Fourth Declension Endings:
Masculine / Feminine

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Explain the ideas of case and declension.


Case Name
and Typical Meaning / Use




The "subject case": the subject is the word found by asking WHO or WHAT before the verb.



sensus, sensûs

Mihi placêbat sensus eius dê rê publicâ.
  His opinion about the republic pleased me.

sensûs commûnês sunt.
  These meanings are common.


The "possession case": The genitive word corresponds to the word that takes an apostrophe in English. If (A) is in the genitive, (A) possesses something else (B), with the emphasis falling on (B), so that (A) is somewhat like a modifier of (B): in student's book (= discipuli liber), the possession-word qualifies the meaning of the noun book.



sensûs, sensuum

Illud sensûs organô est praesens.
 That is present to the organ of feeling.

Praestet fidês supplementum sensuum  defectuî.
 Let faith provide a help for the deficiency of our senses.


The "indirect object case": the indirect object is found by asking TO / FOR WHOM? or TO / FOR WHAT? after the verb. Certain verbs govern the dative.



sensuî, sensibus

Nûllî nostrô sensuî appâret.
  It is evident to no sense of ours.

Ratio imperat sensibus.
  Reason gives commands to the senses.


The "direct object case": the direct object is usually found by asking WHO or WHAT after an action-verb whose action has a receiver. "We hold these truths." The accusative is also used after certain prepositions.



sensum,  sensûs

Sî igitur voluptatis sensum capit...
  If it therefore gets the feeling of pleasure,... 

Docet etiam natûra, per istôs sensûs dolôris, famis, sitis...
  Nature also teaches, through those feelings of pain, hunger, thirst...


The "by-with-from case": Certain prepositions and certain verbs govern objects in this case. Used alone it can have an adverbial meaning, for example, to indicate by what means something is done.


sensû, sensibus

Sensûs rêrum cum sonôrum sensû concordant.
  The meanings of the things agree with the feeling of the sounds.

Posuêrunt iudicium uêritâtis in sensibus corporis.
  They have located the judgment of truth in the senses of the body.

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Latin Teaching Materials at Saint Louis University: © Claude Pavur 1997 - 2009.  This material is being made freely available for non-commercial educational use.