Humanities › History & Culture Latin Adjectives 1st and 2nd Declension Endings for Latin first and second declension adjectives Share Flipboard Email Print Bona Puella (Good Girl). Stephanie Rausser/Getty Images History & Culture Ancient History and Culture Ancient Languages Figures & Events Greece Egypt Asia Rome Mythology & Religion American History African American History African History Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By N.S. Gill Ancient History and Latin Expert M.A., Linguistics, University of Minnesota B.A., Latin, University of Minnesota N.S. Gill is a Latinist, writer, and teacher of ancient history and Latin. She has been featured by NPR and National Geographic for her ancient history expertise. our editorial process N.S. Gill Updated April 21, 2019 In Latin, adjectives must agree with the nouns they modify in case and number, as well as gender. This means that like nouns, Latin adjectives must be declined.* Latin 1st and 2nd declension adjectives are declined like nouns in the 1st and 2nd declensions. It so happens that like nouns, there are also 3rd declension adjectives, but there are no 4th or 5th declension adjectives. So, since there are more declensions for nouns than adjectives, the number of the declension of the noun cannot possibly have to match the number of the declension of the adjective. It's even misleading to think of adjectives as belonging to the 1st OR the 2nd declension. They belong to both but look different depending on gender. For this reason, it's better to refer to such adjectives as 1st AND 2nd declension adjectives. The Latin from which we get our word "republic" comes from a 5th declension feminine noun ( res) and a feminine adjective ( publica). If the 5th declension noun were masculine ( e.g., meridies 'midday'), the adjective would take the masculine form publicus. As stated above, Adjectives need to match only the gender, number, and case of the noun they modify. A 1st and 2nd declension adjective can modify any noun. The 1st and 2nd declension adjective used here as a model is bonus, -a, -um, the Latin word for "good," showing the full masculine form first, followed by the ending of the feminine next, and finally the ending for the neuter. nominative bona puellagenitive bonae puellaedative bonae puellaeaccusative bonam puellamablative bona puella The word "girl" is puella in Latin, a 1st declension noun, and like most 1st declension nouns, it's feminine. The adjectival form corresponding with puella—a noun in the nominative singular—is bona. Declension of Bona Puella (Good Girl) in Latin Singular Plural: nominative bonae puellaegenitive bonarum puellarumdative bonis puellisaccusative bonas puellasablative bonis puellisnominative bonus puergenitive boni pueridative bono pueroaccusative bonum puerumablative bono puero The word for "boy" in Latin is puer. This is the nominative singular of a 2nd declension masculine noun. The form of the model adjective we're using, that corresponds with puer—that is, the form of the adjective that agrees in number, case, and gender—is bonus. Declension of Bonus Puer (Good Boy) in Latin Singular Plural: nominative boni puerigenitive bonorum puerorumdative bonis puerisaccusative bonos puerosablative bonis puerisnominative bonum verbumgenitive boni verbidative bono verboaccusative bonum verbumablative bono verbo The English word "word" is verbum in Latin. This is a 2nd declension neuter noun. The form of the model adjective "good" that corresponds with verbum is bonum. Note that since this is a neuter, we can not say whether bonum verbum is nominative or accusative, although it is clearly singular. Declension of Bonum Verbum (Good Word) in Latin Singular Plural: nominative bona verbagenitive bonorum verborumdative bonis verbisaccusative bona verbaablative bonis verbis The paradigm form you will usually see for a 1st and 2nd declension adjective is: bonus -a -umboni -ae -ibono -ae -obonum -am -umbono -a -oboni -ae -abonorum -arum -orumbonis -is -isbonos -as -abonis -is -is *Note: You may run into indeclinable adjectives, which, obviously, are not declined.