Mors, mortis (f.), death

(More exciting vocabulary)

Mors is a third-declension noun and so declined like nox, noctis: from the genitive mortis you can find the stem, mort-, to which you add the other endings.

Remember that the pattern in a dictionary entry is usually [nominative singular], [genitive singular], ([gender]), [English translation].

Here's that old familiar table again (if the underlined endings appear separated from the words, that's just a browser problem):




nominative (subject or predicate noun after "is" etc.)



genitive ("of ---")



dative (indirect object; 

"to/for ---")



accusative (direct object or object of preposition)



ablative (object of preposition or by itself to mean "from/by/with ---")



So "death is my gift" (donum, doni [n.], gift) is translated:

mors [nom.] est donum [nom.] meum [nom., sing., neut.].

"Marius gave Camilla the gift of death" is translated:

Marius [nom.] dedit Camillae [dat.] donum [acc.] mortis [gen.].

Incidentally "put to death" in Latin is literally "give to death," so we can say:

"Marius put Camilla to death": Marius [nom.] Camillam [acc.: direct object] morti [dat.: indirect object] dedit.

Poor Camilla. Well, that's what she wanted, I guess; but after all those centuries of "living" she just couldn't bring herself to commit suicide (mortem sibi consciscere, "to resolve upon/determine death for herself").

Note that the nominative singular is always as given; you already know it if you know the word. For mors, it's mors; for nox, it's nox; and so on.

Neat, huh?

Enough with the death. There's already far too much! Vae, hominibus!


princeps, principis (m.), "first citizen, leader, chief, prince, etc."

As you might guess from the genitive ending in "-is," this is another third-declension noun and is for the most part declined like "nox." The only catch is that the genitive plural ('of princes') is principum, not principium as in the nox-pattern. That -ium genitive plural ending is in fact less common than just -um. There are various rules that allow you to determine whether or not a given third-declension word is an "i-stem" noun that is declined like nox. I won't go into them (mainly because nox is an exception to the rule that is easiest to remember, and that's just annoying), but you could find out more here. From here on out, if a word has that -ium genitive plural ending, I will say so.


domus, domus (or domi) (f.), "house"

Last time we came upon domus, "house" (either the physical structure or a household), worthwhile because so many gaming groups are called "House Something-Wolf" or whatever, and if you translate it into Latin you have the advantage that it won't be immediately obvious that your group is yet another one of those. Domus is a weird word: it is partly declined like a second-declension noun, partly like one of the fourth-declension (a declension I'm not going to introduce here). Moreover, the Romans themselves used variant forms. I'll just spell it out for you:








domus or domi



domui or domo




domos or domus




There's also a special form domi which means "at home," and also domum by itself meaning "home(wards)" (as in, "I'm going home").


Direct Address

I mentioned last time that when addressing someone by name (or something, if you're crazy or rhetorical) it's safe to use the nominative. This is actually because you're using the vocative case, but that, handily, is nearly always identical to the nominative. There are, of course, exceptions, because nothing is ever easy in this vale of tears.

These exceptions are limited to 2nd-declension words and names ending in -us and -ius (in the singular only; in the plural, the problem goes away). If you're addressing Marius, just drop the -us off the end: "Oh, Marius! Ours is a savage love!" = "O, Mari! Noster est amor saevus!"

If you're talking to, say, Titus -- I once had a Nosferatu character named Titus, so it could have happened -- you change the -us to -e (the same holds true for adjectives that end in -us): "Oh, Titus!" = "O, Tite!" or, for adjectives, "Oh, frenzied one!" = "O, furiose!" And if my level-headed Nosferatu suddenly flew off the handle, and you were engaging him in a Social Challenge -- that's gamespeak, if anyone happens to be reading this just for the Latin or for my sparkling wit -- to talk him down, you might say, "O, furiose Tite! -- but don't remember if Titus knew Latin, so maybe you'd have been wasting your time, but you'd have had the satisfaction of knowing, as he vented his fury on your frail form, that you'd been grammatically correct.

An exception to this exception, or something like that, is meus, -a, -um, "mine," which in the masculine, following this rule, would have to be mee! The Romans seem not to have liked that, and so they used meus or mi. "My so-and-so-masculine-person!" would therefore be "Mari / Tite meus!" or "Mari / Tite mi!" It's really up to you. Sometimes it might be useful to save a syllable, I guess.

