Are the examples that you give in the same phrase? I don’t recall the word ship so early in the book.
Anyway you can’t know the case in which a given noun is without knowing the entire phrase (except maybe Genitive).
Let me try to explain with an example:
The boy of Marcus gives a ship to the girl.
In this case “boy” would be in the Nom as is the person/thing that executes the action described by the verb.
“Marcus” would be in the Genitive as it is saying that something belongs to Marcus
“a ship” (it could be “the ship” or just “ship” as Latin doesn’t make that distinctions) would be in the Accusative as it is what is given (direct object).
“girl” would be in the Dative as it is the indirect object. She isn’t the thing/person that is given so she isn’t the direct object but, nevertheless, she is affected by the action as the indirect object by, in this situation, receiving the ship.
The Ablative, well it is a little more complicated case to explain, but for beginning you can think of it every time you would use in English the prepositions “with, by, from, down from, at, in” before a noun. There will be later in the book better explanations for that case but as you will see the Ablative case is alien to English (and to Portuguese also). I know I didn’t helped much here, as what I did said is almost the same that the book says, but later in the book the Ablative concept will be better explored.
Did these informations help you? I did answer remembering what were the difficulties I did have at this point in the book, but I don’t know if they are the same that you have.
Last edited by Andrus
on Wed Jun 08, 2005 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.