Latin for Duolingo: First Declension, Lesson 2
Please note this course is now available on Wikiversity
Welcome to this week’s lesson in the continuing series of Latin for Duolingo. Until it is officially available in the incubator, my aim is to walk you through the basics and beyond in a style similar to what is available for modern languages. To see previous lessons or a classified vocabulary list, follow these links:
- Directory of Lessons
- Classified Vocabulary List
- Memrise course for vocabulary
- Memrise course with sentences
- Previous lesson: 1st Declension, Lesson 1
Today let’s continue adding 1st declension nouns and a few adjectives to our vocabulary. We now know how to use the nominative and accusative, singular and plural; let’s add the ablative case as well. The ablative case is used for many purposes in Latin but the easiest to begin with is as object of certain prepositions. So to review all the 1st declension case endings we have learned so far:
case name| sing. | pl. | typical use
nominative| -a | -ae | subject or predicate noun
accusative | -am | -as | direct object (also some objects of preps.)
ablative | -ā | -is | objects of prepositions, etc.,“in/by/with/from” case
Note the macron over the -ā in the ending of the ablative singular. I haven’t been using the macrons because it seems needlessly complicated and formatting is difficult, but here is one time I will make an exception, because it is really the only way to tell the difference between the nominative and ablative singular of the 1st declension. The “ablative of place where” as object of the preposition “in”, and the “ablative of accompaniment” as the object of the preposition “cum” will be our main new concepts today.
Many place-names are part of the 1st declension; some are not different enough from their English equivalents to introduce them formally: Africa, America, Asia, Britannia, Europa, Germania, Graecia, Hispania, Italia, Roma.
culina, ae = kitchen
familia, ae = family
Gallia, ae = Gaul, or France depending on historical context
patria, ae = fatherland, native country
pecunia, ae = money
silva, ae = forest, woods (frequently used in the plural)
via, ae = road, way
villa, ae = house, farmhouse, country house
Remember, all 1st declension nouns are feminine unless they name a male person.
bonus, a, um = good
malus, a, um = bad
meus, a, um = my, mine
noster, nostra, nostrum = our, ours
parvus, a, um = small
pulcher, pulchra, pulchrum = beautiful, handsome
in (prep. with abl.) = in, on
cum (prep. with abl.) = with
ambulo, 1 = walk
habito, 1 = live, inhabit
laboro, 1 = work, labor
navigo, 1 = sail
Our new verbs belong to the 1st conjugation and all follow the regular pattern for their 4 principal parts; -o, -are, -avi, -atus – this will be explained in greater detail later on. For now only a few forms are used.
Britannia est insula in Europā. = Britain is an island in Europe.
Roma in Italiā est. = Rome is in Italy.
Patria mea America est. = My native country is America.
Pueri in viā ambulant. = The boys walk on the road.
Nautae sunt in culinā. = The sailors are in the kitchen.
Puellae parvae panem in culinā edunt. = The little girls are eating bread in the kitchen.
Agricola in terrā laborat. = The farmer works on the land.
Marcus et Paula in Asiā habitant. = Marcus and Paula live in Asia.
Villa nostra in Italiā est. = Our house is in Italy.
Viri cum feminis in viā ambulant. = The men walk with the women on the road.
Sunt multae viae in Americā. = There are many roads in America.
Via bona in silvis est. = A good road is in the forest. (note the Latin word is often used in the plural, much like our “woods”)
Pueri cum puellis in viis ambulant. = The boys walk with the girls on the roads.
Homines in multis terris habitant. = The men live in many lands.
Lucia in parvā villā habitat. = Lucia lives in a small farmhouse.
Femina pulchra in insulā parvā habitat. = A beautiful woman lives on a small island.
Nautae multas terras pulchras vident. = The sailors see many beautiful lands.
Familia mea villam in Americā habet. = My family has a house in America.
Enough for now… I hope you are enjoying these Latin lessons! Next time we will learn a few more 1st declension nouns and the genitive case. Vale!
Go to next lesson: 1st Declension, Lesson 3
Thank you so much for these lessons! Although currently I don't have the time to study Latin, it takes me back to my high school years! It was my favourite class back then :)
It would depend on context: Asia was a province of the Roman Empire; it was part of the larger peninsula of Asia Minor, where Turkey is located today. It also could refer broadly to the same large continent we call Asia today, and that's what modern people would probably understand unless you were more specific. Modern Turkey would be "Turcia."