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In English, we know to read a sentence by how the words are arranged. In Latin we depend much more on our knowledge of the forms of words and their relationships to one another. One of these relationships has to do with the gender of substantive nouns, adjective nouns, pronouns, and participles. If we are unable to determine the genders of these parts of speech, we will not be able to read Latin correctly and will certainly not be able to compose anything in true Latin.
In this lesson, we will study the rules by which the Gender of Latin nouns may be known. As you can see this lesson contains a great amount of content. This lesson contains the rules of noun gender, which we will memorize, and also extensive lists of exceptions to these rules, which we will study and use for reference in the future. The source of this lesson is not the Grammar of Emmanuel Alvarez, but William Lily, whose teaching of genders is, in my opinion, superior.
I. General Rules for Proper Nouns
1. The proper names of males are of the Masculine Gender, as
- First, of Gods, as Mars, Martis (the god of battle); Bacchus, Bacchi (god of wine); Apollo, Apollonis (god of wisdom).
- Secondly, of Men, as: Cato, Catonis (Cato); Virgilius, Virgil (the poet Virgil).
- Third, of Rivers, as: Tibris, Tibris (the Tiber); Orontes, Orontis (the Orontes River).
- Fourthly, of Months, as: October, Octobris (October).
- Fifthly, of Winds, as: Lybs, Lybis (the South Wind); Boreas, Boreae (the North Wind).
2. The proper names of females are of the Feminine Gender, as
- First, of Goddesses, as Iuno, Iunonis (the wife of Jupiter); Venus, Veneris (god of love and beauty).
- Secondly, of Women, as: Maria, Mariae (Mary); Philotis, Philotis (Philot).
- Thirdly, of Cities, as: Roma, Romae (Rome); Corinthus, Corinthi (Corinth).
- Fourthly, of Regions, as: Graecia, Graeciae (Greece).
- Fifthly, of Islands, as Creta, Cretae (Crete); Britannia, Britanniae (Britain), Cyprus, Cypri (Cyprus).
But the names of some Cities are to be excepted, as, first Sulmo, Sulmonis; and Agragas, Agragantis, which are of the masculine gender. Secondly, Argos, Argeos; Tybur, Tyburis and Praeneste, Praenestis, which are of the neuter gender. Thirdly, Anxur, Anxuris, which is of both the Masculine and Neuter gender.
II. General Rules for Common Nouns whose gender is known by their Signification
1. The names of Trees are generally of the Feminine gender, as: alnus, alni (alder tree); cupressus, cupressi (cyprus tree); cedrus, cedri (cedar tree).
Except that pinus, pini (pine tree); oleaster, oleastri (wild olive tree) are of the Masculine genderl siler, sileris (willow); suber, suberis (cork tree); thus, thuris (frankincense); robur, roboris (oak); acer, aceris (maple tree); are of the Neuter gender.
2. The names of Birds, Animals and Fish are of the Epicene gender.
- Birds, as: passer, passeris (a sparrow); a hirundo, hirundinis (a swallow).
- Animals, as: tigris, tigridis (a tiger); vulpes, vulpis (a fox).
- Fish, as: ostrea, ostreae (shellfish); coetus, coetus (a whale).
Here, it is to be noted that of all the nouns mentioned above, any ending in -UM or being undeclined (whether Greek or Latin) is of the neuter gender.
III. Special Rules for Common Nouns whose gender is known by their Endings
Now we will study all the other common nouns, whose gender is always known by their genitive cases, as the following three special rules below show.
1. A Noun that does not increase in the Genitive case is of the Feminine gender, as caro, carnis (flesh); capra, caprae (goat); nubes, nubis (cloud).
Because we learn that the gender of common nouns is to be known by the Genitive case, students must note that this rule applies to nouns that do not increase in the Genitive case, of which are all nouns of the first and fourth declensions, and of the second declension also, except a very few, which will be noted in the third rule below.
Exception 1: Some Nouns Not Increasing in the Genitive Case are of the Masculine Gender
Many names of men, ending in -A are of the Masculine gender, as first: scriba, scribae (scribe); assecla, asseclae (a waiter); scurra, scurrae (a scoffer); rabula, rabulae (unscrupulous lawyer); lixa, lixae (army attendant); lanista, lanistae (martial arts instructor).
Secondly, Greek nouns of the first declension in -AS, as: Aeneas, Aeneae.
Thirdly, Greek nouns of the first declension in -ES, as: Anchises, Anchisae.
Fourthly, as many as coming of them, do end in -A, as satrapas, satrapae (a prince); athletes, athletae (athlete).
