"The students write in school."
Translation:Discipuli in ludo scribunt.
In ludo? I know we’ve done in urbe, but I’m not sure if the ablative has been in the notes yet.
Also, this exercise accepted discipulae, but I was marked wrong for using "discipula" as a translation for "student" in the earlier picture question. No option to report (admittedly the silhouette had no hair and sticky out ears..)
If it was in an earlier question, please use the report button next time you meet the question not accepting "student" for "discipula".
When you have no option to report, fill a bug report (given above by our mod) or post on the troubleshouting section.
But it can be from the context, sometimes they expect "female student" for "discipula".
I am totally confused about the Accusative case and although I get a lot right it is because I have either used the cursor to hover and tell me or guessed correctly. Can anyone advise me of a definitive rule please. For instance why was ludo in this translation not ludum? Perhaps I am being totally thick, but I do have the tips printed out in front of me and still it does not make sense.
Anyone who knows better, please feel free to come in and correct me if I'm wrong, but, to the best of my understanding, this is the explanation you're looking for:
"In ludo" (in school) is ascribing a location where an action (ie, verb) takes place. If the ascribed location is a city, a town, a small island, home, or a very small handful of other predefined locations, then it takes the locative case. However, if the ascribed location is anywhere else, then it takes the ablative case.
The locative and this usage of the ablative both answer the question, "where does this event occur?" The ablative case does a few other things as well, I think, but we'll just put a pin in that for now. The ablative case form of ludus is ludo.
In linguistics, the ablative case can be generalized as being equivalent to "from" or "away from". So, when you say, "Discipuli in ludo scribunt", you're literally saying something along the lines of "The students write from in school," similar to how you might say in English, "He works from home".
The accusative can also be used to mark locations that don't get marked by the locative, much like the ablative does. However, when the accusative is used for this purpose, it expresses movement to the location from another location, while the ablative expresses a more static position within the location. So "in ludo" (ablative) means "from in school", whereas "in ludum" (accusative) means "into [the] school".
"Ludum" is the accusative case form. The accusative case is generally used to mark direct objects in active sentences. Passive sentences, by contrast, effectively elevate the accusative to a nominative position, but that's a whole other thing, so we'll just put a pin in that for now too. If you'd like me to elaborate more on what a passive sentence is, then just ask, and I'd be happy to.
More to the point, a direct object is the thing which is "verbed". It answers the question, "who or what did/does/will the subject verb"? Practical examples of this question can be found below. It's not as complicated as it sounds here in this variable format, I promise.
In this case, the verb is "write". So, therefore, something in the accusative case would be answering the question "what did the students write?" If we use the accusative case form in this sentence instead of the ablative, then "in ludum" would be answering the question thusly: "What did the students write? In school." This only makes sense if "in school" is literally the phrase written by the students.
Now, I don't know for certain if the accusative would actually be used by Latin in this particular example (to denote what the students literally physically wrote). It might use a wholly separate clause or something instead (like, "'In school' (nom.) is what the students wrote" as opposed to "the students wrote 'in school' (acc.)"). However, this is at least the theory behind the accusative case and how it generally works.
Some more examples:
I threw the ball for the dog. -> Verb = throw -> What did I throw? -> The ball
I had dinner with my family. -> Verb = had -> What did I have? -> Dinner
He gave the necklace to his wife. -> Verb = gave -> What did he give? -> The necklace
The delinquent wrote graffiti on the wall. -> Verb = wrote -> What did the delinquent write? -> graffiti
We read a book in class. -> Verb = read -> What did we read? -> A book
The wrestler clotheslined the referee. -> Verb = clotheslined -> Who did the wrestler clothesline? -> The referee
Angela lost her phone. -> Verb = lost -> What did Angela lose? -> Her phone
These examples are all isolating that which would be in the accusative case if English still had its case system outside of pronouns. However, English at least does still have a case system in its pronouns, so I'll demonstrate just a few more examples here using English pronouns that are actually in the accusative case proper:
She saw me. -> Verb = saw -> Who did she see? -> Me (as opposed to nominative "I")
The ornery cat attacked us. -> Verb = attacked -> Who did the ornery cat attack? -> Us (as opposed to nominative "we")
His date slapped him. -> Verb = slapped -> Who did his date slap? -> Him (as opposed to nominative "he")
My dog bit her. -> Verb = bit -> Who did my dog bite? -> Her (as opposed to nominative "she")
The bouncer threw them out. -> Verb = threw out -> Who did the bouncer throw out? -> Them (as opposed to nominative "they")
As a general rule, if you can replace something with "I/we/he/she/they" and still have it make sense, then it's nominative; if you can replace something with "me/us/him/her/them" and still have it make sense, then it's accusative. Though be careful with this pronoun replacement test — English can do some funny and unusual things with pronouns sometimes, so that won't carry over in 100% of cases. English also doesn't make a distinction between accusative and dative, even in its pronouns (with one dying exception: who (nom./acc.) vs whom (dat.)). Therefore, it's better to answer the question, "Who or what did/does/will the subject verb", as per the questions being posed and answered in the examples above.
