Lectio Tertia

De ablativo singulari
Se praepositionibus

Summary: Rome at first was ruled by the Etruscan kings. But the last king, Tarquin, became arrogant. The Romans drove him out.

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Cogitemus Nunc (now let’s think)

Ablative Case: There isn’t much new in this lesson. So let us catch up on a bit of old business. Notice the phrases:

in terra Romana,in throno Romano,in urbe.

They all have the word in. That word is a preposition. Notice the endings of the words that come after it: a, o, and e. They are in a special case: the ablative case.

The preposition in often (not always) takes the ablative case. Let us notice what the ablative endings are:


So we see three families of nouns again in the ablative, just as there were in the nominative and objective cases. The ablative endings we have here are all singular. They are:


Let us add up all the noun endings we now know, keeping the three classes of nouns separate (the exact name for the three classes or families is DECLENSIONS).


Now let us turn back to the first two lessons and find other prepositions: What case comes after cum? It is the ablative which ALWAYS comes after cum. We also saw the preposition ad. What case comes after it? It is ALWAYS the objective case.

But our old friend the preposition in sometimes takes the objective case. Remember some of the sentences we have already seen:

María venit in scholam. Colúmbus venit in Américam.

Now what is the difference between the following two sentences?

  1. MarĂ­a venit in scholam.
  2. MarĂ­a fuit in schola.

In 1. Mary is going somewhere—she is moving into somewhere.

In 2. Mary is going nowhere—she is stuck in school.

Therefore—sometimes in means into, motion travelling into; it then takes the objective case. Sometimes in means in (or on) —no motion: it then takes the ablative case.

If we add up all our prepositions thus far we get:

  • ad with objective means to, up to
  • ante with objective means before
  • cum with ablative means with
  • in with objective means into (motion )
  • in with ablative means in or on (no motion).

Find all examples of prepositions in the text thus far.

Now for Some Exercise

Look for ablative patterns.

Etrúsci fuérunt reges in terra Romána. Etrúsci venérunt in terram Románam. Etrúsci fuérunt in terra Romána in anno sescentésimo (600) ante Christum. Colúmbus venit in terram Americánam. Sed Status Foederáti Américae (guess what) non fuérunt in terra quando Colúmbus venit. Colúmbus non invénit Status Foederátos Américae. Fuit Geórgius Wáshington vir bonus? Status Foederáti Américae fuérunt boni et magni. Colúmbus fuit primus vir albus in América. Colúmbus dixit quod invénit Américam. Colúmbus veritátem dixit. Geórgius Wáshington non dixit quod invénit Américam. Geórgius veritátem dixit. María non dixit quod invénit Américam. María dixit quod invénit agnum album. Dixit quod invénit agnum album in schola. Agnus venit ad scholam. Agnus venit in scholam cum María. Románi non dixérunt quod Etrúsci fundavérunt Romam. Agnus non fuit in América quando Colúmbus venit. Agnus albus non venit in Américam cum Colúmbo. Agnus albus remánsit cum María. Sed agnus albus non remánsit domi. Agnus albus venit in scholam cum María. Hie agnus albus fuit primus agnus albus in schola. Hie agnus albus fuit últimus agnus albus in schola. Agnus albus non remánsit in schola. Agnus exclamávit baa in schola. Ergo Marcus non amávit agnum album. Maria non amávit porcos. Porci non fuérunt albi.

Tapescript activity

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