Latin > Pronouns
The prefix pro- is very useful in Latin and Roman history. It means "in place of." Just as a proconsul stands in the place of a consul when running a Roman province or legion, so a pronoun stands in place of a noun in a sentence. That's the basic function of a pronoun. In English as in Latin there are many pronouns. Here are notes about the various Latin pronouns.
Pronouns and Declension
Like nouns in Latin, pronouns have different cases. There are five main cases (Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative, and Ablative), and there are singular and plural forms of eash of the cases. Such grouping is called a declension.
Adjectives as Well as Pronouns
If you say "which candidate do you support?" 'which' is serving as an adjective with the noun 'support.' If you say "which do you prefer?" 'which' is serving as a pronoun, standing alone. Some pronouns in Latin also serve dual purposes. Question words like 'which,' whether a pronoun or an adjective, are referred to as "interrogatives."
Latin Personal Pronouns (A table showing the declension of Latin personal pronouns).
Personal pronouns are the ones we usually think of as pronouns, the I, you, he, she, it, etc. Note:
- In Latin, the third personal pronoun is the demonstrative adjective is, ea, id used as a substantive (noun).
- The personal pronouns of the 1st and 2nd persons are also reflexive pronouns. The reflexive for the third person is:
- Genitive: sui
- Dative: sibi
- Accusative: se/sese
- Ablative: Se/sese
Latin Demonstrative Pronouns (Paradigms for the Latin Demonstrative Pronouns hic, ille, and iste.)
Demonstrative pronouns are "this" and "that," including a contemptuous form. Demonstrative pronouns point out something.
- Latin Indefinite Pronouns:
- aliquis, aliqua, aliquid, some, some one.
- quisque, quaeque, quidque, every, each
- quidam, quaedam, quoddam, a, a certain, certain one.
- quivis/quilibet, quaevis/quaelibet, quidvis/quidlibet, any (you please)
- quisquam/quispiam, quaequam/quaepiam, quidquam/quidpiam, any one.
- quis, qua/quae, quid, some, any
Latin Intensive (Definitive) Pronoun (Paradigm of the Latin Intensive pronoun, ipse.)
Intensive pronouns translate into English with "-self" as in I myself.
Latin Interrogative Pronouns: quis, who?
Both relative and interrogatives can be adjectives as well as pronouns. Quod/qui is used in place of quid/quis as the adjective.
- Latin Relative Pronouns: qui, who.
- Latin Possessive Pronouns: meus, tuus, suus, noster, vester, suus, my, your, his, our, your, their.
- Negatives in Latin
Here are some double negatives of pronouns, adjectives, and adverbs in Latin.
"Editorial: Professor Greene's Hints and Helps for Students of Latin," by Charles Knapp; The Classical Weekly, Vol. 12, No. 14 (Feb. 3, 1919), pp. 105-106, provides this handy tip about the Latin pronouns:
"'[T]he root qui, quo, qua' constitute a threefold pronoun, relative, interrogative, and indefinite.... [A]ll the forms involved in the three sets ... serve both as substantives and as adjectives...." "