Latin/Prepositions

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Salvēte omnēs! Welcome back to Latin for Wikiversity. Here you can peruse a new lesson in Latin, in a simple format. If you would like to catch up, you can find a directory of lessons, a classified vocabulary list, and Memrise courses at the links on the right.

New grammar[edit | edit source]

Prepositions in Latin must be used with one of two cases; the accusative or the ablative. Most prepositions “govern” only one case, a few such as “in” can take either, but with a change of meaning. “In” with the accusative means into, onto, against... it has the idea of forward motion, whereas “in” with the ablative denotes simply position, in or on. “Sub” can also take both cases. It’s also helpful to remember that expressions that in English require a prepositional phrase may be handled in Latin with no preposition. For example, the dative case is used to show indirect objects, or “to/for” expressions, and the ablative case is used to express means, manner, place, or time, and frequently without a preposition. We’ll explore ablative uses more in a future lesson. Following is a list of prepositions for this lesson, with the new ones in bold.

Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
Prepositions with accusative
ad to, near, toward, at
ante before, in front of
apud at, by, near, among Alternative forms: apor, aput
circum around
contrā   against
extrā outside of, beyond
in into, onto, against
inter between, among; during, while The term 'interim' is a derived one.
ob in the way of, against, on account of
per through
post after, behind


prope near
propter on account of, because of
sub under, underneath With verbs of motion
super over, above, on top of Sometimes with abl.
trāns   across
Latin English Audio (Classical) Notes
Prepositions with ablative
ab / ā     away from, from, by
Expressing agency
abante from before
cōram in the presence of, before
cum with
Expressing accompaniment
  concerning, about, from, down from
ex / ē     out of, from
in in, on
palam openly in the presence of someone; openly before someone
prae before, in front of, because of
prō   on behalf of, for, before, in front of, in place of
sine without
sub under, beneath, underneath, below

New Sentences[edit | edit source]

Latin English Notes
Fēlēs sub arbore dormit. The cat sleeps under the tree.
Fēlēs sub arborem currit. The cat runs under the tree.
Canis trāns viam currit. The dog runs across the road.
Canis per agrum ambulat. The dog walks through the field.
Dē librō per diārium audītis. You hear about the book through the newspaper.
Casam ad flūmen habēmus. We have a cottage near/at the river.
Mārcus ad magistrum ambulat. Marcus walks to/toward the teacher.
Mārcus ā magistrō ambulat. Marcus walks away from the teacher. a before consonants  
Mārcus ab hominibus ambulat. Marcus walks away from the men. ab before vowels and h, which is treated as silent
Vir ex aquā venit. A man comes out of the water. ex before vowels
Nāvis ē portū navigat. The ship sails out of the harbor. e before consonants, sometimes
Ex silvīs veniunt. They come out of the forest. but not consistently as ab/a  
Puer dē fenestrā cadit. The boy falls down from the window.
Gāius cum Mārcō ambulat. Gaius walks with Marcus.
Gāius cum Mārcō pugnat. Gaius fights with Marcus. They fight each other, as opponents, as well as being in the same physical space
Gāius gladiō pugnat. Gaius fights with a sword. Ablative with no preposition is used to express means/instrument
Gāius et Mārcus propter fēminam pugnant. Gaius and Marcus are fighting because of a woman.
Gāius contrā hostem pugnat. Gaius fights against the enemy.
Gāius et Mārcus impetum in hostēs faciunt. Gaius and Marcus make an attack against/on the enemy.
Mārcus prō rēge pugnat. Marcus fights on behalf of the king.
Lūcia in aquā stat. Lucia stands in the water.
Paula in aquam cadit. Paula falls into the water.
Paula aquam dē/ā/ē flūmine portat. Paula carries water from the river.  
Nāvis circum mundum navigat. The ship sails around the world.
Puellae circum mēnsam currunt. The girls run around the table.
Rōmānī super viās antīquās stant. The Romans stand upon the ancient ways ie, do things the old-fashioned way.
Aqua est super caput meum. The water is over my head.
ante merīdiem (a.m.) before noon
post merīdiem (p.m.) after noon
Cūr ante ostium stās? Why are you standing in front of the door?
Post hoc, ergō propter hoc. After this, therefore because of this.
Ante victōriam nē canās triumphum. You should not sing your triumph song before the victory. Latin proverb; i.e., don’t count your chickens before they hatch

Practice[edit | edit source]

Practice and learn the words and phrases in this lesson
Step one First learn the words using this lesson:
Step two Next try learning and writing the sentencing using this:
Note that the Memrise stage covers the content for all lessons in each stage.
If you are skipping previous stages you may need to manually "ignore" the words in previous levels (use the 'select all' function)

Thank you once more for following along with these lessons. In the near future we’ll cover time and numbers. Bonam fortūnam omnibus vōbīs!