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Latin for Duolingo: 3rd Declension, Lesson 4


Today’s lesson will wrap up the 3rd declension skill, so that we at least have a good overview of this class of nouns. Informal Latin lessons have been going on for several months now; to see what you missed, check out these links:
- Directory of Lessons
- Classified Vocabulary List
- Memrise course for vocabulary
- Memrise course with sentences
- Previous lesson: 3rd Declension, Lesson 3

New Grammar

The dative case is the only case in this declension we haven’t covered, and it has consistent endings regardless of gender, and regardless of whether the noun is i-stem or regular, so it shouldn’t be too confusing. Dative case is used for indirect objects, or to express some “to/for” phrases. 3rd declension nouns have -i in the dative singular and -ibus in the dative plural.

case name | sing. | pl. | typical use
nominative (m./f.) | --- | -es | subject or predicate noun
nominative (n.) | --- | -(i)a | “
genitive | -is | -(i)um | possession, the “of” case
dative | -i | -ibus | indirect object, the “to/for” case
accusative (m./f.) | -em | -es | direct object (also some objects of preps.)
accusative (n.) | --- | -(i)a | “
ablative | -e/(-i) | -ibus | objects of prepositions, etc. “by/with/from” case

New Vocabulary

civitas, civitatis (f.) = state, citizenship, community, city
dux, ducis (m.) = general, leader
gens, gentis, gentium (f.) = tribe, nation, clan
imperator, imperatoris (m.) = commander-in-chief, general, emperor, ruler (outranks dux)
libertas, libertatis (f.) = liberty, freedom
pax, pacis (f.) = peace

New Sentences

Rex libertatem civibus dat. = The king gives freedom to the citizens.
Cives urbem regi dant. = The citizens give the city to the king.
Libertas lucem hominibus dat. = Liberty gives light to men.
Duces boni pacem genti dant. = Good leaders give peace to (their) nation.
Milites pecuniam Gallorum imperatori dant. = The soldiers give the money of the Gauls to the commander.
Dona patri meo do. = I give gifts to my father.
Vinum civibus bonis civitatis das. = You give wine to the good citizens of the state.
Vinum civibus civitatis bonae datis. = You (pl.) give wine to the citizens of the good state.

At this point, we have had a survey of the first three declensions of Latin nouns. There are two more declensions with their own sets of endings, but the vast majority of nouns fall within the first three declensions and the rules I’ve just taught you. For the next several lessons we’ll go back to a more typical Duolingo format with family, animals, food, etc. as the topics. I hope you’ll enjoy the break from all the intense grammar, while building on the vocabulary you’ve already learned. Bonam fortunam!

Go to the next lesson: Food, Lesson 1

August 1, 2015



Have you considered a memrise course, of this material and in this same order, as a supplement to this course?


At this point, my concerns would be 1) I have limited familiarity with Memrise and extra time to learn the format, 2) There are already several Latin courses on Memrise that are written by people who know what they're doing, and 3) Memrise seems better suited to vocabulary memorization, but I'm not sure how flexible it would be with the sentences that are the main point of the lessons I'm writing. I'm not ruling it out, but I would prefer to see a Latin course started for real in the incubator here on Duo.


I think it would be possible, but better suited to duolingo than memrise because word order is much more flexible and you'd have to manually enter a lot of alternate sentences for the answers. Perhaps if someone here wanted to make the memrise course based on these lessons, carpelanam would give them permission and check it over for accuracy. I enjoy reading them but an interactive format is better for me to see if I've really retained info.


I mentioned it because I really like the memrise courses that are duoLingo vocabulary reviews for some Romance languages. Of course, there is no reason that carpelanam need spend the energy for it--someone else with an interest could certainly do it. Perhaps I might at some point, I was merely curious if she had thought about it.


Give me a few weeks to poke around memrise and figure out if it's something I could do. It would just be a vocabulary list, more or less in the order of the lessons I've presented so far; I don't think the sentences would work as well. If I haven't managed to get anything started there by September, write me a reminder and I'll be happy to let somebody else try it. You're not the first person to ask about memrise!

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