(If you're addressing a woman, it's easy -- well, unless you're one of those guys who can't talk to women, which I hope is not the case if you're being so forward as to use a possessive adjective. But as far as the vocative goes, you'd just use the regular feminine nominative mea.)

You won't always have the "o!"; but often it will be there, or perhaps "you!" (tu in the singular, vos in the plural). Vocatives stand off from the rest of the sentence and, except for any adjectives that are part of the address ("Tu, furiose Mari!"), don't really get involved in messy grammar.


Some useful words:

(including those from the two previous "lessons")

See also the Latin dictionary available on the Perseus Project website.


art, skill: ars, artis (f.) (gen. pl. artium)

beast, wild animal: bestia, bestiae (f.)

beauty: forma, formae (f.); or pulchritudo, pulchritudinis (f.)

blood, sanguis, sanguinis (m.)

body (living or dead): corpus, corporis (n.) (NOT corpus, corpi!)

bond, chain, fetter: vinculum, -i (n.) or catena, -ae (f.). --[Both can be the actual metal clanky things, or a figurative "tie that binds."]

book, liber, libri (m.)

bride: nupta, -ae (f.)

brother: frater, fratris (m.)

children: liberi, -orum (m. plural)

city: urbs, urbis (f.) (gen. pl. urbium) [in later Latin, civitas, civitatis (f.)]

count: comes, comitis (m. or f.) (later Latin usage; originally a companion or retainer, especially of a general or ruler)

crime, wicked deed: scelus, sceleris (n.) (NOT scelus, sceli!)

darkness/gloom: tenebrae, -arum (f. plural) (also "shadows," "lurking-places," "the infernal regions" -- this is a good solid word to know.)

daughter: filia, -ae (f.)

duke: dux, ducis (m. or f.) (later Latin usage; this is the word for a general or military leader)

emperor, high commander: imperator, imperatoris (m.)

fate: fatum, -i (n.)

fear: timor, timoris (m.) [to say "fear of": timor, followed by the genitive ; e.g., timor mortis, "fear of death"]

flesh, caro, carnis (f.)

frenzy, madness, fury, rage: furor, furoris (m.)

friend: amicus, -i (m.); amica, -ae (f.)

ghost: larva, -ae (f.) (There are other words, but I'll talk about that next time.)

gift: donum, -i (n.)

gore: cruor, cruoris (m.)

grave/tomb: sepulcrum, -i (n.)

hiding-place, den: latebra, -ae (f.) (usually used in the plural with sing. meaning) (also: sometimes tenebrae, -arum, "darkness, gloom, shadows" is used in this sense)

house, domus (f.) (see above for declension)

hunger: fames, famis (f.)

husband: maritus, -i (m.), coniunx, coniugis (m.), or use "man" (vir)

insanity, madness, mania: insania, -ae (f.)

king: rex, regis (m.)

kiss: basium, -i (n.) or osculum, -i (n.) ("osculum" means literally "[pretty] little mouth" and can be used simply for that, while basium" seems tohave no other meaning but "kiss")

lady, mistress: domina, dominae (f.)

lord, master: dominus, domini (m.)

love: amor, amoris (m.)

lover: amator, amatoris (m.), amatrix, amatricis (f.)

magician: magus, -i (m.)

monster, portent, omen: monstrum, -i (n.)

life, vita, vitae (f.)

light, lux, lucis (f.)

man/person/human: homo, hominis (m.) ("man" as opposed to animal; also a general term for human males of lesser importance)

man/husband: vir, viri (m.) ("man" as opposed to woman, or "worthy, upper-class man" as opposed to more common folk) --(except for the nominative singular, decline like the masculine of an -us, -a, -um adjective)

name: nomen, nominis (n.)

night: nox, noctis (f.) (gen. pl. noctium) -- "by night": noctu

peace: pax, pacis (f.)

poet: poeta, poetae (m.) [one of the few first-declension masculine nouns]

queen: regina, reginae (f.)

rose, rosa, rosae (f.)

