Color Coded Latin: A Teaching Method

by Kathleen Canning

© 2011

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  1. Preface
  2. Color Chart
  3. First Declension
  4. Second Declension
  5. Third Declension
  6. Fourth Declension
  7. Fifth Declension
  8. First Conjugation
  9. Second Conjugation
  10. Third Conjugation
  11. Fourth Conjugation
  12. Irregular Verbs
  13. Latin Sentences Using Declensions and Conjugations
  14. The Genitive Case
  15. The Dative Case
  16. Prepositional Phrases
  17. Pronouns
  18. Interrogative Pronouns
  19. Demonstrative Pronouns
  20. Subjunctive ARE Verbs
  21. Subjunctive Long ERE 2nd Conjugation Verbs
  22. Subjunctive ERE 3rd Conjugation Verbs
  23. Subjunctive I-Stem 3rd Conjugation Verbs
  24. Subjunctive IRE 4th Conjugation Verbs

The Genitive Case:

The primary use of the genitive case is to show possession.

In English we often use an apostrophe s ('s) or the word (of) or a possessive pronoun or adjective (his) to show possession. Latin relied most of the time on the genitive case. This case comes with a built in possessive meaning. (s'  is plural)

We also use the genitive to pinpoint declensions:

  1. ae
  2. i
  3. is
  4. us
  5. ei

There is a structure called the Partitive Genitive that we will deal with later.

Other structures to show possession include the Dative of possession and a variety of pronouns and adjectives that show ownership. For now, I want to keep it simple. Genitives show ownership. Genitive endings show the declension of the word. Follow the placement hint when you are getting started.

Finding the genitive in a busy sentence can be difficult as it sometimes looks like the nominative.

However, many decades ago a teacher told us to put the genitives in front of the subject and after the objects. Even though you won't see a lot of that in Latin texts, it is a good way to get started.

If you see two words at the beginning of a sentence and they look the same but are not connected by a conjunction you might well be looking at a genitive and a nominative subject. If that happens ,assume that the first word might be a genitive and if it is, your translation will just sound right.

Subject with Genitive

the lieutenant's sonslegati filiithe sons of the lieutenant
the soldier's horsemilitis equusthe horse of the soldier
the girl's countrypuellae patriathe country of the girl

Direct Object with Genitive

He saw the lieutenant's son.Vidit filium legati.
We saw the soldier's horseVidimus equum militis.
The enemy attack the girl's country.Hostes patriam puellae oppugnaverunt.

Drills: Order: (1--5) gen itive+ nominative / (1-5) accusative + genitive:

Genitive + Nominative

  1. The man's horse is near the water ______________________________
  2. The soldiers' weapons are in the tent. ______________________________
  3. The town's leader is very ill._______________________________
  4. The boys' dogs are hungry. _______________________________
  5. My sister's friend is here. ________________________________

Accusative + Genitive

  1. He saw my sister's friend. ________________________________
  2. He called the man's horse ________________________________
  3. They elected the town's leader. ________________________________
  4. I fed the boys'  dogs. ________________________________
  5. He collected the soldiers' weapons. ________________________________

  1. viri equus
  2. militum tela
  3. oppidi dux
  4. puerorum canes
  5. sororis amicus
  1. amicum sororis
  2. equum viri
  3. ducem oppidi
  4. canes puerorum
  5. tela militum

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