Latin language review, book I

In this first book, the student will find lessons to be used in his independent study of the Latin language. These lessons, drawing upon the Vulgate, take a broad approach to the language; the student ought to consult a Latin grammar for exhaustive descriptions.

Lesson I

The Latin names of the four evangelists are: Matthaeus, Marcus, Lucas, Ioannes (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Written so, these names are said to be in nominative position; when preceded by secundum (according to), they must fall into accusative position: secundum Matthaeum, secundum Marcum, secundum Lucam, secundum Ioannem (according to Matthew, according to Mark, according to Luke, according to John). The student will note the difference between the nominative and accusative of these names by this, that the former puts their ending in -s, whereas the latter puts it in -m. Learn the following: Dominus noster (m., our Lord); Iesus Christus (m., Jesus Christ); evangelium (n., gospel); dixit ({he, she, it} said). EXERCISES. 1-Translate to Latin: according to our Lord Jesus Christ; the gospel according to Matthew; the gospel according to Mark; the gospel according to Luke; the gospel according to John. 2-Translate to Latin: our Lord Jesus Christ said; Matthew said; Mark said; Luke said; John said. ANSWERS. 1-secundum Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum; evangelium secundum Matthaeum; evangelium secundum Marcum; evangelium secundum Lucam; evangelium secundum Ioannem. 2-dixit Dominus noster Iesus Christus; dixit Matthaeus; dixit Marcus; dixit Lucas; dixit Ioannes.

Lesson II

The Latin vos estis means you are, second-person plural. Jesus says: vos estis sal terrae (secundum Matthaeum 5,13; you are the salt of the earth); and: vos estis lux mundi (secundum Matthaeum 5,14; you are the light of the world). The following four nouns are to be learnt, together with their gender: sal (m., salt); terra (f., earth); lux (f., light); mundus (m., world). In the words of Jesus, both terra and mundus are found in genitive position, to show possession: terrae (of the earth); mundi (of the world), so that sal terrae means the salt of the earth, and lux mundi means the light of the world. EXERCISES. 1-After the manner of terra, provide the genitive of the following: aqua (f., water); vita (f., life); lingua (f., tongue, language). 2-After the manner of mundus, provide the genitive of the following: Deus (m., God); oculus (m., eye); populus (m., people). 3-Translate to Latin: the water of the earth; the people of God; the life of Christ; the life of Matthew; the language of the people; the salt of the water. 4-The feminine noun creatio means creation, whereas the neuter noun peccatum means sin; translate to Latin: the creation of the earth; the sin of the world; the sin of the eye. ANSWERS. 1-aquae; vitae; linguae. 2-Dei; oculi; populi. 3-aqua terrae; populus Dei; vita Christi; vita Matthaei; lingua populi; sal aquae. 4-creatio terrae; peccatum mundi; peccatum oculi.

Lesson III

The Latin for beginning is the neuter noun principium; to express in the beginning, Latin employs in principio, where principium is fallen into its ablative form principio after the preposition in. Take another example: the Latin for gibbet is the neuter noun patibulum; to express on a gibbet, Latin employs in patibulo, where patibulum is fallen into its ablative form patibulo after the preposition in. At Genesis 1,1, we read: in principio creavit Deus caelum et terram (in the beginning, God created heaven and earth). The verb in this sentence is creavit ({he, she, it} created), third-person singular, so that creavit Deus means God created. For pattern recognition, a number of other examples in the same tense and number may be given: irritavit ({he, she, it} provoked); invocavit ({he, she, it} called upon); festinavit Abraham (Abraham hastened); habitavit Iacob (Jacob dwelt); adoravit Abraham (Abraham adored); visitavit Dominus (the Lord visited); clamavit angelus Domini (an angel of the Lord called). The masculine noun caelus means heaven; this takes the accusative form caelum in the sentence from Genesis 1,1, given that it is employed as a direct object. Also a direct object is terra, which therefore takes the accusative form terram. EXERCISES. 1-After the manner of principium, provide the ablative of these nouns: evangelium (n., gospel); firmamentum (n., firmament); oppidum (n., town). 2-Translate to Latin: in the gospel; in the firmament; in the town. 3-Provide the accusative of the following: aqua; vita; lingua; Deus; oculus; populus. 4-Translate to Latin: he provoked God; he called upon the Lord God; Abraham adored the people of the land; according to the tongue of the people; in the gospel according to Mark. ANSWERS: 1-evangelio; firmamento; oppido. 2-in evangelio; in firmamento; in oppido. 3-aquam; vitam; linguam; Deum; oculum; populum. 4-irritavit Deum; invocavit Dominum Deum; adoravit Abraham populum terrae; secundum linguam populi; in evangelio secundum Marcum.