serpent: serpens, serpentis (m. or f.) (gen. pl. serpentium)

sister: soror, sororis (f.)

soil, earth, ground: humus, -i (f.: not m., despite endings!). -- Also "soil" in the figurative sense of a country or region, like "American soil." -- The special "locative" form humi by itself means "on the ground" (compare domi above).

son: filius, -i (m.)

stake: palus, -i (m.)

sun, sol, solis (m.)

swiftness: celeritas, celeritatis (f.)

tear: lacrima, -ae (f.) (i.e., "of blood," or whatever. What comes out when you weep for your sad lot.)

thirst: sitis, sitis (f.). [Note: the accusative is sitim, and the plural isn't used.]

tooth, fang: dens, dentis (m.) (gen. pl. dentium)

victim, victima, victimae (f.)

war: bellum, belli (n.)

weaver : textor, textoris (m.)

wife: uxor, uxoris (f.); coniunx, coniugis (f.) (or use "woman")

witch, sorceress, poisoner: venefica, -ae (f.); later Latin malefica, -ae (f.) (from maleficus, -a, -um, evil-doing, wicked or criminal)

wolf, lupus, lupi (m.)

woman: femina, -ae (f.) or mulier, mulieris (f.) (femina tends to be used more often, but not exclusively, for upper-class or praiseworthy females)

worm or, if you prefer, Wyrm: vermis, vermis (m.) [gen. pl. vermium]

wrath, anger: ira, -ae (f.)

[If using this for reference: return to exercises below.


Remember that adjectives can be used as nouns: The Damned, The Good, The Bad, whatever.

Note: Tediously, if you use a third-declension adjective (one whose genitive singular ends in -is) as a noun, you follow noun rules for declension. This just means that the ablative singular is -e and not -i. So: "the book about the immortal king": liber de immortali rege. "the book about the immortal (one)": liber de immortale. Hey, it's not my fault.

alone: solus, -a, -um

bad: malus, -a, -um

big, great: magnus, -a, -um

bitter, harsh, morose: acerbus, -a, -um

black, dark, gloomy: ater, atra, atrum (or niger, nigra, nigrum; ater means more "coal- or flat black" while niger is "dusky or glossy black")

black-clad, clothed in black, dressed in clothes of mourning: atratus, -a, -um,

bloody: sanguineus, -a, -um or cruentus, -a, um ("gory")

bright, gleaming, splendid: splendidus, -a, -um

cruel: crudelis, -e [or see "fierce," "horrible," or "savage" below.]

damned, condemned: damnatus, -a, um

dead: mortuus, -a, -um

eternal, everlasting: aeternus, -a, -um

fierce, cruel: ferox (third declension: ferox, ferocis, etc. Use the pattern for immortalis, -e, except that the nominative singular for all three genders is ferox; the neuter accusative singular is ferox, and the neuter nom. and acc. plural is ferocia. Remember that for neuter adjectives and nouns, nominative and accusative forms will always be identical. "I kill the fierce king": regem ferocem[masc. acc.] neco. "I kill the fierce monster": monstrum ferox [neut. acc.] neco. )

frenzied, raging, mad: furiosus, -a, -um

his (own), her (own), its (own), their (own): suus, -a, -um; often omitted when the meaning is clear ("Marius licks his fangs," for instance: only if you felt you needed to emphasize that you mean his own fangs would a form of suus be required.) -- Note: the number and gender of the adjective agrees with the noun it modifies, not the person who is the subject of the sentence! "Her wrath" will be ira sua; "her frenzy" is furor suus; "their king" = rex suus. -- At the risk of confusing you: if "his/hers/theirs" refers to someone else (not the subject), use the pronouns eius ("of him/her/it") or eorum ("of them"). So: "She pours forth her (own) blood": sanguinem suum, but "She (Camilla) thirsts for her (Lucretia's) blood": sanguinem eius. "He hates his prince (principem suum), but he hates their prince (principem eorum) even more." -- You will note that eius and eorum are not adjectives (you might think this is an imaginary "eius, -a, -um": don't) and so do not change to agree with the nouns they modify. -- For more on Latin personal pronouns google yourself "is ea id."

horrible, hideous; cruel, fierce: atrox (third declension: atrox, atrocis, etc. See above under "fierce" [ferox.], which is also largely a synonym.)

