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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2003-10-24 [Sheona]: I'll write new lessons when people say they have finished the current one! Remember to say 'finished' next to your name near the top of the page. I'll post the answers on the page when you finish!

2003-10-25 [Lavilia]: I am done, I said that in my comment, should I add done to my name?

2003-10-25 [SilverFire]: yup *nod* *nod*

2003-10-31 [Sheona]: Yeah, add it to your name.

2003-10-31 [Sheona]: Well, my poem was chosen as one of the Halloween poems. Yay! I've been feeling really depressed (probably why I haven't updated this as often as I should, so sorry about that) since my friend was murdered a couple months back. Having my poem picked really put a smile on my face. The first time I've smile in weeks. So I'm feeling a little better. Strange how something so small can have such an effect. Want to vote for my poem on the main street? Please? Lol. ^_^

2003-11-03 [Thraganux]: *frowns* should i join or not, *flips a coin* well that did not help much... *still thinking*

2003-12-17 [Sheona]: Hey guys! Just to let you know I should be back now. I've been in hospital due to back problems 9I was hit by a car). SO sorry to keep you waiting!

2003-12-17 [Lavilia]: are you okay now? I am so sorry to hear you had an accident!

2003-12-19 [Sheona]: I'm alot better than I was, although I've been told no running, jumping, bouncing, carrying heavy objects (there goes my bass guitar!) or sitting (oops. nevermind). I'll live!

2003-12-20 [Lavilia]: Be careful please! We wouldn't want you to suffer any damage that lasts

2004-01-12 [Sheona]: Well, it's a little late for that! lol. I have three slipped disks, so I'm going to have to be careful with my back for the rest of my life. It kinda affects my chosen career too, but oh well. Hopefully I should be able to sit down more soon!

2004-01-28 [adnihilo]: Is this Latin 1?

2004-01-28 [Sheona]: This is Latin 2! ^_^

2004-01-29 [adnihilo]: it is???!!! when do we start past tense then? and future?

2004-01-30 [Lavilia]: Do you want to get confused now already? There are way too many times 5 or 6 I believe. Believe me, you don't want to start that yet

2004-01-30 [Sheona]: You will start different tenses soon enough. But Latin is a little more complex than simple tenses. We will get to that in time! Lol.

2004-01-31 [Urizen]: what is fun is when you get psycho tenses for verbs, he he he like in the greek aorist tense... *flashes a nerd sign*, what are the different verb tenses for latin? are they like english?

2004-01-31 [Aristotle]: Well, there are about 300 different ways to conjugate each Latin verb, according to my book (I haven't counted). On the other hand, all of them have English versions, but you have to use several words, like "I would have shown", which is in Latin "monstravissem", I think. Once again, straight from my book. I don't know much myself. Yet. *Hugs book*

2004-02-08 [dragonlady24]: 300. wow. I've been taking Latin for 2 1/2 years and I know only 60 ways to conjugate verbs

2004-02-08 [Lavilia]: You know what? I only know how to translate Latin into Dutch. When I do these classes, I first translate into Dutch, and then translate into English. I have had Latin for 4 and a half year now, and I still suck at it

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.

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