Uses of the Genitive Case

The basic use of the genitive case is to express a relationship between one noun and another noun, e.g. possession. It thus usually forms a noun phrase, hence my nickname, the “gregarious genitive, ” because it likes to hang out with other nouns. I use the color orange for the genitive. The “o-” is a mnemonic for the common translation “of,” and the “-ge” for the case name, ge-nitive. Orange is not a primary color; this corresponds to the fact that the genitive is not a core part of the clause.
Note: The genitive singular ending of most pronouns is -īus (/-ius). For a review of endings, see Summary of Latin Noun and Adjective Endings.

Context Clues or Markers Translations Grammatical Term or Construction
regis filius”
–’s/of —
“king’s son/son of the king”
(Plural) genitive noun with a noun expressing “a part” or “some” or a number or similar or genitive w/ neuter pronoun
“pars oppidī
“tres milia civium
“nihil bonī
Note: when the partitive genitive comes first, it is often a structural indication of a series of parts to be discussed: Troiānōrum multī… aliī…
of –/– preceding noun

“part of the town
“3000 citizens
“nothing good

“of the Trojans: many. . . others. . .”

Partitive genitive/ Genitive of whole
With adj. expresses measure or essential quality or character of someone/thing:
“femina magnae virtutis
“bellum decem annōrum
of –/ with –/ or before noun described

“a woman of great virtue
“a war of 10 years; a 10 year war”

Genitive of Description
With noun or adj. expressing verbal idea:
“Omnes cupidi pacis sunt”
“cupiditas pacis
“amor libertatis
“of” or “for”
“All are desirous of peace
(cf.: All desire peace)
“the desire for peace
“the love of liberty
Objective Genitive
With nouns indicating verbal ideas
“adventus Caesaris
“hic amor eius
“the arrival of Caesar
“this love of his” (e.g. for his son)
Subjective Genitive
With noun describing what material or other something is composed of.
“exercitus virōrum fortium
“testamentum eius modī
“(made/composed/consisting) of”

“an army of brave men
“a will of this type

Genitive of material
Before causā or gratiā (often a gerund or gerundive)
pugnandī causā
exemplī gratiā
“for the sake of fighting”
“for (the sake of) example”
With verbs of remembering/forgetting
Virtutis vestrae non obliviscor”
“Romanī hōrum actōrum semper meminerint”
Translate as D.O.
“I do not forget your courage
“The Romans will always be mindful of these deeds
Genitive with certain verbs
With verb of accusing or condemning. To indicate the charge or penalty
“Senatus asscusavit caedis eum”
“Sisyphus longī laboris damnatus est.”
“of” “with” “to”

“The Senate accused him of murder
“Sisyphus was condemned to long labor

Genitive of charge or penalty