Lesson IV

The Latin for the interrogative where is ubi. At Genesis 4,9, we read: et ait Dominus ad Cain: ubi est frater tuus Abel? (and the Lord said to Cain: where is thy brother Abel?). The third-person singular est means is, wherefore the question ubi est means where is. In the plural, we must rather employ ubi sunt (where are). Consider the following: ubi est pater tuus? (where is thy father?); ubi est frater tuus? (where is thy brother?); ubi est mater tua? (where is thy mother?); ubi est soror tua? (where is thy sister?). Now consider: ubi sunt fratres tui? (where are thy brethren?); ubi sunt sorores tuae? (where are thy sisters?). In each of the foregoing instances, the possessive adjective agrees in gender, number and case with the noun: tuus (masculine singular of the nominative); tua (feminine singular of the nominative); tui (masculine plural of the nominative); tuae (feminine plural of the nominative). As for et ait Dominus ad Cain, so does this translate: et (and) ait Dominus (the Lord said) ad Cain (to Cain). Both ait and dixit will be found in the Scriptures, equivalent to ({he, she, it} said). The student will note that Cain is in accusative position following ad; however, the nominative and accusative of this name take the same form: Cain. Following is a patent example of this use of the accusative: dixit Cain ad Dominum (Cain said to the Lord). EXERCISES (new concepts are introduced; refer to the answers). 1-Translate to Latin: where is the town?; where is the water?; where is the Lord God?; where are the brothers?; where are the sisters? 2-Translate to Latin: thy people; my people; thy life; my life; thy sin; my sin. 3-Translate to Latin: according to thy father; according to my brother; according to my mother; according to thy sister. 4-Translate to English: dixit Cain ad fratrem suum; et dixit mater ad sororem suam; et dixit filius ad matrem suam; et dixit Dominus ad eum. ANSWERS. 1-ubi est oppidum?; ubi est aqua?; ubi est Dominus Deus?; ubi sunt fratres?; ubi sunt sorores? 2-populus tuus; populus meus; vita tua; vita mea; peccatum tuum; peccatum meum. 3-secundum patrem tuum; secundum fratrem meum; secundum matrem meam; secundum sororem tuam. 4-Cain said to his brother; and the mother said to her sister; and the son said to his mother; and the Lord said to him.

Lesson V

The Latin for him as a direct object is the accusative eum. Examples: eduxit eum (he brought him forth); posuit eum (he put him, he set him); exaudivit eum (he heard him out); vidit eum (he saw him); benedixit eum (he blessed him). The accusative eum is also employed after ad, such as in the following: et dixit Dominus ad eum (and the Lord said to him). At Genesis 3,9, we read: vocavitque Dominus Deus Adam, et dixit ei: ubi es? (and the Lord God called Adam, and said to him: where art thou?). The student will at once notice that said to him is not here expressed as dixit ad eum, but rather dixit ei. Ei is dative and means to him. In this way, ad eum and ei are here synonymous: to him. That said, ei can also take the reading to her, but if ad were instead to be employed, the Latin for to her would be ad eam. Consider: dixit Dominus ad eum (the Lord said to him); dixit Dominus ad eam (the Lord said to her); dixit Dominus ei (the Lord said to him/her). The Latin for and is et; however, of frequent usage in the Scriptures is -que, so that, for instance, both et dixit Deus and dixitque Deus mean and God said; both et vocavit Deus and vocavitque Deus mean and God called; both et vidit Deus and viditque Deus mean and God saw. As for ubi es, this means where art thou, es being second-person singular. Consider: ubi es? (where art thou?); ubi est frater tuus? (where is thy brother?); ubi sunt sorores? (where are the sisters?). EXERCISES. 1-Translate to English: et ait Dominus ad Cain; et ait Dominus ad eum; dixitque Cain ad Dominum; dixitque ei Dominus; dixitque ad eam Deus; et dixit Deus ad eos. 2-Express the following using both et and -que: and Esau dwelt; and he brought forth Simeon to them; and the people hastened. ANSWERS: 1-and the Lord said to Cain; and the Lord said to him; and Cain said to the Lord; and the Lord said to him/her; and God said to her; and God said to them. 2-et habitavit (habitavitque) Esau; et eduxit (eduxitque) ad eos Simeon; et festinavit (festinavitque) populus.

