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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2003-03-31 [Sheona]: Ok, I can't remember who I sent the answers to and who I haven't done yet! If you want a copy of the answers, mail me!

2003-04-02 [Lavilia]: uhm the verbs you put in there are 3th person singular praesens indicativus actif right?(sorry just had a test about the latin verbs)

2003-04-02 [Silasire]: u need a test on numerical plurals :P

2003-04-03 [Lavilia]: What do you mean?

2003-04-03 [Silasire]: 1st,2nd,3rd,4th? i better not be making an ass of myself :P

2003-04-04 [Lavilia]: I don't get it

2003-04-04 [BadCat]: you wrote '3th', instead of '3rd'.... Thirdth... heh... ahem.

2003-04-04 [Lavilia]: Sorry can't help English isn't my first language, sometimes I make mistakes

2003-04-04 [Silasire]: ok sorry :)

2003-04-04 [Lavilia]: but please keep me telling me what I have done wrong, else I will never learn

2003-05-10 [AstaldoiĆ¢]: *looks at the student list* What? Isn't [Steamcastle] done with the exercises yet?!

2003-05-10 [Mirime]: I must ask that too.....

2003-05-10 [SilverFire]: add me to the list of questioners then. 

2003-05-11 [Sheona]: I realise that we are waiting for one student to finish the lesson. I am not going to push the subject for now as I understand that most people ar involved in end of year exams. Hopefully after that the lessons will run more smoothly :)

2003-05-11 [Mirime]: Aah don't remind me...

2003-05-14 [AstaldoiĆ¢]: Bleeh. End of year exams are a pain in the neck -__-

2003-05-14 [Silasire]: end of year of exams are a pain..but people take several hour breaks from revision..and these lessons here only take a few mintues.

2003-05-14 [SilverFire]: yeah, but not every one is gonna use their break to come on elftown. :P

2003-05-14 [Silasire]: okok, its just my exams only last a couple of weeks, and they give me more than an hours break every far.

2003-05-15 [Mirime]: well, it doesn't take me all the time they give to take the final... so I'll print it out and work on it in my spare time :)

2003-05-15 [Silasire]: well i mean you can just do it all in one go easily in half an hour. at least the last one

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