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Latin for Duolingo: Basics, Lesson 3

Please note this course is now available on Wikiversity

Salvete, omnes! This is the third in a basic Latin series.
- Last lesson: Basics, Lesson 2
- Directory of lessons.

My goal is to offer at least one Latin lesson per week until such time as you can get a "real" Latin course on Duo, or until I run out of ideas for how to go on, whichever comes first. Please forgive any formatting issues.

New grammar this lesson: the accusative case. In Latin, nouns functioning as a direct object are put in the accusative case. Nouns are listed in vocabulary lists with nominative and genitive singular (aqua, aquae (f.) or aqua, -ae = water). To use water as a direct object, then, the accusative ending will need to be swapped in for the nominative or subject case. We do not notice this with neuter nouns like malum, -i = apple, because they are the same in the nominative and accusative. But nouns classified as masculine or feminine will have different endings if they are used as a direct object. This lesson also we will be working on verb conjugations in singular only. And for fun, I'm introducing some common Latin names to give our sentences some personality.

New vocabulary:

Gaius, -i (m.) = Gaius (common Roman praenomen)
Marcus, -i (m.) = Marcus
Lucia, -ae (f.) = Lucia (feminine form of Lucius; not a lot of variety in Roman names, but it's good practice with masculine and feminine endings)
Paula, -ae (f.) = Paula
aqua, -ae (f.) = water. (You will need also to learn the accusative singular = aquam for this lesson.)
panis, -is (m.) = bread (this is a 3rd declension noun; note that the genitive singular ending is a marker for which declension a noun belongs to, and each declension has its own set of endings and gender rules which will be learned in a later lesson). You will need to learn the accusative singular = panem for this lesson.
saccharum, -i (n.) = sugar (a Late Latin construction; of course the Romans would have used mel, mellis (n.) = honey). Accusative singular is also saccharum or mel since both are neuter nouns.
bibo = I drink
bibis = you (s.) drink
bibit = he, she, it drinks
edo = I eat
edis = you eat
edit = he, she, it eats

(also review sum=I am, es=you are, est=h/s/i is, and subject pronouns ego=I, tu=you, is=he, ea=she)


Panis est. = It is bread.
Aqua est. = It is water.
(Ego) edo. = I eat.
Gaius est puer. = Gaius is a boy.
Gaius aquam bibit. = Gaius drinks water.
Vir aquam bibit. = The man drinks water.
Lucia est femina. = Lucia is a woman.
(Tu) edis. = You eat.
(Ego) saccharum edo. = I eat sugar.
(Ego) bibo. = I drink.
(Tu) panem edis. = You eat bread.
(Tu) bibis. = You drink.
Aquam bibis. = You drink water.
Marcus bibit. = Marcus drinks.
(Is) bibit. = He drinks.
(Ea) bibit. = She drinks.
Tu es Paula. = You are Paula.
Gaius sum. = I am Gaius.
Gaius panem edit. = Gaius eats bread.
Ego malum edo. = I eat an apple.
(Tu) saccharum edis. = You eat sugar.

You now have enough basic vocabulary to go on creating quite simple sentences for a while. We will add plurals soon, maybe next lesson. Habeatis bonam fortunam!

April 8, 2015



This might help: When conjugating -are in the present tense add the following (ambulare)

—o | ambulo | I walk

—as | ambulas | You walk

—at | ambulat | He/She Walks

—amus | ambulamus | We walk

—atis | ambulatis | Y'all Walk

—ant | ambulant | They walk


Actually, that's a pretty incorrect way of looking at it, because you're never supposed to cut off the entire -are from the 1st conjugation, just -re as in the 2nd and 4th, especially since in the imperative I you'd basically be backtracking. It's just that the -ao of the 1st person sg. melds into ō.


Also forgot to mention that despite being incorrect, it also makes making other tenses from the present stem more tedious: ama + ba + m/s/t/mus/tis/nt becomes am + aba +m/s/t/mus/tis/nt. This may not seem like much, but when you teach that to somebody instead of saying that you use present stem + ba + m/s/t/mus/tis/nt for the I and II conjugation and present stem + eba + m/s/t/mus/tis/nt for the III and IV conjugation, you have to tell them to use present stem + aba/eba/eba/ieba + m/s/t/mus/tis/nt for each of the conjugations, which is completely and utterly stupid.


Salve, fellow Latin teacher here.

It might be a good idea to write out the whole dictionary entry initially, rather than abbreviating in order to make clear how exactly the word declines. For example: femina, feminae (f), rather than femina, -ae (f). If you area new student, it is not entirely clear, what the "-ae" attaches to.

Are you following a particular text like CLC for these sentences or just picking some of your own vocabulary? I teach high school Latin and can give you any help/resources you might want to flesh these out or continue them.

Laborem bonum!


Thanks for these lessons, I've been wanting to start Latin for a while now but I'm just too used to Duo's method of teaching. Your lessons are very similar to it =).


7 cases? No thanks xD

But it's amazing to see someone teaching Latin here


Only 5 are used with any real regularity, the other two are very specific and easily recognizable from context!


Cases are fun only if you're a native speaker of language with them :P


Why would that be the case?


Absolutely. :-)


Too much with German's genitiv, dativ, accusativ, and nominativ.... LoL, maybe in some years :)


All you have to do is add on the ablative, and you've got Latin! The Vocative is just used for names and the Locative probably shouldn't even be a case because it's only for places and I think there's only like 4 place names that use it?


That's what Brian thought...


Several are very easy to learn! The syntax seems to be similar to Turkish (SOV). Also there is an accusative and ablative case.


Technically one can also use SVO word order, but it's sort of considered to be less educated speech.


Great Latin lessons, thanks! Could you make a directory? Or is their already one? Thanks again for the informative lessons! :)


I'm not sure exactly how to make a directory but I will at least always give the link to the previous lesson somewhere in the current lesson, and you can link back from there. I'll see what I can find out.


To create a directory, just start a new post titled something like "Latin Lessons Directory". To add the lessons, link the posts to the directory. To link a post, write the text you want in square brackets [], then immediately after the closed square bracket, put regular brackets and the link in them. So this will look like [Text to be clicked on].(www.pagelink.com) - of course, without the full stop/period between the ] and ( - here's an example of my directory and how the link works: Ethiopia/Amharic Posts Directory.


Thank you so much for the information... I have now created a basic directory and will link all future lessons to it. Very helpful! And best wishes with Amharic as well!


አመሰግናለሁ!/Gratias tibi ago!/Thank you!


I have had 3 years of latin at school, but I somehow never heard of edo- edis - edit nor bibo bibis bibit.


They're not usually the first verbs introduced... both are in the 3rd conjugation so a little more complex to teach. But I'm following the Duo framework for now. It's kind of fun to explore the conversational aspect a bit, but it's definitely not the usual order for grammatical style teaching.


They used to learn us practically almost everything included in the language. Latin in high school goes fast. But that is 4 years ago so I've maybe forgotten most.

The way they teached us latin is not how you should teach a language though.


One small error in this description. You say "We do not notice this [the different ending] with neuter nouns like malum, -i = apple, because they are the same in the nominative and genitive." I think you mean the nominative and the accusative.


Thank you for calling that to my attention! I've corrected it and appreciate your help!

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