Third Declension Neuters
Dear Latin Teacher,
What is the rule governing third declension neuters in the plural; some have an -a in the nominative and accusative case while some have an -ia?
Thank you, Steve
For neuter nouns
, this comes down to the fact that certain neuter nouns of the third declension are i-stem.
Not much help in predicting which nouns will have the extra -i- in the nominative and accusative plural, I know. But that's the truth of it. Generally, neuter nouns with nominative singular ending in -e
will be i-stem.
Most commonly in school books, the word mare
is i-stem. So we have maria
for the plural nominative and accusative and mari
for the singular ablative. Also marium
for plural genitive. See also animal
) and exemplar
Third declension adjectives
, however, tend to be i-stem. For nearly all adjectives of the third declension neuter
you will find the -ia
for the plural nominative and accusative, -ium
for the plural genitive, and -i
for the singular ablative. (Although the -e
is also common in the ablative singular.)
One common exception found in most school books in the adjective vetus
(old). This adjective is NOT i-stem. See the plural forms vetera
Hope this helps, and thanks for asking a Latin teacher!
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