Fifthly, verres, verre (boar); natalis, natale (a birthday); aqualis, aqualis (basin).
Sixthly, the compounds, of assis, assis (a pound) as, centussis, centussis (a hundred pound).
Seventhly, lienis, lienis (spleen); orbis, orbis (a globe); callis, callis (a pathway); caulis, caulis (a stalk)l follis, follis (bellows); collis, collis (hill); mensis, mensis (a month); ensis, ensis (a sword); fustis, fustis (a club); funis, funis (a rope); panis, panis (bread); crinis, crinis (hair); ignis, ignis (fire); fascis, fascis (bundle); cassis, cassis (a net); torris, torris (a fire); sentis, sentis (a thorn); piscis, piscis (a fish); unguis, unguis (a nail); vermis, vermis (a worm); vectis, vectis (a lever); postis, postis (a post); axis, axis (an axis).
Eighth, nouns ending in -ER, as venter, ventris (a belly).
Ninth, nouns ending in OS, as: logos, logi (a word).
Tenth, nouns ending in -US, as annus, anni (a year).
But first, mater, matris (a mother) is of the feminine gender.
Second, humus, humi (the ground); domus, domus (a house); alvus, alvi (the belly); colus, colus (spindle); ficus, ficus (a fig tree); acus, acus (a needle); porticus, portici (a porch); tribus, tribus (a tribe); socrus, socrus (a mother-in-law); nurus, nurus (a daughter-in-law); manus, manus (a hand); idus, iduus (Ides of a month); anus, ani (an old woman); vannus, vanni (winnowing fan)–are all feminine.
Third, Greek nouns, which becoming Latin, turn their -OS into -US, as: papyrus, papyri (paper); antidotus, antidoti (antidote); costus, costi (herb of Mary); diphthongus, diphthongi (a diphthong); byssus, byssi (silk); abyssus, abyssis (a bottomless pit); chrystallus, chrystalli (a crystal); synodus, synodi (a synod); saphyrus, saphyri (a sapphire); eremus, eremi (wilderness); arctus, arcti (north star), with many more–are feminine.
Exception 2: Some Nouns Not Increasing in the Genitive Case are of the Neuter Gender
First, nouns ending in -E, which is in the Genitive case, are of the Neuter Gender, as: mare, maris (the sea); rete, retis (a net).
Secondly, in -ON, as: barbiton, barbiti (a lute).
Thirdly, in -UM, as: ovum, ovi (an egg). Fourthly, hippomanes, hippomanis (a love potion). cacoethes, cacoethis (an evil custom); virus, viri (a poison); pelagus, pelagi (the sea).
And, Fifthly, vulgus, vulgi (the common people), which is sometimes masculine, sometimes neuter.
Exception 3: Some Nouns Not Increasing in the Genitive Case are of the Doubtful Gender
These following nouns, are of the Doubtful gender: talpa, talpae (a mole); dama, damae (a buck or doe); canalis, canalis (a channel); halcyonis, halcyonis (a kingsfisher); finis, finis (an end); clunis, clunis (buttock); restis, restis (a rope); penus, peni (foods); amnis, amnis (a river); pampinus, pampini (a vine branch); corbis, corbis (a basket); linter, lintris (a small boat); torquis, torquis (a collar or necklace); specis, speci (hunting den); anguis, anguis (a snake); ficus, fici (a pile); phaselus, phaseli (a swift little ship); lecythus, lecythi (a bottle); atomus, atomi (atom); grossus, grossi (a green fig); pharus, phari (a watch-tower); paradisus, paradisi (a garden).
Exception 4: Some Nouns Not Increasing in the Genitive Case are of Common Gender
First, nouns derived from Verbs, and ending in -A are of the Common gender, as: grajugena, grajugenae (a Greek horn) from gigno, to beget; agricola, agricolae (a farmer) from colo, to till; advena, advenae (a stranger), from venio, to come. Second, sennex, senis (an old man or woman); auriga, aurigae (a driver); verna, vernae (a bond-man or woman); sodalis, sodalis (a fellow); vates, vatis (a prophet or prophetess); extorris, extorris (a banished man or woman); patruelis, patruelis (a cousin); perduellis, perduellis (an enemy); affinis, affinis (an in-law); juvenis, juvenis (a young man); testis, testis (a witness); civis, civis (a citizen); canis, canis (a dog); hostis, hostis (an enemy).
Special Rule 2. A Noun is the Feminine Gender, whose next-to-last syllable if the Genitive, increasing, is long, as: pietas, pietatis (godliness); virtus, virtutis (virtue).
