Second Declension: -um words

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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.



dônum, dôna

Dônum magnum est.
  The gift is large.
Dôna  multa puellae placent.
  Many gifts please the girl.


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.


dônî, dônôrum

Magnitûdo  dônî magna est.
 The size of the gift is large.
Numerus dônôrum magnus est.
 The number of gifts is large.


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.


dônô, dônîs

  for the gift
  for the gifts


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.



dônum, dôna

Puella dônum videt.
 The girl sees the gift. 
Dôna puerô dat.
  She gives the gifts to the boy.


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.


dônô, dônîs

Dônô vîcit.
  He won by means of a gift.

dônîs scrîpsit Seneca.
  Seneca has written about gifts.


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