Bartholomew the Englishman

On the Rainbow

Latin Grammar: Ablatives

Sicut etiam Solis facit indicium, quia in qua parte caeli sit Sol sua praesentia indicat, quia nunquam est in eadem parte caeli cum Sole, sed semper ex adverso. Sole enim existente in oriente, apparet arcus in occidente, et econverso, Sole existente in meridie, apparet arcus in septentrione. In parte autem australi sive meridionali nunquam apparet, sicut dicit Beda.

The Ablative case is commonly used in Latin in a variety of ways. Thorough understanding and recognition of its uses is essential to comprehension of Latin.

View case endings by declension

The ablative can be used in the ablative absolute construction to indicate something about the circumstances surrounding a sentence.

For instance, the sentence sole oriente, iris apparet contains the ablative absolute sole oriente would be translated into English as

  • "With the sun rising, a rainbow appears"
  • "When the sun rises, a rainbow appears"
  • "A rainbow appears because the sun rises"

Type in the two phrases that begin with ablative absolutes from this passage:


Supply the verb portion of the ablative absolute to complete the phrases (see the vocabulary list at the bottom for help).

3. Sole , iris aborta est.

4. Sole , urbs gaudet.

5. Sole , equus nictat.

Sole in occidente parte caeli, est iris in oriente.

Make this exercise printable

The following vocabulary words might be useful:

aborior, -iri, abortus sum: to set, disappear
radio, -are, -avi, -atus: to shine
gaudeo, -ere, gavisus sum: to rejoice
nicto, -are, -avi, -atus: to blink
lucidus, -a, -um: bright