Ratesjul (ratesjul) wrote in thelatinlink,

Questions for Ali

I had this in my lj, but then thought it best to move it on over.

ager, agri, m. field farm

Does this mean we're talking:
agerus, ageri, agero, agerum, agero, ager
agrus, agri, agro, agrum, agro, agre

How do you know which is masculine forms nad which are feminine forms - I mean, take "friend" for example. Amica, amicae (f), or Amicus, amici (m) - when you decline them, aren't they going to look the same? Or is one first declension and the other second, in which case why do they both show up in this one?

For that matter, how do you know which declension to use?

Is it that, in the dictionary it shows up with Nom and Gen? Actually, is that Nom Sing and Gen Sing, or Nom Sing and Nom Plural? Or did you already tell us and i've forgotten? *confused*
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I probably should have declined the -er 2nd declensions right off. Or at least an example.

For ager, agri:
Nom - ager
Gen - agri
Dat - agro
Acc - agrum
Abl - agro
Voc - ager

Nom - agri
Gen - agrorum
Dat - agris
Acc - agros
Abl - agris
Voc - agri

Putting aside "poeta" and "pirata" and the others I mentioned, all first declension nouns are feminine. (The confusion with the odd masculine ones stems from the Romans stealing the words from the Greeks and not bothering to change the nominative form. Lazy Roman linguists.) The second declension nouns are all masculine and neuter (subject of tomorrow's lesson). When you see an -a nominative ending, it is feminine. When you see a -us nominative ending, it is masculine. And they always, always follow their declensions. As soon as you see "-us", you know it is going to use the second declension. Always.

"Amica, amicae" would be a female friend. It's a feminine noun as a result. "Amicus, amici" is a male friend, and a masculine noun as a result. There's a few of these nouns, where there are both masculine and feminine forms, depending on who is being referred to.

A dictionary, glossary, or any vocabulary will always give you the first two forms of a noun - the nominative and genetive singular form. The other three declensions (3, 4, 5) can have some odd nominative endings, but the combination of nominative AND genetive in a vocab list will tell you immediately what declension the noun is. "-us, -i" is always second declension, and "-a, -ae" is always the first declension.

I hope it clears a few things up. :) If not, keep asking till it does!
So, by extension, some of the nouns in Chapter Three are first declension, not second declension? or rather, all the female nouns are?

Amica, Amicae
Femina, feminae
sapientia, sapientiae
filia, filiae
Yeppers. They add grammar from all the previous chapters when they create those lists. So when we start doing neuter nouns, you'll see masculine and feminine ones still on the list. And so on and so forth. It's a cumulative sort of thing.
Ah Ha!