The Dative Case

The dative case is the most elusive of all the cases. Understanding it truly takes some effort. What makes the dative case challenging is that there is no single way to translate it. There are many ways to express the ideas it represents in English, so context is the real key. The most important thing for you to do is try to capture the dative's central idea.

Once you have learned the forms for the dative case, you will have learned all the cases! The most obvious feature of the dative singular is the ending . First and second declension are the only places you don't see it. In fact, you will be introduced to some special declension words later in the book, and they all show this -īas well.

As for the dative plural, you already know it. Dative and ablative plurals are always the same.

Table 9-4 Dative Case Forms

Practice Your Declensions

Decline (make charts for) the following nouns in each of the Latin cases:

  • cor, cordis, n. (heart)

  • ignis, ignis, m. (fire)

  • villa, villae, f. (farmhouse)

  • fidē s, fideī , f. (trust)

  • squā lor, squā loris, m. (roughness)

  • sus, nā , m. (nose)

  • iubar, iubaris, n. (lightbeam)

  • tus, rī s, m. (ceremony, rite)

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