The genitive case has quite a few uses. However, no matter what use, a word in the genitive case can almost always be translated as "of _____" - put the word "of" before the English meaning of the word.
- ranae --> of the frog
- feminae --> of the womam
- viri --> of the man
- oppidi --> of the town
- arboris --> of the tree
- militum --> of the soldiers
Genitive of possession
- communicates possession
- can be translated by placing the word "of" before the translated word(s) or adding an apostrophe and letter s
- Example: Casa Marci est magna. --> The house of Marcus is large. --OR-- Marcus's house is large.
- with a plural: Sapientia deorum est magna. --> The wisdom of the gods is great. --OR-- The gods' wisdom is great.
- Possessive genitives are almost always located near the noun(s) they possess.
- Used to tell that something is a part of a whole (See? We can still use the word "of" here!)
- The word in the genitive case is the whole to which the part belongs.
- Often used with numbers or words like multi, multae, multa (many), nemo, neminis (no one), pars, partis (part).
- Example: Pars fluminis est sordida. --> Part of the river is dirty.
- There are some times when you don't need to add the word "of" - usually when the genitive is used with a word such as nihil (nothing) or aliquid (something.) Use your judgment when you are translating to decide whether or not you need it.
- used with words that represent actions or emotions, such as amor, amoris (love), timor, timoris (fear), magister, magistri (teacher), and auxilium, auxilii (help or aid).
- The word in genitive is the implied object (the word that receives the action or emotion.)
- Can be translated as "of ___," "for___" or sometimes just "___'s"
- Example: Liberi amorem magistri habent. --> The children have love for the teacher.
- If the sentence were written differently - "The children love the teacher" - then teacher would be the object. So, this is an objective genitive.
- Sometimes, the genitive can be the implied subject, too! Sound confusing? It's really not, you'll see.
- Remember, the subject is the noun that does the action.
- The subjective genitive, like the objective genitive, is used with words that represent actions or emotions.
- The word in genitive case is the subject.
- Translated as "of____" or "___'s"
- Example: Cura matris eam egit. --> The care of the mother drove her
- If the sentence were written differently - "The mother cared, and it drove her." - then mother would be the subject. So, this is a subjective genitive.
Genitive of description
- Expresses a characteristic/trait of another noun in the sentence
- Usually used with an adjective
- Can be translated as "of ____" or "with ____"
- Example: Agricola est vir magnae fortunae. --> The farmer is a man of great fortune.
- magnae fortunae could also be with great fortune
Genitive case by http://www.latinforstudents.com/genitive-case.html is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0022.