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SUMMARY OF GRAMMAR 2: ADJECTIVES & PRONOUNS

Sections: [Adjectives] [Adjectives Used as Nouns]  [Personal Pronouns] [Some Other Pronouns & Related Words]
 
Tables: [1st type: adjectives with 1st & 2nd declension endings] [2nd type - adjectives with 3rd declension endings]
[Personal Pronouns] [Some miscellaneous pronouns & pronominal words]
[Demonstrative Pronouns & Adjectives] [Relative Pronoun]


ADJECTIVES

Adjectives are words that qualify nouns. , such as English and German, ome languages insist that adjective are placed before the nouns, e.g. a blue book; a red apple), while others prefer to place them after the noun (cf. French un livre bleu, une pomee rouge). Latin allows either word order.

However, while free and easy on word order, Latin is strict about adjectival agreement. An adjective in Latin (and many other languages) must agree with the noun it qualifies in number, gender and case; i.e.if the adjective is plural, so must the adjective be; if the noun is feminine, them so must be the adjective; if the noun is dative, so must be the adjective.

Unlike the five different types of nouns, there are only two basic types of adjectives.

1st type: adjectives with 1st & 2nd declension endings
This type uses second declension endings for the masculine and neuter forms and 1st declension endings for feminine endings. We give as an example the adjective bonus, bona, bonum = "good."
 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativebonusbonabonumbonibonæbona
accusativebonumbonambonosbonas
genitivebonibonæbonibonórumbonárumbonórum
dativebonobonæbonobonis
ablativebonobonabono
Just as with second declension masculine nouns ending in -us, so with these adjectives, there is a special vocative singular masculine in -e, e.g bone magíster, mihi parce = "good master, forgive me." The adjective meus, mea, meum = "my", however, is an exception and has vocative masculine singular mi, e.g. ausculta, mi puer! = "listen, my boy!"
The vocatives of all other forms on this page are the same as the nominative.

Some adjectives of this type form their masculines like puer "boy", e.g.
miser, mísera, míserum = "wretched, piteable."

 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativemisermíseramíserummíserimíseræmísera
accusativemíserummíserammíserosmíseras
genitivemíserimíseræmíserimiserórummiserárummiserórum
dativemíseromíseræmíseromíseris
ablativemíseromíseramísero

Other adjectives of this type form their masculines like magíster "master", e.g.
ruber, rubra, rubrum = "red."

 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativeruberrubrarubrumrubrirubrærubra
accusativerubrumrubramrubrosrubras
genitiverubrirubrærubrirubrórumrubrárumrubrórum
dativerubrorubrærubrorubris
ablativerubrorubrarubro
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2nd type - adjectives with 3rd declension endings
The use 3rd declension forms throughout. Most do not distinguish between masculine and feminine, and have separate neuter forms only in the nominative and accusative cases, e.g. gravis, grave = "heavy, weighty; serious, grievous."
 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativegravisgrave gravesgravia
accusativegravem
genitivegravisgrávium
dativegravigrávibus
ablative
Some adjectives do not even have a distinct neuter form in the nominative singular, e.g.
felix, felícis = "happy, fortunate."
 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativefelixfelix felícesfelícia
accusativefelícem
genitivefelícisfelícium
dativefelícifelícibus
ablative
A few, however, which end in -er in the nominative singular, distinguish all the genders in this form only, e.g.
celer, céleris, célere = "quick, speedy."
 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativecelercéleriscélere céleresceléria
accusativecélerem
genitivecéleriscelérium
dativecélericeléribus
ablative
You will notice that the -er- is throughtout; some adjectives like this drop the -e- in all forms except the nominative singular masculine, e.g. céleber, célebris, célebre = "renowed, celebrated, famous."

The observant will have noticed that neuters of the adjectives above behave exactly like the noun mare "sea" and not like the normal 3rd declension nouns; they will also that, unlike masculine and feminine 3rd declension nouns, the dative and ablative singulars of the adjectives are the same; and, if you are that observant, you will have noticed the genitive plural ends in -ium. All this is true for the vast majority of his 3rd declension adjectives.