To this rule do pertain those nouns which sound long in the next-to-last syllable, of the Genitive increasing, as all nouns of the fifth declension, except for fides, fidei (faith); feminine gender.
Also, all nouns of one syllable, except vis, vis (strength). All the rest are of the third declension, as all ending in -C, as haec & hoc halec, halecis (a herring); -IN, as hic delphin, delphinis (a dolphin); -AN, as hic titan, titanis (a Titan); -ANS, as hic & haec infans, infantis (a babe); hic quadrans, quadrantis (a quarter part); -ENS, as hic continens, continentis (chaste); hic triens, trientis (coin); as -UNS, as decuns, decuntis (ten ounces).
Also, in long -ER, written by the Greeks with the vowel eta, as hic character, characteris (a letter); hic crater, crateris (a goblet); hic stater, stateris (a coin); hic soter, soteris (a savior).
Latin nouns in -ER, belonging to the third rule: and therefore haec mulier, mulieris is not rightly placed in this form.
Latin nouns ending in -INX, as haec syrinx, syringis (a pipe); -ANX, as haec phalanx, phalangis (military formation); -UNX, as hic deunx, deuncis; haec septunx, septuncis; -ONS, as hic et haec bifrons, bifrontis (two-faced); effrons, effrontis (impudent); -ORS, as haec cohors, cohortis (company of soldiers); hic, haec & hoc consors, consortis (a companion).
Furthermore, Latin nouns ending in -O having -onis and -enis in the Genitive case, as: haec lectio, lectionis (a reading); hic ligo, ligonis (a spade); hic spado, spadonis (what is gelded); haec anio, anienis (river Taveron). Except a few Gentile nouns, which appertain to the third rule, as: hic Macedo, -Macedonis (a Macedonian); hic Brito, Britonis (a Britain); hic Saxo, Saxonis (a Saxon); hic Vangio, Vangionis (a Vangian); hic Lingo, Lingonis.
Nouns of the Neuter gender, ending in -AL, as: vestigal, vestigalis (a tribute); animal, animalis (a living creature). The rest ending in -AL are of the third rule.
In -EN, having -enis in the Genitive case, as: hic lyen, lyenis (the spleen); haec siren, sirenis (a mermaid). The rest are of the third rule.
Greek nouns in -ON, keeping -on in the Genitive case, as: hic Damon, Damonis (a Pythagorean philosopher); haec Ladon, Ladonis (a river of Arcadia); hic Symon, Symonis (a Philosopher); hic Tryon, Tryonis. Some vary, as: Orion, Orionis; hic Edon, Edonis (a hill in Maecedon); haec Egeon, Egeonis (a city); and these also -onis in the Genitive case. The rest are of the third rule.
Latin nouns ending in -AR, as: hoc laquear, lacquearis (a vaulted roof); hoc exemplar, exemplaris (a pattern); hoc calcar, calcaris (a spur); except hoc jubar, jubaris (the sun-beam); hoc nectar, nectaris (nectar); hoc hepar, heparis (the liver).
Latin nouns in -OR, as: hic amor, amoris (love); hic timor, timoris (fear); haec uxor, uxoris (a wife). Except the following, which belong to third rule, as: haec arbor, arboris (a tree); hoc marmor, marmoris (marble); hoc aequor, aequoris (a plain); hoc ador, adoris (wheat); hoc robor, roboris (strength). And many Greek names also, as hic rhetor, rhetoris (a rhetorician); hic Hector, Hectoris; hic Nestor, Nestoris; hic Stentor, Stentoris.
Latin nouns in ending in -AS, as: haec majestas, majestatis (majesty); haec lenitas, lenitatis (gentleness); haec humilitas, humilitatis (lowliness); haec humanitas, humanitatis (courtesy). Except hic or haec anas, anatis (a duck). And certain Greek nouns of the Feminine gender, as: lampis, lampidis (lamp); monas, monadis (single person); trias, triadis (three); decas, decadis (ten).
Some Latin nouns ending in -ES, as: haec quies, quietis (rest); hic magnes, magnetis (magnet); hic & haec locuples, locupletis (rich); haec merces, mercedis (wages); hic & haec haeres, haeredis (an heir); hic & haec cohaeres, cohaeredis (a joiint heir). And certain Greek nouns also, as: hic lebes, lebetis (a pan); hic tapest, tapetis (a carpet); hic Dares, Daretis; hic Chremes, Chremetis.
Latin nouns ending in -IS, making -itis, -inis and -idis in the Genitive case, as: hic Samnis, Saminitis (a Samnite); hic Quiris, Quiritis (a Roman); haec Salamis, Salaminis; haec Trachis, Trachinis; haec Psophis, Psophidis; Crenis, Crenidis. The rest are of the third rule.
