Bartholomew the Englishman

On the Pelican

Latin Grammar

Ex sanguine vero copiosius sic effuso debiliatatur mater, unde et pulli coguntur exire pro cibo, quorum quidam vero degeneres sunt, de matre penitus nullam curam gerunt, quod diligentius advertens mater, receptis viribus filios se pascentes refovet et diligit, alios vero tanquam ignobiles et ingratos a se reiicit, et secum commanere aut vivere non permittit.

An ablative absolute construction consists of a noun or pronoun in the ablative case and a second word - usually, but not always, a participle - also in the ablative.  This phrase stands grammatically independent of the rest of the sentence, hence the term "absolute." 

An ablative absolute is usually translated either as a relative clause or using the "having been" verb phrase, as a passive participle would suggest: e.g., from the third line of the passage above:  receptis viribus can be rendered as

  • a. strength having been recovered
  • b. when her strength was recovered. 

Either is correct; both say the same thing.

Translate the ablative absolutes below, using either of the two styles of rendering.

1. signo dato

2. litteris acceptis

3. interfecto imperatore

4. ianua aperta

5. his factis

6. fabula narrata

7. navibus deductis

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