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Latin for Duolingo: Basics 2, Lesson 1

Please note this course is now available on Wikiversity

Salvete! This continues the elementary Latin series I am presenting. If you are interested in previous lessons, see the Directory.
Previous lesson is here. The material in this lesson is modeled after Basics 2, lessons 1 (and part of 2) in the Italian tree.

New Grammar In previous lessons we learned nominative (subject) pronouns and some verbs in the singular, along with a few basic nouns in nominative and accusative. This lesson will complete the conjugation of the "to be" verb (sum) in the plural, and add plural nominatives:

sum = I am
es = you (s.) are
est = he/she/it is

sumus = we are
estis = you (pl.) are
sunt = they are

The grammar concept you need to know is that subject nouns, pronouns (and eventually adjectives) are all put in the nominative case. And so are predicate nouns (and adjectives). The being verb acts as an equal sign in the sentence, forming an equation and equating like with like (subject is the same thing as the predicate). This is different from the brief taste of the accusative for direct objects we had last lesson, and will be an important point of contrast in future lessons. For now, let's concentrate on mastering basic nominative use with the being verb.

New Vocabulary

nos (subject pronoun) = we
vos (subject pronoun) = you (pl.)
ei (m., pl. subject pronoun) = they, those men (or mixed group)
eae (f., pl., subject pronoun) = they, those women
(n.b. subject pronouns are not used all that frequently in Latin but if they are they must be used with the appropriate verb endings).

feminae = (the) women
viri (OR) homines = (the) men
pueri = boys
puellae = girls
et = and

... and finally, for fun and in honor of the new language added to the incubator last week:
Klingon, Klingonis (m. or f.)/ Klingones (pl.) = Klingon/ Klingons
bellator, bellatoris (m. s.) = warrior (bellatrix would be the fem.) bellatores = warriors

Personally I believe the Romans would have respected and admired the Klingon race as fierce barbarian warriors. They would have been highly valued in gladiatorial exhibitions and would have been invited to train elite cohorts in the use of the bat'leth. Eventually there would have been a Klingon emperor. But this is, of course, all speculative. So is my assumption that "Klingon" would be a third declension noun, but it seemed to fit.


Nos sumus homines. = We are men.
Sumus puellae. = We are girls.
(Nos) feminae sumus. = We are women.
Pueri sumus. = We are boys.

Vos estis viri. = You are men. Vos puellae estis. = You are girls.
Lucia et Marcus estis. = You are Lucia and Marcus.
Estis pueri. = You are boys.

(Ei) sunt pueri. = They are boys.
(Eae) sunt feminae. = They are women.
Puellae sunt. = They are girls.
Viri et feminae sunt. = They are men and women.
Sunt Klingones. = They are Klingons.
Gaius et Marcus sunt homines. = Gaius and Marcus are men.
Lucia et Paula puellae sunt. = Lucia and Paula are girls.
Klingon est bellator. = The Klingon is a warrior.
Klingones sunt bellatores. = The Klingons are warriors.

And that should be enough for now. Gratias vobis ago = Thank you for following along, and I hope you are enjoying Latin as much as I do!

April 15, 2015



I would like to point out yet again how English gets a lot of words form Latin

bellator, bellatoris (m. s.) = warrior (bellatrix would be the fem.) bellatores = warriors

The English word belligerent comes right from here!


Actually, the English word comes from French (belligérant), which in turn comes from Latin.


Having studied Latin, helped me learning German and English.


From the lating word. Bellum is the word for war


Great stuff!,
Have you applied for the Latin course?


Thank you! Yes, about a year ago I applied. I know several people have besides me as well. This is just to fill time and help those who are impatient for the real thing!


I’d see the Latin for “Klingon (person)” as Clingonus (/ˈklɪn.gɑ.nʌs/ — “KLIN-gah-nuss”), a second declension noun, and thus its plural as Clingoni (/ˈklɪn.gɑ.niː/ — “KLIN-gah-knee”).


Given that the Romans avoided the Greek K (two C's back to back), I tend to agree. Some Latin words do have two variations, and really the language itself combined other languages into its classic state.


I agree! But that IPA sounds very English and unlike Latin. (imo)


Bellatrix is one of the stars on the oblong asterism of the constellation Orion.


Have you ever thought of making a Latin Duolingo course?


Isn't that what he's doing? haha


I mean an official course.


I think he offered himself to be a contributor, but idk, just a guess.


These lessons are great! The thing I miss the most is to hear the words. I hope Duolingo officially adds Latin soon.


Yes, it would be great!!


Thanks so much. For me is like plunging into the past.


Thanks for these lessons


When would bellatoris vs bellator be used? Are they interchangeable words for m, s warrior?


Bellator is nominative, so would be used as a subject or predicate noun: Bellator gladium habet. = The warrior has a sword, or Marcus est bellator = Marcus is a warrior. Bellatoris is genitive, so is used to show possession: Gladius bellatoris est. = It is the warrior's sword. This is more fully explained in the lessons for the individual declensions (bellator is a 3rd declension noun) coming up. Latin vocabulary entries for nouns always list the nominative followed by the genitive, because the genitive is the primary means of classifying nouns into their declensions. Don't worry about it yet if it is confusing; take the lessons one at a time and gradually the case system will start to make sense. This lesson only uses the nominative case.


That helps, thank you!


Hello, is the word Klingon in the 3rd declension? How about the declension of non-Latin words?


Actually, it's from, not form.

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