Latin declension

Latin is an inflected language, and as such its nouns, pronouns, and adjectives must be declined (their endings alter to show grammatical case). A set of declined forms of the same word pattern is called a declension. There are five declensions, which are numbered and grouped by ending and grammatical gender. For simple declension paradigms, visit the Wiktionary appendices: first declension, second declension, third declension, fourth declension, fifth declension. Each noun follows one of the five declensions, but some irregular nouns have exceptions.

Adjectives are of two kinds: those like bonus, bona, bonum "good" belong the 1st/2nd declension, using 1st declension endings for the feminine, and 2nd declension for masculine and neuter. Other adjectives such as celer, celeris, celere belong to the 3rd declension (there are no 4th or 5th declension adjectives).

Pronouns are also of two kinds, the personal pronouns such as ego "I" and "you (sg.)", which have their own irregular declension, and the 3rd person pronouns such as hic "this" and ille "that" which can generally be used either as pronouns or adjectivally. These latter decline in a similar way to the 1st/2nd noun declensions, but there are differences; for example the genitive singular ends in -īus or -ius instead of or -ae.

The cardinal numbers ūnus "one", duo "two", and trēs "three" also have their declension (ūnus has genitive -īus like a pronoun), and there are also numeral adjectives such as bīnī "a pair" (or "two each"), which decline like ordinary adjectives.

Grammatical cases

A complete Latin noun declension consists of up to seven grammatical cases: nominative, vocative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative and locative. However, the locative is limited to names of cities, small islands and a few other words.

They are often abbreviated to the first three letters.

The Latin cases have usually been given in the order Nom–Voc–Acc–Gen–Dat–Abl in Britain and many Commonwealth countries since the publication of Benjamin Hall Kennedy's Latin Primer (1866). This order reflects the tendencies of different cases to share similar endings (see below). For a discussion of other sequences taught elsewhere, see Instruction in Latin.

However, some didactic approaches or schools teach it in the order Nom–Gen–Dat–Acc–Voc–Abl or Nom–Gen–Dat–Acc–Abl–Voc, the order also used before the Latin Primer by Benjamin Hall Kennedy. This order is used in The School and University Eton Latin Grammar (1861),[1] with the ablative case always cited last, and a similar one is used in grammars of Ancient Greek (except without the ablative case, which does not occur in Greek), and has been retained by some modern didactic approaches to allow comparison of Latin and Greek.[2]

Meanings and functions of the various cases


Syncretism, where one form in a paradigm shares the ending of another form in the paradigm, is common in Latin. The following are the most notable patterns of syncretism:



History of cases

Old Latin had essentially two patterns of endings. One pattern was shared by the first and second declensions, which derived from the Proto-Indo-European thematic declension. The other pattern was used by the third, fourth and fifth declensions, and derived from the athematic PIE declension.


There are five declensions for Latin nouns:

First declension (a stems)

Nouns of this declension usually end in –a in the nominative singular and are mostly feminine, e.g. 'road' (via, viae f.) and 'water' (aqua, aquae fem.). There is a small class of masculine exceptions generally referring to occupations, e.g. 'poet' (poēta, poētae m.) and 'sailor' (nauta, nautae masc.).

The predominant letter in the ending forms of this declension is a. The nominative singular form consists of the stem and the ending –a, and the genitive singular form is the stem plus –ae.

aqua, –ae
water f.
poēta, –ae
poet m.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative aqua –a aquae –ae poēta –a poētae –ae
Accusative aquam –am aquās –ās poētam –am poētās –ās
Genitive aquae[3] –ae aquārum –ārum poētae –ae poētārum –ārum
Dative aquīs –īs poētīs –īs
Ablative aquā –ā poētā –ā

The locative endings for the first declension are –ae (singular) and –īs (plural), similar to the genitive singular and ablative plural, as in mīlitiae "in war" and Athēnīs "at Athens".[4]

First declension Greek nouns

The first declension also includes three types of Greek loanwords, derived from Ancient Greek's Alpha Declension. They are declined irregularly in the singular, but are sometimes treated as if they were native Latin nouns, e.g. nominative athlēta instead of the original athlētēs. Interestingly, archaic (Homeric) first declension Greek nouns and adjectives had been formed in exactly the same way as in Latin: nephelēgeréta Zeus (Zeus the cloud-gatherer) had in classical Greek become nephelēgerétēs.

For full paradigm tables and more detailed information, see the Wiktionary appendix First declension.

Second declension (o stems)

The second declension is a large group of nouns consisting of mostly masculine nouns like equus, equī ("horse") and puer, puerī ("boy") and neuter nouns like castellum, castellī ("fort"). There are several small groups of feminine exceptions, including names of gemstones, plants, trees, and some towns and cities.

In the nominative singular, most masculine nouns consist of the stem and the ending –us, although some end in –er, which is not necessarily attached to the complete stem. Neuter nouns generally have a nominative singular consisting of the stem and the ending –um. However, every second-declension noun has the ending –ī attached as a suffix to the root of the noun in the genitive singular form. The predominant letter in the ending forms of this declension is o.

dominus, –ī
master m.
Singular Plural
Nominative dominus –us dominī –ī
Vocative domine –e
Accusative dominum –um dominōs –ōs
Genitive dominī –ī dominōrum –ōrum
Dative dominō –ō dominīs –īs
bellum, –ī
war n.
Singular Plural
Nominative bellum –um bella –a
Genitive bellī –ī bellōrum –ōrum
Dative bellō –ō bellīs –īs

The locative singular ending for the second-declension was , like the genitive singular, as in Corinthī "at Corinth". The locative plural ending for the second-declension was -īs, like the ablative plural, as in Philippīs "at Philippi".[5]

Nouns ending in –ius and –ium have a genitive singular in –ī in earlier Latin, which was regularized to –iī in the later language. Masculine nouns in –ius have a vocative singular in –ī at all stages. These forms in –ī are stressed on the same syllable as the nominative singular, sometimes in violation of the usual Latin stress rule. For example, the genitive and vocative singular Vergilī (from Vergilius) is pronounced [werˈɡiliː], with stress on the penult, even though it is short.[6]

There is no contraction of –iī(s) in plural forms and in locative.[7]

fīlius, –ī
son m.
auxilium, –ī
aid, help n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative fīlius –ius fīliī –iī auxilium –ium auxilia –ia
Vocative fīlī –ī
Accusative fīlium –ium fīliōs –iōs
Genitive fīliī
(earlier) fīlī
(earlier) –ī
fīliōrum –iōrum auxiliī
(earlier) auxilī
(earlier) –ī
auxiliōrum –iōrum
Dative fīliō –iō fīliīs –iīs auxiliō –iō auxiliīs –iīs

In the older language, nouns ending with –vus, –quus and –vum take o rather than u in the nominative and accusative singular. For example, servus, –ī ("slave") could be servos, accusative servom.

Second declension –r nouns

Some masculine nouns of the second declension end in –er or –ir in the nominative singular. For such nouns, the genitive singular must be learned to see if the e is dropped. For example, socer, –erī keeps its e. However, the noun magister, –trī ("teacher") drops its e in the genitive singular. Nouns with –ir in the nominative singular, such as triumvir, never drop the i.

The declension of second declension –r nouns is identical to that of the regular second declension, with the exception of the vocative singular, which is identical to the nominative rather than ending in –e.