hungry, esuriens (third declension: esuriens, esurientis, etc. See note on ferox ["fierce, cruel"] above.)

immortal/undying: immortalis, -e

infinite/endless: infinitus, -a, um

insane, mad, crazy, foolish: insanus, -a, -um

living, alive: vivus, -a, -um

magical, magic, pertaining to magicians: magicus, -a, -um

mortal, mortalis, -e

my, mine: meus, -a, um

our, ours: noster, nostra, nostrum

sad: tristis, -e

savage, cruel: saevus, -a, -um

sharp: acutus, -a, -um or acer, acris, acre (third declension; except for masculine nominative singular acer, follow pattern for immortalis, -e). -- [Acer etc. can also mean "sharp" in a metaphorical sense.]

stained, polluted, dyed: maculosus, -a, -um or infectus, -a, -um ("with --": use the ablative. "Soil stained with blood": humus infecta [nom.] sanguine [abl.].)

thirsty, sitiens (third declension: sitiens, sitientis, etc. See note on ferox ["fierce, cruel"] above.)

unspeakable, abominable: nefandus, -a, -um

white: albus, -a, -um

your, yours: tuus, -a, -um (belonging to more than one person: vester, vestra, vestrum)

[If using this for reference: return to exercises below.


Note that verbs conjugate, changing their forms for a variety of reasons. We have this in English, too: I do something, but he does it; we did it last year and next year it might be done to us. Have you done it? (I thought you might have; it's so like you.)

Well. In Latin you have to learn four major patterns for verb conjugations plus several common verbs that violate those patterns or even have their very own unique ones. We'll stick to just a few forms of the present tense, which you will use to translate "I hunt," "I am hunting," "I do hunt." To negate these, add non: non venor, "I do not hunt, I am not hunting."

I include for all of the verbs below the first-person singular ("I hunger"), the third-person singular ("he/she/it hungers") and the infinitive ("to hunger"). If you don't know what "first-person singular" or "infinitive" means, you can probably figure it out from what I've just said. If not, you can probably still figure out that when you need the form that means "I hunger," you look under "hunger" below and use the one that translates "I hunger," yes?

Infinitives (the "to ---" form) can function as neuter nouns in the nominative and accusative cases, so if you wanted to say, for example, "it is good to drink" or "drinking gives me life" use bibere. Now, if you want to say, "I am tired of drinking," well, that's something else again; if you care, type "Latin gerunds" into your favorite search engine.

[An aside: Latin doesn't use the infinitive to express purpose the way English does. "He comes to kill me" is not "venit necare me"; Latin says "he comes so that he might kill me," and those worms can stay in the can for now.]

When you look in a dictionary, the first two forms are generally going to be the "I ---" and the "to ---" forms, which you can use right off. After that it gets tricky.

be: sum, I am; est, (he/she it) is; esse, to be. [Note that you don't use a form of sum to say, e.g., "I am biting"; that's just mordeo. -- A cautionary tale on the dangers of stringing together words from a Latin dictionary: A guy I used to know thought he was making a naughty joke when he wrote "sum voces emittere" on a blackboard one day, and he caught my attention to make sure I'd seen it and could be in on the joke. I couldn't, really. Eventually it came out that he was trying to write "I am ejaculating." Unfortunately for him (leaving aside any deeper maturity issues), sum doesn't enter into it; you'd just use the first person singular, the "I" form, of the verb. Furthermore, "voces emittere" = "to throw out voices"; "ejaculate," of course, can mean "to make a sudden exclamation," and that's what he'd found in his dictionary. -- True story.]

bite: mordeo, I bite; mordet, (he/she/it) bites; mordere, to bite

break: rumpo, I break; rumpit, (he/she/it) breaks; rumpere, to break

burn/kindle: incendo, I burn; incendit, (he/she/it) burns; incendere, to burn [Incendo means "to start a fire" (or, figuratively, to inflame or excite). You wouldn't use it it say, "I burn! I burn!" when the sunlight hits you; that would be, in the forms I'm providing here, ardeo ardet ardere.]

