edited by Meagan Ayer et al.

1st Declension: Stem, Paradigm, and Gender

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40. The Stem of nouns of the 1st declension ends in ā-. The nominative ending is -a (the stem-vowel shortened), except in Greek nouns.

41. Latin nouns of the 1st declension are thus declined:

Paradigm for 1st declension nouns

a. The Latin has no article; hence stella may mean a star, the star, or simply star.

42. Nouns of the 1st declension are feminine, with the exception of nouns which are masculine from their signification (nauta, sailor). Similarly, a few family or personal names (Mūrēna, Dolābella, Scaevola;1 also, Hadria, the Adriatic).



1. Scaevola is really a feminine adjective, used as a noun, meaning little left hand; but, being used as the name of a man (originally a nickname), it became masculine. Original genders are often thus changed by a change in the sense of a noun.

The First Declension

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Suggested Citation

Meagan Ayer, Allen and Greenough’s New Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-04-7. http://dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/latin/1st-declension-stem-paradigm-and-gender