For declension tables of second declension nouns, see the corresponding Wiktionary appendix.

puer, -ī
boy m.
ager, agrī
field m.
vir, -ī
man m.
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative puer puerī –ī ager agrī –ī vir virī –ī
Accusative puerum –um puerōs –ōs agrum –um agrōs –ōs virum –um virōs –ōs
Genitive puerī –ī puerōrum –ōrum agrī –ī agrōrum –ōrum virī –ī virōrum –ōrum
Dative puerō ō puerīs –īs agrō ō agrīs –īs virō ō virīs –īs

Second declension Greek nouns

The second declension contains two types of masculine Greek nouns and one form of neuter Greek noun. These nouns are irregular only in the singular, as are their first declension counterparts. Greek nouns in the second declension are derived from the Omicron Declension.

Some Greek nouns may also be declined as normal Latin nouns. For example, theātron can appear as theātrum.

Irregular forms

The plural of deus (god, deity) is irregular, cf. Wiktionary: deus.
The vocative singular of deus is not attested in Classical Latin. In Ecclesiastical Latin the vocative of Deus (God) is Deus.

In poetry, –um may be substituted for –ōrum as the genitive plural ending.

deus, –ī
god m.
Singular Plural
Nominative deus -us deī
Vocative deus
Accusative deum -um deōs -ōs
Genitive deī deōrum
Dative deō deīs

Third declension (i and consonant stems)

The third declension is the largest group of nouns. The nominative singular of these nouns may end in –a,–e, –ī, –ō, –y, –c, –l, –n, –r, –s, –t, or –x. This group of nouns includes masculine, neuter, and feminine nouns. Examples are flumen, fluminis neut. ("river"), flos, floris masc. ("flower"), and pax, pacis fem. ("peace"). Each noun has the ending –is as a suffix attached to the root of the noun in the genitive singular form. Masculine, feminine and neuter nouns each have their own special nominative singular endings. For instance, many masculine nouns end in –or (amor). Many feminine nouns end in –īx (phoenīx), and many neuter nouns end in –us (onus, tempus) with an r stem in the oblique cases (gen. oneris, temporis).

dux, ducis
leader m.
virtūs, virtūtis
virtue f.
nōmen, nōminis
name n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative dux –s1 ducēs –ēs virtūs –s1 virtūtēs –ēs nōmen 1, 2 nōmina –a
Accusative ducem –em virtūtem –em
Genitive ducis –is ducum –um virtūtis –is virtūtum –um nōminis –is nōminum –um
Dative ducī –ī ducibus –ibus virtūtī –ī virtūtibus –ibus nōminī –ī nōminibus –ibus
Ablative duce –e virtūte –e nōmine –e

1 The nominative singular is formed in one of four ways: with –s, with no ending, or by one of these two with a different stem from the oblique cases. The same is true of other forms that are the same as the nominative singular: the vocative singular and the neuter accusative singular.

2 The nominative and accusative of neuter nouns are always identical. It should not be assumed that –en is always the appropriate ending, as it might appear above.

The locative endings for the third declension were or -e (singular) and -ibus (plural), as in rūrī "in the country" and Trallibus "at Tralles".[8]

Third declension i-stem nouns

The third declension also has a set of nouns that are declined differently. They are called i-stems. i-stems are broken into two subcategories: pure and mixed. Pure i-stems are indicated by the parisyllabic rule or special neuter endings. Mixed i-stems are indicated by the double consonant rule.

Masculine and feminine
Parisyllabic rule: Some masculine and feminine third-declension i-stem nouns have the same number of syllables in the genitive as they do in the nominative. For example: amnis, –is. The nominative ends in –is.
Double consonant rule: The rest of the masculine and feminine third-declension i-stem nouns have two consonants before the –is in the genitive singular. For example: pars, partis.
Special neuter ending: Neuter third-declension i-stems have no rule. However, all of them end in –al, –ar or –e. For example: animal, –ālis. This can be remembered with the help of the mnemonic involving a pirate named Al: "Al, ar' e' going pirating today?"

Pure i-stems may exhibit peculiar endings in both singular and plural. Mixed i-stems employ normal (consonant) 3rd declension endings in the singular but i-stem endings in the plural. Note the alternative i-stem endings indicated in parentheses.

amnis, amnis
stream, torrent m. (Pure)
pars, partis
part, piece f. (Mixed)
animal, animālis
animal, living being n. (Pure)
Parisyllabic rule Double consonant rule Special neuter ending
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative amnis –s1 amnēs –ēs pars –s1 partēs –ēs animal 1 animālia –ia
Accusative amnem
Genitive amnis –is amnium –ium partis –is partium –ium animālis –is animālium –ium
Dative amnī –ī amnibus –ibus partī –ī partibus –ibus animālī –ī animālibus –ibus
Ablative amne
parte –e

1 The nominative singular is formed in one of four ways: with –s, with no ending, or by one of these two with a different stem from the oblique cases. The same is true of other forms that are the same as the nominative singular: the vocative singular and the neuter accusative singular.

The rules for determining i-stems from non-i-stems and "mixed" i-stems should be thought of more as "guidelines" than "rules": even among the Romans themselves, the categorization of a 3rd declension word as an i-stem or non-i-stem was quite fluid. The result is that many words that should be i-stems according to the parisyllabic and consonant stem rules actually are not, such as canis or iuvenis. By the parisyllabic rule, canis should be a masculine i-stem and thus differ from the non-i-stems by having an extra –i– in the plural genitive form: *canium. In reality, the plural genitive of canis is canum, the form of a non-i-stem. This fluidity even in Roman times results in much more uncertainty in Medieval Latin, as scholars were trying to imitate what was fluid to begin with.


In the third declension, there are four irregular nouns.

Case vīs, vīs f.
force, power
sūs, suis c.
swine, pig, hog
bōs, bovis c.
ox, bullock
Iuppiter, Iovis m.
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular
Nominative vīs vīrēs sūs suēs bōs[9] bovēs Iuppiter[9]
Accusative vim vīrēs
suem bovem Iovem
Genitive vīs1 vīrium suis suum bovis boum
Dative 2 vīribus suī suibus,
bovī bōbus
Ablative sue bove Iove

1 Rarely used.

2 Rarely used in the dative case.

Fourth declension (u stems)

The fourth declension is a group of nouns consisting of mostly masculine words such as fluctus, fluctūs (masc.) ("a wave") and portus, portūs (masc.) ("a port") with a few feminine exceptions, including manus, manūs (fem.) ("hand"). The fourth declension also includes several neuter nouns including genu, genūs (neut.) ("knee"). Each noun has the ending –ūs as a suffix attached to the root of the noun in the genitive singular form. The predominant letter in the ending forms of this declension is u, but the declension is otherwise very similar to the third.

portus, –ūs
port, haven, harbor m.
cornū, –ūs –ū
horn, strength n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative portus –us portūs –ūs cornū –ū cornua –ua
Accusative portum –um
Genitive portūs –ūs portuum –uum cornūs
cornuum –uum
Dative portuī –uī portibus –ibus cornū
cornibus –ibus
Ablative portū –ū cornū –ū

In the dative and ablative plural, –ibus is sometimes replaced with –ubus. This is so for only a few nouns, such as artūs (plurale tantum), "the limbs".

