3rd Declension: Liquid and Nasal Stems, M. / F.

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61. In masculine and feminine nouns with liquid and nasal stems the nominative is the same as the stem.

Exceptions are the following:

1. Stems in ōn- drop n in the nominative.

legiō, stem legiōn-

2. Stems in din- and gin- drop n and keep an original ō in the nominative.

 virgō, stem virgin-1

3. Stems in in- (not din- or gin-) retain n and have e instead of i in the nominative.

cornicen, stem cornicin-1

4. Stems in tr- have -ter in the nominative.

pater, stem patr-2

62. Nouns of this class are declined as follows.

Paradigm for 3rd Declension masculine and feminine liquid and nasal stem nouns

Note 1— Stems in ll-, rr- (n.) lose one of their liquids in the nominative.

far, farris

mel, mellis

Note 2— A few masculine and feminine stems have a nominative in -s as well as in -r.

honōs or honor

arbōs or arbor

Note 3— Canis, dog, and iuvenis, youth, have -is in the nominative.



1. These differences depend in part upon special phonetic laws, in accordance with which vowels in weakly accented or unaccented syllables are variously modified, and in part upon the influence of analogy.

2. These, no doubt, had originally ter- in the stem, but this had become weakened to tr- in some of the cases even in the parent speech. In Latin only the nominative and vocative singular show the e. But cf. Māspitris and Māspiteris ([r]s-piter), quoted by Priscian as old forms.

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. https://dcc.dickinson.edu/grammar/latin/3rd-declension-liquid-and-nasal-stems-m-f