Heavy Construction

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


The Ablative Absolute often takes the place of a Subordinate Clause.

Thus it may replace -

1. A Temporal Clause (§541 if.):

2. A Causal Clause (§540):

3. A Concessive Clause (§527):

4. A Conditional Clause (§521):

5. A Clause of Accompanying Circumstance :

NOTE: As the English Nominative Absolute is far less common than the Ablative Absolute in Latin, a change of form is generally required in translation. Thus the present participle is oftenest to be rendered in English by a relative clause with when or while; and the perfect passive participle by the perfect active participle. These changes may be seen in the following example: -

o .333333em plus8pt minus2pt At illí, intermissó spatió, imprúdentibus nostrís atque occupatís in múnítióne castrórum, subitó sé ex silvís éiécerunt; impetúque in eós factó quí erant in statióne pró castrís conlocátí, ácriter púgnávérunt; duábusqus missís subsidió cohortibus á Caesare, cum hae (perexiguó intermissó locí spatió inter sé) cónstitissent, novó genere púgnae perterritís nostrís, per mediós audácissimé perrúpérunt séque inde incolumís recépérunt.

- CAESAR, B. G. v.15.

=.333333em plus8pt minus2pt But they, having paused a space, while our men were unaware and busied in fortifying the camp, suddenly threw them selves out of the woods; then, making an attack upon those who were on guard in front of the camp, they fought fiercely and, though two cohorts had been sent by c*ar as reinforcements, after these had taken their position (leaving very little space of ground between them), as our men were alarmed by the strange kind of fighting, they dashed most daringly through the midst of them and got off safe.

For the Ablative with Prepositions, see §220.