The declension of domus is declined like a full 4th declension, and also like the 2nd declension, except on the plural dative and ablative cases which are always domibus.

domus, –ūs domus, -ī
house, home f.
like in the 4th declension like in the 2nd declension
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative domus –us domūs –ūs domus –us domī –ī
Accusative domum –um domum –um domōs –ōs
Genitive domūs –ūs domuum –uum domī –ī domōrum –ōrum
Dative domū
domibus –ibus domō ō domibus* –ibus1
Ablative domū

1Also declined like in the 4th declension.

Fifth declension (e stems)

The fifth declension is a small group of nouns consisting of mostly feminine nouns like 'affair, matter, thing' (rēs, reī fem.) and 'day' (diēs, diēī usually masculine, except on notable days when it is feminine). Each noun has either the ending –ēī or –eī as a suffix attached to the root of the noun in the genitive singular form.

diēs, –ēī
day m., f.
rēs, –eī
thing f.
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative diēs –ēs diēs –ēs rēs –ēs rēs –ēs
Accusative diem –em rem –em
Genitive diēī –ēī diērum –ērum reī –eī rērum –ērum
Dative diēbus –ēbus rēbus –ēbus
Ablative diē –ē –ē

Note that nouns ending in –iēs have long ēī in the dative and genitive, while nouns ending in a consonant + –ēs have short in these cases.

The locative ending of the fifth declension was (singular only), identical to the ablative singular, as in hodiē "today".


Personal pronouns

The first and second persons are irregular, and both pronouns are indeclinable for gender.

First Person Second Person
ego, meī
nōs, nostri
tū, tuī
you (sg.)
vōs, vestri
you (pl.)
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative ego
nōs vōs
Genitive meī nostrī,
tuī vestrī,
Dative mihi
nōbīs tibi

The genitive forms meī, tuī, nostrī, vestrī, suī are used as complements in certain grammatical constructions, whereas nostrum, vestrum are used in the partitive meaning. To express possession, the possessive pronouns (essentially adjectives) meus, tuus, noster, vester are used, declined in the 1st and 2nd declensions to agree in number and case with the thing possessed, e.g. pater meus "my father", māter mea "my mother". The vocative singular masculine of meus is : mī Attice "my dear Atticus".[10]

Usually, to show the ablative of accompaniment, cum would be added to the ablative form. However, with personal pronouns (1st and 2nd person), the reflexive and the interrogative, cum is added onto the end of the ablative form. That is: mēcum "with me", nōbīscum "with us", tēcum "with you", vōbīscum, sēcum and quōcum (sometimes quīcum).

For the third person pronoun is "he", see below.

Reflexive pronoun (sē)

The third person reflexive pronoun always refers back to the subject, regardless of whether the subject is singular or plural:

—, suī
himself, herself
itself, oneself, themselves
Accusative sē, sēsē
Genitive suī
Dative sibi
Ablative sē, sēsē

This pronoun has a possessive adjective: suus, sua, suum, meaning "his/her own" or (if the subject is plural) "their own":

Patrem suum numquam vīderat. (Cicero)[11]
"He had never seen his father." (= his own father)

When "his" or "her" refers to someone else, not the subject, the genitive pronoun eius "of him" is used instead of suus:

Fit obviam Clodio ante fundum eius. (Cicero)[12]
"He met Clodius in front of the latter's farm."

When one sentence is embedded inside another with a different subject, se and suus can refer to either subject:

Patres conscripti ... legatos in Bithyniam miserunt qui ab rege peterent, ne inimicissimum suum secum haberet sibique dederet.[13]
"The senators ... sent ambassadors to Bithynia, who were to ask the king not to keep their greatest enemy with him but hand him over to them."

Demonstrative pronouns and adjectives

Relative, demonstrative and indefinite pronouns are generally declined like first and second declension adjectives, with the following differences:

  • the nominatives are often irregular
  • the genitive singular ends in –īus rather than –ae or –ī.
  • the dative singular ends in –ī: rather than –ae or –ō.

These differences characterize the "pronominal" declension, and a few special adjectives (tōtus "the whole", sōlus "alone", ūnus "one", nūllus "no", alius "another", alter "another (of two)", etc.) are also declined according to this pattern.

All demonstrative, relative, and indefinite pronouns in Latin can also be used adjectivally, with some small differences; for example in the interrogative pronoun, quis "who?" and quid? "what?" are usually used for the pronominal form, quī and quod "which?" for the adjectival form.

Third person pronoun

The weak demonstrative pronoun is, ea, id "that" also serves as the 3rd person pronoun "he, she, it":

Third person
is, eī
he, they m.
ea, eae
she, they f.
id, ea
it, they n.
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative is
ea eae id ea
Accusative eum eōs eam eās
Genitive eius eōrum eius eārum eius eōrum
Dative eīs

This pronoun is also often used adjectivally, e.g. is homo "that man", ea pecunia "that money". It has no possessive adjective; the genitive is used instead: pater eius = "his/her father"; pater eōrum = "their father".

Declension of īdem

The pronoun or pronominal adjective īdem, eadem, idem means 'the same'. It is derived from is with the suffix -dem. However, some forms have been assimilated.

īdem, eadem, idem
the same, same as
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative īdem eīdem,
eadem eaedem idem eadem
Accusative eundem eōsdem eandem eāsdem
Genitive eiusdem eōrundem eiusdem eārundem eiusdem eōrundem
Dative eīdem eīsdem,
eīdem eīsdem,
eīdem eīsdem,
Ablative eōdem eādem eōdem

Other demonstrative pronouns

hic, haec, hoc
this, this one (proximal)
ille, illa, illud
that, that one (distal)
iste, ista, istud
that of yours (medial)
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative hic haec hae hoc haec ille illī illa illae illud illa iste istī ista istae istud ista
Accusative hunc hōs hanc hās illum illōs illam illās istum istōs istam istās
Genitive huius[14] hōrum huius hārum huius hōrum illīus illōrum illīus illārum illīus illōrum istīus istōrum istīus istārum istīus istōrum
Dative huic hīs huic hīs huic hīs illī illīs illī illīs illī illīs istī istīs istī istīs istī istīs
Ablative hōc hāc hōc illō illā illō istō istā istō

Similar in declension to ille is the pronoun iste, ista, istud "that one of yours", and alius, alia, aliud "another".

Intensive pronoun

ipse, ipsa, ipsum
himself, herself, itself
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative ipse ipsī ipsa ipsae ipsum ipsa
Accusative ipsum ipsōs ipsam ipsās
Genitive ipsīus ipsōrum ipsīus ipsārum ipsīus ipsōrum
Dative ipsī ipsīs ipsī ipsīs ipsī ipsīs
Ablative ipsō ipsā ipsō

Interrogative pronouns

The interrogative pronouns are used strictly for asking questions. They are distinct from the relative pronoun and the interrogative adjective (which is declined like the relative pronoun). Interrogative pronouns rarely occur in the plural. The plural interrogative pronouns are the same as the plural relative pronouns.

quis? quid?
who?, what?
Masculine & Feminine Neuter
Nominative quis? quid?
Accusative quem?
Genitive cuius?
Dative cuī?
Ablative quō?

