Grammar 02 Parts of Speech


Let’s start with terms you already know. In Latin there are verbs (action words) and those verbs have tenses (past, present, future); there are nouns (people, places, and things), and there are pronouns, which stand in for nouns (he, she, it). There are adjectives (happy) and adverbs (happily). It’s worth starting with these groupings because they (and others still to come) will be the basis for our learning.

What parts of speech are the words of our first poem?

Odi, amo, faciam, requiris, nescio, fieri, sentio and excrucior are all verbs. That’s eight words out of fourteen. None of the remainder are nouns. This may be a good example of grammar leading us towards interpretation. Does it mean anything for the poem that it contains so many verbs and not a single noun? It is certainly lively.

Of the remaining six words, half are the conjunctions et and sed. Quare and fortasse are adverbs. Id is a pronoun. By clicking on the right tiles in the grammar section, you can find out more about all these parts of speech. In resources you can download some useful verb and noun tables, and other reference material.