Latin/Grammatical Definitions

Glossary of Grammatical DefinitionsEdit


The ablative case is an almost adverbial case which also takes many praepositiones. It is not surprising that many adjectives become adverbs by use of the ablative singular case. The ablative case can denote precise position in time or space and thus takes praepositiones such as in and ab. However in looser definitions of time and space, the accusative case is used. For example 'in tres dies', in three days time. 'circum agrum', around the field.


The noun which is in the accusative case is the object of a sentence. E.g. 'The boy runs home.' 'home' is considered to be in the accusative case because it is direct object of the transitive verb 'run'. As well, certain praepositiones take the accusative case.See Direct Object and Case.


Defective verbs are verbs which cannot be conjugated in all tenses, moods, numbers, and persons.


Deponent verbs are verbs which appear mainly in the passive case and have active meanings. For example colloquor 'I talk'.

Direct Object:Edit

The noun which is the direct object of a transitive verb. See Case, Accusative.


A noun in the genitive case is said to ecompass the sense of origin. Thus the genitive usually can be equated to the possesive case in English, although it does occasionally take upon additional meanings. E.g. 'The book of Daniel', 'of Daniel' is said to be in the genitive case. See case.

Impersonal Verbs:Edit

Impersonal Verbs are verbs which cannot take a subject, such as the verb 'to rain'. One cannot say 'Daniel is raining', or 'The car is raining', both are grammatically incorrect. The verb 'to rain' can only take the subject 'it', thus 'It's raining'. This can be said to be true with the Latin word for raining 'pluit'.

Indirect Object:Edit

The indirect object is said to be equivelent to the dative case. See Dative, Case.


The locative case is an archaic case which remains in certain nouns (such as domus) meaning 'at'. For example, 'domi' means 'at home'.


The noun which is in the nominative case is the subject of the sentence or verb. E.g. The boy runs home. 'The boy' is the subject of the sentence and therefore is in the nominative case. See Subject and Case.

Noun (nomen):Edit

A noun is a part of speech which is divided into three branches: Substantivum, Adjectivum, and Pronomen. A noun in the Latin language is defined as anything that can be thought of or conceived. People, places, things, abstract concepts and qualities are thought to be nouns. Most nouns are said to be declinable (nihil is an obvious exception). See Case, Declension, Parts of Speech, Sentence.>


A finite verb is said to have person. Person refers to the subject of the verb. A verb must conjugate to the corresponding form of the subject person. There are said to be three persons. First Person, referring to 'I or We', Second person, referring to 'Thou' or 'Ye', and third person referring to 'He, She, It, or They'. A person can be said to be singular or plural in number. Each Third persons are said to have gender. The gender of the subject of a verb in the third person is determined by context if their is no noun in the nominative case present in the sentence, placing a demonstrative pronomen in the nominative case in the desired gender as subject, or if a noun in the nominative case is present, by referring to the gender of the subject noun.

Table of Persons
Person Singular Plural
1st I, me, mine We, us, ours
2nd Thou, thee, thine Ye, you, yours
3rd (He, him, his), (She, her, hers), (It, it, its) They, them, theirs

Personal Verbs:Edit

Personal Verbs are verbs which can take a person or object as subject.


A group of words which has at least a verb and a subject and is in a grammatically correct order. Subject: The noun that is in the nominative case. See Nominative and Case.


The time period an action took place. Tense is determined by a suffix. Each tense is conjugated differently. There are said to be six tenses in total in the Latin language: Present Imperfect, Future Imperfect, Past Imperfect, Present Perfect, Future Perfect and Past Perfect. These may also be referred to as respectively: Present, Future, Imperfect, Perfect, Future Perfect and Pluperfect.


Verbs may be either passive or active in construct. Subjects in active constructs of verbs typically perform the action, while in passive constructs suffer or are affected by the action. E.g. 'Daniel runs home.' has the verb 'run' in the active voice. 'Daniel was destroyed.' In this sentence Daniel is affected by the destruction, thus is in the passive tense. See Verb, Deponent.