Particularities of the Declensions

The circumflex accent ( ) is used to denote the length of the vowels.


1. A few nouns in Latin are undeclinable (Indeclinabilia):

fas n divine law;
nefas n sin, impious act;
pondo m pound.
2. A few nouns have case forms of different declensions (Heteroclita):
vesper, -eri m evening star have Acc. sg. vesperum & vesperem, Abl. vespere;
vas, vasis n vessel have plural forms of II decl.: Nom. Acc. vasa, Gen. vasorum, Dat. Abl. vasis.
3. Several nouns have plural forms with endings of different genders (Heterogena):
 
Singular
Plural
frenum, i n bridle freni, ôrum m frena, ôrum n
jocus, i m joke joca, ôrum n joci, ôrum m
locus, i m place loca, ôrum n loci, ôrum m
balneum, ei n bath balneae, ârum f balnea, ôrum n

4. Some nouns are used in singular only (Singularia tantum). Most proper names are singularia tantum; apart of them, singularia tantum are also:

aurum, i n gold;
fides, ei f faith;
justitia, ae f justice;
plumbum, i n leather;
sapientia, ae f wisdom;
vestis, is f garment;
vulgus, i n the people.
5. Some nouns are used in plural only (Pluralia tantum):
arma, ôrum n arms;
castra, ôrum, n camp;
divitia, ârum f wealth;
fides, ium f strings;
liberi, ôrum m children;
majores, um m ancestors;
moenia, ium n city walls;
nuptiae, ârum f wedding.
Few geographical names are also used in plural only:
Argi, ôrum m Argos, city in northeastern Peloponnese;
Athenae, ârum f Athens;
Leuctra, ârum n Leuctra, city in Central Greece;
Syracusae, ârum f Syracuse, city in Sicily;
Thebae, ârum f Thebes, name of cities in Greece and Egypt.
6. Some nouns have different meanings in singular and plural:
 
Singular
Plural
aedis, is f temple aedes, ium f house
aqua, ae f water aquae, ârum f mineral waters
auxilium, ii n help, aid auxilia, ôrum n auxiliary troops
copia, ae f plenty, abundance copiae, ârum f troops
finis, is m end, boundary fines, ium m territory, country
fortuna, ae f luck, chance fortunae, âarum f wealth, property
littera, ae f letter of the alphabet litterae, ârum f letter (epistle)
naris, is m nostril nares, ium m nose
opera, ae f work operae, ârum f workers
pars, partis f part, share partes, partium f party, faction


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