Relative pronouns

quī, quae, quod
who, which, that
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative quī quae quod quae
Accusative quem quōs quam quās
Genitive cuius [14] quōrum cuius quārum cuius quōrum
Dative cuī quibus cuī quibus cuī quibus
Ablative quō quā quō


Correlatives are the corresponding demonstrative, relative, interrogative, and indefinite forms of pronouns, pronominal adjectives, and adverbs. These are shown below:[15]

Demonstrative Relative Interrogative Indefinite relative Indefinite
or t–[16]
qu–, c–, u– reduplicated
or –cumque
basic is quī quis quisquis aliquis
number tantus quantus quantuscumque aliquantus
type tālis quālis quāliscumque aliquālis
place where ibi ubi ubiubi alicubi
place to, whither quō quōquō aliquō
manner quā quāquā aliquā
place from, whence inde unde undecumque alicunde
time tum cum quandō quandōcumque aliquandō
counting tot quot quotquot aliquot
repetition totiēns quotiēns quotiēnscumque aliquotiēns


First and second declension adjectives

First and second declension are inflected in the masculine, the feminine and the neuter; the masculine form typically ends in –us (although some end in –er, see below), the feminine form ends in –a, and the neuter form ends in –um. Therefore, some adjectives are given like altus, alta, altum.

altus, –a, –um
high, long, tall
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative altus –us altī –ī alta –a altae –ae altum –um alta –a
Vocative alte –e
Accusative altum –um altōs –ōs altam –am altās –ās
Genitive altī –ī altōrum –ōrum altae –ae altārum –ārum altī –ī altōrum –ōrum
Dative altō –ō altīs –īs altīs –īs altō –ō altīs –īs
Ablative altā –ā

First and second declension –r adjectives

Some first and second declension adjectives' masculine form end in –er. As with second declension –r nouns, some adjectives retain the e throughout inflection, and some omit it. Sacer, sacra, sacrum omits its e while miser, misera, miserum keeps it.

miser, –era, –erum
sad, poor, unhappy
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative miser –er miserī –ī misera –a miserae –ae miserum –um misera –a
Accusative miserum –um miserōs –ōs miseram –am miserās –ās
Genitive miserī –ī miserōrum –ōrum miserae –ae miserārum –ārum miserī –ī miserōrum –ōrum
Dative miserō –ō miserīs –īs miserīs –īs miserō –ō miserīs –īs
Ablative miserā –ā
sacer, –cra, –crum
sacred, holy
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative sacer –er sacrī –ī sacra –a sacrae –ae sacrum –um sacra –a
Accusative sacrum –um sacrōs –ōs sacram –am sacrās –ās
Genitive sacrī –ī sacrōrum –ōrum sacrae –ae sacrārum –ārum sacrī –ī sacrōrum –ōrum
Dative sacrō –ō sacrīs –īs sacrīs –īs sacrō –ō sacrīs –īs
Ablative sacrā –ā

First and second –īus genitive adjectives

Nine first and second declension adjectives are irregular in the genitive and the dative in all genders. They can be remembered by using the mnemonic acronym VNVS NAVTA. They are:

ūllus, –a, –um; any
nūllus, –a, –um; no, none (of any)
uter, –tra, –trum; which (of two)
sōlus, –a, –um; sole, alone
neuter, –tra, –trum; neither (of two)
alius, –a, –ud; (gen. sing. alīus, often replaced by alterīus; another)
ūnus, –a, –um; one
tōtus, –a, –um; whole
alter, –era, –erum; the other (of two)

ūllus, –a, –um
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative ūllus –us ūllī –ī ūlla –a ūllae –ae ūllum –um ūlla –a
Vocative ūlle –e
Accusative ūllum –um ūllōs –ōs ūllam –am ūllās –ās
Genitive ūllīus –īus ūllōrum –ōrum ūllīus –īus ūllārum –ārum ūllīus –īus ūllōrum –ōrum
Dative ūllī –ī ūllīs –īs ūllī –ī ūllīs –īs ūllī –ī ūllīs –īs
Ablative ūllō –ō ūllā –ā ūllō –ō

Third declension adjectives

Third declension adjectives are normally declined like third declension i-stem nouns, except for the fact they always have –ī rather than –e in the ablative singular (unlike i-stem nouns, in which only neuters have –ī). Some adjectives, however, like the one-ending vetus, veteris (old, aged), have –e in the ablative singular (all genders), –um in the genitive plural (all genders), and –a in the nominative and accusative plural (neuter only).

Third declension adjectives with one ending

These have a single nominative ending for all genders, although as usual the endings for the other cases vary. As with nouns, a genitive is given for the purpose of showing the nflection.

atrōx, –ōcis
terrible, mean, cruel
Masculine & Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative atrōx –ōx atrōcēs –ēs atrōx –ōx atrōcia –ia
Accusative atrōcem –em atrōcēs
Genitive atrōcis –is atrōcium –ium atrōcis –is atrōcium –ium
Dative atrōcī –ī atrōcibus –ibus atrōcī –ī atrōcibus –ibus

Third declension adjectives with two endings

Third declension adjectives that have two endings have one form for the masculine and feminine, and a separate form for the neuter. The ending for the masculine and feminine is –is, and the ending for the neuter is –e. It is not necessary to give the genitive, as it is the same as the nominative

agilis, –e
nimble, swift
Masculine & Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative agilis –is agilēs –ēs agile –e agilia –ia
Accusative agilem –em agilēs
Genitive agilis –is agilium –ium agilis –is agilium –ium
Dative agilī –ī agilibus –ibus agilī –ī agilibus –ibus

Third declension adjectives with three endings

Third declension adjectives with three endings have three separate nominative forms for all three genders. Like third and second declension –r nouns, the masculine ends in –er. The feminine ends in –ris, and the neuter ends in –re. The genitive is the same as the nominative

celer, –eris, –ere
swift, rapid, brash
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative celer –er celerēs –ēs celeris –is celerēs –ēs celere –e celeria –ia
Accusative celerem –em celerēs
celerem –em celerēs
Genitive celeris –is celerium –ium celeris –is celerium –ium celeris –is celerium –ium
Dative celerī –ī celeribus –ibus celerī –ī celeribus –ibus celerī –ī celeribus –ibus
alacer, –cris, –cre
lively, jovial, animated
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative alacer –er alacrēs –ēs alacris –is alacrēs –ēs alacre –e alacria –ia
Accusative alacrem –em alacrēs
alacrem –em alacrēs
Genitive alacris –is alacrium –ium alacris –is alacrium –ium alacris –is alacrium –ium
Dative alacrī –ī alacribus –ibus alacrī –ī alacribus –ibus alacrī –ī alacribus –ibus

Comparative and superlative forms of adjectives

As in English, adjectives have superlative and comparative forms. For regular first and second declension and third declension adjectives with one or two endings, the comparative is formed by adding –ior for the masculine and feminine, and –ius for the neuter to the base. The genitive for both are formed by adding –iōris. Therefore, they are declined like the third declension. However, they are not declined as i-stems are. Superlatives formed by adding –issimus, –a, –um to the base. Now, we find that superlatives are declined like first and second declension adjectives.

benignus, –a, –um (kind, nice)benignior, –iusbenignissimus, –a, –um
frīgidus, –a, –um (cold, chilly)frīgidior, –iusfrīgidissimus, –a, –um
calidus, –a, –um (hot, fiery)calidior, –iuscalidissimus, –a, –um
pugnāx, –ācis (pugnacious)pugnācior, –iuspugnācissimus, –a, –um
fortis, –e (strong, robust)fortior, –iusfortissimus, –a, –um
aequālis, –e (equal, even)aequālior, –iusaequālissimus, –a, –um

