The Alphabet

The Latin Alphabet has 23 characters:



The following characters are vowels; a e i o u and y.

The most usual diphthongs are ae oe au; rare diphthongs are ei, eu, ui,

The remaining sounds are consonants; x-cs and z-ds are double consonants.

Pronunciation of Character

  1. If ae and oe are not to be pronounced as diphthongs, then a sign of separation (called diaeresis) consisting of two dots is placed over the e; e. g. poëma.

  2. I, as consonant at the beginning of a word or syllable is pronounced like y in “Yes” eg. ius, iane, maior, ieiunus. (Sometimes the letter J is found in its place in which case pronunciation is the same.)

  3. C. is pronounced like English ch before e, i, y, ae, eu, otherwise like K.

  4. Q. always in connection with u, sounds like kw; eg. qui (kwi). Gu and su before another vowel of the same syllable sounds like gw and sw, e.g. lingua like lingwa, suadere like swadere; however, suus and arguo (su-ws, argu-o).

  5. Ti before vowels becomes tsi, thus tutior like tutsior, how- ever pronounced like ti (t-i)—

    a. If the iis long; e.g. in tots;

    b. When s, t, or x preceed; e.g. ostium, Atticus, mixtio;

    c. in Greek words.

  6. V always like English V; e.g. via, vinum.


  1. Two-syllabled words have the stress on, the first syllable; e.g, pater, mater.

  2. Words of more than two syllables have the stress on the second last syllable, if that syllable is long, on the third last syllable, however, if the second last syllable is short; e.g. amicus, corona, but filia, ianua.

General Rules for Genders

  1. Men, people, rivers, winds, and months are masculine.
  2. Women, trees, cities, countries and islands are femine.
  3. Nouns that cannot be declined may be considered neuters.


In Latin there are six cases in the singular number, and six cases in the plural number;

  1. The nominative at the question who? or what?
  2. The genitive; whose?
  3. The dative; to whom?
  4. The accusative; whom? or what?
  5. The vocative, or case of address,
  6. The ablative; wherefrom, wherewith, whereby, how, when, whence?

There are five declensions.

In all declensions the vocative is like the nominative, except that words ending in us of the second declension have the ending e in the vocative singular. In all declensions the vocative plural is like the nominative plural.


The inflection of the verb is called conjugation. One dis- tinguishes ;

  1. Two voices; a. Active voice. b. Passive voice.

  2. Six tenses;

    a. The present tense represents an action as taking place at the present time.

    b. The past tense represents something as having occurred in the past.

    c. The present perfect represents an action as completed at the present time.

    d. The past perfect represents an action as having been completed before some past time.

    e. The future tense represents something that will occur in the future.

    f. The future perfect represents an action as having taken place before some definite time in the future.

  3. Three moods or maMners of making a statement;

    a. The Indicative Mood, stating a fact.

    b. The Subjunctive Mood, stating something as demanded, wished for, possible, contingent, or contrary to fact.

    c. The Imperative Mood, expressing a command.

  4. Two numbers.

    a. The Singular number.

    b. The Plural number.

  5. Three persons,

There are four conjugations in Latin.