative. The Nominative is called the “regular case”, the others “oblique” (cases).

Note, first that three parts of speech have cases: nouns, participles and pronouns. Verbs do not have cases. They have different forms, but they are not called “cases”. We will learn more about them below.

The Nominative form of a noun is not, truly a “case”. It is the name (noun) itself, and is changed when different ideas are being expressed in speech. This is why the second sentence tells us that the nominative form is called the rectus casus, that is “regular” case, and the other forms are called “oblique” or “declining” cases—because they have forms derived from the nominative case. Again, you are not expected to understand all of these details at this time. We will be studying case in detail in future lessons. Simply know that there are six cases of nouns, participles and pronouns.

The next accident we learn of is Gender. We read:

15a. Genera praecipua, quae nomini, pronomini et participio conveniunt tria sunt: Masculinum, Foemininum et Neutrum. Masculinum est non quod virum significat, sed cui praeponitur hic, ut hic dominus, meus, doctus; Foemininum, cui praeponitur pronomen haec, ut haec ancilla, mea, docta; Neutrum cui praeponitur pronomen hoc, ut hoc mancipium, meum, doctum.

15a. The principal genders, which pertain to a noun, pronoun and participle are three: Masculine, Feminine and Neuter. The Masculine is not that which signifies a man, but to which (the pronoun) hic is preposed, as hic dominus, meus, doctus; the Feminine, to which is preposed (the) pronoun haec, as haec ancilla, mea, docta; the Neuter to which is preposed (the) pronoun hoc, as hoc mancipium, meum, doctum.

The first part of the rule states, “There are three principal genders which are appropriate to a noun, pronoun and participle: Masculine, Feminine and Neuter.”. It is important to note that gender, in Latin, does not work like gender in English. In English, male animals are “masculine”, female animals are “feminine” and everything else is “neuter”. In Latin, gender is more complicated than that. For example, the Latin words saxum and lapis both mean “stone”, but saxum is neuter and lapis is masculine. In Grammar, we will learn the rules for gender in Latin, but you should know that the best thing to do to find a word’s gender is to look it up in a Latin dictionary.

This requires a little bit of explanation. First, unlike English and Greek, Latin has no articles. In Greek, the articles are used to mark the gender of nouns:

(ho) πάτερ (pater) – the (masculine) father
(hē) μήτηρ (mēter) – the (feminine) mother
τὸ (to) ὄνομα (onoma) – the (neuter) name

In Latin, this can’t be done because there are no articles. So, we use a pronoun that means “this” to do the same job:

hic pater – this (masculine) father
haec mater – this (feminine) mother
hoc nomen – this (neuter) name

Our rule says that the masculine gender isn’t that which simply used for names of men, but that which has the the pronoun hic set before it. This is important to understand because the names of non-living things can also be considered “masculine”, like hic hortus (the garden). The same is true for the feminine and neuter genders. These are the three principal genders in Latin: masculine, feminine and neuter.

15b. Ex his tribus generibus nascuntur duo alia: Commune duorum et commune trium. Commune duorum est cui praeponuntur pronomina hic et haec, ut hic et haec parens. Commune trium cui praeponuntur pronomina hic et haec et hoc, ut hic et haec et hoc prudens, nostras, amans.

15b. Of these three (principal) genders are born two others: The “Common of Two” and the “Common of Three”. The “Common of Two” is that to which are preposed the pronouns hic and haec, as hic and haec parents. The “Common of Three” is that to which are preposed the pronouns hic and haec and hoc, as hic and haec and hoc prudens, nostras, amans.

When we think of the masculine, feminine and neuter genders, it’s easy for us to think of “father” as masculine, “mother” as feminine, and something like “name” as neuter. These are simple and they make use of the three principal genders. What happens, however, when we speak of a “parent” or “child”, which can name a male or female? For these, both genders are used. When speaking of a male, the masculine gender is understood and the pronoun “hic” is used. When speaking of a female, the feminine gender is understood and the pronoun “haec” is used. The gender of nouns like these is called “Common of Two”.

Adjectives and pronouns are used to refer to substantive nouns of all three genders. For example, we may speak of a “good man”, a “good woman” and a “good name”, or “that man”, “that woman” and “that name”. In Latin, these adjectives and pronouns have different forms and we must show the gender of each by its form. So, we must use a masculine form to refer to a masculine noun, a feminine form when referring to a feminine noun, and a neuter form when referring to a neuter noun.

