When speaking and writing in one’s native tongue, cases are typically not thought of but are rather used instinctively. You just know that it’s correct to say, “Andy’s book” rather than “Andy book” when speaking of a book belonging to Andy. You also know that it is correct to speak of your sister as “her” rather than “it”. The same conventions apply to Latin and eventually, after practice, the use of them will become as instinctive as those you are familiar with.
Nominative Function: Subject
How to identify: Does the action
How to identify: ‘s, s’, or of
Function: Indirect object
How to identify: to/for/etc.
Accusative Function: Direct object
How to identify: Receives the action
Function: With prepositions
How to identify: in, on, with
Latin has three genders, masculine, feminine, and neuter (and they are listed that way in the dictionary).
Masculine: Masculine words can typically be identified by an ending of -us/-er (in the 2nd declension)
Feminine: Feminine words can typically be identified by an ending of –a. Nearly all first declension nouns are feminine.
Neuter: Neuter words can typically be identified by an ending of -um.
Poeta, ae – pain (m)
Agricola, ae – farmer (m)
Incola, ae – inhabitant (m)
Nauta, ae – sailor, seaman (m)
All of the above are 1st declension nouns but masculine!