Wheelock, chapter 23 wrote:The present participle has -ī in the ablative singulae when used strictly as an attributive adjective (ā patre amantī, by the loving father) but -e when it functions verbally (e.g., with an object, patre fīlium amante, with the father loving his son) or as a substantive (ab amante, by a lover).
furrykef wrote:Perhaps a better term would be 'adjectival', but yes: the ablative is always -ī for third-declension adjectives and -e for third-declension nouns (including adjectives behaving as nouns), and this applies to the present participle as well. (This applies only to the present participle, though. Future and past participle are first/second declension rather than third, and follow the normal rules.)
With the ablative absolute, -e is used: "Caesare dūcente, vīcimus." -- "With Caesar leading, we conquered."
As an annoying exception, comparative adjectives always take -e too (longus = long, longior = longer, abl. longiōre).
furrykef wrote:The "ā patre amantī" seems to be equivalent to Orberg's "ā puerō dormiente". I'm not clear why there's the discrepancy... either one of the two is mistaken, or maybe the usage varied depending on time period or region.
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