In the eighth class of the Latin from Scratch course, we’ll start studying adjectives: 2-1-2 or first-class adjectives. Actually, this class doesn’t include any new morphology, but we do have to be aware of the (morpho)syntactic new challenges.
I explain everything in the following video (⏳ 10m 08s ⌛):
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Morphology of 2-1-2 adjectives
The statement of these adjectives consists of the following: nominative singular masculine, feminine and neuter. According to this, we have two groups:
- ‑us, ‑a, ‑um (e.g. altus, alta, altum)
- ‑er, ‑a, ‑um (e.g. miser, misera, miserum)
The second group (‑er, ‑a, ‑um), just like 2nd declension nouns in ‑er, are only different from the first group in their nominative-vocative singular, which ends in ‑er.
You don’t have to learn any new endings whatsoever, since all of these endings we already learned when studying the 1st and 2nd declensions. Adjectives, when masculine or neuter, have 2nd declension endings, whereas the feminine column corresponds to the 1st declension.
Syntax of adjectives
Now that we have introduced a new type of word, we have to study how adjectives interact with other words in the sentence. This is what we know as agreement between adjective and noun (or pronoun).
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It’s actually quite simple. The rule is as easy as this: adjectives must agree in gender, number and case with the noun they refer to.
Dominus probus est.
The master is good.
Puella proba est.
The girl is good.
Marcus videt servos improbos.
Mark sees naughty slaves.
Puer improbe, i domum!
Naughty boy, go home!
It is very important to understand what we can see in the last example: the agreement is in gender-number-case, not in ending! This is even more obvious in the following examples:
Catilina est malus pravusque.
Catilina is bad and depraved.
Alvus hirundinis candida est.
The belly of the swallow is white.
Now we are ready to keep practicing analysis and translation. It’s important indeed to practice the second declension and the agreement between adjectives and nouns.
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