Heavy Construction

The Allen and Greenough is still under construction; so some links may not work quite the way you would expect.

Ablative of Cause.


The Ablative (with or without a preposition) is used to express Cause: - [1][The cause, in the ablative, is originally source, as is shown by the use of ab, dé, ex; but when the accusative with ad, ob, is used, the idea of cause arises from nearness. Occasionally it is difficult to distinguish between cause and means (which is the old Instrumental case) or circumstance (which is either the Locative or the Instrumental).]

a. The Ablative of Cause without a preposition is used with labóró (also with ex), exsilió, exsultó, triumphó, lacrimó, árdeó: -

For gaudeó and glórior, see § 431.

b. The motive which influences the mind of the person acting is expressed by the ablative of cause; the object exciting the emotion often by ob[2][Originally a mercantile use: cf. ob decem minás, for the price of ten minae.] or propter with the accusative: -

nón ob praedam aut spoliandí cupidine (Tac. H. i. 63), not for booty or through lust of plunder.

amícitia ex sé et propter sé expetenda (Fin. 11.83), friendship must be song of and for itself.

NOTE: But these constructions are often confused: as, - párére légibus propter metum (Par. 34), to obey the laws on account of fear. [Here metum is almost equivalent to ``the terrors of the law,'' and hence propter is used, though the ablative would be more natural.]

c. The ablatives causá and grátiá, for the sake of, are used with a genitive preceding, or with a pronoun in agreement: -

NOTE: But grátiá with possessives in this use is rare.