Basic Latin Worksheets
by: Aldus Marius Peregrinus
(These were originally developed for elementary-school students at a homeless shelter.)


Syllables

How many? One syllable for every vowel.
  • se-na-tor (senator)
  • ca-bal-lus (horse)
  • le-gi-o-na-ri-us (legionary)
Which one has the accent?
  • If the word has one syllable: The only one.
  • Two syllables: The first one.
  • Three syllables or more...
    • ...with a long vowel on the next-to-last syllable: The next-to-last (penultimate) one. (se-na-tor)
    • ...with two or more consonants between the penultimate syllable and the last: The penultimate one. (ca-bal-lus)
    • ...with a short vowel on the penultimate syllable: The one before it. (le-gi-o-na-ri-us)
Syllables: Sample Words

One syllable:

ab--from; by; after; since
ad--to; towards; near; at; until; for (the purpose of)
cur?--why?
quid?--what?
quin?--why not?
quis?--who?
quo?--where? What for?
rus--the country
urbs--the city

Two syllables

ad/sum--"I'm here"
an/te--before
man/do--give over; entrust; commit to; command
ma/nus--hand; handful; small group; handiwork
pro/bus--upright; honest
quae/ro--ask; search for; want; investigate
quan/do?--when?
quan/tus?--how many? How much?
sa/ne--yes; of course
Three syllables:

fe/ne/stra--window
pri/va/tus--private, individual
pro/ce/do--go out; advance; continue; turn out
re/spon/sum--answer; reply; opinion; backtalk
sa/pi/ens--wise
sar/ci/na--backpack; marching-kit
va/li/dus--strong; able; healthy; effective

Practice

O.K., Smarty, now it's your turn!    >({|;-P

Put slash marks (/) between the syllables of each Latin word; then underline the syllable which has the accent.

Example: r e / v e / r e n / t i / a (reverentia)--respect

  1. a g e r (ager)--field
  2. m i l e s (miles)--soldier
  3. b e l l u m (bellum)--war
  4. m u n d u s (mundus)--world
  5. b o n u s (bonus)--good
  6. n o s t r u m (nostrum)--ours
  7. d i e s (dies)--day
  8. p a r e s (pares)--equals

  9. a l i q u i d (aliquid)--something, anything
  10. a m b u l o (ambulo)--walk, travel
  11. c o m m u n i s (communis)--shared, in common
  12. d e s i s t o (desisto)--stop, give up
  13. d i g n i t a s (dignitas)--reputation, public worth
  14. i m m a n i s (immanis)--humongous
  15. i n c e n d o (incendo)--burn, set on fire
  16. i t e r u m (iterum)--one more time
  17. l e g a t u s (legatus)--delegate; commander of a legion
  18. l o q u o r (loquor)--speak
  19. n o n n u l l u s (nonnullus)--some, a few
  20. n u n t i o (nuntio)--declare, announce
  21. o p e r a (opera)--effort, work, service
  22. p a u l a t i m (paulatim)--little by little
  23. p r i d i e (pridie)--yesterday, the day before
  24. q u i e s c o (quiesco)--be still, rest
  25. r e d d i t u s (redditus)--given back, returned
  26. s e c u n d u s (secundus)--second, next, following; favorite
  27. s e n t i o (sentio)--feel, think, perceive
  28. t r a n s e o (transeo)--cross, go over
  29. t e m p e s t a s (tempestas)--storm, rough weather
  30. v a c u u m (vacuum)--emptiness
  31. v i g i n t i (viginti)--twenty
  32. v i n c u l u m (vinculum)--chain, rope, fetter
  33. v i r i l i s (virilis)--manly

  34. a r g e n t a r i u s (argentarius)--banker, money-changer
  35. c e n t u r i o (centurio)--centurion, century (100 men)
  36. e x p e d i t a (expedita)--at the ready
  37. t r i u m p h a l i s (triumphalis)--triumphal
  38. u b i c u m q u e (ubicumque)--wherever