Latin nouns ending in -OS, as: hic & haec custos, custodis (a keeper); hic nepos, nepotis (a nephew); except hic & haec compos, compotis (one in control); hic, haec & hoc impos, impostis (one not in control). And the Greek nouns, which keep omega in the next-to-last syllable of the Genitive case, as: hic heros, herotis (demigod); hic Minos, Minotis; hic rhinoceros, rhinocerotis; hic Aegoceros, Aegocerotis.
Latin nouns ending in -US, having in the Genitive case singular -utis, -udis, -uris, -untis, as: haec salus, salutis (health); haec palus, paludis (a marsh); haec tellus, telluris (the earth); haec Opus, Opuntis (a city). Except this one word, haec pecus, pecudis (cattle). To this group belong the Comparatives of the Neuter gender in -US, as hoc santius, sanctioris (more holy); hoc probius, probioris (more honest); hoc melius, melioris (better); hoc pejus, pejoris (worse).
Latin and Greek nouns ending in -AX, as: hic & haec limax, limacis (a snail); haec fornax, fornacis (a furnace); hic thorax, thoracis (a breast); hic, haec & hoc pheax, pheacis (voluptuous); hic, haec & hoc audax (bold); hic, haec & hoc bibax, bibacis (a drunkard). Except certain appelative and gentile Greek nouns, as hic abax, abacis (a cupboard); hic storax, storacis (incense); haec smilax, smilacis (yew tree); hic colax, colacis (a flatterer); hic corax, coracis (a crow); hic dropax, dropacis (hair remover); hicc Pharnax, Pharnacis; hic Candac, Candacis. Notwithstanding, hic Syphax varies, as Syphācis, Syphăcis.
A few Latin nouns ending in -EX, as: hic vervex, vervecis (a castrated male sheep); hic vibex, vibicis (a stripe); hic & haec exlex, exlegis (an outlaw); haec alex, alecis (brine). The rest in -ex belong to the third rule.
Latin an Greek nouns ending in -IX, as: haec lodix, lodicis (a blanket); haec radix, radicis (a root); haec cornix, cornicis (a crow); hic, haec & hoc spadix; hic, haec & hoc felix (happy); hic phoenix, phoenicis (a bird); hic & haec perdix, perdicis (a partridge); hic coturnix, coturnicis (a quail). And all verbals in -trix, as haec victrix, victricis (she that conquers); haec nutrix, nutricis (a nurse); haec motrix, motricis (she that moves); haec lotrix, lotricis (a laundresse). The rest belong to the third rule.
Substantive and Adjective nouns ending in -OX, as: haec celox, celocis (a small boat); hic, haec & hoc velox, velocis (swift). Except hic Allobrox, Allobrogis.
Latin nouns ending in -UX, as hic Pollux, Pollucis. The rest are of the third rule.
Latin nouns ending in -YX, as hic bombyx, bombycis (a silkworm); but Bebryx varies.
Greek nouns ending in -PS, as: hydrops, hydropis (dropsy); hic Cyclops, Cyclopis; haec conops, conopis (a gnat), hic, haec & hoc cercops, cercopis (deceitful). The rest in -ops do belong to the third rule.
Exception 1: Some Nouns Increasing in the Genitive Case and long in the next to last syllable are of the Masculine Gender
Certain nouns of one syllable are of the Masculine gender, as: sal, salis (salt); sol, solis (sun); ren, renis (the kidney); splen, splenis (the spleen); Car, Caris; Ser, Seris; vir, viri (a man); vas, vadis (a pledge); as, assis (a pound); mas, maris (a man); bes, bessis (eight ounces); Cres, Cretis (a Cretan); pres, predis (financial surety); pes, pedis (a foot); glis, glitis (a dormouse); mor, moris (a custom or manner); flos, floris (a flower); ros, roris (the dew); Tros, Trois (a Trojan); mus, muris (a mouse); dens, dentis (a tooth); mons, montis (a hill); pos, pontis (a bridge); fons, fontis (a well); seps, sepis (a serpent); grips, gripis (a griffon); Thrax, Thacis (a Thracian); rex, regis (a king); grex, gregis (a flock); Phryx, Phrygian (a Phyrgian).
Secondly, nouns of more than one syllable ending in -N, as: Acarnan, Acarnanis; lichen, lichenis (skin growth); delphin, delphinis (a dolphin).
Thirdly, Latin nouns ending in -O, as leo, leonis (a lion); curculio, curculionis (a weevil).
