Lesson 11 – Fourth and fifth declension nouns, days of the week

Fourth declension nouns

These are

  • 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.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative -us us
Vocative -us us
Accusative -um us
Genitive -us -uum
Dative -ui -ibus
Ablative -u -ibus

Look at our example of redditus, –us (m.)      rent

Case Singular Plural
Nominative redditus redditus
Vocative redditus redditus
Accusative redditum redditus
Genitive redditus reddituum
Dative redditui redditibus
Ablative redditu redditibus

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
quarti the fourth
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:

fides faith
res a thing

Endings of fifth declension nouns

Case Singular Plural
Nominative -es -es
Vocative -es -es
Accusative -em -es
Genitive -ei -erum
Dative -ei -ebus
Ablative -e -ebus

Look at our example of res (f.) thing

Case Singular Plural
Nominative res res
Vocative res res
Accusative rem res
Genitive rei rerum
Dative rei rebus
Ablative re rebus
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
appono, -ere,
-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 Lune Monday
dies Martis Tuesday
dies Mercurii Wednesday
dies Iovis Thursday
dies Veneris Friday
dies Sabbati Saturday
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?

What next?