For example, if we take the adjective “good”, we will find that its masculine form in Latin is “bonus”, its feminine form is “bona” and its neuter form is “bonum”. To say “good man”, we must say “vir bonus”. To say good woman, we must say, “femina bona”. To say “good name”, we must say “nomen bonum”. The gender of the adjective, because it has forms for three different genders, is said to be “Common of Three”.

15c. Est et Promiscuum (sive Epicoenum) genus, quo sub uno genere et uno articulo utrumque sexum complectitur, ut hic corvus, hic passer (mas et foemina), haec aquila, haec mustela (mas et foemina).

15c. There is also the Promiscuous (or Epicene) gender, to which under one gender and one article either sex is included, as hic corvus (the crow), hic passer (the sparrow, male and female), haec aquila (the eagle), haec mustela (the weasel, male and female).

Above, we learned of the “Common of Two” gender where two sexes were referred to by the same noun, and one article is used when the noun refers to the male and another article is used when we speak of a female. What’s important to see there is that the article refers to the sex of the person or thing referred to.

In this part of the rule, we learn of the “Promiscuous” or “Epicene” gender, which sounds like the “Common of Two”, but is not the same. The word “promiscuous” in English means “not making a difference”. For these nouns, the name may refer to either a male or female, but only one article is used for both. This, the article that is used does not make a difference between the male or the female. It is “promiscuous”. The other name for this gender, epicene, comes from the Greek word epikoinos, which means “common to more than one”. What’s important is for you to understand that the gender of these nouns is not like that of the Common of Two, which are kept clear. Again, we’ll learn more of this later.

15d. Est et genus Dubium (sive Incertum), quod ambiguos habet articulos, ut hic vel haec silex, hic vel hoc vulgus.

15d. There is also the Doubtful (or Uncertain) gender, which obviously means “uncertain”, which has both articles, as hic or haec silex (stone), hic or haec vulgus (crowd).

It is easy to get the “Common of Two”, “Promiscuous” and this last gender confused, we we have to study carefully to understand them. Here, we learn of the “Doubtful” gender, which is “uncertain”. In other words, when we look back at the ancient language, there doesn’t seem to be a right answer to which gender a noun is. In the writings of the ancient authors, we find it referred to as a masculine noun in some places and as a feminine noun in other places. The gender is “uncertain”.

To be clear, then, let’s summarize:

  • Common of Two: one noun refers to both genders and uses a different article for each.
  • Promiscuous: one noun refers to both genders and uses one article for both
  • Doubtful: one noun has no certain gender and is found joined to both articles in different places.

That’s all for genders in this lesson.

Next we read:

16a. Declinationes sive formae nominum sunt quinque: Prima, cujus genitivus singularis terminatur in AE diphthongo, ut musa musae. Secunda, cujus genitivus terminatur litera I, ut dominus, domini. Tertia, cujus genitivus terminatur syllaba IS, ut sermo sermonis; Quarta, cujus genitivus terminatur syllaba US, ut sensus, sensus; Quinta, cujus genitivus terminatur literis E et I separatis, ut dies, diei.

16a. The declensions or the forms of nouns are five: the First Declension, whose genitive singular is ended with the diphthong AE, as musa, musae; the Second Declension, whose genitive is terinated with the letter I, as dominus, domini; the Third Declension, whose genitice case is terminated with the syllable -IS, as sermo, sermonis; the Fourth Declension, whose genitive case is terminate with the syllable -US, as sensus, sensus; the Fifth Declension, whose genitive case is terminated with the separate letters E and I, as dies, diei.

Nouns are grouped into five different families called “declensions”. They are grouped in this way because of how different nouns make their different forms. If we look for a Latin noun in a Latin dictionary, we will see the nominative case for that noun and two important pieces of information. We will be told the gender of the noun and we will be shown one of the forms of the noun, namely, the genitive singular form. We are shown this form because it reveals to us what family or “declension” the noun belongs to. See image below.

Thus, each of the five families of nouns can be identified by the ending of the genitive singular case for the noun. This is important to understand because nouns can have the same forms in other cases. For example:

  • musa is 1st declension, templa is 2nd declension and nomina is 3rd declension
  • dominus is 2nd declension, pecus is 3rd declension and sensus is 4th declension

All that matters is the genitive singular ending.