Fourthly, senio, senionis (a six in dice); ternio, ternionis (the three in dice); sermo, sermonis (a speech).
Fifthly, in -ER, as: crater, crateris (a goblet).
Sixthly, in -OR, as: conditor, conditoris (a builder).
Seventhly, in -OS, as: heros, herois (a hero).
Eighthly, torrens, torrentis (lake or rainwater); nefrens, nefrrendis (a pig); oriens, orientis (the East).
Ninthly, many Latin nouns ending in -DENS, as: bidens, bidentis (object with two-teeth).
Tenthly, gigas, gigantis (a giant); elephas, elephantis (an elephant); adamas, adamantis (diamond); Garamas, Garamantis (African); tapes, tarpetis (a carpet); lebes, lebetis (a pan); Cures, Curium (a town); magnes, magnetis (a magnet); meridies, meridiei (midday).
Eleventhly, nouns compounded of the word as, assis (a pound), as: dodrans, dodrantis (nine ounces); semis, semissis (half-pound).
Twelfthly, Samnis, Samnitis (a Samnite); hydrops, hydropsis (a dropsy); nycticorax, nycticoracis (a night-raven); thorax, thoracis (the breast); vervex, vervecis (a castrated sheep); phoenyx, phoenicis (a bird); bombyx, bombycis (a silk-worm). But of these, syren, syrenis (a mermaid); mulier, mulieris (a woman); soror, sororis (a sister); and uxor, uxoris (a wife) are of the Feminine gender.
Exception 2: Some Nouns Increasing in the Genitive Case and long in the next to last syllable are of the Neuter Gender
First, these Nouns of no more than one syllable, are the Neuter gender: mel, mellis (honey); fel, fellis (the gall); lac, lactis (milk); far, farris (wheat); ver, veris (Spring time); cor, cordis (the heart); aes, aeris (copper); vas, vasis (a vessel); os, ossis (a bone); os, oris (a mouth); rur, ruris (the country); thus, thuris (incense); ius, iuris (the law); crus, cruris (a leg); pus, puris (pus).
Secondly, nouns of more than one syllable, ending in -AL, as: capital, capitalis (head-ornament).
Thirdly, Secondly, nouns of more than one syllable, ending in -AR, as: laquear, laquearis (a vaulted roof).
Fourthly, halec, halecis, which is both the Feminine and Neuter gender also.
Exception 3: Some Nouns Increasing in the Genitive Case and long in the next to last syllable are of the Doubtful Gender
These nouns are of the Doubtful gender, python, pythonis (a serpent); scrobs, scrobis (a ditch); serpens, serpentis (a serpent); bubo, bubonis (an owl); rudens, rudentis (a rope); grus, gruis (a crane); perdix, perdicis (a partridge); linx, lincis (a lynx); limax, limacis (a snail); stirps, stirpis (a stump); calc, calcis (the heel); dies, diei (a day), but dies is the Masculinie gender only in the plural number.
Exception 4: Some Nouns Increasing in the Genitive Case and long in the next to last syllable are of the Common Gender
First, the following nouns are of the Common gender: parens, parentis (a father or mother); autor, autoris (an author); infans, infantis (an infant); adolescens, adolescentis (12-21 year old); dux, ducis (a leader); illex, illegis (an outlaw); haeres, haeredis (an heir); exlex, exlegis (an outlaw).
Secondly, Nouns compounded of frons, frontis (the forehead), as: bifrons, bifrontis (two-faced).
Thirdly, custos, custodis (a keeper); bos, bovis (an ox); fur, furis (a thief); sus, suis (a hog); sacerdos, sacerdotis (a priest).
Special Rule 3: A Noun is the Masculine Gender, whose next-to-last syllable of the Genitive case increasing, is short, as: sanguis, sanguinis (blood).
Contrariwise, these nouns are short in the next-to-last syllable in the Genitive case; of which sort are those few of the second declension mentioned above, as: hic socer, soceri (a fathare catholic er-in-law); hic gener, generi (a son-in-law); hic puer, pueri (a child); hic adulter, adulteri (an adulterer); hic presbyter, presbyteri (an elder).
The compounds of hic vir, viri (a man), as: hic levir, leviri (husband’s brother); hic triumvir, triumviri (one of three leaders); hic decemvir, decemviri (one of ten leaders); hic centumvir, centumviri (one of 100 leaders).
