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  5. "The young man wants to desce…

"The young man wants to descend from the altar."

Translation:De ara iuvenis descendere vult.

November 1, 2019



De ara descendere is nice; how about ex ara descendere, as well?

Word-order shouldn't matter here: starting with the prepositional phrase, or with the subject, should be immaterial.


Agreed, I tried “ab ara descendere” which wasn’t accepted either.


Ex means out of, which is not the meaning desired in this instance. Ab simply means away from, so ab ara descendere would suggest that perhaps the young man is beside an altar on top of a hill and wants to go down the hill, not off the altar.

bas sake buxbeze sabeDev


But there are phrases like ex equo delabi (to fall off a horse, Livy), in which the person is surely no more 'inside' the horse than the putative young man is 'inside' the Duolingo altar.

There are some phrases in the OLD that are said to illustrate the meaning "from the surface of, from off" and "down from": including, in Ovid's Metamorphoses (1.261) "ex omni nimbos demittere caelo" (to send down clouds from the whole sky); note the combination of prep. ex even with a verb compounded with de- . And Cicero has a sentence about someone hurling himself ex the highest wall ( se ex altissimo praecipitasse muro). Looking under ab, there do seem to be instances of ab + places with the meaning of "away from."


Very well; I stand corrected. Go easy on me - I've never had a teacher and my best resource is a textbook that is over a hundred years old, so until I progress to the parts where it introduces additional meanings for words, I cannot expect to even know they exist.


No need for that! And I'm sure that little is better than "a textbook that is over a hundred years old," and I would advise you to keep working with that valuable resource!!


Thankyou for that advice! I was beginning to wonder whether I should get rid of that book. :)

  • 2075

"iuvenis descendere de ara vult" - sounds rather better actually; it is not accepted.

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