  39. v a l e t u d i n a r i u m (valetudinarium)--hospital

  40. M e h e r c u l e (mehercule)--WHEW!    >`({(:-)


Word Endings - Nouns (Nomina)

The Cases:
  • Nominative--noun is the subject; "Jon is learning Latin this semester."
  • Vocative--noun is being used in direct address; "Jon, let's learn Latin this semester."
  • Genitive--possessive form of noun; "Have you seen Jon's notebook?"
  • Accusative--noun is the direct object of the action; "I gave it back to Jon yesterday."
  • Dative--noun is an indirect object; "Yes, I gave the notebook back to Jon."
  • Ablative--the catchall category; especially useful for adjectives, which in Latin are considered the same as nouns and are declined in exactly the same way.
The Declensions

Latin Idioms for Our Time

Ave/Salve -- Yo!
Si tu vales, ego valeo -- good answer to "Quomodo vales?"
Quis loquitur? -- telephone pick-up ("Who's speaking?")
Impetro/Te rogo -- Please?
Gratias tibi ago -- Thank you
Ignosce -- Pardon me
Poenitet/Dolet me -- I'm sorry
Nihil est -- No prob; it was nothing; don't mention it
Libenter -- Gladly!

Da mihi... -- Give me...
Dic mihi... -- Tell me...
Affer mihi... -- Bring me...
Ostende mihi... -- Show me...

Ubi est/sunt...? -- Where is (n) / Where are (n.pl.)?
Ecce... -- Look, here it is / here they are.

Quo vadis? -- Where are you going?
Qua via? -- Which way are you headed?
Ubi est balneum/triclinium? -- Where is the restroom/dining room?
(Ubi = "where", w/o motion; quo is more like "whither".)
dextera/sinistra manu -- On (or to) the right/left
Vade mecum -- Come with me
Intro veni -- Come in!


Quid agis?-- Whatcha doin'?
Quid agitur? -- What's happening?
Aspice! -- Look!

Volo... -- I want...
Mihi necesse est... -- I need a:
  • vigil -- policeman
  • medicus -- doctor
  • baiulus -- porter
  • interpres -- translator
Vigilem/Medicum/Baiulum/Interpretem arcessere volo. -- I'd like to send for a (one of the above).

Quantum? -- How much?
Quid magis? -- What else?
Nihil magis -- That's it, nothing more...

Loquerisne Latine / Anglice / Hispanice / Italice / Teutonice? -- Do you speak Latin / English / Spanish / Italian / German?
Paullum -- Yes, a little bit...
Intellegisne? -- Do you understand?
Nonne intelleges? -- Don't you understand?
Non intellego. -- No, I don't
Loquere lentius -- Could you speak more slowly?
Scisne? -- Do you know?
Nescio -- I don't know
Potesne...? -- Can you...?
Non possum -- I can't

Calet aer -- It's hot
Frigus est -- It's cold
Ningit/Pluit hodie -- It's snowing/raining today.
Serena/Immitis est tempestas -- The weather is fair/foul

Cauponam quaero -- I'm looking for a hotel.
Poculum aquae cupisne? -- Would you like a glass ofwater?
Da mihi segmentum panis -- I'll have a slice of bread.
Serve, affer mihi ampullam cerevisiae. Festina! -- Waiter, bring me a beer--and make it snappy!
Mox venit! -- Coming right up!

Romam eamus, et Latine loquamur -- Let's all go to Rome and speak Latin, shall we?



Bibliography
  • Burris, Eli E., and Lionel Casson. Latin and Greek in Current Use: 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1949.

  • Humez, Alexander and Nicholas. A, B, C Et Cetera: The Life and Times of the Roman Alphabet. Boston: Godine, 1985.

  • Latin for People/Latina pro Populo. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1976.

  • Langenscheidt Universal Latin Dictionary. Berlin: Langenscheidt, 1966.

  • Pei, Mario. How to Learn Languages and What Languages to Learn. Enlarged ed. New York: Harper and Row, 1973.

  • The Story of Language. Revised ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1965.
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