Ablative of Price and Genitive of Quantity

The price of something is put in the ablative case.

  • He sold the land for money: agrum pecūniā vendidit.
  • Jokes: who wants them for a dinner: logōs rīdiculōs: quis cēnā poscit?

The ablative of price is similar to the ablative of penalty, as it is ultimately an (adverbial) ablative of material, describing the compositional means by which an exchange is achieved.

What you’ll see as often or more often than the ablative of price are similar genitive words indicating indefinite value.

  • It is of great importance to me: mihi magnī interest.
  • That doesn’t matter to me: illud parvī mihi rēfert.
  • The cloak is worthy a great deal to me: amiculum mihi tantī est.
  • I care nothing for this color: istum colōrem nīlī (or nihilī) pendō.

Common words with the genitive of value: magnī, parvī, tantī, quantī, plūris, minōris, nihilī/nīlī, assis, floccī.

(floccī is ‘of a lock of wool.’)

  • I care not a straw: nōn floccī pendō.

The verbs of buying and selling:

  • concilio, conciliāre, conciliāvī, conciliātus: to buy
  • parō, parāre, parāvī, parātus: to buy
  • redimō, redimere, redēmī, redemptus: to buy back
  • vendō, vendere, vendidī, venditus: to sell
  • dō, dāre, dedī, datus: to give, sell

For more on intersum and rēferō:


The Essential AG: 416-17

More Latin Numeral Adjectives

Mutliplicative Adjectives

  • simplex, simplicis, single
  • duplex, duplicis, double
  • triplex, triplicis, triple
  • quadruplex, -plicis, quadruple
  • quīnquiplex, -plicis, quintuple
  • sesiplex, -plicis, sextuple
  • septemplex, -plicis, septuple
  • octoplex, -plicis, octuple
  • nonaplex, -plicis, nontuple(?)
  • decemplex, -plicis, decemtuple(?)
  • centuplex, -plicis, centuple(?)
  • sēsquiplex, -plicis, 1 and 1/2 … ple (?)
  • multiplex, -plicis, manifold

Proportional Adjectives

These are the adjectival forms of numeral adverbs.

  • duplus, -a, -um, twice as large
  • triplus, -a, -um thrice as large
  • quadruplus, -a, -um, four times as large
  • decemplus, -a, -um, ten times as large
  • centiplus, -a, -um, 100 times as large

Temporal Adjectives

  • bīmus, -a, -um, two-years old
  • trīmus, -a, -um, three-years old
  • biennis, -is, lasting two years
  • triennis, -is, lasting three years
  • bimēstris, -is, occurring every (or lasting) two months
  • trimēstris, -is, occurring every (or lasting) three months

Partitive Adjectives

  • bīnārius, -a, -um, two-parted
  • ternārius, -a, -um, three-parted

Other Numeral Adjectives

  • prīmārius, -a, -um, of the first rank
  • bīnārius, -a, -um, of the second rank
  • (note, these are the partitives, but with a distinct meaning)

Temporal Numeral Nouns

  • biduum, -ī, two days
  • triduum, -ī, three days
  • biennium, -ī, two years
  • triennium, -ī, three years

Other Numeral Nouns

  • ūniō, -ōnis, unity
  • bīniō, -ōnis, a pair (often of dice)

Latin Distributives

These are difficult, and I’m not sure I grasp all of their aspects. If you’d like, feel free to expand or correct me in comments.

There are four central aspects to the Latin numeral:

  • The cardinal: ūnus, duo, trēs, quattuor
  • The ordinal: prīmus, secundus, tertius, quārtus
  • The distributive: singulī, bīnī, ternī, quaternī
  • The adverb: semel, bis, ter, quater

The distributive describes how many each or how many apiece. It’s a numeral of rate.

  • The children received candy, one each: puerī mellīta accēpērunt, singula singulīs

Note a few things:

  • The distributive numerals are plural adjectives, here matching mellīta (singula) and puerī (–> puerīs) (singulīs)
  • They decline like the plural of bonus, -a, -um

The distributive are used to multiply, featured in the formula numeral adverb + distributive:

  • 2 x 2 = bis bīna
  • 3 x 7 = ter septēna

The poets also use distributives in place of cardinals, to express sets.

  • He threw two shafts (in a set): bīna hastīlia torsit.

Distributives 1-10

  • one each, singulī, -ae, -a
  • two each, bīnī, -ae, -a
  • three each, ternī, -ae, -a or trīnī, -ae, -a
  • four each, quaternī, -ae, -a
  • five each, quīnī, -ae, -a
  • six each, sēnī, -ae, -a
  • seven each, septēnī, -ae, -a
  • eight each, octōnī, -ae, -a
  • nine each, novēnī, -ae, -a
  • ten each, dēnī, -ae, -a

Distributives 11-99

  • eleven each, ūndēnī, -ae, -a
  • twelve each, duodēnī, -ae, -a
  • thirteen each, ternī dēnī, ternae dēnae, etc.
  • eighteen each, octōnī dēnī or duodēvīcēnī, -ae, -a
  • nineteen each, novēnī dēnī or ūndēvīcēni, -ae, -a
  • twenty each, vīcēnī, -ae, -a
  • twenty-one each, vīcēnī singulī, vīcēnae singulae, etc.
  • thirty each, trīcēnī, -ae, -a
  • fourty each, quadrāgēnī, -ae, -a
  • fifty each, quīnquāgēnī, -ae, -a
  • sixty each, sexāgēnī, -ae, -a
  • seventy each, septuāgēnī, -ae, -a
  • eighty each, octōgēnī, -ae, -a
  • ninety each, nōnāgēnī, -ae, -a

Distributives 100+

  • 100 each, centēnī, -ae, -a
  • 200 each, ducēnī, -ae, -a
  • 300 each, trecēnī, -ae, a
  • 400 each, quadringēnī, -ae, -a
  • 500 each, quīngēnī, -ae, -a
  • 600 each, sescēnī, -ae, -a
  • 700 each, septingēnī, -ae, -a
  • 800 each, octingēnī, -ae, -a
  • 900 each, nongēnī, -ae, -a
  • 1,000 each, mīllēnī, -ae, -a
  • 2,000 each bīna mīlia
  • 100,000 each centēna mīlia

The Essential AG: 136