Two Hundred Essential Latin Words
more or less

These are among the most common words in Latin.  Taken together, they account for almost half the words in a typical prose text.
structure words or particles
verbs
nouns and adjectives

compounds, derivatives, and related words

Pronouns, Conjunctions, Adverbs
These are the words that show you the structure of a sentence.
Pronouns:
ego;  hic;  idem;  ille;  ipse;  is;  iste;  nemo;  nihil;  nos;  qui;  quidam;  quis;  quisque;  se;  tu;  vos

Conjunctions:
ac, atque (usually ac before consonants, atque before vowels);  an;  aut;  autem;  deinde;  dum;  enim;  et;  etiam;  nam;  ne;  nec, neque (usually nec before consonants, neque before vowels);  -que;  quia;  quod;  sed;  si;  tamen;  tum;  ut;  vel

Prepositions taking the ablative:
ab (a before consonants, abs te);  cum;  de;  ex (e before consonants);  pro;  sine

Prepositions taking the accusative:
ad;  ante;  contra;  inter;  per;  post;  trans

Prepositions taking either case (in different senses):
in, sub

Adverbs (many prepositions can also be used as adverbs;  some conjunctions are much like adverbs):
haud;  iam;  inde;  ita;  modo;  non;  nondum;  nunc;  quam;  quidem;  satis;  tam;  ubi;  unde

return to top
 

Verbs
These are where the action happens.
Irregular:
do, eo, fero, fio, inquam, nolo, possum, sum, volo

First conjugation (-âre):
amo, appello, impero, iuro, probo, puto, sto, voco

Second conjugation (-êre):
debeo, habeo, moveo, teneo, video
vereor

Third conjugation (-ere):
ago, capio, credo, dico, duco, facio, gero, incipio, interficio, mitto, occîdo, peto, pono, reddo, vivo
loquor, sequor, utor

Fourth conjugation (-îre):
audio, scio, venio

return to top
 

Nouns and Adjectives
These are the subjects and objects.
Pronominal declension:
alius, alter, neuter, nullus, solus, totus, ullus, unus, uter

First declension:
causa, gloria, terra

Second declension nouns, first-and-second declension adjectives:
aequus, amicus, animus, annus, arma, bellum, bonus, certus, dignus, deus, filius, imperium, ingenium, iudicium, lîber (adj), locus, longus, magnus, meus, modus, multus, natus, noster, novus, parvus, populus, primus, principium, publicus, quantus, regnum, salvus, suus, tantus, tuus, verus, vester, vir

Third declension:
adulescens, aetas, civis, civitas, corpus, crimen, dux, facilis, gens, gravis, homo, hostis, ius, mater, miles, mors, mulier, nomen, omnis, opes, ordo, pars, pater, potestas, qualis, rex, similis, sol, talis, tempus, urbs, uxor, virtus, vis (somewhat irregular), vulnus

Fourth declension:
domus

Fifth declension:
dies, fides, res

return to top
 

The next words to learn are the easy compounds and derivatives of these words:  verbs + prefixes (ab + sum), agent nouns from verbs (auditor), qualitative nouns from adjectives (magnitudo), verbal nouns (motus), and so on.  This will give you another couple hundred words almost for free.  Some of these words, naturally, are more common than others;  the most common words in the following lists are marked.  The lists are not exhaustive, and in particular derivatives and compounds can be formed from derived words.
verbs compounded with prepositions
verbs derived from other verbs
verbs derived from nouns and adjectives
nouns derived from verbs
nouns derived from adjectives

Verb compounds:
Note that compounds with ad may be spelled with or without assimilation (a word that exemplifies what it means: ad + similis). Cum in compounds appears as con and is generally assimilated.
Principal parts are the same as for the uncompounded verb unless otherwise noted.

list by verb

By prefix:
Compounds with ab:
abdico, abdo, abduco, abeo, abigo (ab + ago), abiuro, absto, abstineo (ab + teneo), absum, abutor, amitto, amoveo, aufero, avoco

Compounds with ad:
accipio (ad + capio), accredo, adamo, addico, addo, adduco, adeo, adhibeo, adigo, adiuro, admitto, admoveo, adsequor, adsto, adsum, advenio, advoco, afficio, affero, aggero, alloquor, appello, appeto, appono, approbo, ascio, attineo

Compounds with ante:
antecapio, anteeo or anteo, antefero, antehabeo, antemitto, antepono, antesto, antevenio