Lesson VI

Of mundus (m., world), the genitive singular is mundi (of the world), whereas the genitive plural is mundorum (of the worlds). Of oculus (m., eye), the genitive singular is oculi (of the eye), whereas the genitive plural is oculorum (of the eyes). Of populus (m., people), the genitive singular is populi (of the people), whereas the genitive plural is populorum (of the peoples). Following this pattern is Iudaeus (m., Jew), so that Iudaei means of the Jew, whereas Iudaeorum means of the Jews. The Latin for king is the masculine noun rex, wherefore rex Iudaeorum means king of the Jews. Wise men came from the east to Jerusalem, saying: ubi est qui natus est rex Iudaeorum? (secundum Matthaeum 2,2; where is he that is born king of the Jews?). Qui takes the reading that or who, so that ubi est qui means where is he that/who. Natus (born) is here found in nominative position, masculine singular. Consider: natus est (he is/was born; masculine); nata est (she is/was born; feminine); natum est (it is/was born; neuter). Learn this vocabulary: desertum (n., desert); campus (m., plain); filius (m., son); filia (f., daughter); veritas (f., truth); remissio (f., remission). EXERCISES. 1-Translate to Latin: he was born in the desert; she was born in a plain; that which was born in the beginning. 2-Translate to Latin: of angels; of sons; of daughters; of waters; of languages; of lands; of towns; the truth of the gospels; the remission of sins. ANSWERS. 1-natus in deserto est; nata in campo est; quod natum in principio est. 2-angelorum; filiorum; filiarum; aquarum; linguarum; terrarum; oppidorum; veritas evangeliorum; remissio peccatorum.

Lesson VII

Posuit is the Latin for {he, she, it} put. For instance, posuit eum Dominus Deus means the Lord God put him. The student will recall that eum is here in the accusative case, for it is a direct object. The Latin for man is the masculine homo; in the accusative, this takes the form hominem. We can now say: posuit hominem Dominus Deus (the Lord God put man). In the Vulgate, the garden of Eden is referred to as paradisus voluptatis (the paradise of pleasure). Paradisus is a masculine noun meaning paradise, whereas the feminine noun voluptas means pleasure. In the genitive, voluptas takes the form voluptatis (of pleasure). The Lord God put man whom He had created in the garden of Eden: posuit Dominus Deus hominem in paradiso voluptatis (the Lord God put man in the paradise of pleasure). EXERCISES. 1-Provide the genitive of the following: veritas (f., truth); libertas (f., liberty); difficultas (f., difficulty); potestas (f., ability). 2-Translate to Latin: in the firmament; in the desert; in a plain; in paradise; in the land; in the water; in life. 3-The feminine noun via means {the right} way; translate to Latin: in the way of truth. ANSWERS. 1-veritatis (of truth); libertatis (of liberty); difficultatis (of difficulty); potestatis (of ability). 2-in firmamento; in deserto; in campo; in paradiso; in terra; in aqua; in vita. 3-in via veritatis.

