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Latin Cases


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Latin Cases


One of the major differences in between Latin and English are the declension cases. English has none when it comes to nouns. There are actually four cases (according to some grammars, even three) in English but they're only noticeable in the possessive form of the pronouns (he - him). The cases in English are very simplified and sometimes aren't even expressed through suffix (genitive).


I am here - subject; nominative case.

One of us is missing. - genitive case expressed with ''of'' - phrase: genitive mostly means possession and belonging

I am approaching him. - dative case: goal, indirect object

I caught a fish. - accusative: direct object


The cases in Latin are as follows, in this order: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Vocative, and Ablative.



In Latin, these rules for cases remain the same: nominative is used for subject, genitive usually means possession and belonging, dative is either a goal or the case of indirect object whereas accusative is reserved for direct object only. However, Latin also has two more cases: vocative (which is in most cases equivalent in form to nominative), which is used for emphasis (in English, it would be, John, hand me the bag; Mary, stop that, Helen, go away) and ablative.


Ablative case is very tricky. It has a lot of meanings. It most commonly means place, though. It can also be used to express a temporal relative clause (similar meaning to after/while/during/when), and a variety of other meanings, most of which are connected to English adverbials (of time, manner, means...). I guess you could call it the case of adverbials.

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