Compounds with cum:
coeo (cum + eo), cogo (cum + ago), concipio, concredo, condico, condo, conduco, conficio, confero, congero, cohabeo (cum + habeo), coniuro, colloquor, committo, commoveo, competo, compono, comprobo, computo, conscio, consequor, consto, contineo, convenio, convivo, convoco

Compounds with de:
dego (de + ago), decido, decipio, dedo, deduco, defero, deficio, degero, deiero (de + iuro), demitto, demoveo, depono, deputo, desum, detineo, deutor, devenio, devoco

Compounds with dis:
dido, diduco, differo, digero, dimitto, dimoveo, dispono, disputo, disto, distineo

Compounds with ex:
exigo, exaudio, excipio, edico, edo, educo, exeo, efficio, effero, egero, exhibeo, eiuro (or eiero), eloquor, emitto, emoveo, expeto, expono, exputo, exsto (or exto), evenio, evoco

Compounds with in:  Note the prefix in these verbs is related to the preposition in;  there is also a negative in- as in inimicus (in + amicus).
inigo, inaudio, incipio, indico, indo, induco, ineo, infero, inficio, ingero, inhibeo, immitto, impero, impeto, impono, improbo, imputo, insequor, insto, insum, invenio, invideo, invoco

Compounds with inter:
intercipio, interdico, interdo, intereo, interficio, interfio, interloquor, intermitto, interpono, intersum, intervenio

Compounds with ob:
occido, occipio, occupo (also ob + capio), obdo, obduco, obeo, offero, officio, oggero, obloquor, omitto, oppeto, oppono, obsequor, obsto, obsum, obtineo, obvenio

Compounds with per:
perago, percipio, perdo, perduco, pereo, perfero, perficio, perhibeo, peiero or periuro, permitto, permoveo, perputo, persequor, persto, pertineo, pervenio, pervideo, pervolo

Compounds with post:
postfero, posthabeo, postpono, postputo

Compounds with prae:
praecipio, praedico, praeeo, praefero, praeficio, praebeo (prae + habeo), praeloquor, praemitto, praepono, praescio, praesto, praesum, praevenio, praevideo

Compounds with pro:
prodigo (pro + ago), prodico, prodo, produco, prodeo (pro + eo), profero, proficio, prohibeo, proloquor, promitto, promoveo, propono, prosequor, prosum, provenio, provideo, provoco

Compounds with re:
redigo, redamo, recipio, reddo, redeo, reduco, reficio, refero, regero, remitto, removeo, repeto, repono, reputo, resequor, resto, retineo, revenio, revereor, revideo, revoco

Compounds with sub:
subigo, suscipio, subdo, subduco, subeo, sufficio, suggero, submitto or summitto, summoveo, suppeto, suppono, subsequor, substo, subsum, sustineo, subvenio, subvereor

Compounds with trans:
transigo, trado, traduco or transduco, transeo, transfero, traloquor, transmitto, transmoveo, transpono, transtineo

return to top
return to derivatives

By verb:
Compounds of ago:
abigo, adigo, cogo, dego, exigo, inigo, perago, prodigo, redigo, subigo, transigo

Compounds of amo:
adamo, redamo

Compounds of capio:  Note the a is usually weakened to i.
accipio, antecapio, concipio, decipio, excipio, incipio, intercipio, occipio, occupo, percipio, praecipio, recipio, suscipio

Compounds of credo:
accredo, concredo

Compounds of dico:
abdico, addico, condico, edico, indico, interdico, praedico, prodico

Compounds of do:  Note most of these are in the third conjugation!
abdo, addo, condo, dedo, dido, edo, indo, interdo, obdo, perdo, reddo, trado

Compounds of duco:
abduco, adduco, conduco, deduco, diduco, educo, induco, obduco, perduco, produco, reduco, subdoco, traduco

Compounds of eo:
abeo, adeo, anteo or anteeo, coeo, exeo, ineo, intereo, obeo, pereo, praeeo, prodeo, redeo, subeo, transeo

Compounds of facio:  Note the a is usually weakened to i.
afficio, conficio, deficio, efficio, inficio, interficio, officio, perficio, praeficio, proficio, reficio, sufficio

Compounds of fero:
affero, antefero, aufero, confero, defero, differo, effero, infero, offero, perfero, postfero, praefero, profero, refero, transfero

Compounds of gero:
aggero, congero, degero, digero, egero, ingero, oggero, regero, suggero

