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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Irregularities and Special Uses of Adjectives

122. The following special points require notice:—

a. Several adjectives vary in declension: as, gracilis (-us), hilaris (-us), inermis (-us), bicolor (-ōrus).

b. A few adjectives are indeclinable: as, damnās, frūgī (really a dative of service, see § 382 . 1. N. 2), nēquam (originally an adverb), necesse, and the pronominal forms tot, quot, aliquot, totidem. Potis is often used as an indeclinable adjective, but sometimes has pote in the neuter.

c. Several adjectives are defective: as, exspēs (only nom.), exlēx (exlēgem) (only nom. and acc. sing.), pernox (pernocte) (only nom. and abl. sing.); and prīmōris, sēminecī, etc., which lack the nominative singular.

d. Many adjectives, from their signification, can be used only in the masculine and feminine. These may be called adjectives of common gender.

Such are adulēscēns, youthful; [†dēses], -idis, slothful; inops, -opis, poor; sōspe, -itis, safe. Similarly, senex, old man, and iuvenis, young man, are sometimes called masculine adjectives.

For Adjectives used as Nouns, see §§ 288 , 289; for Nouns used as Adjectives, see § 321 . c; for Adjectives used as Adverbs, see § 214; for Adverbs used as Adjectives, see § 321 . d.

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