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Mnemonic Devices for Learning Latin
1. The conjugations' thematic vowels in the subjunctive
wE bEAt A lIAr. [We beat a liar]
clEm EAts clAms in sIAm
2. Vowels in the Future
Conjugations One and Two, in the future Bo Bi Bu;
Conjugations Four and Three, in the future A then E.
3. Present imperatives without "e":
Dic, duc, fac and fer should have an "e" but it isn't there. Bruce Macbain.
Dic the duc has fer and it's a fac! Anne Mackay
Dic the duc has fer on his fac. Philippa Matheson
II. Nouns, adjectives
1. Feminine nouns of the fourth declension
Domus, "house", and manus, "hand", feminine will always stand.
2. Genders in the third declension
a. First the natural gender rule (words which denote men are masculine, etc.).
b. Then "the ERROR, SOX, LANCET (US, RIS) rule" (Henle)
Masculine: nominative in -er, -r, or -or.
Feminine: nominative in -s, -o, or -x.
Neuter: nominative in -l, -a, -n, -c, -e, or -t, or nom. in -us (-ris).
c. Exceptions: Masculine: nom. in -os, - nis, -quis, and -cis
and -ex (-icis) and -es (-itis).
Feminine: tree names (incl. arbor), mons, pons, fons, dens.
[Native speakers themselves sometimes could not always agree on the gender of a word (pulvis and pumex come to mind), and that there are ancient (as in Pliny the Elder) and early medieval treatises called 'De dubiis nominibus'. (Pliny's is not extant.)] Ed Menes
3. Liquid stems (-l & -r) in the third declension
(to the tune of *Farmer in the Dell*):
"Blank, -is, -i, -em and -e,
Blank, -is, -i, -em and -e,
-Es, -um, -ibus and -es, ibus,
Blank, -is, -i, -em and -e."
4. i-stem Adjectives forming their genitive with -ius and dative with -i (acronym= "unus nauta"):
Unus Nullus Ullus Solus - Neuter Alter Uter Totus Alius.
Patricia Johnston, Traditio, > John Gruber-Miller
or (less complete): "Some Uncles' Umbrellas Are All Too Nice."
--> solus, unus, ullus, alter, alius, totus, nullus.
For NEMO never let me say NEMINIS or NEMINE. Robert Todd
Tantum, quantum, licet, cum take the subjunctive, boom, boom, BOOM.
2. Names of subjunctives
a. hortatory = the "salad subjunctive" ("let us" eat cake)
b. jussive = the "Marie Antoinette subjunctive" ("let them" eat cake)
3. Dum with the subjunctive
"These words in feeble minds instill: / dum with subjunctive means 'until'"
Agnes Michels > Mary Pendergraft > Rob Ulery
4. Si, nisi, num, ne
After si, nisi, num and ne, "ali-" takes a holiday (or ... all the alis go away).
5. On the exclusive use of aut
"aut...aut: throw one out; vel...vel: what the hell."
6. Prepositions that take the ablative
SID SPACE, the Ablative Astronaut!
SID SPACE prepositions (sub, in, de, sine, pro, ab, cum, ex) are followed by the ablative case.
7. Five verbs which take the ablative
utor, fruor, fungor, potior, vescor
or (less complete), the acronym PUFF
potior, utor, fruor, fungor
students from Cornell College Latin 102
In March, July, October, May
The Ides are on the 15th day
The Nones the 7th, but all besides
Have two days less for Nones and Ides. David White
ROMA EST AETERNA