Latin plural

From Teflpedia

A Latin plural is a plural formed according to the language rules in Latin. These were once most commonly found in Latin, though since its demise, not so much. Rather, what we're interested in is Latin loanwords (and loan phrases) in English.

Latin has a whole load of declensions, familiar o everyone who was subjected to it at school. Fortunately, most Latin loanwords in English are based on the nominative case, regardless of their case in English. Also, English loanwords follow natural gender, rather than Latin gender. The following declensions are reasonably common in English:

Latin declension Singular ending Plural ending Example(s) Notes
First declension -a -ae
  • alga-algae
  • antenna-antennae
  • alumna-alumnae
  • formula-formulae
  • larva-larvae
  • nebula-nebulae
  • vertebra-vertebrae
Second declension masculine singular -us -i
  • alumnus-alumni
  • locus-loci
  • nucleus-nuclei
  • radius-radii
  • thesaurus-thesauri
Second declension neuter singular -um -a
  • aquarium-aquaria
  • curriculum-curricula
  • datum-data
  • forum-fora
  • maximum-maxima
  • medium-media
  • minimum-minima
  • podium-podia
  • referendum-referenda
  • spectrum-spectra
  • stratum-strata
  • stadium-stadia
  • ultimatum-ultimata
Third declension masculine -x -ces
  • appendix-appendices
  • axis-axes
  • index-indices
  • helix-helices
  • matrix-matrices
  • vortex-vortices
Third declension neuter -us -ora Other examples? Third and Fourth declensions are very confusing
Fifth declension -es -es
  • series - series
  • species-species
These are invariant

Often a regularised form exists in English alongside the irregular Latin plural, so e.g. stadium has two plurals, i.e. stadiums and stadia.