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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 299 pages of information about Latin for Beginners.

  8.  Domina filiam pulchram habet
     (The) lady (a) daughter beautiful has

a. The sentences above show that Latin does not express some words which are necessary in English.  First of all, Latin has no article /the\ or /a\; thus agricola may mean the farmer, a farmer, or simply farmer.  Then, too, the personal pronouns, I, you, he, she, etc., and the possessive pronouns, my, your, his, her, etc., are not expressed if the meaning of the sentence is clear without them.

LESSON II

FIRST PRINCIPLES (Continued)

23. Inflection.  Words may change their forms to indicate some change in sense or use, as, is, are; was, were; who, whose, whom; farmer, farmer’s; woman, women.  This is called inflection\.  The inflection of a noun, adjective, or pronoun is called its declension\, that of a verb its conjugation\.

24. Number.  Latin, like English, has two numbers, singular and plural.  In English we usually form the plural by adding _-s_ or _-es_ to the singular.  So Latin changes the singular to the plural by changing the ending of the word.  Compare

  Naut-a pugnat
    The sailor fights
  Naut-ae pugnant
    The sailors fight

25. RULE. Nouns that end in -a in the singular end in -ae in the plural.

26. Learn the following nouns so that you can give the English for the Latin or the Latin for the English.  Write the plural of each.

agri’cola, farmer (agriculture)[1] aqua, water (aquarium) causa, cause, reason do’mina, lady of the house, mistress (dominate) filia, daughter (filial) fortu’na, fortune fuga, flight (fugitive) iniu’ria, wrong, injury luna, moon (lunar) nauta, sailor (nautical) puel’la, girl silva, forest (silvan) terra, land (terrace)

    [Footnote 1:  The words in parentheses are English words related to
    the Latin.  When the words are practically identical, as causa\,
    _cause_, no comparison is needed.]

27. Compare again the sentences

  Nauta pugna-t
    The sailor fights
  Nautae pugna-nt
    The sailors fight

In the first sentence the verb pugna-t\ is in the third person singular, in the second sentence pugna-nt\ is in the third person plural.

28. RULE.  Agreement of Verb. A finite verb must always be in the same person and number as its subject.

29. RULE. In the conjugation of the Latin verb the third person singular active ends in -t, the third person plural in -nt.  The endings which show the person and number of the verb are called /personal endings\.

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