"I arrive at the house at night."
Translation:Ad villam noctu advenio.
"At night" is a point in time; to express a point in time, Latin usually uses the ablative case alone (without a preposition): nocte "at night" (abl. of nox, noctis, f., night); prīmā lūce "at dawn" (abl. of prīma lūx, first light/dawn); tertiā hōrā "at the third hour" (abl. of tertia hōra, third hour); decimō annō "in the 10th year" (abl. of decimus annus, the 10th year), and so forth.
Apparently, Latin developed an adverb noctū meaning "at night" (as a counterpart to diū in its meaning of "in the daytime").
Prepositions (like ad , which means "motion to/towards" and "for (a purpose)") are not used with the ablative of time, or with adverbs like noctū.
Also, you can't use vīllam without a preposition, since adveniō is intransitive.
(Or were you just experimenting with word order--moving the ad away from vīllam and putting it in front of noctū? I've seen separation between ad and its object, but only if there's a meaningful reason, like a genitive case that belongs to the object: ad amīcī vīllam , to the house of a friend, for example. I don't think word-order gets shifted around for no reason.)
Nocte is also an adverb. I don't think that adverbs are at the ablative form, they are invariable.
Noctu and nocte are both adverbs, and they mean the same, they are simply variants of each other. It was given this way in dictionaries.
The "nocte" as an ablative for "nox", is something else.
"Nocte" is the ablative of nox, noctis, f., night. It's in the ablative, because that's the case used for "point in time." So, nocte means "at night," and illā nocte would mean "that night." Other examples are, for example, prīmā lūce, "at first light" or "at dawn"; quīntā hōrā, "at the fifth hour"; aestāte, "in summer," and so on.
Domum (at least usually) doesn't need the standard prepositions (for TO it, FROM it, AT/IN it).
Like the names of cities, towns, and small islands, and another special noun (rūs, rūris, n., country estate, countryside), it simply uses case forms without the prepositions:
ad vīllam, to the country house, but: domum (TO) home, homeward
ē vīllā, from the country house, but: domō FROM home
in vīllā, in the country house, but: domī AT home.
According to the Allen & Greenough Latin grammar, using ad with one of the special words (like domus ) means "to the vicinity of," whereas the accusative domum is an "accusative of the end of motion" analogous to English "home," which (also) needs no preposition, although we go to other places (to school, to the store, to the office, etc.).
When you say "to the house", are you talking exclusively about motion towards (which will always be accusative, in Latin), or do you mean something that includes the dative case?
If something is "similar to the house," you could have the adjective similis, is, e plus dative (domuī is the usual dative singular of the 4th declension, but it also sometimes appears as domū ).
When you say "to the house", are you talking exclusively about motion towards
I was asking about "motion towards", as in "I am going to the house" or "I am going to a house" -- when the house might not be my own home.
German distinguishes these as nach Hause "home(wards)" versus zum Haus "to the house" and I'm wondering whether Latin does the same or whether it's always domum, regardless of whether you're returning home or just going to any old house.
Thank you, that's very clear.
From what I see in Allen & Greenough, it should be domum , no matter whose house it is (they gave examples of domum + a genitive of possession, to indicate whose house, as in domum rēgis , "to the king's house," and so forth).
I will say that I have occasionally seen ad + domum in "textbook" Latin, and have wondered what their source for this (if any!) was; but that's obviously not to be relied upon.
Someone who's familiar with Cicero's letters could perhaps be helpful here... !