The dative case is a grammatical case of the indirect object generally used to indicate the noun to whom something is given. For example, in "Brutus gave a book to Cassius".
The dative generally marks the indirect object of a verb, although in some instances the dative is used for the direct object of a verb pertaining directly to an act of giving something.
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.
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.
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.