"The soldiers destroy the bridge by fire."
Translation:Milites pontem igne delent.
What is the preferred/most common word order here? Should igne appear before the verb, emphasizing their connection, or before the object, emphasizing their connection? I would tend towards the former, which is also suggested by Duo, but I'd like additional information.
According to this page, the ablative of means seems to have a relatively free word order:
Omnibus precibus ōrābant -> Abl, verb
Cum complētus mercātōrum carcer esset -> Abl, Subj, verb
Multae istārum arborum meā manū sunt satae. -> (Subj), Abl, Verb, Compl
Omnia plēna lūctūs et maerōris fuērunt -> Subj, Abl, Verb
Potius oppressa virtūte audācia est -> Compl, Abl, (Subj), Verb
Tōtum montem hominibus complēvit. -> Compl, Abl, Verb
ōllam dēnāriōrum implēre -> Compl, Abl, Verb
Vīta plēna et cōnferta voluptātibus -> Subj, Abl
So, it seems to depend on the emphasis, as the complement of means is particularly prone to be emphasized or not.
In their page, I noticed "ablative of means" in the first place = seems to be the emphasized version,
and "ablative of means" in the middle, sometimes after the complement.
Most of the time it is just before the verb. = I think it's the most common pattern.
(Sometimes the subject comes between the ablative of means and the verb)
The Duo sentence is Milites pontem igne delent -> Subj, Compl, Abl, Verb
According to these examples, the most common order would probably be:
Compl Abl Sub Verb, or Subj, Abl, Verb, Compl.
-Pontem igne milites delent.
- Or Milites igne delent pontem.
The duo's sentence seems to emphasize rather the subject, here.