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Home School Life Journal ................................................................................................................painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Beginning Latin Grammar, Lesson 17: The Second Declension

Latin Grammar for iPad and iPhone
"I would make them all learn English;
and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat." --Sir Winston Churchill

If your students need to review English grammar before introducing Latin Grammar, go to Simple Grammar.

Previous Lessons in the series:
Lesson 1: Latin Nouns
Lesson 5: Present Tense
Lesson 6: The Infinitive
Lesson 7: Review
Lesson 8 Direct Object
Lesson 9: Predicate Nouns
Lesson 10: Review and Vocabulary
Lesson 11: Possessives
Lesson 12: Appositives
Lesson 13: Review
Lesson 14: Prepositions
 Lesson 15: Indirect Objects
Lesson 16: Review

Not all nouns in Latin belong to the First Declension. Those that do, however, are all feminine in gender, except those which are masculine in meaning such as pirate, farmer and sailor. Every noun in Latin is either masculine, feminine or neuter.

Nouns of the Second Declension are either masculine or neuter, depending on their Nominative Singular endings.
Nouns of the Second Declension whose Nominative Singular ends on er, ir or us are masculine.
Nouns of the Second Declension whose Nominative Singular ends in um are neuter.
Nouns belonging to the Second Declension, like the First Declension, can be recognized by their Genative Singular. If a noun ends in i inthe Genative Singular, you know that the noun belongs to the Second Declension and will always take Second Declension endings. If a noun ends in ae in the Genative Singular, you know that the noun belongs to the First Declension and will always take First Declension endings.
Here are the other case endings of the Second Declension;
Singular
Nominative:(masculine) er, ir, us, (neuter) um
Genative: i
Dative: o
Accusative: um
Ablative: o

Plural
Nominative: (masculine) i, (neuter) a
Genitive: orum
Dative: is
Accusative: (masculine) os, (neuter) a
Ablative: is

Here are some important nouns of the Second Declension:
Noun                     Derivations     Meaning


  1. Hortus, horti     horticulture      garden
  2. Amicus             amicable          friend
  3. Oppidum                                   town
  4. Vir                    virile                man
  5. Puer                  puerile             boy
  6. Frumentum, frumenti               grain
  7. Dominus           domineer         master
  8. Equus               equestrian       horse
  9. Servus               servile            slave, servant
  10. Marcus              Mark              male name
Exercises:
Translate the following sentences.
  • Vir est in horto.
  • Vir est amicus Marci.
  • Servi equos dominorum spectant.
  • Frumentum portamus.
  • Marcus viris fabulas narrat.
  • Dominus hortum servo demonstrat.
  • In oppido laboratis.
  • Equus Marci dominum amat.
  • Marcus amico pecuniam dat.
  • Puerum, Marcum, in hortis specto.

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