Learning the Second Declension
-us/-er words 

Latin nouns have case-endings that make them like little phrases rather than like simple individual words. After you have studied the full chart of the declension, practice perceiving the ending-ambiguities immediately, and instead of thinking of the case-names (e.g. dative, ablative, etc.), give the full meanings as conventionalized here. This chart shows you which endings are unambiguous (have only one case as a possibility), and which are doubly-ambiguous.


Full Meaning


NUMERUS Number (as subject)  
NUMERÎ (1) of the number
(2) numbers (as subject).

note plural
NUMERÔ (1) To / for the number
(2) By means of the number
NUMERUM number (as direct object)  
NUMERÔRUM Of the numbers note plural
NUMERÎS (1) To / for the numbers
(2) By means of the numbers
note plural
note plural
NUMERÔS numbers (as direct object) note plural
Note: These ways of indicating the meanings of the words are only conventions: determining meaning in a sentence is more complex than substituting simple formulae like these. The purpose of this exercise is to get you into the habit of noticing and distinguishing and registering different inflected forms automatically and effortlessly. To achieve the necessary speed and ease of understanding, you should practice these exercises until you recognize the full meanings without having to pause and recall the declension-table. Be aware that in the ablative case, if the noun refers to a person rather than a thing, then the noun is made the object of the preposition a or ab: a puerô does not mean "by means of the boy" but [something was done] "by the boy."

Give the full meaning of each word-form or phrase in the practice-exercises below, following the conventions given above. N.B.: English-to-Latin exercises are found below the Latin-to-English ones.

1. amîcôrum
2. puerum
3. populus
4. fîliô
5. amîcî
6. puerôs
7. populum
8. ager
9. populîs
10. agrî
11. fîliîs
12. amîcum
13. populô
14. amîcus
15. puerî
16. fîlius
17. fîliôrum
18. populôs
19. puer
20. fîliî
21. numerî
22. fîliôs
23. amîcô
24. puerôrum
25. puerô
26. fîlium
27. populî
28. numerum
29. agrôrum
30. agrîs
31. amîcîs
32. agrô
33. numerîs
34. puerîs
35. agrôs
36. numerôrum
37. amîcôs
38. agrum
39. numerôs
40. numerô
41. populôrum
42. numerus


1. field (subject)
2. by the son
3. men (d. obj.)
4. to / for the boys
5. by the friend (m)
6. friend (m) (subject)
7. to / for the peoples
8. by the number
9. of the field
10. of the boys
11. boys (d. obj.)
12. by the boys
13. of the friends (m)
14. to / for the number
15. son (subject)
16. by the people
17. to / for the numbers
18. of the friend (m)
19. to / for the men
20. peoples (d. obj.)
21. number (subject)
22. to / for the boy
23. by the boy
24. to / for the friend (m)
25. of the son
26. numbers (d. obj.)
27. by the men
28. people (subject)
29. by the man
30. of the men
31. of the number
32. boy (subject)
33. sons (d. obj.)
34. by the fields
35. friend (m) (d. obj.)
36. to / for the field
37. of the people
38. man (subject)
39. by the friends (m)
40. field (d. obj.)
41. friends (m) (d. obj.)
42. son (d. obj.)
43. fields (subject)
44. of the boy
45. by the sons
46. men (subject)
47. to / for the people
48. fields (d. obj.)
49. of the peoples
50. number (d. obj.)
51. by the field
52. friends (m) (subject)
53. by the numbers
54. boys (subject)
55. to / for the man
56. of the man
57. of the numbers
58. man (d. obj.)
59. people (d. obj.)
60. sons (subject)
61. by the peoples
62. peoples (subject)
63. of the fields
64. of the sons
65. to / for the son
66. boy (d. obj.)
67. numbers (subject)
68. to / for the friends (m)
69. to / for the fields
70. to / for the sons