It's also important not to confuse the accusative with the dative. If an action is performed TO or FOR someone or something, then that someone or something is dative. For example, in the sentence "I threw the ball for the dog", or in the sentence "He gave the necklace to his wife", the phrases "for the dog" and "to his wife", respectively, are dative.
Some tricky verbs to look out for that have dative objects which often get confused for accusative objects are give, talk/speak, say, and go. "Give" and "say" can be what are called "ditransitive verbs". This means they will have a direct (accusative) object and an indirect (dative) object. Sometimes, however, they can be just transitive (that means they take only a direct (accusative) object).
"I gave it (acc.) to her (dat.)."
"Give it (acc.)!"
"He said that (acc.) to me (dat.)."
"She said hello (acc.)."
"Talk/speak" and "go", on the other hand (as long as "go" is being used in a literal locomotive sense, and not idiomatically), take only an indirect (dative) object. Don't let these throw you.
"I spoke to her (dat.)."
"I will go to the other side (dat.)."
Even if there is no preposition, as in "I will go home", it's still dative. In this sentence, there is no answer to the question, "What will I go?" That question makes no sense because there is no accusative in the sentence, so that question is invalid, unless you're using "go" idiomatically, as in "I will go apeshit if this lengthy-ass explanation drags on much longer." But I'd bet five dollars that you probably can't use "go" in this particular idiomatic fashion in Latin anyway, so that doesn't exactly matter for the context of Latin. lol. Although, in the context of English (putting a pin in the fact that English doesn't have cases proper outside of pronouns), one could probably make an argument that "go apeshit" is using an accusative or a translative construction. But I digress.
The dative typically answers the question "To or for whom or what or where did/does/will the subject verb?" The word "whom" is actually the last remnant of the dative case left in English, being the only pronoun to still distinguish the dative case, which is why so many people don't know how to properly use this word, and it will very likely soon be considered wholly archaic. Some people would probably already say that it's wholly archaic now.
Some more examples:
I threw the ball for the dog. -> Verb = throw -> For whom did I throw? -> The dog.
The man gave the necklace to his wife. -> Verb = gave -> To whom did the man give? -> His wife.
I will go home. -> Verb = go -> To where will I go? -> Home.
She spoke with me about it. -> Verb = spoke -> To whom did she speak? -> Me.
I looked to the horizon. -> Verb = looked -> To where did I look? -> The horizon.
These examples are all isolating that which would be in the dative case if English still had its case system outside of pronouns. However, even within pronouns, English still doesn't actually distinguish the dative anymore, except for, as mentioned above, the pronoun "who" (dative: "whom"), and even that is wildly misused and misunderstood today.
Important note: I'm using English examples here because I'm trying to teach you the theory behind the concepts of accusative, dative, and ablative. Actual mileage may vary from one language to the next, including Latin. For example, in German, the "to where" element of the dative case is, in fact, covered by the dative case. However, some other languages might use a locative case, or even some other case altogether–like the lative case–for this purpose. Finnish, for example, uses a lative case for this purpose. However, to my understanding, it's marginal there, much like how the locative case is marginal in Latin. It's all in how the language in question chooses to conceptualize any given idea. Conceptualization plays an enormous role in how a language expresses a thought, and conceptualization can and will differ wildly from one language to the next.
Why is Ludo in the dative case here? The sentence doesn't read 'The students write for school' but 'in' school. Wouldnt that make it the object of the sentence being 'where the students write'? So 'Discipuli in Ludum scribunt'?
Or is it supposed to be in ablative? at which point, if it were in ablative is the 'in' not redundant and should read 'Discipuli ludo scribunt' which would translate to 'The students write in the school.' Can someone clear this up?