Compounds of habeo:  Note the a is usually weakened to i.
adhibeo, antehabeo, cohabeo, exhibeo, inhibeo, perhibeo, posthabeo, praebeo, prohibeo

Compounds of iuro:
abiuro, adiuro, coniuro, deiero, eiuro or eiero, periuro or peiero

Compounds of loquor:
alloquor, colloquor, eloquor, interloquor, obloquor, praeloquor, proloquor

Compounds of mitto:
amitto, admitto, antemitto, committo, demitto, dimitto, emitto, immitto, intermitto, omitto, permitto, praemitto, promitto, remitto, submitto or summitto, transmitto

Compounds of moveo:
amoveo, admoveo, commoveo, demoveo, dimoveo, emoveo, permoveo, promoveo, removeo, summoveo, transmoveo

Compounds of peto:
appeto, competo, expeto, impeto, oppeto, repeto, suppeto

Compounds of pono:
appono, antepono, compono, depono, expono, impono, interpono, oppono, postpono, praepono, propono, repono, suppono, transpono

Compounds of probo:
approbo, comprobo, improbo

Compounds of puto:
computo, deputo, disputo, exputo, imputo, perputo, postputo, reputo

Compounds of scio:
ascio, conscio, praescio

Compounds of sequor:
adsequor, consequor, insequor, obsequor, persequor, prosequor, resequor, subsequor

Compounds of sto:
absto, adsto, antesto, consto, disto, exsto or exto, insto, obsto, persto, praesto, resto, substo

Compounds of sum:
absum, adsum, desum, intersum, intersum, obsum, praesum, prosum

Compounds of teneo:  Note the first e is usually weakened to i.
abstineo, attineo, contineo, detineo, obtineo, pertineo, retineo, sustineo

Compounds of utor:
abutor, deutor

Compounds of venio:
advenio, antevenio, convenio, devenio, evenio, invenio, intervenio, obvenio, pervenio, praevenio, provenio, revenio, subvenio

Compounds of vereor:
revereor, subvereor

Compounds of video:
invideo, pervideo, praevideo, provideo, revideo

Compounds of vivo:
convivo

Compounds of voco:
avoco, advoco, convoco, devoco, evoco, invoco, provoco, revoco

Compounds of volo:
pervolo

return to top
return to derivatives

Verbs derived from verbs:
Frequentatives:  indicate doing the action of the base verb frequently or repeatedly, or more intensely
These are formed with -t-, -it-, -tit- added to the stem of the base verb, and they are in the first conjugation.
agito, appellito, capto, dicto, dictito, ducto, ductito, factito, gesto (from gero), habito, imperito, ito (from eo), loquitor, moto, petesso, sciscitor, scitor, sector, sisto, ventito, vocito

Causatives:  indicate causing the action of the base verb.
These are usually formed with vowel changes;  compare lay (cause to lie), set (cause to sit), fell (cause to fall) in English.
cado, caedo;   occido, occîdo;   iaceo, iacio;  sedeo, sedo

return to top
return to derivatives

Verbs derived from nouns and adjectives:
Inchoatives:  indicate becoming, taking on the state given by the adjective
adulesco, gravesco, vivesco

Desideratives:  indicate desiring the thing given by the noun or adjective
petiturio

return to top
return to derivatives

Nouns derived from verbs:
Agent nouns:  one who does the action of the verb
Most of these are third-declension masculines in -tor, often with matching feminines in -trix.
actor, agitor, amator, auditor, captor, creditor, debitor, dictator, ductor, gestor, habitator, imperator, occisor, petitor, sciscitator, stator

Action nouns:  the action that goes with the verb, the act of doing the verb
Many of these are third-declension feminines in -tio.  Others are fourth-declension masculines in -tus.
actio, amatio, appellatio, auditio, captio, debitio, factio, gestio, habitatio, itio (from eo), missio, motio, occisio, petitio, positio, probatio, translatio, visio, vocatio
aditus, adventus, auditus, ductus, gestus, habitus, impetus, missus, motus, petitus, positus, victus, vocatus

return to top
return to derivatives

Nouns derived from adjectives:
There are several common suffixes that make abstract nouns from adjectives (including participles).
amicitia, potentia, scientia
aequalitas, dignitas, facilitas, gravitas, libertas, novitas, potestas, qualitas, veritas
certitudo, longitudo, magnitudo, multitudo, similitudo

return to top
return to derivatives
 



List compiled by Anne Mahoney, last updated 14 October 1999
home page
BU Department of Classical Studies