Dative

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The dative case is a grammatical case of the indirect object generally used to indicate the recipient of an action, to whom or to which something is given. For example, in "Brutus gave a book to Cassius".

Contents

Form

Here are the basic and very general rules for making a dative in singular:

  • If a word ends in "-us", then the dative ends in "-o". "Tullius" becomes "Tullio".
  • If a word ends in "-a", then the dative ends in "-ae". "Livia" becomes "Liviae".
  • If a word ends in "-o", then the dative ends in "-oni". "Cicero" becomes "Ciceroni".
  • If a word ends in "-ns", then the dative ends in "-nti". "Sapiens" becomes "Sapienti".
  • Many other words change their ending to "-i" whose rules are more difficult and are not detailed here. Here are some just for example:
"Senatus" in dative is "Senatui",
"Venus" in dative is "Veneri",
"exercitus" in dative is "exercitui",
"homo" in dative is "homini",
"consul" in dative is "consuli",
"praetor" in dative is "praetori",
"aedilis" in dative is "aedili", and so on.

Usage in practice

An average Nova Roman citizen would use the dative case in the Latin beginning of an e-mail. Learn more about Latin for e-mail.


Other functions

Dative of reference

Possessive pronouns in Latin indicate possession strictly. Some relations that are expressed in English with a possessive, such as reference (My name is Gaius) use the dative of reference (Nomen mihi Gaius est.)

Dative with compound verbs

Compound transitive verbs built with the following prefixes normally take a direct object in the dative.

  • ab-, ante-, circum-, con-, in-, inter-, ob-, post-, prae-, pro-, sub-, super-


Forming the dative in all declensions

First declension Second declension
A-Stem O-Stem
mf
terra, -ae, f
land
mf
tribúnus, -í, m
tribune
n
auspicium, -í, n
auspice
Singular Singular Singular
Nominative terra —— tribúnus —— auspicium ——
Accusative terram –am tribúnum –um auspicium ——
Genitive terrae –ae tribúní –í auspicií –í
Dative terrae –ae tribúnó –ó auspició –ó
Ablative terrá –á tribúnó –ó auspició –ó
Plural Plural Plural
Nominative terrae –ae tribúní –í auspicia –a
Accusative terrás –ás tribúnós –ós auspicia –a
Genitive terrárum –árum tribúnórum –órum auspiciórum –órum
Dative-
Ablative
terrís –ís tribúnís –ís auspiciís –ís


Third declension Fourth declension
Consonant Stem I-Stem U-Stem
mf
léx, légis, f
law
n
iús, iúris, n
right
mf
cívis, -is, mf
citizen
n
mare, -is, n
sea
mf
senátus, -ús, m
senate
n
cornú, -ús, n
horn
Singular Singular Singular Singular Singular Singular
Nominative léx —— iús —— cívis —— mare —— senátus —— cornú ——
Accusative légem –em iús —— cívem –em mare —— senátum –um cornú ——
Genitive légis –is iúris –is cívis –is maris –is senátús –ús cornús –ús
Dative légí –í iúrí –í cíví –í marí –í senát –uí cornú –ú
Ablative lége –e iúre –e cíve –e marí –í senátú –ú cornú –ú
Plural Plural Plural Plural Plural Plural
Nominative-
Accusative
légés –és iúra –a cívés –és maria –ia senátús –ús cornua –ua
Genitive légum –um iúrum –um cívium –ium marium –ium senátuum –uum cornuum –uum
Dative-
Ablative
légibus –ibus iúribus –ibus cívibus –ibus maribus –ibus senátibus –ibus cornibus –ibus


Fifth declension
E-Stem
mf
diés, éí, m
day
Singular
Nominative diés ——
Accusative diem –em
Genitive-
Dative
diéí –éí
Ablative dié –é
Plural
Nominative-
Accusative
diés –és
Genitive diérum –érum
Dative-
Ablative
diébus –ébus
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