Comparatives and superlatives of –er adjectives

Adjectives (in the third and first and second declensions) that have masculine nominative singular forms ending in –er have different forms. If the feminine and neuter forms drop the e, use that for the comparative form. The superlative is formed by adding –rimus onto the masculine form.

pulcher, –chra, –chrum (pretty, beautiful)pulchrior, –iuspulcherrimus, –a, –um
sacer, –cra, –crum (sacred, holy)sacrior, –iussacerrimus, –a, –um
tener, –era, –erum (delicate, tender)tenerior, –iustenerrimus, –a, –um
ācer, –cris, –cre (sharp)ācrior, –iusācerrimus, –a, –um
celeber, –bris, –bre (celebrated, famous)celebrior, –iusceleberrimus, –a, –um
celer, –eris, –ere (quick, fast)celerior, –iuscelerrimus, –a, –um

Comparatives and superlatives of –lis adjectives

Some third declension adjectives with two endings in –lis in the sexed nominative singular have irregular superlative forms. The following are the only adjectives that have this unique form.

facilis, –e (easy)facilior, –iusfacillimus, –a, –um
difficilis, –e (hard, difficult)difficilior, –iusdifficillimus, –a, –um
similis, –e (similar, like)similior, –iussimillimus, –a, –um
dissimilis, –e (unlike, dissimilar)dissimilior, –iusdissimillimus, –a, –um
gracilis, –e (slender, slim)gracilior, –iusgracillimus, –a, –um
humilis, –e (low, humble)humilior, –iushumillimus, –a, –um

Irregular comparatives and superlatives

As in most languages, Latin has adjectives that have irregular comparatives and superlatives.

bonus, –a, –um (good)melior, –iusoptimus, –a, –um
malus, –a, –um (bad, evil)peior, –iuspessimus, –a, –um
magnus, –a, –um (great, large)maior, –iusmaximus, –a, –um
parvus, –a, –um (small, slight)minor, –usminimus, –a, –um
multus, –a, –um (much, many)plūs1plurimus, –a, –um
propinquus, –a, –um (near, close)propior, –iusproximus, –a, –um
mātūrus, –a, –um (ripe, mature)mātūrior, –iusmātūrrimus, –a, –um2
nēquam3 (worthless)nēquior, –iusnēquissimus, –a, –um
posterus, –a, –um (next, future)posterior, –iuspostrēmus (postumus), –a, –um
superus, –a, –um (above, upper)superior, –iussuprēmus (summus), –a, –um
exterus, –a, –um (outer, outward)exterior, –iusextrēmus (extimus), –a, –um
īnferus, –a, –um (below, lower)īnferior, –iusīnfimus (īmus), –a, –um
senex, senis (old, aged)senior, –ius——
iuvenis, –is (young, youthful)iuvenior –ius / iūnior, –ius——
  • 1: noun used with genitive to express more of something. In the plural used as an adjective: plūrēs, plūra, genitive plūrium
  • 2: often replaced by the regular form maturissimus, –a, –um
  • 3: indeclinable

Declension of numerals

See also: Roman numerals

There are several different kinds of numeral words in Latin: the two most common are cardinal numerals, and ordinal numerals. There are also several more rare numerals, e.g., distributive numerals and adverbial numerals.

Cardinal numerals

All cardinal numerals are indeclinable, except by ūnus (one), duo (two), trēs (three), hundreds from 200 - 900 (like ducentī, trecentī, quadringentī, etc.) and mīlia (thousands), which have cases and genders like adjectives. Ūnus, ūna, ūnum is declined like a 1st and 2nd declension pronoun with –īus in the genitive, and –ī in the dative. Duo is declined irregularly, tria is declined like a 3rd declension plural adjective, -centī (hundred) numerals decline like 1st and 2nd declension adjectives, and mīlia is declined like a 3rd declension i-stem neuter noun:

ūnus, -a, -um
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative ūnus ūnī ūna ūnae ūnum ūna
Vocative ūne
Accusative ūnum ūnōs ūnam ūnās
Genitive ūnīus ūnōrum ūnīus ūnārum ūnīus ūnōrum
Dative ūnī ūnīs ūnī ūnīs ūnī ūnīs
Ablative ūnō ūnā ūnō

The existence of plural endings for ūnus might seem unnecessary; however, they are used with pluralia tantum nouns, e. g. ūna castra (one [military] camp), ūnae scālae (one ladder).

duo, -ae, -o
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative duo duae duo
Accusative duōs
Genitive duōrum
duārum duōrum
Dative duōbus duābus duōbus

The word ambō, "both", is declined like duo except that its o is long. Both declensions derive from the Indo-European dual number, otherwise defunct in Latin, rather than the plural.

trēs, -ia
Masculine & Feminine Neuter
Nominative trēs tria
Accusative trēs
Genitive trium
Dative tribus
ducentī, -ae, -a
two hundred
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative ducentī ducentae ducenta
Accusative ducentōs ducentās
Genitive ducentōrum ducentārum ducentōrum
Dative ducentīs

The numeral centum (one hundred) is indeclinable, but all the other hundred numerals are declinable.

one thousand
mīlia, -um
thousand (-s)
Singular Plural
Nominative mīlle mīlia –a
Genitive mīlium –um
Dative mīlibus –ibus

The word mīlle "a thousand" is a singular and indeclinable adjective. However, its plural, mīlia, is a plural 3rd declension i-stem neuter noun. To write the phrase "four thousand horses" in Latin, the genitive is used: quattuor mīlia equōrum, literally, "four thousands of horses".

The rest of the numbers are indeclinable whether used as adjectives or as substantives.

1 I ūnus, –a, –um 11 XI ūndecim 21 XXI vigintī et ūnus 101 CI centum et ūnus
2 II duo, –ae, –o 12 XII duodecim 22 XXII vigintī et duo 200 CC ducentī, –ae, –a
3 III trēs, –ia 13 XIII trēdecim 30 XXX trīgintā 300 CCC trecentī
4 IV quattuor 14 XIV quattuordecim 40 XL quadrāgintā 400 CD quadringentī
5 V quīnque 15 XV quīndecim 50 L quīnquāgintā 500 D quīngentī
6 VI sex 16 XVI sēdecim 60 LX sexāgintā 600 DC sescentī
7 VII septem 17 XVII septendecim 70 LXX septuāgintā 700 DCC septingentī
8 VIII octō 18 XVIII duodēvigintī 80 LXXX octōgintā 800 DCCC octingentī
9 IX novem 19 XIX ūndēvigintī 90 XC nōnāgintā 900 CM nōngentī
10 X decem 20 XX vigintī 100 C centum 1000 M mīlle

The conjunction et between numerals can be omitted: vigintī ūnus, centum ūnus. Et is not used when there are more than two words in a compound numeral: centum trīgintā quattuor. The word order in the numerals from 21 to 99 may be inverted: ūnus et vigintī. Numbers ending in 8 or 9 are usually named in subtractive manner: duodētrīgintā, ūndēquadrāgintā.

Ordinal numerals

Ordinal numerals all decline like normal 1st and 2nd declension adjectives. When declining the two-word ordinals (thirteenth through twenty-second, with the exception of twentieth), both words decline to match in gender, number and case.

