Archive for 'Latin Language'

Learning Latin Basics: Lesson II

Posted on 10. Dec, 2014 by in Latin Language

Salvete Omnes,

We have much to cover today! We are going to review the 1st and 2nd Conjugations and Declensions along with some sentence work.



1st Conjugation “Amo= I love”

1st s.= amo  “ I love, I do love, I am loving”

2nd s.= amas “You love”

3rd s.= amat “He loves, She love, It loves”

1st pl.=amamus “We love”

2nd pl.=amatis “You (plural) love)”

3rd pl.=amant “ They love”

  • One indicator of a 1st conjugation verb is the before the stem (which is underlined) there is usually an “a” in other forms. However, there is just an “o” ending in the 1st s. form.

2nd Conjugation “Habeo= I have”

1st s.= habeo “I have”

2nd s.= habes “You have”

3rd s.= habet “He has, She has, It has”

1st pl.= habemus “We have”

2nd pl.= habetis “You (plural) have”

3rd pl. =habent “They have”

  • As with the 1st conjugation and the “a” indicator, the 2nd conjugation will have an “e” in its 1st s. form.

Conjugate Exercise:

  1. Celo (1st conjugation)
  2. Timeo (2nd conjugation)
  3. Porto(1st conjugation)
  4. Habeo(2nd conjugation)
  5. Sum (Irregular Cojugation)**

**If you have already forgotten how to conjugate sum, take a look at last week’s post!



Nouns in Latin, unlike in English, change depending on the role in a sentence. By change, I mean, that the endings on the noun will change to either a nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative (or vocative and locative- which aren’t used as much).


1st Declension is the declension to refer to nouns that “decline” to the following forms; which are usually feminine (99% of the time):

aqua, –ae water f. (feminine)
Singular Plural
Nominative aqua –a aquae –ae
Accusative aquam –am aquās –ās
Genitive aquae –ae aquārum –ārum
Dative aquae –ae aquīs –īs
Ablative aquā –ā aquīs –īs

If you noticed that most of endings have an “a” in them. [Sorta reminds you of the 1st conjugation verbs with the “a” stem.]

2nd Declension is the declension to refer to nouns that “decline” to the following forms; which are usually masculine (99% of the time):

dominus, –ī master m. (masculine)
Singular Plural
Nominative dominus –us dominī –ī
Accusative dominum –um dominōs –ōs
Genitive dominī –ī dominōrum –ōrum
Dative dominō –ō dominīs –īs
Ablative dominō –ō dominīs –īs


Notes on Declensions:

If you noticed that the endings do not have a common vowel, but in comparison to the 1st Declension- it is similar except for the “a” being replaced” with “u” in the singular, “o” in the plural and “ae” [mostly] replaced with “i.”

Please do not be thrown off or worried that the dative and ablative plural in the 1st and 2nd declension are the same. It is important simply to familiarize yourself with these forms.


Also did you notice that when these nouns were written out; they looked like: “dominus, -i” and “ aqua, -ae?” This is to show the Nominative singular form and then the ending to the Genitive singular form. This will assist in providing which declension a noun is since (“-us & -i” endings are clearly 2nd declension while “-a & -ae” are clearly 1st declension).


Nominative & Accusative:

The nominative case is used for the subject in a sentence. The accusative is the direct object of the sentence:

I love cats. I= nominative, love= verb, cats= accusative.

Are you following so far? Let’s look at some Latin.



Filia, -ae =daughter             timeo= I am afraid, I fear             voco= I call

Serua, -ae= slave-woman     et= and                                    aula, -ae=pot

Seruus, -i= slave-man        ego= I                                      thesaurus, -i= treasure

Coquus,-i=cook                 tu= you                                            amo= I love

te= you (accusative)           me=me                                   habeo= I have


  1. filiam coqui vocat.
  2. The slave-women are afraid.
  3. thesauros ego amat.
  4. Seruas et Seruos Filae habent.
  5. You have a pot.
  6. serua timet seruos.
  7. The cook loves the female-slave.
  8. ego et tu habent aulas.
  9. The daughter calls you and me.
  10. filia amat seruum, et seruum amat seruam.





  1. The cooks call the daughter
  2. timent seruae
  3. I love treasures.
  4. The daughter has slave-men and slave-women.
  5. habes aulam OR habetis aulam.
  6. The slave woman fears the slave-men.
  7. coquus seruam amat.
  8. You and I have pots.
  9. te et me filia vocat.
  10. The daughter loves the slave-man, and the slave-man loves the slave-woman.



Does anyone have any request? If not I have a few surprises up my sleeve!

Learning Latin Basics: Lesson I.A

Posted on 03. Dec, 2014 by in Latin Language

Salvete Omnes,

The first lesson when it comes to learning a new language is understanding its most used verb: the verb “to be.” One must also become accustomed to the sentence structure. So in today’s lesson, we are going to EASE into this language by covering the verb “to be.”

Learning Latin Basics: Lesson I “To Be”

It should be noted that this verb “to be” is quite irregular. However, I have underlined the endings below that will extend to other verb conjugations- so keep them in mind!

Basic Verb “I am” or “sum”

1st person singular (1st s.)= sum         “I am”

2nd person singular (2nd s.)= es       “You are”

3rd person singular (3rd s.)= es      “He, She or It is”

1st person plural (1st pl.)= sumus      “We are”

2nd person plural (2nd pl.)=estis       “You (a group) are”

3rd person plural (3rd pl.)=sunt         “They, There are”

I would start to get use to the language used 3rd pl. to indicate “They” form , or 1st s. to mean “I” form.