Lesson VIII

The Latin adjective senex means old. Examples: pater noster senex est (our father is old); mortuus est senex (he died old); mulier senex (an old woman). In the nominative singular, the form is always senex, whether masculine, feminine or neuter; in the nominative plural, the form is senes. At Genesis 24,1, we read: erat autem Abraham senex, dierumque multorum (now Abraham was old, and of many days). Autem is frequently found in the Scriptures to draw attention to a particular point in the narrative; it may be read in context as now. The third-person singular erat means {he, she, it} was; the third-person plural is erant ({they} were). Dies, nominative and masculine plural, is the Latin for days; in the genitive plural, it becomes dierum (of days). As for the adjective multus, this is the Latin for many; given that it modifies dierum, it must match in gender, number and case, wherefore multorum, so that dierum multorum means of many days. The student will recall that -que is employed to mean and: dierumque means and of days. EXERCISES. 1-Translate to Latin: Abraham is old; the woman was old. 2-Translate to Latin: he died in a plain; she died in the desert; he was born in a plain; she was born in the desert. 3-The neuter noun medium means midst; translate to Latin: in the midst of many peoples. 4-The adjective plenus means full; translate to Latin: he died old and full of days. 5-Ambo, nominative and masculine plural, means both; translate to Latin: now they were both old. ANSWERS. 1-Abraham senex est; mulier senex erat. 2-mortuus in campo est; mortua in deserto est; natus in campo est; nata in deserto est. 3-in medio populorum multorum. 4-mortuus est senex et plenus dierum. 5-erant autem ambo senes.

Lesson IX

The Latin for field is the masculine noun ager; its ablative form is agro, so that in agro means in the field. It was in agro that Cain killed his brother Abel: interfecit eum (he killed him). When the Lord asked Cain where his brother was (see lesson IV), Cain responded: nescio: num custos fratris mei sum ego? (I know not: am I my brother’s keeper?). Num introduces a question to which a negative answer is usually expected. The masculine noun custos is the Latin for keeper, custodian. As for my brother, the Latin is frater meus; however, it is found in Cain’s words in genitive position (fratris mei, of my brother), so that custos fratris mei means the keeper of my brother, or my brother’s keeper. Also found in Cain’s words are two first-person singular verbs: nescio (I know not); sum (I am). Ego is the first-person singular personal pronoun equivalent to the English I. Learn this vocabulary: carcer (m., prison); vestibulum (n., entry). EXERCISES. 1-Translate to Latin: he killed him; he killed her; the brother of my father; the sister of my mother; Cain killed his brother in the field. 2-Translate to English: pater meus senex est; erat frater patris mei senex; custos carceris; custos vestibuli. ANSWERS. 1-interfecit eum; interfecit eam; frater patris mei; soror matris meae; Cain fratrem suum in agro interfecit. 2-my father is old; the brother of my father (my father’s brother) was old; the keeper of the prison (the prison keeper); the keeper of the entry (the entry keeper).

Lesson X

Jesus speaks to the Pharisees in secundum Ioannem 8; at the twelfth verse, Jesus says: ego sum lux mundi: qui sequitur me non ambulat in tenebris, sed habebit lumen vitae (I am the light of the world: he that followeth me walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life). The student may wish to review lessons II and IX. Jesus employs two third-person singular verbs: sequitur ({he, she, it} followeth), so that qui sequitur me means he that followeth me; and ambulat ({he, she, it} walketh), so non ambulat means he walketh not. As for habebit, third-person singular, this can mean not only {he, she, it} will have, but also {he, she, it} shall have. Two words rendered light are used in the Latin: the feminine lux, and the neuter lumen. Darkness, on the other hand, is the feminine plural tenebrae, so that in tenebris means in darkness. Sed is the Latin for but. Finally, to say that Jesus spoke to them (which is to say, to the Pharisees), we say in Latin: locutus est eis Iesus (Jesus spoke to them), where locutus est means he spoke, he hath spoken, and eis (to them) is the plural of ei (see lesson V). EXERCISES. 1-Translate to Latin: I am; I am not; he will have; he will not have; he walketh in darkness; he walketh not in darkness; he that followeth me; he that followeth me not. 2-Translate to Latin: Isaac spoke to them; and the Lord spoke to him; this is what the Lord hath spoken. ANSWERS. 1-ego sum; ego non sum; habebit; non habebit; ambulat in tenebris; non ambulat in tenebris; qui sequitur me; qui non sequitur me. 2-locutus est eis Isaac (locutus est Isaac ad eos); locutusque est ei Dominus (locutusque est Dominus ad eum); hoc est quod locutus est Dominus.

