1. Second-Declension Nouns. Second declension
nouns fall into two groups, those with a nominative singular ending in
-us and those with one ending in -er.
||= nom. (exception: -us > -e)
Note the following:
a. The cases function in the same way (nominative = subject, etc.)
as in first declension.
b. The genitive singular and the nominative plural endings are identical
(-î). That means that only in the context of a sentence
can one tell whether a second-declension noun ending in -i
should be translated as "of X/X's (genitive singular)"
or "X-s (nominative plural)."
c. The dative and ablative singular endings are identical (-ô).
Again, context distinguishes usage.
d. The vocative singular of second-declension nouns which end -us
in the nominative singular differs from the nominative singular (-e
versus -us). Nouns with a nominative singular ending -ius
lose the -e, e.g. O Vergili!
e. There are no mandatory long marks in this declension, but it is
advisable to note that the dative and ablative plural endings have a
long î since other declensions have -is endings
with a short i.
f. Second-declension nouns which end -er in the nominative
singular differ from those ending in -us only in the nominative
singular, but it is important to memorize whether an -er noun
"contracts" or not, i.e. whether or not it loses the -e-
before the -r: puer/pueri (does not contract)
vs. ager/agri (does contract). Therefore, the base
of a noun must be taken from the genitive singular
(minus ending), not the nominative. For that reason, the nominative
and the genitive of a noun will always be given in vocabulary. The nominative
is the "dictionary" form of the word (the form one looks the
word up under), and the genitive provides the "base" form
of the word (the form that shows the base to which the proper declensional
endings are attached).
2. Apposition. When one noun redefines or renames another,
the second of the two nouns is said to be "in apposition" to
the first or an "appositive" of the first. In Latin, two such
nouns are put in the same case, as logic would dictate.
numerus: This noun means both "number,
numeral" and "group, crowd" (as "in the number of
populus: This noun is collective and takes
a singular verb, e.g. populus spectacula amat.
pauci: As a "plural" adjective—how
can "few" be singular?—it manifests only plural forms.
de/in: Both prepositions take an object in
the ablative case, although in in the sense of "into"
requires an accusative object. De has two distinct meanings:
(1) literal, "down from" (e.g. a mountain), and (2) figurative,
"about, concerning" (a topic, e.g. Cicero's essay entitled De
senectute ["About Old Age"]).
III. Special Homework. Decline numerus
magnus and translate each form (case and number), to be turned in
at the beginning of the next class period.