Fourth declension nouns
- usually masculine and end ‘-us’ in the nominative singular
- sometimes feminine and end ‘-us’ in the nominative singular
- occasionally neuter and end ‘-u’ in the nominative singular
- always ended with ‘-us’ in the genitive singular
- characterised by ‘u’ in their endings
Both masculine and feminine nouns take these endings.
Look at our example of redditus, –us (m.) rent
Examples of fourth declension nouns:
|adventus , –us (m.)||appearance in court, arrival, Advent|
|comitatus , –us (m.)||county, earldom, county court|
|exitus, –us (m.)||profits, exit, revenue|
|ingressus, –us (m.)||entry, right of entry|
|manus, –us (f.)||hand|
|obitus, –us (m.)||death, anniversary of a death|
|visus , –us (m.)||view|
In English, a manuscript is a document ‘written by hand’. This comes from Latin
- ‘manu’ is the ablative form of manus meaning ‘by hand’
- ‘script’ comes from scriptum meaning ‘writing’ (scriptum, -i (n.) writing)
Common phrases involving fourth declension nouns:
|per manum||by hand|
|in manu regis||in the king’s hand|
|in manibus domini||in the hands of the lord (compare with the phrase above)|
|in comitatu||in the county|
|visus franciplegii||view of frankpledge franciplegius, -ii (m.) frankpledge|
|curia visus franciplegii||court of view of frankpledge|
|de redditu terre||of the rent of the land|
|domina Christina tria molendina aquatica tenet pro redditu de tribus solidis||Lady Christina holds three water mills for a rent of three shillings.||Christina, -e (f.) Christina
aquaticus, -a, -um worked by water
|abbas et monachi ius ingressus et exitus porcis eis habent||The abbot and monks have the right of entry and exit for their pigs.||porcus, -i (m.) pig|
|conquestus, -us (m.)||the Norman conquest of England in 1066|
|a conquestu||since the Conquest|
|post conquestum||since the Conquest|
These are both used to describe reigns since the Norman Conquest, for example
|anno regni regis Edwardi quarti post conquestum primo||in the first year of the reign of King Edward the fourth since the Conquest|
When we break this down into sets of words, take particular note of where the corresponding English word or phrase is placed within the sentence to observe the format.
|anno regni||year of the reign|
|regis Edwardi||of King Edward|
|post conquestum||since the Conquest|
|primo||in the first|
Do you see that primo ‘the first’ goes with anno? primus, –a, –um – first
Now you can tackle the many versions of this phrase that you will find.
domus, -us (f.) house is different from redditus in the
- ablative singular – domo
- accusative plural – can be domos or domus
- genitive plural – can be domuum or domorum
|redditus huius domus tres solidi est||The rent of this house is three shillings|
|apud domum regis||At the king’s house|
|Idem abbas dixit quod comes Simo dedit ecclesiam domui sue monachorum||The same abbot said that earl Simon gave the church to his house of monks|
|ego Ricardus has duas domus in magna via lego meis filiabus||I, Richard, leave these two houses in the main street to my daughters.||Ricardus , –i (m.) Richard|
Neuter nouns are rare. There is an example in our Latin grammar resource.
Fifth declension nouns
This is the smallest declension. Fifth declension nouns
- usually end ‘-es’ in the nominative singular
- end ‘-ei’ in the genitive singular
- are feminine except for dies and words based on dies
- have endings characterised by the letter ‘e’
You are likely to come across two feminine fifth declension nouns:
Endings of fifth declension nouns
Look at our example of res (f.) thing
|in cuius rei testimonium huic testamento meum sigillum apposui||In witness of which [thing] I have affixed my seal to this will||testimonium, -ii (n.) witness,
sigillum , –i (n.) seal
-posui, -positum (3) to affix
|fidei defensor||defender of the faith|
|defensor, defensoris (m.)||defender|
If you have any British coins, take a look at them – you will probably see the words fidei defensor, although they may be abbreviated to ‘FD’.
dies and words based on dies are the only fifth declension nouns that are masculine. dies takes the same endings as res. Neuter nouns are rare. There is an example in our Latin grammar resource.
|dies, diei (m.)||day|
|meridies, meridiei (m.)||midday, south|
|Anna sine die est||Anna is without a day [for a hearing in court]||Anna, -e (f.) Anna|
|Maria habet diem coram justiciariis regis||Mary has a day before the king’s justices|
|agricola domino laborat per tres dies||the farmer works for the lord for three days|
|ante meridiem||before noon (where the English ‘am’ comes from)|
|post meridiem||after noon||(where the English ‘p.m.’comes from)|
Days of the week
|dies Dominica||Sunday (note the feminine form)|
Are you confident with
- the characteristics of fourth declension nouns?
- how to decline redditus?
- the characteristics of fifth declension nouns?
- how to decline res?
- the days of the week?