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Latin Grammar I, Lesson 20. The Fifth Declension of Nouns

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To complete this lesson, complete the following tasks:

  1.  Study the Lesson for mastery.
  2. Complete all assignment Memory Work.
  3. Complete all lesson Assessments.


In lesson 03, we were introduced to the “accidents” of the parts of speech.  In that lesson, I said:  “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.”  In this lesson, we begin our detailed study of the declensions of Latin nouns.

In lesson 03, we learned that he Declensions of nouns are five.

  • The First declension, whose genitive singular is ended with the diphthong -AE, as musamusae.
  • The Second declension, whose genitive singular is ended with the letter -I , as dominusdomini.
  • The Third declension, whose genitive singular is ended with (the) syllable -IS , as sermosermonis.
  • The Fourth declension, whose genitive singular is ended with the syllable -US , as sensussensus.
  • The Fifth declension, whose genitive singular is ended with the letters E and I, as diesdiei.

In this lesson, we will study the forms of the Fifth Declension nouns.

Example Noun of the Fifth Declension

Latin nouns of the fifth declension have their nominative case ending in -E and I, and are declined as follows.  We will study one example noun of the fifth declension:

hic dies, diei (day)


The example noun of the fifth declension is hic dies.  The pronoun hic marks the gender as masculine, and the noun is declined as follows:


Nominative:  hic dies, (the) day
Genitive: di-ei of (the) day
Dative:  di-ei, to (the) day
Accusative:  di-em, (the) day
Vocative:  O dies, O (the) day
Ablative:  a di-e, from (the) day


Nominative:  hi di-es, (the) days
Genitive: di-erum of (the) days
Dative:  di-ebus, to (the) days
Accusative:  di-es, (the) days
Vocative:  O di-es, O days
Ablative:  a di-ebus, from (the) days

Substantives and Adjectives

After learning the forms of the example nouns of the fifth declension, we must give attention to the declension of substantives with adjectives.   Adjective nouns have cases just like substantives, so when they are used together, they must always be written with the same gender, numbichaeler and case. Here are some examples to be declined:

hic dies laetissimus
haec species insignis
haec res familiaris
haec facies honesta et liberalis

Let us consider hic dies, with an adjective of the second declension:


Nominative:  hic dies laetissimus, (the) day most happy
Genitive: di-ei laetissim-i of (the) day most happy
Dative:  di-ei laetissim-o, to (the) day most happy
Accusative:  di-em laetissim-um, (the) day most happy
Vocative:  O dies laetissime, O day most happy
Ablative:  a di-e laetissim-o, from (the) day most happy


Nominative:  hi di-es laetissim-i, (the) dull senses
Genitive: di-erum laetissim-orum of (the) dull senses
Dative:  di-ebus laetissim-is, to (the) dull senses
Accusative:  di-es laetissim-os, (the) dull senses
Vocative:  O di-es laetissim-i, O (the) dull senses
Ablative:  a di-ebus laetissim-is, from (the) dull senses

Remember, substantives and adjectives from different declensions may be joined, but they must agree in gender, number and case.  They may not look the same, but their characteristics must be the same.

Memory Work

To learn the declensions, you must relay on memorization.  Recite the questions and answers below until they are thoroughly memorized.  Rely on the lesson assessments to test your progress.

1. How many different terminations are found in the Nominative case of the Fifth Declension?
One: -es.

2. Decline the Fifth Declension masculine noun hic Dies (day). (State the case name, the Latin form and the English.)
Singular: Nominative, hic Dies, day; Genitive, Diei, of (the) day; Dative; Di-ei, to (the) day, Accusative, Diem, (the) day; Vocative, O Dies, O day; Ablative, a Die, from (the) day. Plural: Nominative, Dies, days; Genitive, Dierum, of days; Dative, Diebus, to days; Accusative, Dies, days; Vocative, O Dies, O days; Ablative, a diebus, from days.

In short: Dies, Diei, Diei, Diem, O Dies, a Die;  Dies, Dierum, Diebus, Dies, O Dies, a Diebus.


Fifth Declension Assessment