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Latin Adjectives

Latin adjective endings are inflected to match the noun they modify in case, number, and gender. This means that very often their endings will look the same. For example:

legitima filia (“legitimate daughter,” nominative, singular, feminine)

legitimam filiam (“legitimate daughter,” accusative, singular, feminine)

legitimus filius (“legitimate son,” nominative, singular, masculine)

legitimum filium (“legitimate son,” accusative, singular, masculine)

Latin Adjective Endings

Like Latin nouns, Latin adjectives and their endings are sorted into declensions. There are only three adjective declensions.

 

First and Second Declension Adjectives

First and second declension adjectives have the same endings as first and second declension nouns.

First and Second Declension Adjective Endings

  Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative

-us

-i

-a

-ae

-um

-a

Genitive

-i

-orum

-ae

-arum

-i

-orum

Accusative

-um

-os

-am

-as

-um

-a

Dative

-o

 -is

-ae

-is

-o

-is

Ablative

-o

-is

-a

-is

-o

-is

 

Third Declension Adjectives

Third declension adjectives have mostly the same endings as third declension nouns, with a few differences.

Third Declension Adjective Endings

  Masculine and Feminine Neuter
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative

-is

-es

-e

-ia

Genitive

-is

-ium

-is

-ium

Accusative

-em

-is/-es

-e

-ia

Dative

-i

-ibus

-i

-ibus

Ablative

-i

-ibus

-i

-ibus

Matching Latin Adjectives and Nouns

As was mentioned before, Latin adjectives match their corresponding nouns in case, number, and gender. Very often, this means that the endings will look the same. However, this is only if the adjective and the noun match in declension as well.

First and second declension adjective endings will match first and second declension noun endings:

Legitimus, -a, -um is a first and second declension adjective.

Filia, -ae is a first declension noun.

So their endings match when legitimus, -a, -um is modifying filia:

legitima filia (“legitimate daughter,” nominative, singular, feminine)

Third declension adjective endings will usually match third declension noun endings:

Naturalis, -e is a third declension adjective.

Pater, -tris is a third declension noun.

So their endings match when naturalis, -e is modifying pater:

Naturalem patrem (“natural father,” accusative, singular, masculine)

Non-Matching Latin Adjectives and Nouns

If the adjective and the noun it modifies are in different declensions, the endings will still match in case, number, and gender, but they will look different.

First and second declension adjective endings look different from third declension noun endings:

Legitimus, -a, -um is a first and second declension adjective.

Pater, -tris is a third declension noun.

So their endings look different when legitimus, -a, -um is modifying pater:

legitimum patrem (“legitimate father,” accusative, singular, masculine)

Third declension adjective endings look different from first and second declension noun endings:

Naturalis, -e is a third declension adjective.

Filia, -ae is a first declension noun.

So their endings look different when naturalis, -e is modifying filia:

Naturalis filia (“natural daughter,” nominative, singular, feminine)