Lesson XI

When the past tense takes the form eduxit, posuit, exaudivit, vidit, benedixit, and so on, the subject may be male, female or neuter of the third-person singular. When, on the other hand, it takes the form natus est, locutus est, and so on, then the subject can only be male of the third-person singular; were the subject to be female of the third-person singular, we must rather say nata est, locuta est; were the subject to be neuter of the third-person singular, we must say natum est, locutum est. Learn this vocabulary: os (n., mouth); sapienter (wisely); ductus est (he was led). EXERCISES. 1-Translate to Latin: a son was born to them; God spoke to Noah. 2-Translate to Latin: a daughter was born to him; she spoke to them wisely. 3-Translate to Latin: that which was born; my mouth hath spoken. 4-Using ad, translate to Latin: he said to him; he said to them (masculine plural); he said to her; he said to them (feminine plural). 5-Translate to Latin: he was led; she was led. ANSWERS. 1-natus est eis filius; locutus est Deus ad Noe. 2-nata est ei filia; locuta est eis sapienter. 3-quod natum est; locutum est os meum. 4-dixit ad eum; dixit ad eos; dixit ad eam; dixit ad eas. 5-ductus est; ducta est.

Lesson XII

Our Lord and Saviour was led by the spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. At secundum Mattheum 4,1, we read: tunc Iesus ductus est in desertum a Spiritu, ut tentaretur a diabolo (then Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, that he might be tempted by the devil). The difference between in deserto (ablative) and in desertum (accusative) is that the former conveys location, whereas the latter conveys movement; in deserto thus means in the desert, and in desertum means into the desert. The preposition a, used twice and followed both times by the ablative, is read by, so that a Spiritu means by the spirit, and a diabolo means by the devil. In the nominative, the Latin for spirit is the masculine noun spiritus, whereas for devil it is the masculine noun diabolus. Ut tentaretur, imperfect passive subjunctive of the third-person singular, is read that he might be tempted. Learn this vocabulary: cubiculum (n., chamber); captivitas (f., captivity); benedictus (blessed); dictus (said). EXERCISES. 1-Translate to Latin: she was led to the chamber; she was led into captivity; he was led into the plain. 2-Translate to Latin: blessed art thou by thy God; that which hath been said by the Lord. 3-Translate to English: ad cubiculum; in cubiculo; in cubiculum; in captivitate; in captivitatem. ANSWERS. 1-ducta est ad cubiculum; ducta est in captivitatem; ductus est in campum. 2-benedictus (benedicta) tu a Deo tuo; quod dictum est a Domino. 3-to the chamber; in the chamber; into the chamber; in captivity; into captivity.

Lesson XIII

At lesson VI, the student studied the language related to the wise men’s asking: ubi est qui natus est rex Iudaeorum? (secundum Matthaeum 2,2; where is he that is born king of the Jews?). The wise men, at the same verse, then say: vidimus enim stellam eius in oriente, et venimus adorare eum (for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to adore him). Two first-person plural verbs are employed: vidimus (we have seen) and venimus (we have come, we are come). Enim is read for, because. Given that stella, a feminine singular noun, is here employed as a direct object, it takes the accusative form stellam, so that vidimus enim stellam eius means for we have seen his star. Eius (his) is employed when the possessor is not the subject of the verb. Consider the difference between the following: vidimus stellam eius (we have seen his star) and dixit Cain ad fratrem suum (Cain said to his brother): in the former, the possessor and the subject of the verb are not the same, whereas in the latter they are. The masculine noun oriens means east; set in the ablative following the preposition in, the Latin in oriente means in the east. Adorare is an infinitive meaning to adore. Further to stella is this, that in the accusative plural it takes the form stellas, so that the Latin for God made the stars is fecit Deus stellas, whereas the Latin for and he set them in the firmament of heaven is et posuit eas in firmamento caeli (Genesis 1,17). Eas, then, is the feminine counterpart to the accusative plural eos encountered in foregoing lessons. EXERCISES. 1-Translate to Latin: we have come to him; we have come to her; we have come to them (masculine); we have come to them (feminine). 2-Translate to Latin: we have seen the star; we have seen the stars; we have seen the water; we have seen the waters; we have seen the land; we have seen the lands. 3-The masculine noun occidens means west; translate to Latin: in the east; to the east; in the west; to the west. ANSWERS. 1-venimus ad eum; venimus ad eam; venimus ad eos; venimus ad eas. 2-vidimus stellam; vidimus stellas; vidimus aquam; vidimus aquas; vidimus terram; vidimus terras. 3-in oriente; in orientem; in occidente; in occidentem.