  • prīmus first
  • secundus second
  • tertius third
  • vicensimus/vicēsimus twentieth

Note: secundus only means "second" in the sense of "following". The adjective alter, –ra, –rum meaning "the other (of two)" was more frequently used in many instances that English would use "second".

Ordinal numbers, not cardinal numbers, are commonly used to represent dates, because they are in the format of "in the tenth year of Caesar", etc. which also carried over into the anno Domini system and Christian dating, e.g. annō post Christum nātum centēsimō for AD 100.

1 I prīmus, –a, –um 11 XI ūndecimus, –a, –um 21 XXI vīcēsimus prīmus, –a, –um 101 CI centēsimus prīmus, –a, –um
2 II secundus, –a, –um 12 XII duodecimus, –a, –um 22 XXII vīcēsimus secundus, –a, –um 200 CC ducentēsimus, –a, –um
3 III tertius, –a, –um 13 XIII trēdecimus, –a, –um 30 XXX trīcēsimus, -a, -um 300 CCC trecentēsimus, –a, –um
4 IV quārtus, –a, –um 14 XIV quattuordecimus, –a, –um 40 XL quadrāgēsimus, -a, -um 400 CD quadringentēsimus, –a, –um
5 V quintus, –a, –um 15 XV quīndecimus, –a, –um 50 L quīnquāgēsimus, -a, -um 500 D quīngentēsimus, –a, –um
6 VI sextus, –a, –um 16 XVI sēdecimus, –a, –um 60 LX sexāgēsimus, -a, -um 600 DC sescentēsimus, –a, –um
7 VII septimus, –a, –um 17 XVII septendecimus, –a, –um 70 LXX septuāgēsimus, -a, -um 700 DCC septingentēsimus, –a, –um
8 VIII octāvus, –a, –um 18 XVIII duodēvicēsimus, –a, –um 80 LXXX octōgēsimus, -a, -um 800 DCCC octingentēsimus, –a, –um
9 IX nōnus, –a, –um 19 XIX ūndēvicēsimus, –a, –um 90 XC nōnāgēsimus, -a, -um 900 CM nōngentēsimus
10 X decimus, –a, –um 20 XX vicēsimus, -a, -um 100 C centēsimus, -a, -um 1000 M mīllēsimus, –a, –um

Numerals for plurals with singular meaning

Certain nouns in Latin were plural, but had singular meaning, for example litterae "a letter", castra "a camp", catēnae "a set of chains", vestīmenta "a set of clothes", hibernae "winter quarters", nūptiae "a wedding", quadrīgae "a four-horse chariot" etc. A special series of numeral adjectives was used for counting these, namely ūnī, bīnī, trīnī, quadrīnī, quīnī, sēnī, and so on. Thus Roman authors would write: ūnae litterae "one letter", trīnae litterae "three letters", quīna castra "five camps" etc.[17]

1 I ūnī 11 XI ūndēnī 21 XXI vīcēnī ūnī 101 CI centēnī singulī
2 II bīnī 12 XII duodēnī 22 XXII vīcēnī bīnī 200 CC ducēnī
3 III trinī 13 XIII trinī dēnī 30 XXX trīcēnī 300 CCC trecēnī
4 IV quadrīnī 14 XIV quadrīnī dēnī 40 XL quādrāgēnī 400 CD quadringēnī
5 V quīnī 15 XV quīnī dēnī 50 L quīnquāgēnī 500 D quīngēnī
6 VI sēnī 16 XVI sēnī dēnī 60 LX sexāgēnī 600 DC sescēnī
7 VII septēnī 17 XVII septēnī dēnī 70 LXX septuāgēnī 700 DCC septingēnī
8 VIII octōnī 18 XVIII duodēvīcēnī 80 LXXX octōgēnī 800 DCCC octingēnī
9 IX novēnī 19 XIX ūndēvīcēnī 90 XC nōnāgēnī 900 CM nōngēnī
10 X dēnī 20 XX vīcēnī 100 C centēnī 1000 M mīllenī

Distributive numerals

Another set of numeral adjectives, similar to the above but differing in the adjectives for 1, 3, and 4, were the distributive numerals: singulī, bīnī, ternī, quaternī, quīnī, sēnī... The meaning of these was "one each", "two each" (or "in pairs"), etc., for example ibī turrīs cum ternīs tabulātīs ērigēbat "there he began erecting towers with three storeys each" (Caesar); bīnī senātōrēs singulīs cohortibus praepositī "a pair of senators was put in charge of each group of soldiers" (Livy).

1 I singulī 11 XI ūndēnī 21 XXI vīcēnī singulī 101 CI centēnī singulī
2 II bīnī 12 XII duodēnī 22 XXII vīcēnī bīnī 200 CC ducēnī
3 III ternī 13 XIII ternī dēnī 30 XXX trīcēnī 300 CCC trecēnī
4 IV quaternī 14 XIV quaternī dēnī 40 XL quādrāgēnī 400 CD quadringēnī
5 V quīnī 15 XV quīnī dēnī 50 L quīnquāgēnī 500 D quīngēnī
6 VI sēnī 16 XVI sēnī dēnī 60 LX sexāgēnī 600 DC sescēnī
7 VII septēnī 17 XVII septēnī dēnī 70 LXX septuāgēnī 700 DCC septingēnī
8 VIII octōnī 18 XVIII duodēvīcēnī 80 LXXX octōgēnī 800 DCCC octingēnī
9 IX novēnī 19 XIX ūndēvīcēnī 90 XC nōnāgēnī 900 CM nōngēnī
10 X dēnī 20 XX vīcēnī 100 C centēnī 1000 M mīllenī

Adverbial numerals

Adverbial numerals are (as the name states) indeclinable adverbs, but because all of the other numeral constructions are adjectives, they are listed here with them. Adverbial numerals give how many times a thing happened. semel = once, bis = twice, ter = thrice (three times), quater = four times, and so on.

1 I semel 11 XI ūndeciēns 21 XXI vīciēns semel 101 CI centiēns semel
2 II bis 12 XII duodeciēns 22 XXII vīciēns bis 200 CC ducentiēns
3 III ter 13 XIII trēdeciēns 30 XXX trīciēns 300 CCC trecentiēns
4 IV quater 14 XIV quattuordeciēns 40 XL quadrāgiēns 400 CD quadringentiēns
5 V quinquiēns 15 XV quīndeciēns 50 L quīnquāgiēns 500 D quīngentiēns
6 VI sexiēns 16 XVI sēdeciēns 60 LX sexāgiēns 600 DC sescentiēns
7 VII septiēns 17 XVII septendeciēns 70 LXX septuāgiēns 700 DCC septingentiēns
8 VIII octiēns 18 XVIII duodēvīciēns 80 LXXX octōgiēns 800 DCCC octingentiēns
9 IX noviēns 19 XIX ūndēvīciēns 90 XC nōnāgiēns 900 CM nōngentiēns
10 X deciēns 20 XX vīciēns 100 C centiēns 1000 M mīlliēns

The suffix -iēns may also be spelled -iēs: quinquiēs, sexiēs, etc.

Multiplicative numerals

Multiplicative numerals are declinable adjectives. They give how many times a thing is. simplex = simple, duplex = double, triplex = triple, quadruplex = fourfold, and so on.

