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How to Decline a Noun

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Michael Farmer

on 30 July 2013

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Transcript of How to Decline a Noun

Declining a Noun in Latin:
Step 1: Determine Base
Every noun in Latin has a base, which you can learn by dropping the genitive ending.
puella, puellae, f. - girl. The base is puell-
Marcus, Marci, m. - Marcus. The base is Marc-
nox, noctis, f. - night. The base is noct-
Make a table, 2x5 (two columns, five rows!)
The easiest way to keep track of your declining is to do it the same way EVERY time! One way to do this is to make a template, where you have a 2x5 chart ready to go whenever you want to practice declining (make it 2x6 if you want to include vocative case).
Start filling in the chart
You've got a chart. You've got two of the ten (or twelve: again, if you're doing VOC, you'll have 12) forms...but what next?
Write out the base in all the blank spots
Once you've written the base out for all the blanks, all you need to do is add your endings (be sure you add the endings for the correct declension of noun you are working with!)
Congrats! You've declined a noun!
No matter what declension, you can follow a set of steps to decline any noun in Latin!
Once you've created your chart:
Write out the first two words (the nominative and genitive forms, given to you in the dictionary definition). ALWAYS write these two EXACTLY how they are written in the dictionary!!!
There is an exception when completing a neuter noun: for neuter, you need to copy the nominative singular form in the blank for accusative singular.
Let's use puella
For our example, we'll use puella. So, our base will be puell-
Your chart should look like this:
Now that you have the chart, add nom and gen s.
Chart with bases added:
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