The Vocative Case: Syntax

The Vocative is the case of direct address, and may be interspersed with other cases in poetic language.

  • Tiberīne pater, tē, sāncte, precor: O father Tiber, to thee, holy one, I pray. ( is the accusative object)
  • Rēs omnis mihi tēcum erit, Hotensī: My whole attention will be devoted to you, Hortensius.

Where a noun is placed in apposition to a vocative with the imperative, it may be apposited in the nominative.

  • Audī tū, populus Albānus: hear, though people of Alba.

Where the implied subject is or vōs, a vocative adjective may take the place of a vocative noun.

  • Quō moritūre ruis: where are you rushing off to die?
  • Cēnsōrem trabeāte salūtās: robed, you salute the censor.

The Essential AG: 340a-b


Personal Pronouns

Personal Pronouns

Summary of Use

The personal pronouns are ego / nōs and tū / vōs. 

“Personal pronouns of the third person—he, she, it—are wanting in Latin” (AG 142)

Subject pronouns are rare, except where emphasis is needed

  • Direct and indirect object pronouns are more common

Often, personal pronouns cluster together in a sentence

Notes on Particular Forms

Nōs will often appear for ego (the ‘royal we’), but vōs will never appear for

  • O gods, let me see his face: superī, nōbis videat suam ōs licet!

The forms of the genitive personal pronouns (meī, tuī, suī, nostrī, vestrī) are really the genitive singular neuter possessives

The same is true of nostrum and vestrum as plural neuter possessives

Whereas nostrum and vestrum are typically partitive, meī, tuī, suī, nostrī, and vestrī are typically objective

  • He spoke to each one of us: ūnuscuīque nostrum legāvit.
  • You are mindful of us: memor nostrī es.

Enclitic Constructions

The emphatic -met may be attached to any pronoun: egomet, nōsmet, vōsmet (but note: tūte and tūtemet)

The personal pronouns may work enclitically with cum.

  • He talks with you: vōscum loquitur.

Additional Exampla

  • You are dear to me: tūte cara mihi es.
  • What you tell me is not true: nōn verum quod mihi dicis est. 
  • We have come with you to lean: discere nōs tēcum venivīmus.

The Essential AG: 143

Famous Phrase: tū fuī egō eris (I was you; you will be me) [written on gravestones]