  • Genitive singular end in -AE, then 1st declension
  • Genitive singular end in -I, then 2nd declension
  • Genitive singular end in -IS, then 3rd declension
  • Genitive singular end in -US, then 4th declension
  • Genitive singular end in -EI, then 5th declension.

Note that the rule tells us that the -EI ending in the 5th declension is not a diphthong. The noun diei is not pronounced in two syllables as di-ei, but in three: di-e-i.

16b. Pronomina meus, tuus, suus, noster, vester ad primam et secundam nominum declinationem spectant; nostras, vestras ad tertiam; cetera proprias habent formas.

16b. The pronouns meus, tuus, suus, noster, vester look to the first and second declension of nouns; nostras, vestras to the third declension; the others have their own forms.

As adjectives nouns must agree with the substantive nouns they modify, so also must pronouns agree with the nouns they stand in place of. Fortunately, as with adjectives, many pronouns follow the forms of the noun declensions.

The rule here tells us that the pronouns meus, tuus, suus, noster and vester follow the first and second declensions. This means that the masculine form of these pronouns will use the endings of the second declension (-I), the feminine form will use the endings of the first declension (-AE), and the neuter form will also use the endings of the second declension.

The rule also tells us that the pronouns nostras and vestrasown forms follow the endings of the third declension (-IS).

Lastly, the rule tells us that “the others” have their own forms. That is, they do not necessarily follow the declensions of nouns.

You cannot understand the details of these rules because you have not yet studied the declensions. Therefore, memorize the rules and be sure that you understanding the simple concepts contained in them. The rest will become clear later in this course.

16c. Participia, quae in -ANS et -ENS exeunt, ad tertiam declinationem pertinent, ut amans, docens, etc.; reliqua ad primam et secundam, ut amaturus, -a, -um; amandus, -a, -um.

16c. Participles, which end in -ANS and -ENS, pertain to the third declension, as amans, docens, etc.; the others to the first and second, as amaturus, -a, -um; amandus, -a, -um.

As with pronouns, participles also take their forms from the noun declensions. The present participles (those which end in -ANS and -ENS) follow the patterns of third declension nouns. All of the other participles follow the first and second declensions.

It is impossible for you to understand more at this time, so be sure to memorize the rule and know of the basic accidents of participles. All of this will be clear later in the course.

We learned that there are five declensions of nouns in Latin, which are identified by their genitive singular forms, and now we learn that there are four conjugations of verbs, which are identified by the second person singular form of the present tense. We read:

17. Conjugationes verborum sunt quatuor: Prima, cujus secunda persona singularis praesentis indicativi exit in -AS et praesens infiniti in -ARE, ut amo, amas, amare. Secunda, cujus secunda persona praesentis indicativi exit in -ES et infinitum in -ERE penultima producta, ut doceo, doces, docere. Tertia, cujus secunda praesentis indicativi exit in -IS breve et infinitum in -ERE penultima correpta. ut lego. legis. legere. Quarta, cujus secunda praesentis indicativi exit in -IS longum et infinitum in -IRE, ut audio, audias, audire.

17. The Conjugations of verbs are four: the First Conjugation, whose second person singular present indicative ends in -AS and present infinitive in -ARE, as amo, amas, amare; the Second Conjugation, whose second person singular present indicative ends in -ES and present infinitive in -ERE with a long penultimate syllable, as doceo, doces, docere; the Third Conjugation, whose second person singular present indicative ends in short -IS and present infinitive in -ERE with a short penultimate syllable, as lego, legis, legere. The Fourth Conjugation, whose second person present indicative ends in long -IS and infinitive in -IRE, as audio, audis, audire.

As the declensions of nouns are known by the genitive singular endings, the conjugations of verbs are known by two endings. In the rule above, we see that the two endings are (1) the second person present indicative ending, and (2) the present infinitive ending. You cannot understand what these are now, but it will be clear when we study verbs later in this course.

In modern Latin dictionaries, the conjugation is identified by: (1) the 1st person singular present active indicative ending (see picture, #1 below), and (2) the present active infinitive ending (see picture, #4 below). Again, you will not understand all of ths now, but will when we study the forms of verbs in a future lesson. Let’s learn the basics.

