Latin Personal Pronouns: Declension Table

The I, You, He, She, It of the (ancient) Latin world

'February (Febbraio), by Benedetto da Milano upon drawing by Bramantino, c. 1503-1508, 16th Century, tapestry'
'February (Febbraio), by Benedetto da Milano upon drawing by Bramantino, c. 1503-1508, 16th Century, tapestry Italy, Lombardy, Milan, Sforza Castle. Detail. Upper side of the tapestry dedicated to the month of February, representing a castle with towers and battlements and a bare tree with long branches in the foreground; on the right, on a pilllar painted with a perspective technique, an inscription of the Latin words "Ego Beneditius de Mediolani / Hoc opus feci co sociis suis in Vigli”. Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images / Getty Images

Personal pronouns such as I, you, he, she, it, we and they stand in for the names of people or things.

They're typically not used in Latin verb conjugations. In English, we say, "I love," "you love," "he loves"; we like to speak the personal pronouns that go with the conjugated verb. But in Latin, as in modern Spanish and Italian, subject pronouns were usually omitted, except where the speaker meant to emphasize them.

Thus, the everyday verb conjugation above would have this well-known configuration: amo, amas, amat.

For the ancient Latin speaker, the personal pronoun was repetitive. The conjugation of the verb was enough to indicate person, number and gender. 

In addition, you may encounter -cum ("with" plus personal pronoun) attached to the end of a personal pronoun or -cumque ( "-ever" or "-soever") attached to the end of a question adverb like how, when, where. 

For example:

mecumwith me tecumwith you
nobiscumwith us vobiscumwith you
quandocumquewhenever
qualitercumquehowsoever

Personal Pronouns Agee in Number, Gender and Case

The following is a summary of personal pronouns in various cases. Remember, they are declined according to case, gender and number. So case is an important determinant of what pronoun should be used. You'll see how this works below in the declension table of personal pronouns. 

Nominative Case

The Latin personal pronoun is used where in English we use pronouns like I, you, he, she, it, we, and they.

These pronouns are in the nominative case. 

We use the nominative case when the pronoun is the one doing the action or otherwise serving as the subject of the sentence. For example, "He" stands in for "Euripides" in the sentence "He was the third of the three great Greek tragedians."

Note that demonstrative pronouns can be used as personal pronouns in the nominative case to point something out or draw special attention to it.

Demonstratives pronouns are:

  1. Ille (that),
  2. Hic (this),
  3. Iste (that), and
  4. The determinative Is (this, that) 

While any of these could stand in for the third-person of a personal pronoun, is (ea for the feminine, id for the neuter) is the one that serves as the third-person pronoun in paradigms of Latin personal pronouns (I, you, he/she/it/, we, you, they). 

Oblique Cases
In addition to being the subject (nominative case), there are oblique cases (casus obliquus). In English, we have other pronouns, such as "him" and "his," that could also replace "Euripides" in a sentence:

  • "His play about Dionysus was produced posthumously."
  • "Aristophanes depicted him as the son of a greens seller."

"His" and "him" are used as the possessor ("his") and as the object ("him"). Latin uses different cases of the same word to show these different (oblique) uses. A full list of these is the declension of that particular personal pronoun in the third-person singular, masculine.

Comparing English and Latin Cases for Pronouns

English has lots of personal pronouns because English has different cases that we use without being aware of it.

Latin has all of those cases: subject (nominative), object (actually more than one case), possessive (genitive usually).

But Latin also has the dative, accusative and ablative cases.

Latin declines masculine, feminine and neuter personal pronouns in the plural as well as the singular. English, on the other hand, uses the generic, gender-neutral "they," "them" and "theirs." Note that the English first and second persons are irregular, and neither pronoun can be declined for gender.

If you learn by repetition and motion, which is effective, try writing and rewriting the following table until you learn all the component parts.

Declension of Latin Personal Pronouns

 Singular Plural
Case / Person1st
(I)
2nd
(you)
3rd
(he, she, it)
 1st
(we)
2nd
(you)
3rd
(they)
NOMegotuiseaid nosvoseieaeea
GENmeituieiuseiuseius nostrivestrieorumearumeorum
DATmihitibieieiei nobisvobiseiseiseis
ACCmeteeumeamid nosvoseoseasea
ABLmeteeoeaeo nobisvobiseiseis

eis