Step 3: Memorize the Plural Noun Declensions
We have two challenges in this step: learn the plural noun declensions and retain the singular noun declensions. To learn the plural noun declensions, we can use the same method we used for the singular ones. In order to retain the singular declensions, though we will need to include some review.
What you’ll need:
- Your trusty composition book(s)
- Your Wheelock’s Latin or other source for the tables.
- Copy the first declension in the plural form 25 times as you did before, but with this difference: Instead of N, G, D, Ac, and Ab, add an ‘s’ to indicate that they are plural. Write Ns, Gs, Ds, Acs, and Abs as a shorthand to let you know that this is the plural (because we add an ‘s’ in English to denote plurals). Also, when you say the name of the case in your head, now you will say the name with an ‘s’ added to it. i.e. Nominatives, genitives, datives, accusatives, and ablatives. This will be how will link the word, the case name, and the concept of plural in our minds without saying or writing the word plural all the time.
- Now write out the entire table that you memorized for the singular declensions, but add the plural forms below the singular forms for the first declension. Only write this table out one time.
- Copy out the second set of plural paradigms 15 times in the same manner as before.
- Make a table containing all of the plural paradigms that you have memorized. Copy this table 10 times.
- Now write out the entire table one time with all the singular forms and the two plural forms that you have now memorized.
- Continue on in this manner until you have memorized all of the plural forms.
Memorizing the plural forms should take about as long as memorizing the singular forms took. The only difference is that now we are reviewing the entire table (including singular forms) after each newly learned plural paradigm. By the time we are done, we will have the entire table well memorized, and we will be able to move on to writing out the entire table from memory 200 times.
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