The First Conjugation of verbs includes all regular Latin verbs whose second person singular present tense form ends in the syllable -AS, and whose present infinitive form ends in -ARE. For example, the second person singular form of the verb amare is amas, which means that amare belongs to the first conjugation. In addition to amare, other verbs of the first conjugation include: laudare (to praise), creare (to create), and ambulare (to walk).

The Second Conjugation includes all regular Latin verbs whose second person singular present tense form ends in the syllable -ES, and whose present infinitive form ends in -ERE. The word “penultimate” means “next-to-last”, and the rule here says that the next to last syllable is long, which also means it is accented when spoken. For example, the second person singular form of the verb docere is doces, which means that docere belongs to the second conjugation. In addition to docere, other verbs of the second conjugation include: videre (to see), studere (to study), habere (to have), and sedere (to sit).

The Third Conjugation includes all regular Latin verbs whose second person singular present tense form ends in the syllable -IS, and whose present infinitive form ends in -ERE. For example, the second person singular form of the verb legere is legis, which means that legere belongs to the third conjugation. In addition to legere, other verbs of the third conjugation include: vivere (to live), agere (to do), ducere (to lead), and discere (to learn).

The Fourth Conjugation includes all regular Latin verbs whose second person singular present tense form ends in the syllable -IS, and whose present infinitive form ends in -IRE. For example, the second person singular form of the verb audire is audis, which means that audire belongs to the fourth conjugation. In addition to audire, other verbs of the first conjugatin include: venire (to come), scire (to know), and vestire (to dress).

The next accident of verbs we learn of is “mood”. We read:

18. Modi verborum triti et communes sunt quatuor, indicativus, imperativus, conjunctivus et infinitus: his addunt alii optativum, potentialem, ac permissivum.

18. The Moods of verbs used and common are four: Indicative, Imperative, Conjunctive and Infinitive: to these others add the Optative, the Potential and the Permissive.

When we learned about conjugations of verbs in the last rule, we saw some strange words–“indicative” and “infinitive”. Those words are names for moods of verbs, which we learn about in this rule. What are “moods”?

When we speak, we say things in different ways (moods). You may not know it, but you use different verb moods every day.

  • Indicative mood: “I read.”
  • Imperative mood: “Read!”
  • Conjunctive mood: “I think that I should read.”
  • Infinitive mood: “I love to read.”
  • Optative mood: “Oh, that I could read!”
  • Potential mood: “I may read.”

In English, we express these different moods with phrases. In Latin, we express different moods by changing the forms of the verbs. We will learn all of these forms later in this course.

By “used and common” this rule means that there are four common modes found in the writings of the masters of Latin–but that other modes exist.

The next accident of verbs we learn of is tense.

19. Tempora verborum sunt sex: Praesens (sive instans), Praeteritum Imperfectum, Praeteritum Perfectum, Praeteritum Plusquamperfectum, Futurum Infectum ac Futurum Perfectum.

19. The Tenses of verbs are six: the Present (or Instant), Past Imperfect, Past Perfect, Past More-than-perfect; Future Imperfect and Future Perfect.

We use the word “tenses” in Grammar, but it may be easier to understand that the word tempora means “times”. There are three basic tenses of verbs: Present, Past (praeteritum) and Future. Remember that we will study these things in detail later in Grammar.

Of the Past, there are three kinds: Imperfect, Perfect and “More than Perfect”. “Imperfect” here means that some past action was not necessarily completed, as in, “When Jesus was a child, he obeyed his parents.” “Perfect” means that a past action was completed, as in, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”. “More than perfect” means that at some time in the past, an action was already completed, as in, “When Peter arrived at the tomb, Jesus had risen from the dead.”

Of the future, there are two kinds: Imperfect and Perfect. “Future Imperfect” means that at some time in the future, an action is not completed, as “Jesus shall reign.” “Future Perfect” means that at some time in the future, an action will have been completed, as “When we are in heaven, the devil shall have been destroyed.”

We move on to the “person” of pronouns and we read:

20a. Personae pronominum sunt tres: prima ego, secunda tu; reliqua pronomina sunt tertiae personae praeter ipse, ipsa, ipsum; quod cuiusvis est personae; item provocabulum qui, quae, quod; dicimus enim ego ipse, ego qui, tu ipse, tu qui; Caesar ipse, Caesar qui; sic in plurali nos ipsi, vos ipsi, etc.

