Lesson 17 – Pronouns

Personal pronouns

A pronoun is a word that stands in place of a noun or noun phrase.

For example:

I looked at Tom.
I looked at him.

‘Him’ is a pronoun which stands in place of ‘Tom’.

In Stage 1 we looked at personal pronouns.

Personal pronouns
‘I’ and ‘we’ ‘you’
Singular Nominative ego tu
Accusative me te
Genitive mei tui
Dative mihi tibi
Ablative me te
Plural Nominative nos vos
Accusative nos vos
Genitive nostrum/nostri vestrum/vestri
Dative nobis vobis
Ablative nobis vobis

Handy hint

When ‘cum’ is used with a personal pronoun, it is added to the end.

For example:

Latin English Latin English
mecum with me tecum with you
nobiscum with us vobiscum with you

Note that you may also encounter ‘-cumque’ attached to the end of a word. In this case, the meaning is ‘…ever’ or ‘…soever’.

For example:

Latin English
quandocumque whenever
qualitercumque howsoever

Demonstrative pronouns

There are several words which can be used as personal pronouns in the third person. These are called demonstrative pronouns. They are very common in documents and it is well worth spending some time studying their forms.

Singular M F N M F N M F N
Nominative hic hec hoc ille illa illud is ea id
Accusative hunc hanc hoc illum illam illud eum eam id
Genitive huius huius huius illius illius illius eius eius eius
Dative huic huic huic illi illi illi ei ei ei
Ablative hoc hac hoc illo illa illo eo ea eo
Plural
Nominative hi he hec illi ille illa ei/ii eae/ee ea
Accusative hos has hec illos illas illa eos eas ea
Genitive horum harum horum illorum illarum illorum eorum earum eorum
Dative his/hiis his/hiis his/hiis illis illis illis eis/iis eis/iis eis/iis
Ablative his/hiis his/hiis his/his illis illis illis eis/iis eis/iis eis/iis

For example:

Eum vidi I saw him
Hunc vidi I saw him
Illum vidi I saw him
Eam audio I hear her
Hanc audio I hear her
Illam audio I hear her

Handy hint

Note that these pronouns are also used as demonstrative adjectives and are translated as ‘this’, ‘these’, ‘that’, ‘those’.

Reflexive pronouns

Reflexive pronouns are used when the subject and the object of a sentence are the same. In English they are translated as ‘myself’, ‘yourself’, ‘himself’, ‘herself’, ‘itself’, ‘ourselves’, ‘yourselves’ and ‘themselves’.

For the first and second person, personal pronouns can be used reflexively.

For example:

Me audio I hear myself
Te audis You hear yourself

Handy hint

‘Me’ and ‘you’ are the objects of the verb, so appear in the accusative case.

For the third person, a different reflexive pronoun is used. This pronoun is unaffected by gender and number, but it does decline.

Singular/Plural Singular Plural
Nominative
Accusative se/sese herself, himself, itself themselves
Genitive sui of herself, himself, itself of themselves
Dative sibi to/for herself, himself, itself to/for themselves
Ablative se/sese from/with/by herself, himself, itself from/with/by themselves

For example:

Lucia se audit Lucy hears herself
Thomas se audit Thomas hears himself
Scissores se audiunt The tailors hear themselves

Relative, interrogative and indefinite pronouns

In Beginners’ Latin we also looked at the pronouns for statements and questions, meaning ‘who’, ‘which’ and ‘that’, and ‘who?’ and ‘which?’. These are called relative and interrogative pronouns. In addition to these, it is important to also be aware of the pronoun meaning ‘a certain’. This is called an indefinite pronoun.

Relative pronoun
who, which, that
Interrogative pronoun
who? which?
Singular Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Femine Neuter
Nominative qui que quod quis? quis? quid?
Accusative quem quam quod quem? quem? quid?
Genitive cuius cuius cuius cuius? cuius? cuius?
Dative cui cui cui cui? cui? cui?
Ablative quo qua quo quo? qua? quo?
Plural
Nominative qui que que qui? que? que?
Accusative quos quas que quos? quas? que?
Genitive quorum quarum quorum quorum? quarum? quorum?
Dative quibus quibus quibus quibus? quibus? quibus?
Ablative quibus quibus quibus quibus? quibus? quibus?

Handy hint

The indefinite pronoun is a compound of the relative pronoun with the ending ‘-dam’. The only difference is that the ‘-m’ of the relative pronoun may change to an ‘-n’ before the ‘-dam’ ending.

Indefinite pronoun
a certain
Singular Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative quidam quedam quoddam
Accusative quendam quandam quoddam
Genitive cuiusdam cuiusdam cuiusdam
Dative cuidam cuidam cuidam
Ablative quodam quadam quodam
Plural
Nominative quidam quedam quedam
Accusative quosdam quasdam quedam
Genitive quorundam quarundam quorundam
Dative quibusdam quibusdam quibusdam
Ablative quibusdam quibusdam quibusdam

Handy hint

Other indefinite pronouns you may come across in documents include:

quivis, quevis, quodvis – anyone, anything
quisque, queque, quidque – each one, each thing
uterque, utraque, utrumque – each of two
quilibet, quelibit, quodlibet – anyone at all, anything at all

Further useful pronouns

Most pronouns are used simply as pronouns. However others are used as pronouns and adjectives.

These types of pronouns are frequent in documents and it is well worth taking the time to learn them and study their endings.

The majority decline in a similar way to first and second declension adjectives except in the genitive and dative singulars of all genders. The highlighted pronouns end in a variety of ways, which can all be studied in the grammar table.

Latin English
alius, alia, aliud other, another
alter, altera, alterum other (of two things)
idem, eadem, idem The same (man), the same (woman), the same (thing)
ipse, ipsa, ipsum he, himself; she, herself; itself
iste, ista, istud this (man), this (woman), this (thing)
neuter, neutra, neutrum neither (of two things)
nullus, nulla, nullum no
solus, sola, solum sole
totus, tota, totum whole
ullus, ulla, ullum any
unus, una, unum one
uter, utra, utrum which (of two things)

Checklist

Are you confident with

  • the meanings of demonstrative pronouns?
  • the different forms of demonstrative pronouns?
  • the meanings of reflexive pronouns?
  • the different forms of reflexive pronouns?
  • the meanings of relative, interrogative and indefinite pronouns?
  • the different forms of relative, interrogative and indefinite pronouns?
  • the meanings of the further useful pronouns?
  • how you would decline them?

What next?