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Preposition/prepositional phrase and the ablative case

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Preposition/prepositional phrase and the ablative case

Postby dlb » Sat May 31, 2008 7:22 pm

All,
A general grammar question:
If I see a prepositon &/or a prepositional phrase will it's presence automatically dictate the ablative case?
Thanks,
dlb
.
Deus me ducet, non ratio.
Observito Quam Educatio Melius Est.
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Re: Preposition/prepositional phrase and the ablative case

Postby annis » Sat May 31, 2008 8:23 pm

dlb wrote:If I see a prepositon &/or a prepositional phrase will it's presence automatically dictate the ablative case?


I'm afraid not. Different prepositions will take different cases, and a great many prepositions use different cases for different shades of meaning.
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Postby benissimus » Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:57 am

Most prepositions will go strictly with ablative or strictly with the accusative, but a few will take either case as Mr Annis said. A few pseudo-prepositions will even take the genitive, but this is a much rarer occurrence. I wouldn't worry about a preposition taking any other case than accusative and ablative until you run into it (which won't be for a long time), which makes things a lot easier than if you were just starting Greek!

Prepositions that express something stationary, like location, usually take the ablative. Prepositions that express motion, provided that it is motion away, also take the ablative (in fact this is the original use of the ablative, and sometimes does not require a preposition at all). Some examples of prepositions in this category would be in, de, ex, and ab.

Prepositions that express motion towards usually take the accusative. Some prepositions that have no obvious relation to motion, but express an inter-relationship between several things also take the accusative. Some examples are ad, in (here "into"), contra, inter, and trans (these last two usually express relationships, not motion).

The best way to know the case a preposition takes is just by memorizing it, or better still, by experience in reading/writing with it. Over time, it will make sense why each preposition governs its particular cases.
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Postby dlb » Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:47 pm

benissimus wrote:I wouldn't worry about a preposition taking any other case than accusative and ablative until you run into it (which won't be for a long time), which makes things a lot easier than if you were just starting Greek!


At the rate I am going I may never hit the above case, no pun intended!
Prepositions that express something stationary, like location, usually take the ablative. Prepositions that express motion, provided that it is motion away, also take the ablative (in fact this is the original use of the ablative, and sometimes does not require a preposition at all). Some examples of prepositions in this category would be in, de, ex, and ab.

Prepositions that express motion towards usually take the accusative. Some prepositions that have no obvious relation to motion, but express an inter-relationship between several things also take the accusative. Some examples are ad, in (here "into"), contra, inter, and trans (these last two usually express relationships, not motion).


Thanks for the response. That is helpful info. I realized this a.m. that there are 'prepositional clues' associated w/ other than ablative cases, such as 'of' for the genitive.
Thanks again,
dlb
.
Deus me ducet, non ratio.
Observito Quam Educatio Melius Est.
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