I am having a hard time finding fourth and fifth declension nouns for teaching, because the common examples represent abstract concepts (like spēs). The common example domus is irregular. What are some regular fourth and fifth declension words for things you can point to (like animals or common articles of clothing), or things you can sit on or under (to practice oblative)?

1 Answer 1


Manus "hand" is of the fourth declension, though it is feminine.

Specus "cave" is normally masculine.

Lacus "lake".

Fructus can be a fruit, one that you pick from a tree.

There are some words of the neuter 4th declension (which has a different paradigm from that of the masculine words) which are concrete:

Cornu "horn".

Genu "knee".

There are probably many words of the fifth declension:

Res "thing" can be an object.

Acies can be a sharp edge or "point".

Alluvies a "pool of flooding water".

Caesaries "(head of) hair".

Canities can be used in a more concrete sense "gray hair".

Congeries "pile, heap".

Facies "face".

Glacies "ice".

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    Senatus and exercitus also seems like useful words for the Latin classroom; anus, while wholesome and innocuous, is perhaps not recommended; nor, while fun to demonstrate, ructus. Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 19:42
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    @SebastianKoppehel We definitely learned about anus in high school Latin, in particular with regards to Queen Elizabeth II's annus horribilis and some tabloid rag's misspelling of it as anus horribilis.
    – cmw
    Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 20:35
  • @cmw now that's not nice! 😕 Commented Feb 16, 2022 at 22:31
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    @Tristan Especially because anus and ānus are different. It's a nice three-way minimal pair for vowel and consonant length.
    – Draconis
    Commented Feb 17, 2022 at 19:48
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    @KefSchecter: That is of the third declension, isn't it? It might be instructional to also compare a list of words from the third declension on -es.
    – Cerberus
    Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 13:14

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