Lesson 6.1 Everyday Latin


We’ve seen how much Latin has made its way into the vocabulary of English. Some whole phrases or even sentences have also been imported. Medicine and the law are two major areas where Latin survived into the modern era, and we’ll look in detail at both in future lessons. There are also some simple phrases that turn up everywhere.

These are worth knowing in their own right, but they are also massively helpful in certain areas of grammar. Latin prepositions change the case of a noun in different ways, to take one example. Some of them put it in the accusative case, and some in the ablative. Some can do both, with different shades of meaning. Having a storehouse of phrases means you always have something to remember which is which.

ab initio
ad hominem
bona fide

carpe diem
cogito ergo sum
de facto

e pluribus unum
in medias res
quid pro quo

I’ll be talking a lot about the noun cases in this module. It might be a good time to get to grips with the different noun declensions. Memorise them, if your mind works that way, or print out this handy guide and keep in it your Latin place. You can also download the vocabulary.