5

In Keller's Learn to Read Latin:

When a third-declension adjective has three forms in the nominative singular, the vocabulary entry contains the same elements as the entry for a first-second-declension adjective: the masculine, feminine, and neuter singular nominative.

So how can I tell if an adjective listed in a vocabulary is third-declension or first-second-declension? Thanks.

1 Answer 1

5

The endings will tell: In singular nominative the feminine ending is -a and the neuter ending is -um in declensions 1 and 2. The same endings in declension 3 are never -a and -um.

The masculine form alone is not enough to tell the difference, as looking at pulcher and acer will show you. Only when you see pulchra & pulchrum and acris & acre can you tell which declension to follow.

There are many possible ways you might formulate a detection rule. What I suggest works, but I'm not saying this is the only one that does. The declension tables will be your guide here. The singular nominative can be a bit irregular in the third declension and sometimes for the second declension masculine, but feminines and neuters of declension 1/2 are regular.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.