20. The Persons of pronouns are three: First Person, ego; Second Person, tu; the other pronouns are of the Third Person, except ipse, ipsa, ipsum; which is of any person; likewise the pronoun qui, quae, quod; for we say, “I myself”, “I who”, “You yourself”, “You who”; “Caesar himself”, “Caesar who”; so in the plural, “We ourselves”, “You yourselves”, etc.

When we learned about verbs above, we learned that there are different persons, and here that topic is explained in more detail. There are three persons:

First person: a person speaking.
Second person: a person being spoken to
Third person: a person being spoken about

In the image on the right, we see John the Baptist (right) speaking to a disciple (center) about Jesus (left). John, speaking, is the 1st person and says, “I”. The disciple he is speaking to is the 2nd person, to whom he says “you”. Jesus, Our Lord, is the third person, of whom John says “he”.
In the singular, the 1st person is “I”, the second person is “you” or “thou”, and the third person is “he”, “she”, or “it”. In the plural, the 1st person is “we”, the second person is “you all” or “ye”, and the third person is “they”.

The rule goes on to speak of a few pronouns that are exceptions to this rule. There are some pronouns that can be used for any of the three persons. For example, ipse, can mean “myself”, “yourself” or “himself” depending on the person:

Ego ipse = I myself (1st person)
Tu ipse = you yourself (2nd person)
Cicero ipse = Cicero himself (3rd person)

The same is true for the pronoun qui :

Ego qui = I who (1st person)
Tu qui = you who (2nd person)
Cicero qui = Cicero who (3rd person)

Students should not waste time trying to “understand” this point more than this. It will be studied in detail when we study the declensions of pronouns.

Next, we learn of the persons of verbs:

20b. Personae verborum sunt tres, Prima. ut amo; Secunda, ut amas; Tertia. ut amat.

The Persons of verbs are three: First person, as amo; Second person, as amas; Third person, as amat.

Here we see that when speaking of verbs, “person” has the same meaning it does when speaking of pronouns.

20c. Nomina et participia (exceptis vocativis) incertae sunt personae sicut et verba infinita, eam enim induunt personam, cujus est verbum, cui adhaerent, ut Ego M. Tullius defendi remp. adolescens. Hannibal peto pacem. Cupio te audire. (Livy) Vocandi casus, quia secundis personis tantum adhaerent, solum sunt secundae personae.

Nouns and Participles (with the vocative cases excepted) are of uncertain person, as are infinite verbs, for they assume the person of the word to which they adhere. Vocative cases, however, are always of the second person.

Nouns, participles and verbs in the infinitive mood do not have a person of their own, but take the person of that verb to which they are attached in the sentence. For example, the name Hannibal could be any person:

First person: I, Hannibal, seek peace.
Second person: You must die, Hannibal!
Third person: Hannibal enters Italy.

The only way we can know the person a noun like this is by looking at the person of the verb to which it is attached. The Vocative case is excepted because we use the vocative case when speaking to someone, so it is always second person.

I do not recommend that new students seek to understand more than that at this point. What is important is to know that the person nouns and participles, is uncertain.

Next, we learn of figure.

21. Figurae Nominum, Pronominum, Verborum, Participiorum, Praepositionum, Adverbiorum, Conjunctionum duae sunt; Simplex, ut prudens, is, amo, amans, abs, prudenter, enim; Composita, ut imprudens, idem, adamo, adamans, absque, imprudenter, etenim.

21. The Figures of nouns, of pronouns, of verbs, of participles, of prepositions, of adverbs, of conjunctions are two: Simple, as prudens; and Composite, as imprudens.

In Grammar, we learn that “words are made of syllable”, however we find that some words are made of words. These are called “composite” words. Any word that can be divided into simpler words is said to be “Composite” in figure. A word that cannot be so divided is called “Simple”.

The last accident we learn of is Species. We read:

22. Species Nominum, Pronominum, Verborum, Adverbiorum sunt duae, Primitiva, ut pater, tu, caleo, clam; Derivativa, ut paternus, tuus, calesco, clanculum.

22. The Species of nouns, pronouns, verbs and adverbs are two: Primitive, as pater, tu, caleo, clam; and Derivative, as paternus, tuus, calesco, clanculum.

Species, like figure, is easy to understand. Any word that is made by adding a prefix or suffix to an existing word is called “derivative”. We can see that the Latin adjective paternus is derived from the primitive noun pater; that the pronoun tuus is derived from the primitive pronoun tu; that the verb calesco is derived from the primitive verb caleo and that the adverb clanculum is derived from the primitive adverb clam.

