Elements of Latin Lesson 11:
Second Declension, General Rules of Declension, Questions

Amīcus est alter īdem — A friend is a second self
From Cicero, who wrote a famous essay on friendship.

107. Declension of Nouns in -um. Neuter nouns in -um belong to the second declension, and are declined as follows:

Nom. oppidum -um oppida -a
Gen. oppidī oppidōrum -ōrum
Dat. oppidō oppidīs -īs
Acc. oppidum -um oppida -a
Abl. oppidō oppidīs -īs

a. Some Latin words ending in -um have passed into English without change and form the plural in -a: as, stratum, strata; datum, data; curriculum, curricula; memorandum, memoranda.

Practice your declensions at Quizlet.com

108. General Rules of Declension. Write side by side the declension of servus, aqua, and oppidum. A comparison of the forms gives us the following rules, which apply not only to the first and second declensions but to all five (§ 68):

a. The nominative and accusative of neuter nouns are alike, and in the plural end in -a.

b. The accusative of masculines and feminines ends in -m in the singular, and in -s in the plural.

c. The dative and ablative plural are alike.

d. Final -i and -o are long; final -a is short except in the ablative singular of the first declension.


109. Questions may be introduced, as in English, by such words as quis? who? quid? what? ubi? where? and quō? whither? But questions that can be answered by yes or no have, in Latin, a special question sign -ne attached to the emphatic word, which stands first and is usually the verb.

Est'ne puella pulchra?
Is the girl pretty?

Properant'ne puerī?
Are the boys hastening?

110. There are no single Latin words meaning simply yes and no. Questions are usually answered in the affirmative by repeating the verb; in the negative, by repeating the verb with nōn, not.

Properant'ne puerī? Properant.
Are the boys hastening? Yes.

Properant'ne puerī? Nōn properant.
Are the boys hastening? No.


111. Dirivation. Using the prefixes ex- (out), im- (in), re- (back), sup- (under), trāns (across), with -port, from the Latin verb portō, to carry, make five English words and define them.

112. What English words in the following paragraph do you know to be of Latin derivation? Define the words, using the dictionary if necessary, and give the Latin sources.

Below the terrace was an aquarium fed by an aqueduct, a gift of Mr. B—, concerning whose bounty and fabulous wealth the inhabitants of the town love to tell. But these data are not essential to my narrative, and I will speak only of his love for the sea, aquatic sports, and nautical affairs.

Printable Version

113. PUELLA. Quō, serve, virī properant?

SERVUS. In oppidum, puella, virī properant.

P. Quis virōs et puerōs convocat?

S. Rēgīna bona virōs et puerōs convocat.

P. Cūr rēgīna bona virōs et puerōs convocat?

S. Ad arma, puella, rēgīna populum vocat.

P. Estne puer Sextus cum virīs?

S. Est, et arma bonae rēgīnae portat. Sextus bonam rēgīnam amat.

P. Ubi, serve, est Quīntus, amīcus puerī Sextī? Estne Quīntus in oppidō?

S. In oppidō Quīntus nōn est. Quīntus est cum Mārcō nautā.

P. Labōrantne Quīntus et Mārcus?

S. Labōrant.

114. 1. Are the men of-the-town hastening, Marcus? No (Latin, they are not hastening). 2. What are the farmers' boys carrying? They-are-carrying arms. 3. Whither are the queens calling the peoples? 4. The queens are-calling the peoples from the fields into the towns. 5. Why do the good queens call the people together? 6. Are the slaves toiling in the fields? Yes (Latin, they-are-toiling).

In no other country is it so necessary as in ours to provide fully, for those who have the chance and desire to take it, broad and high liberal education, in which one essential element shall be classical training.
—Theodore Roosevelt

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