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Ablative Absolutes. Chapter 13 Language Facts 1 and 2. Ablative Absolutes. Two or more words in the ablative (usually beginning a sentence before the subject) Noun/pronoun + participle Noun + Noun Expresses an idea logically linked to the main clause but grammatically independent

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Ablative Absolutes


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ablative absolutes

Ablative Absolutes

Chapter 13

Language Facts 1 and 2

ablative absolutes1
Ablative Absolutes
  • Two or more words in the ablative (usually beginning a sentence before the subject)
    • Noun/pronoun + participle
    • Noun + Noun
  • Expresses an idea logically linked to the main clause but grammatically independent
  • Often translates just like a subordinate clause beginning with “cum”
cena parata omnes sedeverunt edere
Cenaparata, omnessedeveruntedere.
  • Notice cena and parata are both in the ablative
  • Notice they come before the subject of the main clause
  • Notice they are not grammatically linked
  • Translation:
    • With dinner having been prepared, all sat to eat.

OR smoother….

    • When dinner was prepared, all sat down to eat.
ablative absolute examples
Ablative Absolute Examples
  • Urberelicto, civesambulabant ad novumurbem. (noun + participle)
  • Quintorege, urbs tempus pacishabuit. (noun + noun)
language fact 2 more on ablative absolutes
Language Fact 2- More on Ablative Absolutes

The ablative absolutes can fulfill the same functions as temporal, causal, conditional, and concessive clauses

If meaning is temporal translate: When

If meaning is causal, translate: Since, Because

If meaning is concessive, translate: Although

temporal causal concessive
Temporal, Causal, Concessive?
  • Hostibusappropinquantibus, consul exercitumparavit.
    • Because the enemy was approaching, the consul prepared the army.
    • Causal
  • Caesare duce dicto, milites se ad iterpararecoeperunt.
    • When Caesar had been named leader, the soldiers began to prepare themselves for the road.
    • Temporal
  • Hostibusappropinquantibus, consul tamenexercitum non paravit.
    • Although the enemy was approaching, nevertheless the consul did no prepare the army.
    • Concessive
ablative absolute nle questions
Ablative Absolute NLE questions
  • Now try these REAL sample questions that came straight from past National Latin Exams:
  • 1. Orationeaudita, omnescivesoratoremlaudaverunt.
  • a. while the speech was being heard
  • b. to hear the speech
  • c. after the speech was heard
  • d. by hearing the speech
  • 2. Ponte destructo, Horatius ad ripamnatavit.
  • after the bridge had been destroyed
  • by destroying the bridge
  • when the bridge will be destroyed
  • about to destroy the bridge
  • 3. Gladiisstrictis, gladiatorespugnarecoeperunt.
  • a. to draw swords
  • b. swords having been drawn
  • c. drawing swords
  • d. about to draw swords
  • 4. Castrispositis, Hannibal in ripaelephantosdisponit.
  • by pitching camp
  • who must pitch camp
  • while pitching camp
  • after the camp was pitched
exercise 1 page 300
Exercise 1, page 300

Turriligneaaedificata, hominesibirelicticastra tandem habebant.

VerbisColoniauditis, Martinusiratusest et cum nonnullissociis in aliaminsulaepartemdiscessit.

ConsilioColoni a Martino non probato, multi tamenHispani in insula cum duce maneredecreverunt.

HortantibusnonnullisColonumut Martino veniamdaret, multi tamennautaenullampacem inter ducesfieri posse crededebant.

LitterisMartini ad Colonumrelatis, pax inter duces tandem estfacta.

exercise 3 303
Exercise 3, 303

VerbisColoniauditis, nautae per tresalios dies exspectaredecreverunt.

Nulla terra multos per dies visa, nautaeiamsperarenolebant.

Martino epistulamColonilegente, incolaeexspectabant.

Omnibus nautis in Hispaniamredirecupientibus, Colonustamenpaucos Hispanos in illa insula maneredebereputabat.

“Multismilitibus et nautisabsentibus,” inquitMartinus, “pauciHispani in tantaincolarummultitudinerelicti in periculomaximoversabuntur.”