Some Basic Vocabulary:  

filia =daughter             puellae=girls                 me= me

serua= slave-woman     pueri= boys          nemo= no-one

seruus= slave-man        ego= I                    senex= old man

coquus=cook              tu= you (nom.)                et= and

fures= thieves             te= you (acc.)

[The vocabulary chosen was done so for their simplicity and not meant to offend.]



Verbs are often placed at the end of the sentence. The only time verbs are placed at the beginnings of the sentence is if they are meant to emphasize. Example: “sum coquus” I am a cook!

Latin does not have articles: “the, a, or an.” They are simply filled in at the translators discretion. I.E. the example above could be translated “sum coquus” could be “I am a cook” or “I am the cook.” Both are correct.


Exercise1.A English & Latin: Please take the time to try these, since practice is the only way to perfect your Latin skills.

  1. filia sum.
  2. He is no-one.
  3. fures estis
  4. The slave-man is an old man.
  5. filia et serua estis.
  6. I am a cook.
  7. est serua.
  8. You (pl.) are boys.
  9. puellae sumus
  10. te sum et me es.
  11. They are thieves.








Learning Latin Basics: Lesson I



  1. sum filia. = I am a daughter.
  2. He is no-one. = nemo est.*
  3. fures estis! = You are thieves!
  4. The slave-man is an old man. = Seruus senex est.**
  5. filia et serua estis.= You are a daughter and a woman-slave.
  6. I am a cook.= coquus sum.
  7. est serua. = She is a slave-woman.***
  8. You (pl.) are boys.= pueri estis.
  9. puellae sumus= We are girls.
  10. te sum et me es.= I am you and you are me.
  11. They are thieves. = fures sunt.

*”Nemo est” can also be written “est nemo.” It can mean “He is no-one” or “She is no-one” or “It is no-one;” however, this last example doesn’t make any sense since an “it” is not a person.

** This could be translated as “Seruus senex est” or “Senex seruus est” or “Serrus est senex.” As you can see there are many MANY different ways to translate sentences.

*** Unlike example #2, this “est” can only be translated as “She is,” since “serua” is feminine in meaning and gender. Gender will be addressed in the next post, but in short terms: All nouns have a gender either feminine, masculine, and neuter. Sometimes, the gender is obvious from the meaning of the noun; i.e. serua means slave-woman and is a feminine noun AND seruus means slave-man and is a masculine noun. The gender and case is determined by the endings, which I will address.


Was that fun? Informative? Craving more?  Next week, we will cover the 1st and 2nd conjugation verb and the 1st and 2nd declension noun along with more sentence exercises.


Dido & Aeneas: Through the Ages

Posted on 13. Nov, 2014 by in Latin Language, Roman culture

Salvete Omnes,

I would like to take some time this week to indulge in one of my favorite love stories: Dido and Aeneas. Over this weekend, I saw at the Los Angeles Opera Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas;” and it got me thinking about the countless retellings of this couple and their themes of love and fate.

Banner at the LA Opera of Dido & Aeneas from my personal camera.

Banner at the LA Opera of Dido & Aeneas from my personal camera.

The opera that I saw was an interesting retelling (debuted in 1688) felt extremely Shakespearean and far removed from the Latin and Roman myth. There are no gods and fate is not the villain, but instead three witches.  I have provided the opera in its entirety, and interestingly enough it is one of few operas in English.

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OR- if you prefer a quicker rendition of it the opera; check this out!

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Artwork has constantly retold and reimagined the myth of love and fate to become one of the first (if not the first) star-crossed lovers.

Aeneid, Book IV, Death of Dido. From the Vergilius Vaticanus (Vatican Library, Cod. Vat. lat. 3225). Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Aeneid, Book IV, Death of Dido. From the Vergilius Vaticanus (Vatican Library, Cod. Vat. lat. 3225). Courtesy of WikiCommons

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the myth of Dido and Aeneas, it is quite heart-breaking. Aeneas is a Trojan survivor who in his own right is a “hero.” A hero in the sense that his parentage is one involving a god and a mortal. His mother was Venus and his father was a Trojan commander known as Anchises. Aeneas is fated to find Rome and on the way his fleet arrive at Carthage where Dido reigns. Upon his arrival, Dido’s cold heart ( widowed and bitter) is melted by Aeneas and Cupid. However their love is not meant to be, because Aeneas must find Troy and Rome and Carthage must have their resentment and bad relationship for future strife.  Therefore, Aeneas leaves to find Rome at the bequest of the gods visiting him and reminding him of his fate. And, thus- Dido out of love (perhaps rampaged crazy Cupid causing love) kills herself and curses Aeneas and his people (Romans).

Dido, attributed to Christophe Cochet, formerly at Marly (Louvre). Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Dido, attributed to Christophe Cochet, formerly at Marly (Louvre). Courtesy of WikiCommons.

Furthermore,  this story of Aeneas and Dido from Vergil’s Aeneid has also found its way into modern television and retellings. There is a wonderful article on how the Aeneid ( an thus Dido and Aeneas) is retold in Battlestar Galactica (the article is here). The Aeneid even finds it way into the Star Trek lore; as seen (here).