Poēta puellae fābulam narrat.
Does every word in here have a case (i.e. dative, accusative, nominative, etc)?

  • 2
    Perhaps: "The girls tell a tale by means of a poet" :D
    – brianpck
    Apr 13, 2016 at 18:01
  • 3
    @brianpck, I imagine the girls operating a large poet puppet to tell a story, but I somehow doubt that is the case. :D But that would not change the answer significantly.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Apr 13, 2016 at 18:11

3 Answers 3


Every noun in your sentence has a case, but the verb does not. This is always the situation.

Here poeta, puellae and fabulam are nouns and have cases (nominative, dative, accusative). The verb narrat is also in a specific form, but not in any case. The verb is in third person singular, more specifically that of active present indicative.


Almost. Narrat has no "case", since case only applies to declining a noun. Narrare is a verb and has a conjugation. Every other word is a noun and therefore has a case. All nouns and adjectives and only nouns and adjectives have cases. The adjective takes on the same gender and case as the noun that it is modifying. It still does even if it stands by itself.

Poeta - Nominative Singular
Puellae - Dative Singular
Fabulam - Accusative Singular
Narrat - 3rd person singular present indicative

Edit: I saw someone provide a translation that is different than what I think it is. So to be very clear I'm providing my translation. "The poet tells a/the story to the girls."

  • 2
    Welcome! Thanks for your answer. I hope you'll register for an account and stick around! By the way, the translation in a comment above was actually referring to a previous version of the question, which had "narrant" instead of "narrat." May 3, 2016 at 22:32

There are also certain nouns in Latin that are indeclinable and thus don't really have a concept of "case" like normal nouns do (although you could argue they're just always in the nominative).

Some examples are:

  • Fas = "divine law"; Nefas = "sin"
  • Nihil = "nothing"
  • Ir = "hand"

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