William of Ockham

On Sin and Virtue

Latin Grammar: Agency with Passive Verbs

...tum quia omnis actus potest fieri a solo Deo, et per consequens non est necessario virtuosus, quia talis actus non est in potestate voluntatis.

After passive verbs, personal agency is expressed by an ablative of agent which is governed by the preposition a or ab. This is similar to the ablative of instrument which is not governed by a preposition but, when personal agency is involved, a preposition is required. Translate the following English sentences into Latin to practice used the ablative of agent. Pay attention to the possibility of using an ablative of instrument rather than an ablative of agent.

1. He was summoned by the king.
2. He was praised by his mother.
3. He is blamed by those followers.
4. He was slain by sword.
5. He was slain by the enemy.
6. He is driven by ambition.

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