ablative "with means" endings

By Elephant, in 'English to Latin Translation', Oct 21, 2007.

  1. Elephant New Member

    ive been having trouble with this for some reason but have no clue why, can someone help me find the endings to the following underlined words.

    1. I saw the Colosseum with my eyes.

    2. Hercules freed himself by his own labors.

    3. He wrote the letter with a stylus.

    4. He bribed the citizens with much money.

    5. They praise the gods in many languages.

    6. Davus beat the slaves with a stick.

    thanks in advance.
  2. QMF Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Virginia, US
    The ablative of means endings, assuming you are not including a preposition, will look the same as any other ablative. I don't know how much you know of the declensions, but it looks like this assignment is trying to get you to look up the words and then decline them in the proper ablative form, which I'd say is a very good exercise (better than rote repetition of declensions, that's for sure). So let me start you off:
    1. Colosseum vidi oculis meis.
    (I'm pretty sure the Latin equivalent of Colosseum is just Colosseum).

    Now you try the others.
  3. Elephant New Member

    so 2 would be

    suus laboro ?
  4. QMF Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Virginia, US
    Careful; labor is a 3rd declension noun, so you have to use the 3rd declension endings. Suus also has to agree with it in case, number, and gender. Try again.
  5. Elephant New Member

    im guessing this is wrong too but "suue labore"?
  6. cepasaccus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    It is getting better. "labore" is now the correct ablativus singularis. If "suus" were of 3rd declension "sue" would have been correct, but it is of 1st/2nd declension. Because of this you have to be careful to match its gender to that of "labore". What gender is "labor"?

    Btw. where do you learn latin?
  7. Elephant New Member

    labor is M, so uhh yeah...

    and im a freshmen in highschool (in the US)
  8. cepasaccus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    So you have to use suus (2nd declension, masculine):

    nominativus: suus
    accusativus: suum
    genitivus: sui
    dativus: suo
    ablativus: su???

    So it's "su??? labore". But because your teacher wrote "with his own labors" he probably wants the pluralis. There suus is:

    sui / suos / suorum / suis / su???

    and labore must be changed also to pluralis, but in 3rd declension!

    Does this mean you learn latin since a few months? What book you do use?
  9. Elephant New Member

    so suis laboribus? but that doesnt sound right becuase they dont have matching engings

    and yeah this is my first year of latin, and im using a book called ecce romani but we hardly use it, maybe once this year.
  10. QMF Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Virginia, US
    That is in fact correct. That "not the same endings" issue will arise rather frequently with adjectives when the noun is of the 3rd, 4th, or 5th declension, and occasionally even when it is not. Let me provide an explanation:

    In the dictionary, you can see what declension a noun is by its genitive singular ending, as you probably already know: -ae, -i, -is, -us, -ei, are the respective genitive singular endings. With this knowledge, knowing a noun's nominative singular, knowing whether or not a noun is neuter, and in the case of the 3rd, knowing whether or not it is an i-stem (all of which can be found in the dictionary), you can decline any noun. You probably already know a fair amount about this, even if you don't necessarily know all the declensions yet.

    Now, adjectives (which, as you already know, agree with their noun in case, number, and gender) are ONLY declined in the manner of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Most adjectives are listed in the dictionary with endings -us, -a, -um. This means that they are declined in different ways based on the gender of the noun in question: a masculine noun is declined using the 2nd declension masculine, a feminine one using the 1st declension, and a neuter one using the 2nd declension neuter. If using one of these adjectives (of which suus, -a, -um is an example) you will always do this; the declension of the noun is not what matters, it is the gender of the noun that does. A quick set of examples that strongly illustrate this:

    Suus nauta (nauta is an irregularly masculine 1st declension noun)
    Vir magnus (vir is a masculine 2nd declension noun, even though its nominative singular does not end in -us)
    Hominem stultum (homo, hominis is a masculine 3rd declension noun)
    I will skip 3rd declension adjectives for now for purposes of simplicity and brevity.

    Does that help?

    Off-topic: It is interesting, cepasaccus, that you use the nom. acc. gen. dat. abl. arrangement that I learned, whereas many students instead use the nom. gen. dat. acc. abl. system that more closely matches the way Greek is taught. (Take off the abl. and you have the arrangement of Greek nouns in declension tables). Where did you learn Latin?

    [edited for a typo and a missing explanation, edits are bolded]
  11. Elephant New Member

    thanks that actually did help a lot

    and off topic too: anyone know why cancer (the disease) is named that? doesnt seem like it has much to do with a crab.
  12. Cato Consularis

    • Consularis
    Chicago, IL
    There is some debate about this, but it is said that some tumors--which often had swollen veins radiating from them--had shapes which to the ancient Greek eye resembled crabs (the Greek word καρκινος - "crab" was used by Hippocrates to describe the disease).

    The Latin word carcinoma was coined by Roman doctors from the Greek term, but was used to describe the tumor itself. The Romans then used the equivalent Latin word for "crab"--cancer--to refer to the disease.

    Finally, the Greek medical writer Galen made a similar distinction between the disease and the tumors. But he was apparently unfamiliar with the Latin terminology and so used the Greek word ονκος - "lump" to refer to the tumors themselves.

    This today leaves us with cancer to describe the disease, carcinogous to describe things causing/associated with cancer, and oncology as the study of the disease.
  13. cepasaccus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    @QMF: In school I also had NGDAA, but in Reading Latin and in Lingua Latina there is NAGDA. The only advantage of the first is that NG is formally learned. The advantage of the later is that it matches much better the repetition of endings, e.g. with neutra always the first two are the same. So I switched to the NAGDA scheme.

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