Conclusion

In this lesson, we have covered a lot of material, but it is not expected that students will “master” this material at this time. In fact, mastering this material will be our goal throughout this Latin Grammar course. Students should complete the memory work below and be familiar with the accidents of the parts of speech. This will allow us to move forward with a vocabulary that we can use to study these things in detail.

Memory Work

The memory work below provides students with a concise summary of the content of this lesson and will be invaluable in Latin grammar studies.

  1. What are the accidents of the parts of speech?
    The accidents of the parts of speech are: Number, Case, Gender, Declension and Conjugation, Mood, Tense, Person, Figure and Species.
  2. How many Numbers are there?
    The Numbers of Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, and Participles are two: Singular and Plural.
  3. How many Cases are there?
    The Cases of Nouns, of Participles and of some Pronouns are six: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Vocative and Ablative. The Nominative is called the “regular case”, the others “oblique” (cases).
  4. How many are the principal genders in Latin?
    The principal genders, which pertain to a noun, pronoun and participle are three: Masculine, Feminine and Neuter.
  5. What genders are born of the three principal genders?
    Of the three principal genders are born two others: The “Common of Two” and the “Common of Three”.
  6. What is the Epicene gender?
    The Epicene gender is that which under one gender and one article either sex is included.
  7. What is the Doubtful gender?
    The Doubtful gender is that which has both articles.
  8. How many are the declensions of nouns, and how are they identified?
    The declensions of nouns are five: the First Declension, whose genitive singular is ended with the diphthong AE, as musa, musae; the Second Declension, whose genitive is terminated with the letter I, as dominus, domini; the Third Declension, whose genitive case is terminated with the syllable -IS, as sermo, sermonis; the Fourth Declension, whose genitive case is terminate with the syllable -US, as sensus, sensus; the Fifth Declension, whose genitive case is terminated with the separate letters E and I, as dies, diei.
  9. What declensions are followed by Pronouns?
    The pronouns meus, tuus, suus, noster, vester follow the first and second declension of nouns; nostras, vestras the third declension; the others have their own forms.
  10. What declensions are followed by Participles?
    Participles which end in -ANS and -ENS, pertain to the third declension, as amans, docens, etc.; the others to the first and second, as amaturus, -a, -um; amandus, -a, -um.
  11. How many are the conjugation of verbs, and how are they identified?
    The Conjugations of verbs are four: the First Conjugation, whose second person singular present indicative ends in -AS and present infinitive in -ARE, as amo, amas, amare; the Second Conjugation, whose second person singular present indicative ends in -ES and present infinitive in -ERE with a long penultimate syllable, as doceo, doces, docere; the Third Conjugation, whose second person singular present indicative ends in short -IS and present infinitive in -ERE with a short penultimate syllable, as lego, legis, legere. The Fourth Conjugation, whose second person present indicative ends in long -IS and infinitive in -IRE, as audio, audis, audire.
  12. How many moods are used with verbs?
    The Moods of verbs used and common are four: Indicative, Imperative, Conjunctive and Infinitive: to these others add the Optative, the Potential and the Permissive.
  13. How many tenses are found in verbs?
    The Tenses of verbs are six: the Present (or Instant), Past Imperfect, Past Perfect, Past More-than-perfect; Future Imperfect and Future Perfect.
  14. How many are the persons of pronouns?
    The Persons of pronouns are three: First Person, ego; Second Person, tu; the other pronouns are of the Third Person, except ipse, ipsa, ipsum and qui, quae, quod, which can be of any person.
  15. How many are the persons of verbs?
    The Persons of verbs are three: First person, as amo; Second person, as amas; Third person, as amat.
  16. How many are the Figures of the parts of speech?
    The Figures of nouns, of pronouns, of verbs, of participles, of prepositions, of adverbs, of conjunctions are two: Simple, as prudens; and Composite, as imprudens.
  17. How many are the Species of the parts of speech?
    The Species of nouns, pronouns, verbs and adverbs are two: Primitive, as pater, tu, caleo, clam; and Derivative, as paternus, tuus, calesco, clanculum.

This lesson is part of the Classical Liberal Arts Academy’s Latin Grammar I course. Enroll now!

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