There are, however, a few 3rd declension adjectives that do not share these features, but behave exactly like most 3rd declension nouns, e.g. vetus, véteris = "old":

 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativevetusvetus véteresvétera
accusativevéterem
genitivevéterisvéterum
dativevéterivetéribus
ablativevétere
The formation of comparatives and superlatives (i.e. older, oldest) did not come in the Latin Mass pages and we will not deal with it here; but you might note that all comparative adjectives behave in a similar way to vetus above, except that nominative singular masculine & feminine are the same as the stem of the word and are different from the neuter; e.g. mélior, mélius = "better"
 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativeméliormélius melióresmelióra
accusativemeliórem
genitivemeliórismeliórum
dativemeliórimelióribus
ablativemelióre

There are no Latin adjectives with eithder 4th or 5th declension endings.

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ADJECTIVES USED AS NOUNS

It will have been observed that the endings of adjectives are very similar to (in most cases, indeed, the same as) those of nouns. Indeed, the distinction between noun and adjective is fuzzy in Latin. Any adjective can be used by itself as a noun, e.g. bonus - "a good (male) person", bonum = "a good thing", bona could be feminine singular, "a good woman" or neuter plural, "good things, goods."

This also applies to the emonstrative pronouns below, e.g. ille canis = "that dog" ~ ille = "that person, he."

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PERSONAL PRONOUNS

We have come across several examples of these in the texts of the Mass. Here they are given in full.

 1st person
I, me, myself;
we, us,
ourselves
  2nd person
(thou, thee, thyself),
you, yourself,
yourselves
  3rd person
[reflexive only]
himself, herself,
itself, themselves
singularpluralsingularpluralsingularplural
nominativeegonostuvos-
accusativemetese
genitivemeinostri,
nostrum
tuivestri,
vestrum
sui
dativemihinobistibivobissibi
ablativemetese

Notes:

  1. The nominative cases are not normally required as the verb endings are sufficient to indicate the subject; they are used only for clarity or emphasis. The 3rd person pronoun has no nominative as it is used used only as a reflexive pronoun - see note (ii).
  2. A pronoun is reflexive if it is in the accusative, genitive, dative or ablative case and refers back to the subject, e.g. se vidit = "he saw himself/ she saw herself"; me lavi = "I have washed myself".
  3. While the 3rd person pronoun can only be reflexive, the 1st and 2nd persons can be used as ordinary pronouns, e.g. te vidi = "I saw you"; panem nobis dedérunt = "they gave bread to us/ they gave us bread."
  4. The genitives are never used to show possession; this is done by using the possessive adjectives:
    meus, mea, meum = "my (own)"noster, nostra, nostrum = "our (own)"
    tuus, tua, tuum = "thy (own)/ your (own)"vester, vestra, vestrum = "your (own)"
    suus, sua, suum = his own, her own, its own, their own [reflexive only]
  5. The genitives ending in -i are used as objective genitives, e.g. tui memor sum = "I am mimdful of you"; nostri memores sunt = "they are mindful of us" the genitive plurals ending in -um are used as partative genitives, e.g. tres nostrum = "three of us"; multi vestrum = "many of you".
  6. The preposition cum is always suffixed to the ablative forms, thus:
    mecum = "with me; with myself"nobíscum = "with us; with ourselves"
    tecum = "with thee/ with you; with thyself/ with yourself"vobíscum = "with you; with yourselves"
    secum = with himself, with herself, with itself, with themselves"
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SOME OTHER PRONOUNS & RELATED WORDS

1. Some miscellaneous pronouns & pronominal words
A number of pronouns and other adjectives follow the patters of the 1st group of adjectives above, except that for all genders their genitive singular ends in -íus and dative singular ends in -i. We came across one such word in the Mass where we found that the genitive singular of totus, tota, totum = "whole, all" is totíus. It id declined thus:
 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativetotustotatotumtotitotætota
accusativetotumtotamtotostotas
genitivetotíustotórumtotárumtotórum
dativetotitotis
ablativetotototatoto

Some other words which have the first group endings, except for the genitive singular in -íus and dative singular in -i are:
unus, una, unum = "one"; solus, sola, solum = "alone, only"; alter, altera, alterum = "the other [of two]"; neuter, neutra, neutrum = "neither [of two]."

Some pronominal words have nominative and accusative neuter ending in -d; one such word is álius, ália, áliud = "(an) other":

 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativeáliusáliaáliudáliiáliæália
accusativeáliumáliamáliosálias
genitivealíusaliórumaliárumaliórum
dativeáliiáliis
ablativeálioáliaálio
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2. Demonstrative Pronouns & Adjectives
All of these were often used by themselves also as 3rd person pronouns, i.e. "that male person" = "he"; "this female person" = "she", etc.

