Latin for Duolingo: Personal Pronouns, Lesson 2
Welcome to all Latin learners! If you’re just joining us and want to catch up, here are the links you’ll need:
- Directory of Lessons
- Vocabulary List
- Memrise course for vocabulary
- Memrise course with complete sentences
- Previous lesson: Personal pronouns 1
As always, if you want to skip grammar and jump to sample sentences, just skip down to the bottom section of this post.
Today we continue learning about personal pronouns in Latin. This time, it will be the 2nd person pronouns, expressing the person or persons spoken to. Of course in English we have lost our distinction between singular you and plural you. It used to be thou/thee/thine in the singular and ye/you/your in the plural. Of course we have various regional ways of indicating you plural in the US: y’all, y’uns, youse. And the British have the charming “you lot.” (At least, it seems charming to me when I read it in books). For Latin, you will want to learn the declension of these pronouns by their grammatical use in the sentence.
case name | singular | plural | typical use
nominative | tu = you | vos = you (pl.)| subject genitive | tui = of you | vestri/vestrum = of you | possession, “of” phrases
(instead of genitive pronouns, often the possessive adjectives tuus, a, um or vester, vestra, vestrum are used)
dative | tibi = (to/for) you | vobis = (to/for) you | indirect object, the “to/for” case
accusative | te = you | vos = you | direct object (also some objects of preps.)
ablative | te = (by/with/from) you | vobis = (by/with/from) you | objects of prepositions, etc.
As with 1st person pronouns, the nominative forms are not strictly necessary because the person is shown by the ending of the verb; usually they are used only for emphasis or to avoid confusion when there are multiple persons. We can use the 2nd person forms reflexively (referring back to the subject) in all cases except the nominative. Genitive case is not used as much as the possessive adjectives, which will be reviewed as well. And when you see “tecum” or “vobiscum”, that is a kind of contraction formed by the preposition “cum” plus an ablative case pronoun, in inverted order. I don’t know for sure, but I think it probably came about because it is easier to say “tecum” than “cum te.”
Ego et tu sumus discipuli. = You and I are students.
(Tu) pecuniam habes! = You have the money!
(Vos) omnes laboratis. = You are all working.
Mater vos vocat. = Mom is calling you (pl.)
Vos mater vocat. = Mom is calling you.
(Vos) matrem vocatis. = You (pl.) are calling Mom.
Tu matrem vocas. = You are calling Mom.
Mater te vocat. = Mom is calling you.
Mater vestra vos vocat. = Your mother is calling you (pl).
(Ego) Te video. = I see you.
(Tu) te in speculo vides. = You see yourself in the mirror.
(Vos) vos in speculo videtis. = You see yourselves in the mirror.
Gaius tecum laborat. = Gaius works with you.
Vinum tuum bonum est, sed meum non. = Your wine is good, but mine is not.
Hostes vos timent, quod (vos) Romani estis. = The enemies fear you, because you are Romans.
Quid Lucia tibi dat? = What is Lucia giving you?
(Vos) Klingones fortes estis, sed linguam Latinam non scitis! = You Klingons are brave, but you do not know the Latin language!
(Tu) pro te bonam fortunam facis. = You are making good luck for yourself.
(Vos) inter vos pugnatis. = You are fighting among yourselves.
Tibi (vobis) gratias ago. = Thank you/ I give thanks to you.
Vobiscum venio. = I am coming with you.
Pax vobiscum. = Peace (be) with you. (very common greeting or parting blessing, especially in church Latin. You will also encounter “Dominus vobiscum” = The Lord is with you, to which the response is “et cum spiritu tuo” = and with thy spirit).
Tu quoque! = You too! (a logical fallacy, also known as the appeal to hypocrisy; you do this too, so your criticism of me for doing it is invalid)
Et tu, Brute? = You too, Brutus? (Julius Caesar’s last words, according to Shakespeare).
Happy Thanksgiving to Americans, and if you want to ask for more mashed potatoes and gravy, it’s “Da mihi, amabo, plus solanorum tuberosorum tunsorum et juris.” (from Henry Beard, Latin for All Occasions). Our next 2 lessons will probably focus on 3rd person pronouns, which have many more forms. Thanks to all who are following along, and please feel free to post questions or comments below.
On to the next lesson: Personal Pronouns 3
I think a newline got missed here: Mom is calling you. Mater vestra vos vocat.
Here is a link to a tabular view of the pronouns (that I found via google), in case you would like to link to it. (I think it is easier to read in tabular view.):
The person of the verb would need to be second, to agree with vos:
(Vos) hostes timetis, quod Romani non estis. = You fear the enemy, because you are not Romans.
(In the sentence I used, the main clause verb is 3rd pl., and vos is the accusative. Here Vos, if used, would be the nominative.)