Latin for Beginners eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 299 pages of information about Latin for Beginners.

NOTE 2.  Be very careful not to put in the ablative absolute a noun and participle that form the subject or object of a sentence.  Compare

a. The Gauls, having been conquered by Caesar, returned home

b. The Gauls having been conquered by Caesar, the army returned

In a the subject is The Gauls having been conquered by Caesar, and we translate,

Galli a Caesare victi domum reverterunt

In b the subject is the army. The Gauls having been conquered by Caesar is nominative absolute in English, which requires the ablative absolute in Latin, and we translate,

  Gallis a Caesare victis exercitus domum revertit

NOTE 3.  The fact that only deponent verbs have a perfect active participle (cf.  Sec. 375.a) often compels a change of voice when translating from one language to the other.  For example, we can translate Caesar having encouraged the legions just as it stands, because hortor\ is a deponent verb.  But if we wish to say _Caesar having conquered the Gauls_, we have to change the voice of the participle to the passive because vinco\ is not deponent, and say, the Gauls having been conquered by Caesar (see translation above).


I. 1.  Mavis, non vis, vultis, nolumus. 2.  Ut nolit, ut vellemus, ut malit. 3.  Noli, velle, noluisse, malle. 4.  Vult, mavultis, ut nollet, nolite. 5.  Sole oriente, aves cantare inceperunt. 6.  Clamoribus auditis, barbari progredi recusabant. 7.  Caesare legiones hortato, milites paulo fortius pugnaverunt. 8.  His rebus cognitis, Helvetii finitimis persuaserunt ut secum iter facerent. 9.  Laboribus confectis, milites a Caesare quaerebant ut sibi praemia daret. 10.  Concilio convocato, principes ita responderunt. 11.  Dux pluris dies in Helvetiorum finibus morans multos vicos incendit. 12.  Magnitudine Germanorum cognita, quidam ex Romanis timebant. 13.  Mercatoribus rogatis, Caesar nihilo plus reperire potuit.

II. 1.  He was unwilling, lest they prefer, they have wished. 2.  You prefer, that they might be unwilling, they wish. 3.  We wish, they had preferred, that he may prefer. 4.  Caesar, when he heard the rumor (the rumor having been heard), commanded (imperare) the legions to advance more quickly. 5.  Since Caesar was leader, the men were willing to make the journey. 6.  A few, terrified[2] by the reports which they had heard, preferred to remain at home. 7.  After these had been left behind, the rest hastened as quickly as possible. 8.  After Caesar had undertaken the business (Caesar, the business having been undertaken), he was unwilling to delay longer.[3]

    [Footnote 2:  Would the ablative absolute be correct here?]

    [Footnote 3:  Not longius\.  Why?]



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Latin for Beginners from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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