Page name: Latin Classroom [Logged in view] [RSS]
2014-08-07 17:48:06
Last author: SilverFire
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Latin Classroom

Teacher: [SilverFire]


Section 1: Intro

Unlike English, Latin is a fully inflected language. What does this mean exactly? In English to change the tense or the person (first, second, third) of a verb, for example, you have to add different words around the main verb - "I ran", "She ran", "they ran", "I am running", "She is running", etc. - but the verb itself usually remains the same. In an inflected language, all of the information about tense, mood, and person are encoded in the verb itself. e.g.: amo (I love) amat (she/he/it loves), amabam (I was loving).

In English, word order is very important in figuring out the meaning of a sentence: 'The man kicks the dog' and 'the dog kicks the man' mean two very different things. In Inflected languages, word order is not so important because, again, much of the information we gain from word order is encoded into the noun itself.

The way a verb changes to show different mood, person and tense is called conjugation. The way a noun changes in order to show its function within a sentence is called declension.

Section 2: Nouns

2.1: number
Number simply reference to whether a noun is singular (referring to one thing) or plural (referring to two or more things). Even English has this property. The standard difference between a singular and a plural in English is an addition of an 's' in the plural: The Table, The tables. In Latin it is a little more complicated because of the cases.

2.2: Cases
In the declensions of Latin nouns, there are six cases, which means that for each noun, there are a maximum of 12 possible permutations (six singular, six plural). The case indicates the syntax of a noun - the function it serves in a sentence. We will cover this in more detail momentarily.

2.3: Gender
The second quality of nouns that's important right now is gender. The idea that nouns have a gender is often fairly confusing to those who aren't familiar with such a notion, but even in English, there is a certain minute amount of gendering that still happens - ships and cars, for instance, tend to be referred to as "she". Latin has three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. It's useful to remember the gender of a noun when learning vocabulary, because the different genders decline in different ways.


The following are Jetpunk quizzes created by [SilverFire] to help students of Latin revise noun declensions, verb conjugations and general vocabulary:

100 most common Latin words (Latin to English):

First declension noun endings:

First Conjugation present tense active verb endings:

Full conjugation (all moods and tenses) for the verb 'to be':


Back to Languages, the Elftown Academy,
or have a look at the Ancient Greek Classroom


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2004-02-09 [Aristotle]: Oh, and for those who want to study by themselves, there is an excellent page for that: (they also teach Ancient Greek). They have free textbooks, and Latin readers.

2004-02-09 [Urizen]: yay! thank you! you are a wonderful person... he he he *goes off to play with the pretty toys (aka the webpage)*

2004-02-10 [Aristotle]: Umm, right. Of course I am.

2004-03-14 [Lucifers Minion]: so has almost everyone here taken real latin courses before? I've never done anything with latin, and am learning here because my school doesn't offer it and prety much no place in the city does either, except universities, and i'm only 16. anyways, ami going to get lost here then?

2004-03-14 [Lavilia]: No I don't think so, if you read this, and do the exercises you will lurn latin.

2004-04-28 [Thaelan]: Yup, I'm in latin, and its fun. But don't worry, these lessons will take you through step by step, they are very well put together. (for anyone who is thinking about latin, this is a good review of the basics!)

2004-05-06 [Sheona]: Yeah, these classes are designed for complete beginners, so don't worry ^_^

2004-05-17 [-51228-]: i'm worse than a beginner i haven't got a clue

2004-05-20 [Sheona]: Slight change...I've just put the answers up here. I'll trut you to not look at them until AFTER you've finished the exercises ;)

2004-06-02 [jonayla88]: not to be annoying or anything(sorry if i am) but are there going to be anymore lessons?

2004-06-03 [Sheona]: Yeah, my exams just finished. I'm free! Yay!

2004-06-03 [Sheona]: UPDATE: new lesson up!

2004-06-07 [jonayla88]: yah thank you

2004-06-09 [Lavilia]: I am done (as always, I also finished my exams latin, I hope I did them well)

2004-06-12 [Dulce Vita]: Hey, do you have a chart for the conjugations of SUM (in present, imperf.,fut., perf., pluperf., and fut. perf.)?

2004-06-15 [Sheona]: I suppose I could put one up, although that's skipping ahead a little. If you want one, I'm sure I can do that!

2004-06-15 [Dulce Vita]: sure, please

2004-06-18 [Dulce Vita]: sorry for skipping ahead of you, though

2004-06-29 [the 5th apocalyptic horseman]: nice page here people... i took latin for 4 years now, but tis nice to see the basics again. and for the comment on the beginning of this page "not that you'll ever be speaking in Latin to anyone, because it is a dead language" i just have to say: thats not correct. at least for me it isnt. theres so much music with latin lyrics... specially all those mr songs that are set up in two languages... i actually use my knowledge of this language mainly for that.

2004-06-30 [jonayla88]: Supposably there's also a type of spoken latin but it has many other languages added to it and new words made up... so many don't consider it latin anymore

2004-06-30 [the 5th apocalyptic horseman]: lol well those medieval rock songs usually either use ancient or medieval latin.

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