The nouns compounded of gero (to bear) and fero (to bear), as: hic armiger, armigeri (an armor-bearer); hic claviger, clavigeri (a key-bearer); hic caducifer, caduciferi (a staff-bearer); hic lucifer, luciferi (a light-bearer). And certain adjectives, as tener, tenera, tenerum (tender); satur, satura, saturum (full); dexter, dextera, dexterum (right); prosper, prospera, prosperum (prosperous).
To this group do also belong all Greek nouns of the Neuter gender ending in -A, as: poema, poematis (a poem); dogma, dogmatis (an opinion); sophisma, sophismatis (a sophism); aenigma, aenigmatis (a riddle).
Also, Greek nouns ending in -YR, as hicc & haec martyr, martyris (a martyr); psithyr, psithyris.
In like manner, all Latin nouns ending in -UR, as: hic & haec augur, auguris (a soothsayer); hoc murmur, murmuris (a noise of water running); hic, haec & hoc cicur, cicuris (tame).
Also, all Latin nouns ending in -UT, as: hoc caput, capitis (a head); hoc occiput, occipitis (back of the head).
Furthermore, all Latin nouns ending in -O, besides them excepted before, as haec imago, imaginis (an image); haec sartago, sartaginis (a pan); hic ordo, ordinis (an order); hic or haec cardo, cardinis (a hook).
All Latin nouns ending in -L, as: hic Annibal, Annibalis (Hannibal); hic mugil, mugilis (a mullet); hic consul, consulis (a consul); hic & haec praesul, praesulis (a prelate).
All Latin nouns ending in -EN, as: hic pecten, pectinis (a comb); hic tibicen, tibicinis (a flute-player); hoc carmen, carminis (a song); hoc crimen, criminis (a crime).
Greek nouns ending in -ON, having a short O in the next-to-last syllable of the Genitive case singular, as: canon, canonis (a rule); hic daemon, daemonis (a devil); hic architecton, architectonis (a master-builder); hic Philemon, Philemonis (a poet).
Latin and Greek nouns ending in -OR, as: haec arbor, arboris (a tree); hoc aequor, aequoris (a plain); hoc marmor, marmoris (a marble); hic pantocrator, pantocratoris (the Almighty); apator, apatoris.
Latin and Greek nouns ending in -AS, as: hic or haec anas, anatis (a duck); hic Archas, Archadis; haec chilias, chiliadis (a thouosand); haec hebdomas, hebdomadis (a week); haec Enneas, enneadis (the nine).
Latin nouns ending in -ES, as: hic fomes fomitis (a wood chip); hic limes, limitis (a border); hic & haec praeses, praesidis (a superintendent); hic, haec & hoc deses, desidis (idle).
Latin and Greek nouns ending in -IS, as: hic sanguis, sanguinis (blood); haec pollis, pollinis (fine flour/powder); haec tyrannis, tryannidis (a tyranny); haec paropsis, paropsidis (a platter).
Latin and Greek nouns ending in -AR, as: hoc jubar, jubaris (the sunbeam); hic, haec & hoc compar, comparis (equal); hoc nectar, nectaris (nectar); haec bacchar, baccharis (an herb).
Latin and Greek nouns ending in -ER, as: hic socer, soceri (a father-in-law); hic gener, generi (a son-in-law); hic aer, aeris (the air); hic aether, aetheris (the fifth element, Aether).
Latin and Greek nouns ending in -S, with a consonant before, as: hic & haec princeps, principis (a prince); haec hyems, hyemis (winter); hic, haec & hoc inops, inopis (needy); hic Aethiops, Aethiopis (an Ethiopian); hic Arabs, Arabis (an Arab); hic chalybs, chalybis (steel).
Latin nouns in -OS, as: hic & haec compos, compotis (partaker of).
Latin and Greek nouns in -US, as: hoc pecus, pecoris (cattle); hoc decus, decoris (honor); hoc vellus, velleris (a fleece); hoc vulnus, vulneris (a wound); hic tripus, tripodis (a tripod); hic Oedipus, Oedipodis (Oedipus).
Greek nouns ending in -AX, as hic abax, abacis (table); hic storax, storacis (sweet incense); hic colax, colacis (a flatterer); haec climac, climacis (a step).
Greek nouns ending in -EX, as: hic & haec index, indicis (an index); hic & haec vindex, vindicis (a revenger); hic carnifex, carnificis (a hangman); hic & haec aruspex, aruspicis (a soothsayer).
Latin and Greek nouns ending in -IX, as: hic varix, varicis (a crooked vein); hic fornix, fornicis (an arch); hic calix, calicis (a chalice); hic mastix, masticis (a whip).
Latin and Greek nouns in -OX, as: hic, haec & hoc praecox, praecocis (too soon ripe); hic Cappadox, Cappadocis (a Cappadocian); hic Allobrox, Allobrogis; hic polyphilox, polyphilogis.