can, be able: possum, I can, I am able; potest, (he/she/it) can; posse, to be able. [To say "I can ---" use possum + the infinitive (the "to ---" form): "I can slay" = possum necare. For "can't," throw in a non before possum.]

come: venio, I come; venit, (he/she/it) comes; venire, to come. [As a command, veni! or plural venite!]

conceal: celo, I conceal, keep secret; celat, (he/she/it) conceals; celare, to conceal

consume, devour, drain,: haurio, I consume; haurit (he/she/it) consume; haurire, to consume

die: morior, I die; moritur, (he/she/it) dies; mori, to die -- ["die!" (as a command): morere! (to one person), morimini! (to more than one person, if you're feeling particularly vicious)]

drink: bibo, I drink; bibit, (he/she/it) drinks; bibere, to drink

eat: ceno, I dine on, I eat; cenat, (he/she/it) dines on, eats; cenare, to dine on, to eat. -- [You can also use mordeo (bite). There's also a vexing but probably more commonly used word edo which is easily mixed up with two other verbs, including forms of sum, and so I'll skip it for now, except to mention the useful phrase pugnos esto! (for plural victims, estote!), "eat fists!"]

fear/be afraid: timeo, I fear; timet (he/she/it) fears; timere, to fear, be afraid -- [timeo by itself: "I am afraid"; timeo larvas (or another noun in the accusative case): "I am afraid of/I fear ghosts"]

give: do, I give; dat, (he/she/it) gives; dare, to give. [Often you will need an accusative direct object -- the thing being given -- and a dative indirect object, the person being given to: Marius sanguinem filio dat, "Marius gives blood to his son." (The word "dative" even comes from do! Isn't that cool?) -- And, because "I gave" -- ROFL!!!!!!! ;) ;) -- them to you last time: I gave, dedi; (he/she/it) gave, dedit. -- I think these usage notes are getting out of hand.]

have: habeo, I have; habet, (he/she/it) has; habere, to have.

hate: odi, I hate; odit, (he/she/it) hates; odisse, to hate

hunger for/be hungry: esurio, I hunger; esurit (he/she/it) hungers; esurire, to hunger -- [esurio by itself: "I am hungry"; esurio carnem (or another noun in the accusative case): "I hunger for flesh" (no separate word used here for "for")]

hunt: venor, I hunt; venatur, (he/she/it) hunts; venari, to hunt

lick: lambo, I lick; lambit, (he/she/it) licks; lambere, to lick

live: vivo, I live; vivit, (he/she/it) lives; vivere, to live

love: amo, I love; amat, (he/she/it) loves; amare, to love

lurk: lateo, I lurk; latet (he/she/it) lurks; latere, to lurk, hide, be concealed

read: lego, I read; legit, (he/she/it) reads; legere, to read.

slay, kill: neco, I kill/slay; necat, (he/she/it) kills; necare, to kill. [To utter arcane threats it will be useful to know a future tense form here: necabo, "I will kill."]

thirst for/be thirsty: sitio, I thirst, am thirsty; sitit, (he/she/it) thirsts; sitire, to thirst -- [sitio by itself: "I am thirsty"; sitio sanguinem (or another noun in the accusative case): "I thirst for blood" (no separate word used here for "for")]

want: volo, I want; vult, (he/she/it) wants; velle, to want. -- "What do you want?" = quid vis? ("I want a pony": volo eculeum [accusative < eculeus, -i (m.)]. "I want to kill": volo necare (infinitive). "I want to kill a pony": volo necare eculeum.) -- [The opposite of volo is nolo, I don't want; non vult, (he/she/it) does not want; nolle, not to want, to be unwilling.]

[If using this for reference: return to exercises below.


about, concerning: de (+ ablative)

alas: heu! or eheu!

always: semper

among/between: inter (followed by the accusative case)

and: et (both ... and: et ... et)

beneath: sub (followed by the ablative case)

but: sed

I: ego

in: in (followed by the ablative case)

into, in (followed by the accusative case)

me: me (accusative and ablative), mihi (dative)

no: minime ("not at all"), minime vero ("no indeed"), or non plus a repetition of the word in the question (see below, "A note on questions").

