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Latin Grammar

In Latin the syntactic role of a word is expressed by declension generating a sentence that does not depend on word order.

In Latin there is no indefinite article or definite article.

On the noun tables there are usually 5 (sometimes 7) cases:

Nominative: indicates the subject of the sentence, or a predicate nominative.

  • Vocative: case of direct address.
  • Genitive: indicates possession (most of the time).
  • Dative: indicates an indirect object.
  • Accusative: indicates a direct object. The accusative may also indicate the extent of time or space.
  • Ablative: - the object of a preposition: He is inside the palace. - time: At the tenth hour he died. - means: He yelled with a great voice. - agent of a passive verb: The cookie was thrown by Cornelia across the room.
  • Locative: used to describe the location of something.
There are 5 declensions. Most nouns in the 1st are feminine, most in the 2nd are masculine and neuter (usually distinguished by the m. -us and n. -um endings), 3rd can either be masculine, feminine, or neuter, 4th is either masculine or neuter, and 5th is usually feminine with a couple masculine.

All adjectives must agree with the noun they describe in number, case and gender.

Adjectives are either 1/2nd declension or 3rd declension. In 1/2nd declensions, -a endings are treated as feminine and are declined like 1st declension nouns, and -us endings are treated as masculine, and -um endings are treated as neuter and both are declined like second declension nouns. In 3rd declension adjectives, for masculine and feminine, most of the time there are no changes which are needed to be made to match gender as both masculine and feminine decline the same (make note that in the ablative usually you use an -i instead of -e as most 3rd declension adjectives are -i stemmed). Neuter has one important difference, as nominative and accusative in all declensions are the same (-um for 2nd etc.) and for plural nominative and accusative have -a (all neuters in all declensions do this as well).

Adjectives can also have comparative forms and superlative forms. Basically, you drop the ending (-a, -us, -um) and place -ior to get the comparative or add -issimus to make superlative form.

There are four conjugations in Latin. A verb either falls into one of these conjugations or is considered irregular. In Latin, a verb is defined by its person, number, tense, mood and voice. Each verb has two stems - a present stem and a perfect stem, to which various endings are added to make individual forms of verbs.

There are six tenses in Latin:

  • Present, indicates actions happening at the time of speaking.
  • Imperfect, describes actions which were going on over a period of time.
  • Future, used for actions which have not yet taken place, but will do so at some point.
  • Perfect, describes actions in the past which have finished.
  • Pluperfect, describes actions further in the past.
  • Future Perfect, used for actions which will be completed some time in the future.

There are three moods:

  • Indicative, which states indisputable facts.
  • Subjunctive, which is used for possibilities, intentions, necessities etc.
  • Imperative, used for commands.

There are two voices:

  • Active, where the verb is done by the subject.
  • Passive, where the verb is done to the subject.

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