Latin for beginners (1911)/Part II/Lesson VI

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48. The Ablative Case. Another case, lacking in English but found in the fuller Latin declension, is the ab’la-tive.

49. When the nominative singular ends in -a, the ablative singular ends in -ā and the ablative plural in -īs.

a. Observe that the final -ǎ of the nominative is short, while the final -ā of the ablative is long, as,

Nom. fīliǎ Abl. fīliā

b. Observe that the ablative plural is like the dative plural.

c. Form the ablative singular and plural of the following nouns: fuga, causa, fortūna, terra, aqua, puella, agricola, nauta, domina.

50. The Ablative Relation. The ablative case is used to express the relations conveyed in English by the prepositions from, with, by, at, in. It denotes

1. That from which something is separated, from which it starts, or of which it is deprived — generally translated by from.

2. That with which something is associated or by means of which it is done — translated by with or by.

3. The place where or the time when something happens — translated by in or at.

a. What ablative relations do you discover in the following?

In our class there are twenty boys and girls. Daily at eight o'clock they come from home with their books, and while they are at school they study Latin with great zeal. In a short time they will be able to read with ease the books written by the Romans. By patience and perseverance all things in this world can be overcome.

51. Prepositions. While, as stated above (§41), many relations expressed in English by prepositions are in Latin expressed by case forms, still prepositions are of frequent occurrence, but only with the accusative or ablative.

52. Rule. Object of a Preposition. A noun governed by a preposition must be in the Accusative or Ablative case.

53. Prepositions denoting the ablative relations from, with, in, on, are naturally followed by the ablative case. Among these are

ā[1] or ab, from, away from
from, down from
ē[1] or ex, from, out from, out of
cum, with
in, in, on

1. Translate into Latin, using prepositions. In the water, on the land, down from the forest, with the fortune, out of the forests, from the victory, out of the waters, with the sailors, down from the moon.

54. Adjectives. Examine the sentence

Puella parva bonam deam amat, the little girl loves the good goddess

In this sentence parva (little) and bonam (good) are not nouns, but are descriptive words expressing quality. Such words are called adjectives,[2] and they are said to belong to the noun which they describe.

You can tell by its ending to which noun an adjective belongs. The ending of parva shows that it belongs to puella, and the ending of bonam that it belongs to deam. Words that belong together are said to agree, and the belonging-together is called agreement. Observe that the adjective and its noun agree in number and case.

55. Examine the sentences

Puella est parva, the girl is little

Puella parva bonam deam amat, the little girl loves the good goddess

In the first sentence the adjective parva is separated from its noun by the verb and stands in the predicate. It is therefore called a predicate adjective. In the second sentence the adjectives parva and bonam are closely attached to the nouns puella and deam respectively, and are called attributive adjectives.

a. Pick out the attributive and the predicate adjectives in the following:

Do you think Latin is hard? Hard studies make strong brains. Lazy students dislike hard studies. We are not lazy.


Julia and Galea

First learn the special vocabulary, p. 283.
I. Quis, Galba, est Diāna?
G. Diāna, Iūlia, est pulchra dea lūnae et silvārum.
I. Cuius fīlia, Galba, est Diāna?
G. Lātōnae fīlia, Iūlia, est Diāna.
I. Quid Diāna portat?
G. Sagittās Diāna portat.
I. Cūr Diāna sagittās portat?
G. Diāna sagittās portat, Iūlia, quod malās ferās silvae magnae necat.
I. Amatne Lātōna fīliam?
G. Amat, et fīlia Lātōnam amat.
I. Quid fīlia tua parva portat?
G. Corōnās pulchrās fīlia mea parva portat.
I. Cui fīlia tua corōnās pulchrās dat?
G. Diānae corōnās dat.
I. Quis est cum fīlia tuā? Estne sōla?
G. Sōla nōn est; fīlia mea parva est cum ancillā meā.

a. When a person is called or addressed, the case used is called the voc’ative (Latin vocāre, "to call"). In form the vocative is regularly like the nominative. In English the name of the person addressed usually stands first in the sentence. The Latin vocative rarely stands first. Point out five examples of the vocative in this dialogue.

b. Observe that questions answered by yes or no in English are answered in Latin by repeating the verb. Thus, if you wished to answer in Latin the question Is the sailor fighting? Pugnatne nauta? you would say Pugnat, he is fighting, or Nōn pugnat, he is not fighting.



  1. 1.0 1.1 'ā and ē are used only before words beginning with a consonant; ab and ex are used before either vowels or consonants.
  2. Pick out the adjectives in the following: "When I was a little boy, I remember that one cold winter's morning I was accosted by a smiling man with an ax on his shoulder. ’My pretty boy,’ said he, ’has your father a grindstone?’ — ’Yes, sir,’ said I. — ’You are a fine little fellow,’ said he. ’Will you let me grind my ax on it?’"