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On the Usage of Latin Cases with the Examples from 1st Declension


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Cases are one of the key things in Latin grammar, so I believe that they should be learnt properly. However, it's not that easy, considering that English language doesn't have cases anymore, so the concept is new to most people who hadn't studied a foreign language. I'll try to explain each of the cases,their purpose and function in the sentence and then provide the examples with the nouns from the 1st declension. I'll also attach the previously used chart here, just in case. Remember, it's the second column (amica, ae, f - friend).

You can get the general idea in my other topic titled ''Latin Cases''. Here, I'll expand the usage of the cases:

So, the cases are: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, Vocative, and Ablative.

Just like in English, first four of the Latin cases are with the similar usage: 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. Two remain. Vocative is used when you wish to address someone (Helen, give me the book!) and is always separated with commas from the rest of the sentence. Ablative has a lot of meanings, but it's usually adverbial in the sentence (time, place, manner).

Verbs used will be in specific form, but you don't have to worry about them for the time being.

Nominative - the case of the subject

Aqua fluit. - The water flows. (fluo, fluere, fluxi, fluctum - flow)

Amica venit. - The friend is coming. (venio, venire, veni, ventum - come)

Silva crescit. - The forest grows. (cresco, crescere, crevi, cretum)

Genitive - the case of possession, quality and belonging

Aqua Italiae fluit. - The water of Italy flows.

Amica filiae venit. - The friend of the daughter comes.

Silva tiliae crescit. - The linden forest grows. (tilia, ae, f - linden is a botanical term)

Dative - the case of the indirect object, purpose, benefit

Filiae consulo. - I take care of the daughter. (consulo, consulare usually means advise, but in this context it can mean take care of)

Amicae caveo. - I worry for the friend. (caveo, cavere, cavi, cautum - worry, beware - Cave canem! means Beware of the dog!)

Silvae eo. - I walk towards the forest. (eo, ire, ii, itum - walk, go - one of the ''special'' or irregular verbs)

Accusative - the case of the direct object

Vitam vivit. - He lives a life. (vivo, vivere, vixi, victum - live)

Filiam habeo. - I have a daughter. (habeo, habere, habui, habitum - to have)

Amicam vocat. - He calls a friend. (voco, vocare, vocavi, vocatus - to call, to summon)

Vocative - the case of ''calling'' and exclamation

Italia, te amo. - Italy, I love you. (well, it does serve a purpose in this example, doesn't it?)

Amica, te voco. - Friend, I call you.

Filia, veni! - Daughter, come. (I used imperative in this sentence, whereas I'd used simple present in the two examples above)

Ablative - the case of adverbials

Amica silva est. - The friend is in the forest.

Aqua gratis est. - The water is free/extra/gratis. - this is the so called ablative of price (used for merchandise and buying/selling); gratis comes from gratiis - which is plural ablative (-is)

Amicitia magno emit. - He bought friendship expensively. (amicitia, ae, f - friendship, magno - adverb: expensively, much, emo, emere, emi, emptum - buy, purchase)

Can you come up with similar sentences using these guidelines?

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