1 I simplex 11 XI ūndecuplex 21 XXI vīgentuplex simplex 101 CI centuplex simplex
2 II duplex 12 XII duodecuplex 22 XXII vīgentuplex duplex 200 CC ducentuplex
3 III triplex 13 XIII trēdecuplex 30 XXX trigintuplex 300 CCC trecentuplex
4 IV quadruplex 14 XIV quattuordecuplex 40 XL quadrāgintuplex 400 CD quadringentuplex
5 V quinquiplex 15 XV quīndecuplex 50 L quīnquāgintuplex 500 D quīngentuplex
6 VI sextuplex 16 XVI sēdecuplex 60 LX sexāgintuplex 600 DC sescentuplex
7 VII septuplex 17 XVII septendecuplex 70 LXX septuāgintuplex 700 DCC septingentuplex
8 VIII octuplex 18 XVIII duodēvīgentuplex 80 LXXX octōgintuplex 800 DCCC octingentuplex
9 IX nonuplex 19 XIX ūndēvīgentuplex 90 XC nōnāgintuplex 900 CM nōngentuplex
10 X decuplex 20 XX vīgentuplex 100 C centuplex 1000 M mīlliplex

Proportional numerals

Proportional numerals are declinable adjectives. simplus = simple, duplus = twice as great, triplus = thrice as great, quadruplus = four times as great, and so on.

1 I simplus 11 XI ūndecuplus 21 XXI vīgentuplus simplus 101 CI centuplus simplus
2 II duplus 12 XII duodecuplus 22 XXII vīgentuplus duplus 200 CC ducentuplus
3 III triplus 13 XIII trēdecuplus 30 XXX trigintuplus 300 CCC trecentuplus
4 IV quadruplus 14 XIV quattuordecuplus 40 XL quadrāgintuplus 400 CD quadringentuplus
5 V quinquiplus 15 XV quīndecuplus 50 L quīnquāgintuplus 500 D quīngentuplus
6 VI sextuplus 16 XVI sēdecuplus 60 LX sexāgintuplus 600 DC sescentuplus
7 VII septuplus 17 XVII septendecuplus 70 LXX septuāgintuplus 700 DCC septingentuplus
8 VIII octuplus 18 XVIII duodēvīgentuplus 80 LXXX octōgintuplus 800 DCCC octingentuplus
9 IX nonuplus 19 XIX ūndēvīgentuplus 90 XC nōnāgintuplus 900 CM nōngentuplus
10 X decuplus 20 XX vīgentuplus 100 C centuplus 1000 M mīlliplus

Temporal numerals

Temporal numerals are indeclinable adverbs. ūniennis= in (a period of) one year, of one year; biennis = in (a period of) two years, of two years; triennis = in (a period of) three years, of three years; quadriennis = in (a period of) four years, of four years; and so on.

1 I ūniennis 11 XI ūndēniennis 21 XXI vīciennis ūniennis 101 CI centiennis ūniennis
2 II biennis 12 XII duodēniennis 22 XXII vīciennis biennis 200 CC duciennis
3 III triennis 13 XIII triennis dēniennis 30 XXX trīciennis 300 CCC treciennis
4 IV quadriennis 14 XIV quadrīniennis dēniennis 40 XL quādrāgiennis 400 CD quadringiennis
5 V quīniennis 15 XV quīniennis dēniennis 50 L quīnquāgiennis 500 D quīngiennis
6 VI sēniennis 16 XVI sēniennis dēniennis 60 LX sexāgiennis 600 DC sesciennis
7 VII septiennis 17 XVII septiennis dēniennis 70 LXX septuāgiennis 700 DCC septingiennis
8 VIII octiennis 18 XVIII duodēvīcēnī 80 LXXX octōgiennis 800 DCCC octingiennis
9 IX noviennis 19 XIX ūndēvīciennis 90 XC nōnāgiennis 900 CM nōngiennis
10 X dēniennis 20 XX vīciennis 100 C centiennis 1000 M mīlliennis

Partitive numerals

Partitive are declinable adjectives. ūninarius= of one part, binarius = of two parts, ternarius = of three parts, quaternarius = of four parts, and so on.

1 I ūninarius, -a, -um 11 XI ūndēnarius, -a, -um 21 XXI vīcēnarius ūninarius, -a, -um 101 CI centēnarius ūninarius, -a, -um
2 II bīnarius, -a, -um 12 XII duodēnarius, -a, -um 22 XXII vīcēnarius bīnarius, -a, -um 200 CC ducēnarius, -a, -um
3 III ternarius, -a, -um 13 XIII tredēnarius, -a, -um 30 XXX trīcēnarius 300 CCC trecēnarius, -a, -um
4 IV quaternarius, -a, -um 14 XIV quattuordēnarius, -a, -um 40 XL quādrāgēnarius 400 CD quadringēnarius, -a, -um
5 V quīnarius, -a, -um 15 XV quīndēnarius, -a, -um 50 L quīnquāgēnarius 500 D quīngēnarius, -a, -um
6 VI sēnarius, -a, -um 16 XVI sēdēnarius, -a, -um 60 LX sexāgēnarius 600 DC sescēnarius, -a, -um
7 VII septēnarius, -a, -um 17 XVII septendēnarius, -a, -um 70 LXX septuāgēnarius 700 DCC septingēnarius, -a, -um
8 VIII octōnarius, -a, -um 18 XVIII duodēvīcēnarius, -a, -um 80 LXXX octōgēnarius 800 DCCC octingēnarius, -a, -um
9 IX novēnarius, -a, -um 19 XIX ūndēvīcēnarius, -a, -um 90 XC nōnāgēnarius, -a, -um 900 CM nōngēnarius, -a, -um
10 X dēnarius, -a, -um 20 XX vīcēnarius, -a, -um 100 C centēnarius, -a, -um 1000 M mīllēnarius, -a, -um

Adverbs and their comparatives and superlatives

Adverbs are not declined. However, adverbs must be formed if one wants to make an adjective into an adverb.

Adverbs from first and second declension adjectives

First and second declension adjectives' adverbs are formed by adding –ē onto their bases.

clārus, –a, –um (clear, famous)clārē (clearly, famously)
validus, –a, –um (strong, robust)validē (strongly, robustly)
īnfīrmus, –a, –um (weak)īnfīrmē (weakly)
solidus, –a, –um (complete, firm)solidē (completely, firmly)
integer, –gra, –grum (whole, fresh)integrē (wholly, freshly)
līber, –era, –erum (free)līberē (freely)

Adverbs from third declension adjectives

Typically, third declension adjectives' adverbs are formed by adding –iter onto their bases. However, most third declension adjectives with one ending simply add –er to their bases.

prūdēns, –entis (prudent)prūdenter (prudently)
audāx, –ācis (bold)audāciter (boldly)
virilis, –e (courageous, spirited)viriliter (courageously, spiritedly)
salūbris, –e (wholesome)salūbriter (wholesomely)

Comparative and superlative of adverbs

Adverbs' comparative forms are their neuter adjectives' comparative forms. Adverbs' superlative forms are made in the same way in which first and second declension adjectives' adverbs are made.

