How to Create a Personal Latin Dictionary
There is really no better substitute for learning Latin declensions and conjugations than copying the forms over and over. Learning hard things can be tedious work! Anything that is tedious, I believe, needs to be jazzed up a bit with some fun colored pens, and it can become a game.
This year I'm helping my Foundations/Essentials kids prepare for learning Latin in Challenge by learning to decline nouns. At the same time, my Challenge B daughter is creating a resource for translating by declining and conjugating her vocabulary—nouns, adjectives, and verbs—into her personal Latin dictionary. She realizes as she copies the forms over and over and the meanings over and over that she's building muscle memory. It's starting to stick!
Making A Personal Latin Dictionary
Here's what you need to make your own Latin dictionary like ours:
- Printables for building the dictionary
- Card stock - for printing the cover and divider pages (there's a choice between full color and black and white)
- Laminating machine - (if you don't have one of these, one of your friends does...borrow it or go to an office supply store to get your cover laminated.) OR you could totally cut up a cardboard cereal box and make a fun Latin dictionary cover . . . bottom line, you need something sturdy for the cover and back.
- Arc Hole Punch - This is my latest fun tool. This allows you to "spiral" your dictionary while still allowing the pages to be rearranged. I LOVE it. But you could totally use a small three-ring binder and regular hole punch.
- Arc Notebook Rings - to put it all together!
Building Your Latin Dictionary
Print the page for whichever part of speech you're working on, cut it in half, and get going declining or conjugating!
Here are some videos demonstrating each declension:
1st Declension Nouns:
2nd Declension Nouns:
3rd Declension Nouns (Masculine or Feminine and i-Stems)
3rd Declension Neuter Nouns
4th Declension Nouns
5th Declension Nouns
1st and 2nd Declension Adjectives
3rd Declension Adjectives
Don't Be Afraid of Verbs!
1st Conjugation Verbs - Present Tense
1st Conjugation Verbs - Imperfect Tense
1st Conjugation Verbs - Future Tense
2nd Conjugation Verbs
3rd Conjugation Verbs - Present Tense
3rd Conjugation Verbs - Imperfect Tense
3rd Conjugation Verbs - Future Tense
4th Conjugation Verbs
The Perfect Tense for All Conjugations
It can be intimidating to start filling out your Latin dictionary, but once you get going, it's kind of addicting!
Even More Latin Helps:
We really want to help you find success in your Latin studies. Here are some other great Latin resources that I think you'll really like:
4 Principal Parts: Tests and QuizzesProduct on sale
Henle 1 Vocabulary QuizzesProduct on sale
Latin Keyring FlashcardsProduct on sale
1 John Latin WorkbookProduct on sale
Latin Declensions & Conjugations Mastery ChartsProduct on sale
Latin with Andy Code Breakers Supplemental MaterialsProduct on sale
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.
This is a fanTAStic idea!! Shared, shared and shared 😉
Thanks for putting it togeter…AND I’m loving your membership site; I’M learning so much already…
Wonderful! Thanks Pat!!
Thank you for the templates. This was just what I was looking for!!
This is a great resource. Thank you! About how many pages did you allot for each section? Your book looks pretty thick. Thanks.
It really depends on which section you’re working on. The first and second declension have about 15-20 words in the lessons, and 3rd declension has more like 30 or 40. I just printed off a bunch and then we added them to each section as we needed them. That is one reason we really like the ring binding!
Thanks for another great resource! For declining and conjugating sheets, did you print them on both sides of the paper?
Just the verb sheets!
Thank you for posting this!
Where did you find the white arc rings?
Also, were you able to print everything to the edge of the card stock paper? if I trim it, it will not match up with the printed Declining sheets.
I got them at Staples. I did print to the edge of the page 🙂
Just curious… As my boy and I are working through lesson three in Henle again and came across erat and erant in the vocabulary. Which divider would you add the conjugation of Sum into?
Thanks again for all your inspiration, tips, resources, experience etc.
I would put it under the verb tab. It’s irregular so I would just put it behind the verb tab in front of the other conjugation tabs. You use the forms of SUM in so many ways!
Since sum is an irregular verb, we put it under the verb divider.
Thank you so much for providing this! I am wondering how many copies of each (verb, noun and adjective) to make?
I just started with about 20 each of the nouns and verbs and then 10 of the adjectives. If you keep it up and need more, then you can make more copies!
We are loving our Latin dictionary! However, we are quickly running out of room to fit all of the sheets. Have you run into that issue yet? If so, which route did you take to fix it? We came up with a couple of ideas but wanted to check in to see if you had any other suggestions that worked well for you guys. Did you simply order larger rings or did you make a whole new notebook?
Thanks so much Betsy!
With my first daughter, we did order bigger rings (you can also get them at Office Depot or Staples). With my second daughter, I just felt like the process of making the dictionary was more important than actually using it later to look up how to decline a word. So instead of including every word in the physical dictionary, she does a couple of sample words to put in her dictionary, and then declines the rest of her vocabulary in a spiral notebook. Hope this helps!
Do you have a form for passive verbs?
I didn’t include that, but I could add one! I’ll let you know when I post it 🙂
I was just getting ready to ask the same questions regarding the passive verbs. THANKS BETSY!
Hello, I will be directing Challenge II this year. I am scared to death about moving into Henle 2 Latin. I plan on subscribing to Latin with Andy, but I do have a question, which will help me decide to to one quarter or the entire year. Do you have lessons for the Henle 2 text, or do Andy’s lessons only go through Henle 1?
Thank you! I have really enjoyed exploring your webiste!
Latin with Andy has resources all the way through Henle 2, plus additional resources to help your blossoming challenge student be ready for the kind of translations done in Challenge 3!
Hello- I want to use the ARC rings to make a latin dictionary, do I simply use a normal hole puncher to punch the pages? I wasn’t sure if I have to buy a special paper hole puncher.
Yes! Here’s the link: https://amzn.to/31K2VkP
Do you have any sheets for Pronouns?
If you are a part of the Latin with Andy Resource membership, you can find it under the Declension Charts on the Printables page. If you aren’t a part of the Latin with Andy community, check it out! http://www.latinwithandy.com
Hi there- My daughter is entering Ch A this coming school year, and I will be directing! I saw your free printables for declining the nouns. Would you recommend we do that over the summer and the dictionary is for the school year (along with Latin with Andy of course)?
That is a great way to learn the endings. You’ll both be thankful for having those memorized. The dictionary does the same thing. It’s really more of a tool to practice declining every noun. Once they become familiar, you don’t really reference it because those endings are automatic. I feel like it’s more of a security blanket…making you feel like you don’t have to memorize it all, but you end up memorizing it simply by doing the work of making the dictionary!
Also do you use the dictionary in lieu of the flashcards? Sorry for all the questions!
I still like the flash cards because the vocabulary is such an essential piece of memory work in making it through the exercises more quickly. You can use Quizlet though if you don’t want to have both.