Latin nouns ending in -UX, as: hic & haec conjux, conjugis (a spouse); hic, haec & hoc redux, reducis (one returning).
To conclude, Greek nouns in -YX, as: hic or haec onyx, onychis (a nail); hic & haec Sardonyx, sardonychis (a precious stone); hic ceryx, cerychis (a herald); hic Eryx, erychis.
Exception 1: Some Nouns Increasing in the Genitive Case and short in the next to last syllable are of the Feminine Gender
First, nouns of more than two syllables, ending in -DO, having -dinis in the Genitive case, are of the Feminine gender, as: dulcedo, dulcedinis (sweetness).
Secondly, in -GO, having -ginis in the Genitive case, as: compago, compaginis (a joint).
Thirdly, virgo, virginis (a virgin); grando, grandinis (hail); fides, fidei (faith); compes, compedis (fetters); teges, tegeris (a mat); seges, segetis (corn); arbor, arboris (a tree); hyems, hyemis (winter); bacchar, baccharis (an herb); syndon, syndonis (a veil); gorgon, gorgonis (a terrible woman); icon, iconis (an image); Amazon, Amazonis (Amazonian woman).
Fourthly, Greek nouns in -AS, as: lampas, lampadis (a lamp).
Fifthly, Greek nouns in -IS, as: jaspis, jaspidis (a jasper stone); cassis, cassidis (a helmet); cuspis, cuspidis (a spear-point).
Sixthly, pecus, pecudis (livestock).
Seventhly, forfex, forficis (scissors); pellex, pellicis (a harlot); carex, caricis (a sedge); supellex, supellectilis (furniture); appendix, appendicis (an appendix); coxendix, coxendicis (the hip); ffilix, filicis (a fern).
Exception 2: Some Nouns Increasing in the Genitive Case and short in the next to last syllable are of the Neuter Gender
A noun sign a thing without life, is the Neuter Gender, ending, first, in -A, as: problema, problematis (a demand).
Secondly, in -EN, as: omen, ominis (an omen).
Thirdly, in -AR, as: jubar, jubaris (the sun-beam).
Fourthly, in -UR, as: jecur, jecoris (the liver).
Fifthly, in -US, as: onus, oneris (a burden).
Sixthly, in -PUT, as: occiput, occipitis (back of the head), of which, notwithstanding, pecten, pectinis (a comb) and furfur, furfuris (bran) are of the masculine gender.
Seventhly, cadaver, cadaveris (a dead body); verber, verberis (a whip); iter, itineris (a journey); suber, suberis (a cork tree); tuber, tuberis (a toadstool); uber, uberis (an udder); gingiber, gingiberis (ginger); laser, laseris (a juice); cicer, ciceris (a vetch); piper, piperis (a pepper); papaver, papaveris (a poppy); sicer, siceris (a parsnip); siler, sileris (an ossier); aequor, aequoris (a plain); marmor, marmoris (marble); ador (wheat); pecus, pecoris (livestock).
Exception 3: Some Nouns Increasing in the Genitive Case and short in the next to last syllable are of the Doubtful Gender
The following nouns are of the Doubtful gender: cardo, cardinis (a hook); margo, marginis (the brink); cinis, cineris (ashes); obex, obicis (a bar); pulvis, pulveris (dust); adeps, adipis (fat); forceps, forcipis (a pair of tongs); pumex, pumicis (a pumice stone); ramex, ramicis (a rupture); anas, anatis (a duck); imbrex, imbricis (a tile); culex, culicis (a gnat); natrix, natricis (a water snake); onyx, onycis (an onyx stone); silex, silicis (a flint stone), but these are most used in the Masculine gender.
Exception 4: Some Nouns Increasing in the Genitive Case and short in the next to last syllable are of the Common Gender
First, the following Nouns are of the Common of Two gender: vigil, vigilis (a watcher); pugil, pugilis (a champion); exul, exulis (an exile); praesul, praesulis (a superintendent); homo, hominis (a human being); nemo, neminis (no one); martyr, martyris (a witness); Lygur, Lyguris (a Lygurian); augur, auguris (a soothsayer); Arcas, Arcadis (an Arcadian); antistes, antistitis (a president); miles, militis (a soldier); pedes, peditis (a footman); interpres, interpretis (an interpreter); comes, comitis (a companion); hospes, hospitis (a host); ales, alitis (a bird); praeses, praesidis (a president); princeps, principis (a prince); auceps, aucipis (a fowler); eques, equitis (a horseman); obses, obsidis (a hostage).