First and second declension adjectives' adverbs are formed by adding –ē onto their bases.

clārē (clearly, famously)clāriusclārissimē
solidē (completely, firmly)solidius——
līberē (freely)līberius——
prudenter (prudently)prudentiusprudentissimē
salūbriter (wholesomely)salūbriussalūbrissimē

Irregular adverbs and their comparative and superlative forms

As so with adjectives, there are irregular adverbs with peculiar comparative and superlative forms.

bene (well)meliusoptimē
male (ill, badly)peiuspessimē
māgnopere (greatly)magismaximē
multum (much, a lot)plūsplūrimum
parvum (little)minusminimē
nēquiter (worthlessly)nēquiusnēquissimē
saepe (often)saepiussaepissimē
mātūrē (seasonably, betimes)mātūriusmāturrimē
prope (near)propiusproximē
nūper (recently)nūperrimē
potis (possible)potius (rather)potissimē (especially)
prius (before, previously)prīmum /primo (first)
secus (otherwise)sētius / sequius (less)

Peculiarities within declension

Irregularity in number

Some nouns are only used in the singular (singulare tantum) such as:

  • Materials such as aurum (gold) and aes (copper)
  • Abstract nouns such as celeritās (speed) and scientia (knowledge)

Some nouns are only used in the plural (plurale tantum) such as:

  • Many festivals, such as Saturnalia
  • Castra (camp) and arma (arms)
  • A few geographical names are plural such as Thēbae (Thebes).

Indeclinable nouns

Indeclinable nouns are nouns which only have one form in all cases (of the singular).

  • fās — fate, divine law
  • īnstar — likeness
  • māne — morning
  • nefās — sin, abomination
  • nihil / nil — nothing, none
  • secus – sex

Heterogeneous nouns

Heterogeneous nouns are nouns which vary in respect to gender.

  • A few nouns in the second declension occur in both the neuter and masculine. However, their meanings remain the same.
  • Some nouns are one gender in the singular, but become another gender in the plural. They may also change in meaning.
Singular Plural
balneum n. bath balneae f. or balnea n. bath-house
epulum n. feast, banquet epulae f. feast, banquet
frēnum n. bridle, curb frēnī m. bridle, curb
iocus m. joke, jest ioca n. or ioci m. jokes, jests
locus m. place, location loca n. region; locī m. places in books, arguments
rāstrum n. hoe, rake rāstrī m. hoes, rakes

Plurals with alternative meanings

Singular Plural
aedēs, –is f. building, temple aedēs, –ium rooms, house
auxilium, –ī n. help, aid auxilia, –ōrum auxiliary troops
carcer, –eris m. prison, cell carcerēs, –um starting-place of a chariot race
castrum, –ī n. fort, castle, fortress castra, –ōrum milit. camp, encampment
cōpia, –ae f. plenty, much, abundance cōpiae, –ārum troops
fortūna, –ae f. luck, chance fortūnae –ārum wealth
grātia, –ae f. charm, favor grātiae, –ārum thanks
impedīmentum, –ī m. impediment, hindrance impedīmenta, –ōrum baggage, baggage train
littera, –ae f. letter (of the alphabet) litterae, –ārum epistle, scholarship, literature
mōs, mōris m. habit, inclination mōrēs, –um m. morals, character
opera, –ae f. trouble, pains operae, –ārum workmen
opis f.[18] help opēs, –ium resources, wealth
pars, partis f. part, piece partēs, –ium office, function

Order of the cases

In modern textbooks of Latin, there is no single international standard for the sequence of cases.


This order reflects the syncretic trends of different cases to share similar endings. Usually the vocative and locative cases are omitted because they appear in the paradigm of only a few word classes and are dealt with separately. This makes the paradigm appear normally in the format Nom–Acc–Gen–Dat–Abl, which is also roughly the order of how frequently the cases appear in Latin text, meaning that the cases are introduced in teaching in this order. This paradigm has been the usual order in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries since the publication of Benjamin Hall Kennedy's Latin Primer (1866). It is the only method nowadays used in Hungary and Finland. It is also usual in France, Spain, and Portugal.


This alternate sequence arose from Byzantine grammarians who were originally writing about Greek. It is standard in the United States, although modern texts increasingly move the vocative at the end to minimize disruption to the declensions in which it is identical to the nominative; some introductory texts such as Wheelock's Latin almost entirely ignore the vocative and locative except for a few brief notes, giving the format Nom–Gen–Dat–Acc–Abl-(Voc). This paradigm is also used in Poland, as it closely corresponds to the conventional case order in the Polish language, except for the latter's use of an instrumental case instead of an ablative. The same sequence is predominant in the Netherlands, although the modern Dutch language has largely lost its case system; instead, the rationale is that this general order is convenient for the consistent teaching of three different commonly studied declensive languages: Latin, Ancient Greek, and modern German. The order Nom–Gen–Dat–Acc–(Voc)–Abl is also used in Germany itself to echo the conventional order of German cases (Nom–Gen–Dat–Acc), and also in Lithuania because the conventional order of Lithuanian noun cases is the same. The locative is dealt with separately as it is seldom used in Latin and might be considered to be on the verge of extinction in Classical Latin.

The order Nom–Gen–Dat–Acc–Voc–Abl is the standard order used in Greece (both for the teaching of Ancient and Modern Greek as well as Latin) and Italy (with the vocative case before the ablative). Here again, the locative is dealt with separately in the courses.


Brazilian grammarian Napoleão Mendes used the unusual sequence Nom–Voc–Gen–Dat–Abl–Acc. The Latinum podcast uses Nom–Voc–Acc–Abl–Dat–Gen, as this facilitates memorisation. Latinum deals with the locative separately.

See also


  1. Mongan, James Roscoe (1861). The School and University Eton Latin Grammar, Explanatory and Critical. London 1861.
  2. Lowe, Cheryl (2003). Latina Christiana: Introduction to Christian Latin. USA: Memoria Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-1-930953-01-7.
  3. The archaic genitive aquai occurs frequently in Virgil, Cicero, Lucretius and others, to evoke the style of older writers.
  4. Allen and Greenough. §43 c.
  5. Allen and Greenough. §49 a.
  6. Gildersleeve & Lodge §15, Allen & Greenough §12, §49c
  8. Allen and Greenough. §80.
  9. 1 2 3 Here ō or ū come from Old Latin ou. Thus bō-/bū- and Iū- before consonant endings are alternate developments of the bov- and Iov- before vowel endings. The double pp in the preferred form Iu-ppiter "Father Jove" is from the etymological form Iūs-piter. i is weakened from a in pater (Allen and Greenough, sect. 79 b).
  10. Cicero Att. 6.1.20 etc.
  11. Cicero, Rab. Post. 4
  12. Cicero, "Mil. 29
  13. Nepos, Hann. 12.2
  14. 1 2 Huius and cuius are sometimes spelled hūius/hūjus and cūius/cūjus. Here, the macron indicates that the syllable is long or heavy, because the consonantal i between vowels is pronounced double, like *huiius, and the doubled consonant makes the first syllable heavy.
  15. Allen and Greenough. §152: correlatives.
  16. Gibbs, Laura (Spring 2003). "Medieval Latin Online: Correlatives". ONLINE TEXTBOOK for Medieval Latin (online textbook). University of Oklahoma. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  17. non dicimus biga una, quadrigae duae, nuptiae tres, sed pro eo unae bigae, binae quadrigae, trinae nuptiae "we don't sayuna biga (one two-horse chariot), duae quadrigae (two four-horse chariots), tres nuptiae (three weddings) but instead unae bigae, binae quadrigae, trinae nuptiae" (Varro).
  18. (gen.; nom. and dat. do not occur) the goddess Ops (pers.)


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