Lesson XIV

The Latin for wife is the feminine noun uxor, which takes the form uxorem in the accusative. To express, for instance, that Adam knew his wife, the Latin is Adam cognovit uxorem suam, where cognovit means he knew, here employed in its carnal sense. For this reason that the possessor (Adam) is the same as the subject (also Adam), sua is used to speak of his wife, not eius. To be clear on this point, let such examples illustrate: interfecit fratrem suum (he killed his brother: the subject killed his own brother); interfecit fratrem eius (he killed his brother: the subject killed the brother of some other man). The Latin name for Adam’s wife Eve is Heva, wherefore Adam knew his wife Eve is expressed so in Latin: Adam cognovit uxorem suam Hevam, where Eve’s name is fallen into accusative position. Before completing the exercises, learn the following: the Latin for she conceived is concepit, whereas peperit is the Latin for she brought forth, as in she gave birth to. EXERCISES. 1-Translate to Latin: Eve conceived and brought forth Cain; Eve gave birth to his brother Abel. 2-Study verses 1 and 2 of Genesis 4 in Latin, referring as necessary to the English translation in the answers: Adam vero cognovit uxorem suam Hevam: quae concepit et peperit Cain, dicens: Possedi hominem per Deum. Rursumque peperit fratrem eius Abel. Fuit autem Abel pastor ovium, et Cain agricola. ANSWERS. 1-Heva concepit et peperit Cain; Heva peperit fratrem eius Abel. 2-And Adam knew Eve his wife: who conceived and brought forth Cain, saying: I have gotten a man through God. And again she brought forth his brother Abel. And Abel was a shepherd, and Cain a husbandman. Note: Pastor ovium (shepherd) translates literally as pastor of sheep.

Lesson XV

Whereas oculum is the accusative singular of the masculine noun oculus (eye), the accusative plural is oculos. The Lord, at Genesis 13,14, says to Abram: leva oculos tuos, et vide a loco, in quo nunc es, ad aquilonem et meridiem, ad orientem et occidentem (lift up thy eyes, and look from the place wherein thou now art, to the north and to the south, to the east and to the west). In the words of the Lord are found two second-person singular imperatives: leva (lift up) and vide (look). The masculine noun locus means place; the Latin for from the place is a loco, where locus is fallen into ablative position following a (before a vowel or h, this takes the form ab). Also fallen into ablative position is the masculine singular qui, so that in quo means in which, wherein. Employed for cardinal directions are: aquilo (m., north); meridies (m., south); oriens (m., east); occidens (m., west); these are fallen into accusative position following ad (also found in the Scriptures is usque ad), so that the following are obtained: ad aquilonem (to the north); ad meridiem (to the south); ad orientem (to the east); ad occidentem (to the west). EXERCISES. 1-Translate to English: ab aquilone usque ad orientem; a meridie usque ad aquilonem; ab oriente usque ad occidentem; ab occidente usque ad meridiem. 2-Provide the accusative plural of the following: populus; campus; ager; terra; aqua; stella; evangelium; oppidum; cubiculum. ANSWERS. 1-from north to east; from south to north; from east to west; from west to south. 2-populos; campos; agros; terras; aquas; stellas; evangelia; oppida; cubicula.