They basically decline like totus or alius above, with moinor variations. One such variation is masculine nominative singular ending in -e; such is ipse, ipsa, ipsum which may be used as an emphasizing adjective ending in -self in English, e.g. Dóminus ipse = "the Lord himself", tua soror ipsa = "your sister herself." It could also be used as a 3rd person pronoun, particularly if emphasis was required. It begins the last sentence of all the Eucharistic Prayers "Per ipsum, cum ipso, et in ipso …" "Through him, and with him, and in him … ." It is declined thus:

 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativeipseipsaipsumipsiipsæipsa
accusativeipsumipsamipsosipsas
genitiveipsíusipsórumipsárumipsórum
dativeipsiipsis
ablativeipsoipsaipso

Yet other demonstratives have both the masculine nominative in -e and the neuter nominative singular in -d; one such word is ille, illa. illud = "that", also used, as noted above, as a 3rd person pronoun, e.g. illa = "she". It is the ancestor of the word for "he" and "she" in French and the other Romance languages, as being the ancestor of the various forms of "the" in those languages. it is declined thus:

 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativeilleillailludilliillæilla
accusativeillumillamillosillas
genitiveillíusillórumillárumillórum
dativeilliillis
ablativeilloillaillo

Declined in exactly the same way is iste, ista, istud = "this" and also iste = "this male person, he" etc.

In Classical Latin iste had a more restrictive meaning, "that [near you], that [of yours]", but in Late Latin and Medieval Latin it normally means just "this." In all forms of Latin it could also be used, when appropriate, as a 3rd person pronoun.

Two other words for "that" and "this" that were inherited from Classical Latin are is, ea, id and hic, hæc, hoc respectively. The former pronoun was commonly used in all periods of Latin as a 3rd person pronoun. As you will come across these words in collects and other prayers their declensions are given below for reference. Apart from the masculine and neuter nominative singulars, is, ea, id is basically the stem e- with the endings of totus; hic, hæc, hoc, however, is somewhat odd.

 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativeiseaideiea
accusativeeumeameoseas
genitiveejuseórumeárumeórum
dativeeieis
ablativeeoeaeo
 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativehichæchochihæc
accusativehunchanchoshas
genitivehujushorumharumhorum
dativehuichis
ablativehochachoc
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3. Relative Pronoun
Several times in texts for the Mass we came across what is called the relative pronoun; in English this may be expressed by "who, which, that" or, quite often, simply omitted.
In the Gloria we have:
  • Dómini Fili Unigénite, … qui tollis peccata mundi,
    qui sedes ad déxteram Patris

    Lord, Only Begotten Son, … you [who] take away the sins of the world,
    … you [who] sit at the right hand of the Father …
In the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed we have:
  • Dóminum Jesum Christum, … per quem ómnia facta sunt,
    qui … desceendit de cælis, … cujus regni non erit finis.

    Lord Jesus Christ, … through [whom] all things were made,
    … [who] … came down from heaven, … [whose] kingdom will have no end.
  • Spíritum Sactum, … qui ex Patre Filióque procédit
    qui cum Patre et Fílio simul adoátur et conglorificátur
    qui locútus est per prophétas.

    Holy Spirit … who proceeds from the Father and the Son
    … who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified
    … who has spoken through the prophets.
In the Preparatory Prayers we have:
  • … panem, quem tibi offérimus, … vinum, quod tibi offérimus,
    … the bread [which] we offer you, … the wine [which] we offer you
In the Sactus we have:
  • Benedíctus qui venit in nómine Dómini
    Blesses is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
In the Lord's Prayer we have:
  • Pater noster, qui es in cælis
    Our Father, who art in heaven
In the Agnus Dei and the Invitation to Communion we have:
  • Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccáta muni,
    Lamb of God, you [who] take away the sins of the world,
  • … ecce qui tollit peccáta mundi. Beáti qui ad cenam Agni vocati sunt.
    … behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those [who are] called to the supper of the Lamb.
Its declension in full is:
 singular plural
masculinefeminineneutermasculinefeminineneuter
nominativequiquæquodquiquæquæ
accusativequemquamquosquas
genitivecujusquórumquárumquórum
dativecuiquibus
ablativequoquaquo

Appendix
The interrogative pronoun ("Who? What?") is the same as the relative pronoun, except for the nominative and accusative singular which are:

 singular
masculine & feminineneuter
nominativequisquid
accusativequem
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