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  5. "You make a journey from the …

"You make a journey from the city."

Translation:Ab urbe iter facis.

September 25, 2019



When do you use urbem instead of urbe?

  • ad (to) = urbem
  • in (into) = urbem

  • in (in) = urbe

  • ab (from) = urbe


So never 'ad urbe' nor 'ab urbem'?


Yes, ab takes the ablative form while ad takes the accusative, in can take both cases (but the meaning is different based on the case).


Does one simply memorize "ab (ablative - urbe), ad (accusative - urbem)", or is there a hidden logic to it?


I memorized as when there is movement = urbem, when it's static = urbe.


making a journey = travel?


Ab urbe is obviously a prepositional phrase that functions adjectivally to describe the noun iter. So how come it precedes the noun? I thought one of Latin's very few strict syntax-rules were that adjectives have to succeed their nouns. Are prepositional phrases an exception from that rule, or is it not a rule at all but rather a matter of preference (like SOV)?


I saw meany sentences here with prepositionals in any positions, it's not the first one.

I've checked in Latin texts, I've found "Ab urbe venio", "Ab urbe venit", and every kind of other equivalents, so I don't think there is such a rule.
I think that "Ab urbe" doesn't function as an adjective, but as an adverbial phrase, as in English. (Even in English, you can move it rather freely)

Where did you read it (by curiosity).


I don't remember where exactly but it was in one of the comments in an earlier lecture on Duolingo.

And I'm not yet convinced that "Ab urbe" is an adverbial phrase here. Of course, prepositional phrases can be adverbs, as in "I come from the city", or "I go to the north", where "to the north" is as much an adverb as "northwards"; however, they can also be adjectives in other situations. For example, "The man from Rome eats". There "from Rome" is like an adjective; we could use the actual adjective Roman instead.

Now, in this sentence, I'm not entirely sure about "Ab urbe". We can make a journey, and we can make a journey from the city. I would say "from the city" is an addition to "journey", and "journey from the city" can thus be treated as a unit, i.e. a noun phrase. If I say "The journey from the city took much time", then the journey from the city is the subject. No one took anything from the city, so the prepositional phrase from the city is not a part of the verb phrase but of the noun phrase.

I understand "Ab urbe iter facis" as "You make a journey, which is from the city.", but again, I'm not a Latin expert. Anyway, be it an adjectival phrase or not, I am much more interested in the concept of syntax. Can adjectives and adjectival phrases also be put before their nouns or only after them? Are there other precedents known where adjectives come before nouns?


Why not ab urbe facis iter?


Actually in Latin does not matter. Even though following the pater of SOV is preferable.


I don't think that this shouldn't be accepted, but usually latin verbs go last in a sentence or part of a sentence


Not accepted: please report it.


Is 'iter' still in the nominative here? Should it not be declined in the accusative as 'itinerem', since it's the thing being made?


It is in the accusative.

iter is neuter. The accusative is the same as the nominative.


why not 'ab iter urbe facis'?


You don't separate prepositions from what they go with (at least not normally).


I see that consistently, a preposition + ablative precedes the noun (Ab urbe iter facis.), whereas a preposition + accusative follows the noun (Iter ad urbem facis.). Is there a grammatical rationale for this?

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