Humanities › History & Culture A Guide to Latin Personal Pronouns Share Flipboard Email Print Getty Images / Flashpop 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 January 09, 2020 A pronoun stands in for a noun. A personal pronoun works like a noun in one of the 3 persons, which are, predictably, numbered 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. In Latin, nouns, pronouns, and adjectives are declined: endings signify the specific use of the pronouns in the sentence. These uses and endings are the "cases." Commonly, there are nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and ablative cases. Latin Personal Pronouns in the Subject or Nominative Case Subject or Nominative Case pronouns function as the subject of a sentence. (The subject is the word in the sentence that "does" the verb.) Here are the English subject pronouns followed by the Latin nominative pronouns. I - EgoYou - TuHe/She/It - Is/Ea/IdWe - NosYou - VosThey - Ei Oblique Case Pronouns: Genitive Case The oblique cases are the cases that are not nominative/subject. One of these is familiar with English pronouns. This familiar case is the possessive or Genitive Case, as it is called in reference to Latin. The English determiner "my" is a possessive. The English pronouns "mine", "ours", "yours", and "his/her/its" are possessive pronouns. Other oblique cases are the direct object (Accusative Case in Latin) and the prepositional cases (in English). Accusative Case The Accusative Case is used as the direct object of a sentence or the object of a preposition. Not all Latin prepositions take the Accusative Case. Some prepositions take other cases. Dative Case The Dative Case is the equivalent of the English indirect object case. The indirect object is used in English when a verb takes 2 objects: one is acted upon (the direct object/Accusative Case) and one receives the object (the indirect object/Dative Case). (Subject does direct object to indirect object [example below].) You can generally spot the indirect object easily in English because the prepositions "to" and "for" precede it*. In Latin, there are no propositions for the Dative Case. He gave the letter to you (Epistulam tibi donavit.) He = Subject/Nominative CaseTo You = Indirect Object/Dative Case = tibiThe Letter = Direct Object/Accusative CaseDoing it all with pronouns:He gave it to you. (Id tibi donavit)**He = Subject/Nominative CaseIt = Direct Object/Accusative Case = idTo You = Indirect Object/Dative Case = tibi Besides the Dative Case for the indirect object, where the English preposition is spelled out ("to" or "for"), there are other prepositional cases. Ablative Case The Ablative Case is used with a wide variety of propositions, including "with" and "by." Like the Dative Case, the prepositions are sometimes implied in Latin, rather than written out. The case that is used for the direct object — which you'll remember is called the Accusative Case — is also used with some prepositions. Some prepositions take either the Ablative or the Accusative Case, depending on the meaning. Note: Not all instances of the prepositions "to" and "for" in English signify the indirect object. The subject personal pronoun is not spelled out but is included in the information from the verb, which tells you person, number, voice, mood, aspect, and tense. You could say Ille id tibi donavit if the "he" in question were important.