nor: nec (neither ... nor: nec ... neque)

not: non

only: solum (also tantum, and others). (not only ... but also: non solum ... sed etiam)

or: aut (either ... or: aut ... aut)

therefore: igitur (usually the second, not the first word in its clause)

truly, indeed, in truth, forsooth!: vero

we/us: nos (nom. and acc.), nostri (gen.; but usually youwill use the adjective noster), nobis (dat. and abl.)

why: cur?

with: cum (followed by the ablative case), but sometimes you don't use cum, and there are weird rules and exeptions, but the basics are to use cum for: (1) People (accompaniment): "I am lurking with Marius": lateo cum Mario, and (2) Abstract concepts, answering "in what manner?": "He kills with great swiftness": necat cum magna celeritate (and often in this sort of sentence cum is stuck between the adjective and the noun: you've heard of magna cum laude: "In what manner did you graduate?" "I graduated with great praise."). -- For tools, objects, the instrument by which something is done: the ablative, without cum. "I can kill Marius with my teeth": Marium necare possum dentibus meis.

with me, mecum ("with us": nobiscum)

with you, tecum ("with y'all": vobiscum)

woe! vae!, followed by the dative: woe is me = "vae mihi!"; "woe to you!" = "vae tibi!", "woe to mortal men!" = "vae mortalibus [hominibus]!", and so on. -- Also useful, not using vae: "oh, wretched me!" = "me miserum!" or "ei misero mihi!"

yes: ita ("so"), sane ("of course"), certe ("certainly") -- although often the verb from the question is just repeated. (See below, "A note on questions").

you: tu (nom.), tui (gen.: but usually you will use the adjective tuus), tibi (dative), te (accusative and ablative). Plural: vos (nom. and acc.), vestri (gen.; normally use adjective vester), vobis (dative and ablative).

A note on questions: When not introduced with a word like cur ("why?"), questions in Latin often use an "enclitic" ("leaning-on") word -ne, which is attached to the first important word of the sentence, usually a verb. So: "Does he have a stake?" = "Habetne palum?" (or "palumne habet?"), to which the answers would be either "habet" (or "ita sane / certe" or "ita sane / certe habet") for "yes," or "non habet" (or "minime" or "minime habet") for "no."



[Click to scroll up to look up nouns, adjectives, verbs, or other words]

Once again, if you feel you must input your translations somewhere electronically, cut and paste the following into your favorite word processing software and then type them. Then you can go back and delete your mistakes without leaving a paper trail. Otherwise, scrawl them on the back of an old character sheet or something.

1. Queen of the damned (Hint: remember that adjectives can be used as nouns)

2. Prince of the city

2a. In the name of the prince of the city

3. Lord of the night

3a. The peace of the grave

4. House (of the) Black Wolf

5. The cruel wyrm

6. The raging beast

6a. House (of the) Great Beast

7. Bloody tears

7a. Tears of blood

7b. Bloody kisses

8. The bitter damned

8a. Cruel hunger of the immortal damned.

9. The lurking-place of death

10. Prince of darkness

10a. Fierce daughter of the prince of darkness

That's a pretty good nominative and genitive and adjective-agreement workout. Let's move on.

11. To live is sad. (Hint: treat the infinitive of the verb as a neuter noun)

12. Oh, my Marius, I want to be your dark and eternal bride!

12a. Alas, my beautiful Camilla, I am not able to love. Woe to us!

13. I hunger for the flesh of the living.

14. Beneath Lucretia's beauty lurks a savage thirst.

15. Die, unspeakable monster of unending night!

15a. Why can't I kill you with sharp stakes?

16. I am in truth neither living nor dead.

17. The black-clad queen wants to conceal her insanity.

17a. The bitter poet conceals unspeakable crimes.

18. I want to consume the blood of the prince.

18a. I want to consume his blood.

19. Only the light of the sun can kill the monster; therefore, it lurks in its dark hiding-places.

20. The hungry ghost wants to live among men (humans), but it cannot.

21. Camilla cannot break the chains of love.

22. "Sibylla, what do you want?" "I want to die."

Well, I could continue to make up ridiculous sentences all day, and that's not really what I'm supposed to be doing with my time.

Check your answers here.

  • Return to the beginning of this nonsense.
  • Move on to the next bit, in which we discuss how to say "vampire" and make fun of specific examples of gamer Latin.