When you hear the words "Latin declensions" do you start to shiver? For a long time, I had no idea what that even meant, so it sounded even scarier! The reality is that we do this in English, but since it's our native tongue, we don't give it much thought unless we hear someone say something that sounds odd.
If I were to say, "God loves you," you'd think that sounded lovely, right?! How about if I said, "Him loves you." You'd immediately notice that there's something out of place. The reason this sets off alarms in your ears is that the pronoun "he" isn't being properly declined. You see the relics of the declension system in our pronouns. Consider:
Subject (Nominative) - He loves you.
Possessive (Genative) - His love is sufficient.
Indirect Object (Dative) - You give him your love.
Direct Object (Accusative) - You love him.
Object of the Preposition (Ablative) - You wrap your arms around him.
While there are some repeated forms of the pronoun "he", you can see that we also use different forms that are appropriate for the job the word is performing in the sentence. In Latin, every noun, pronoun, and adjective work this way. They are declined according to one of five families of declensions of which they belong.
If you can master the declension endings, then you're set for translating Latin!
As you approach learning a new language, the more time you devote to strength training in the beginning, the better equipped you'll be to sustain your study over the long haul.
I've noticed a tendency for students to rest in their "good guessing abilities" when approaching Latin. I'll confess that when I started my study, I hoped my ability to accurately guess the right answer 85% of the time would carry me. I watched my son, who did the hard work of memorizing the vocabulary and declensions, sail through his study with confidence and great accuracy, while I laboriously looked up each word in a sentence to translate.
Taking a cue from him, I've gone back to shore up my grammar skills by copying and memorizing charts. I can't tell you how empowering it is to know the right answer and be able to defend it because I know the grammar. It's a beautiful thing.
Latin Declensions Mastery Charts
This PDF download resource includes:
– Full color charts for 1st-5th Declensions
– Full color charts for 1st - 3rd Person Pronouns, as well as several other Pronouns to practice declining
– Full color charts for 1st - 3rd declension Adjectives
– Black and White versions of the declension charts for easy printing
– Blank charts to fill in
– A master list of nouns used in the Henle I text – organized by declension
You only need one copy per family. Since it's a PDF, you can make as many copies as you'd like for any students in your family.
Click here to see a preview of what’s in this resource.
I also have put together a similar resource for learning verb conjugations ($8). Together, these two resources will help build a strong foundation for any Latin student.
Get both resources for $12
Happy Latin muscle building!
Here are some of my other Latin resources: