Chapter 14

I-stem Nouns


  1. Explaining the Syntax: The boring german philologists came up with lots of ways to describe constructions - uses of cases (without prepositions) for particular semantic purposes. You must learn these labels so that you will be able to answer the question "explain the syntax" on quizzes and tests. This exercise will have the side benefit of helping you learn in detail how the Latin language constructed meaning. In this chapter you learn three uses of the ablative: the ablative of means/instrument; the ablative of accompaniment and the ablative of manner.

  2. The ablative of means or instrument - when you wish to describe the tool used to accomplish something, you put the word for the tool in the ablative:

    e.g.: Litteräs stilö scrïpsit. - he wrote the letter with a pencil
    e.g.: Id meïs oculöis vïdï - I saw it with my own eyes.

  3. When you want to describe with whom someone is doing something, you use cum + the ablative. You already know this construction and have translated it properly a thousand times. Now you know what boring german philologists who can't get dates call it: the ablative of accompaniement:

    e.g.: Cum amïcïs vënërunt - The came with friends

  4. When you want to describe the manner in which someone did something, you can put the noun describing the manner in the ablative. [nb. there are other ways to do this, e.g., adverbs; but if you use cum plus a noun in the ablative, it's called the ablative of manner].

    e.g. Id cum virtüte fëcit. He did it with courage [courageously].
    e.g. Cum celeritäte vënërunt. They came with speed. [speedily].




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