Secondly, many other nouns coming from verbs, as: conjux, conjugis (a spouse); judex, judicis (a judge); vindex, vinidicis (an avenger); opifex, opificis (a workman); aruspex, aruspicis (a soothsayer).
IV. General Rules for Adjective Nouns
1. Adjectives with one ending, are of all three Genders, as: hic, haec & hoc felix, felicis (happy); hic, haec & hoc audax, audacis (bold).
2. For Adjectives with two endings, the first is Common gender, and the other is Neuter, as: hic & haec omnia, hoc omne (all).
3. For Adjectives with three endings, the first is Masculine, the second is Feminine, and the third is Neuter, as: sacer, sacra, sacrum (holy).
The following adjectives are, as regards their declining, almost Substantives, but as regards their nature and use, Adjectives, as: hic & haec pauper, pauperis (poor), hic & haec puber, puberis (adolescent); hic & haec degener (degenerate); hic & haec uber, uberis (plentiful); hic & haec dives (rich); hic & haec locuples, locupletis (wealthy); hic & haec sospes, sospitis (whole); hic & haec comes, comitis (a companion); hic & haec superstes, superstitis (a survivor), with a few others.
These have a certain kind of declining proper to themselves, as hic campester, haec campestris, hoc campestre, or hic & haec campestris, hoc campestre (a field thing); hic volucer, haec volucris, hoc volucre or hic & haec volucris, hoc volucre (a fleeing thing); hic celeber, haec celebris, hoc celebre or hic & haec celebris, hoc celebre (a famous thing); hic celer, haec celeris, hoc celere, or hic & haec celeris, hoc celere (a swift thing); hic saluber, haec salubris , hoc salubre, or hic & haec salubris, hoc salubre (a healthful thing); hic pedester, haec pedestris, hoc pedestre or hic & haec pedestris, poc pedestre (a pedestrian thing); hic equester, haec equestris, hoc equestre or hic & haec equestris, hoc equestre (an equestrian thing); hic acer, haec acris, hoc acre, or hic & haec acris, hoc acre (a sharp thing); hic paluster, haec palustris, hoc palustre or hic & haec palustris, hoc palustre (a marshy thing); hic alacer, haec alacris, hoc alacre, or hic & haec alacris, hoc alacre (a clever thing); hic silvester, haec silvestris, hoc silvestre, or hic & haec silvestris, hoc silvestre (a wild thing).
There are adjectives which are defective in Gender, of which as also of other Nouns we will learn of in another place.
1. In what two ways are the genders of Nouns known?
The Genders of Nouns may be known by the signification of the nouns or by their endings.
2. What are the two General rules for the gender of Proper Nouns known by their signification?
First, the proper nouns of males are of the masculine gender,including gods, men, rivers, months and winds. Second, the proper nouns of females are of the feminine gender, including goddesses, women, cities, regions and islands.
3. What are the two general rules for common nouns known by their signification?
First, the names of Trees are generally of the Feminine gender. Second, the names of Birds, Animals and Fish are generally of the Epicene gender.
4. What are the three special rules for the gender of common nouns when known by endings?
First, a Noun that does not increase in the Genitive case is generally of the Feminine gender, as caro, carnis (flesh); capra, caprae (goat); nubes, nubis (cloud). Second, a Noun that increases in the Genitive, the next-to-last syllable of which is long, is generally of the Feminine Gender, as: pietas, pietatis (godliness); virtus, virtutis (virtue). Third, a Noun that increases in the Genitive, the next-to-last syllable of which is short is generally of the Masculine Gender, as: sanguis, sanguinis (blood).
5. What are the three general rules for the gender of Adjective Nouns?
First, adjectives with one ending, are of all three Genders, as: hic, haec & hoc felix, felicis (happy); hic, haec & hoc audax, audacis (bold).
Second, for Adjectives with two endings, the first is Common gender, and the other is Neuter, as: hic & haec omnia, hoc omne (all).
Third, for Adjectives with three endings, the first is Masculine, the second is Feminine, and the third is Neuter, as: hic sacer, haec sacra, hoc sacrum (holy).
6. What does it mean for a noun to “increase in the Genitive case”?
To “increase in the Genitive case” means that a noun has more syllables in the Genitive case (and often other cases) than in its Nominative case, as pax, pacis or sermo, sermonis.
7. What must be remembered when considering the rules of the genders of nouns?
When considering the rules of the genders of nouns, we must remember that there are exceptions to the rules we have learned. This lesson can be referred to as a source for those exceptions.
Latin Grammar I, Lesson 09 Exam