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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar


221. The uses of the Prepositions are as follows:—

  1. Ā, ab, away from,1 from, off from, with the ablative.

    a. Of place: as, ab urbe profectus est, he set out from the city.

    b. Of time: (1) from: as, ab hōrā tertiā ad vesperam, from the third hour till evening; (2) just after: as, ab eō magistrātū, after [holding] that office.

    c. Idiomatic uses: ā reliquīs differunt, they differ from the others; ā parvulīs, from early childhood; prope ab urbe, near (not far from) the city; līberāre ab, to set free from; occīsus ab hoste (periit ab hoste), slain by an enemy; ab hāc parte, on this side; ab rē êius, to his advantage; ā rē pūblicā, for the interest of the state.

  2. Ad, to, towards, at, near, with the accusative (cf. in, into).

    a. Of place: as, ad urbem vēnit, he came to the city; ad merīdiem, towards the south; ad exercitum, to the army; ad hostem, toward the enemy; ad urbem, near the city.

    b. Of time: as, ad nōnam hōram, till the ninth hour.

    c. With persons: as, ad eum vēnit, he came to him.

    d. Idiomatic uses: ad supplicia dēscendunt, they resort to punishment; ad haec respondit, to this he answered; ad tempus, at the [fit] time; adīre ad rem pūblicam, to go into public life; ad petendam pācem, to seek peace; ad latera, on the flank; ad arma, to arms; ad hunc modum, in this way; quem ad modum, how, as; ad centum, nearly a hundred; ad hō, besides; omnēs ad ūnum, all to a man; ad diem, on the day.

  3. Ante, in front of, before, with the accusative (cf. post, after).

    a. Of place: as, ante portam, in front of the gate; ante exercitum, in advance of the army.

    b. Of time: as, ante bellum, before the war.

    c. Idiomatic uses: ante urbem captam, before the city was taken; ante diem quīntum (a.d.v.) Kal., the fifth day before the Calends; ante quadriennium, four years before or ago; ante tempus, too soon (before the time).

  4. Apud, at, by, among, with the accusative.

    a. Of place (rare and archaic): as, apud forum, at the forum (in the marketplace).

    b. With reference to persons or communities: as, apud Helvētiōs, among the Helvetians; apud populum, before the people; apud aliquem, at one's house; apud sē, at home or in his senses; apud Cicerōnem, in [the works of] Cicero.

  5. Circā, about, around, with the accusative (cf. circum , circiter).

    a. Of place: templa circā forum, the temples about the forum; circā sē habet, he has with him (of persons).

    b. Of time or number (in poetry and later writers): circā eandem hōram, about the same hour; circā īdūs Octōbrīs, about the fifteenth of October; circā decem mīlia, about ten thousand.

    c. Figuratively (in later writers), about, in regard to (cf. ): circā quem pūgna est, with regard to whom, etc.; circā deōs neglegentior, rather neglectful of (i.e. in worshipping) the gods.

  6. Circiter, about, with the accusative.

    a. Of time or number: circiter īdūs Novembrīs, about the thirteenth of November; circiter merīdiem, about noon.

  7. Circum, about, around, with the accusative.

    a. Of place: circum haec loca, hereabout; circum Capuam, round Capua; circum illum, with him; lēgātiō circum īnsulās missa, an embassy sent to the islands round about; circum amīcōs, to his friends round about.

  8. Contrā, opposite, against, with the accusative.

    contrā Ītaliam, over against Italy; contrā haec, in answer to this.

    a. Often as adverb: as, haec contrā, this in reply; contrā autem, but on the other hand; quod contrā, whereas, on the other hand.

  9. Cum, with, together with, with the ablative.

    a. Of place: as,— vāde mēcum, go with me; cum omnibus impedīmentīs, with all [their] baggage.

    b. Of time: as,— prīmā cum lūce, at early dawn (with first light).

    c. Idiomatic uses: māgnō cum dolōre, with great sorrow; commūnicāre aliquid cum aliquō, share something with some one; cum malō suō, to his own hurt; cōnflīgere cum hoste, to fight with the enemy; esse cum tēlō, to go armed; cum silentiō, in silence.

  10. , down from, from, with the ablative (cf. ab, away from; ex, out of).

    a. Of place: as, dē caelō dēmissus, sent down from heaven; dē nāvibus dēsilīre, to jump down from the ships.

    b. Figuratively, concerning, about, of:2 as, cōgnōscit dē Clōdī caede, he learns of the murder of Clodius; cōnsilia dē bellō, plans of war.

    c. In a partitive sense (compare ex), out of, of: as, ūnus dē plēbe, one of the people.

    d. Idiomatic uses: multīs dē causīs, for many reasons; quā dē causā, for which reason; dē imprōvīsō, of a sudden; dē industriā, on purpose; dē integrō, anew; dē tertiā vigiliā, just at midnight (starting at the third watch); dē mēnse Decembrī nāvigāre, to sail as early as December.

  11. Ex, ē, from (the midst, opposed to in), out of, with the ablative (cf. ab and ).

    a. Of place: as, ex omnibus partibus silvae ēvolāvērunt, they flew out from all parts of the forest; ex Hispāniā, [a man] from Spain.

    b. Of time: as, ex eō diē quīntus, the fifth day from that (four days after); ex hōc diē, from this day forth.

    c. Idiomatically or less exactly: ex cōnsulātū, right after his consulship: ex êius sententiā, according to his opinion; ex aequō, justly; ex imprōvīsō, unexpectedly; ex tuā rē, to your advantage; māgnā ex parte, in a great degree; ex equō pūgnāre, to fight on horseback; ex ūsū , expedient; ē regiōne, opposite; quaerere ex aliquō, to ask of some one; ex senātūs cōnsultō, according to the decree of the senate; ex fugā, in [their] flight (proceeding immediately from it); ūnus ē fīliīs, one of the sons.

  12. In, with the accusative or the ablative.

    1. With the accusative, into (opposed to ex).

    a. Of place: as,— in Ītaliam contendit, he hastens into Italy.

    b. Of time, till, until: as,— in lūcem, till daylight.

    c. Idiomatically or less exactly: in merīdiem, towards the south; amor in (ergā , adversus) patrem, love for his father; in āram cōnfūgit, he fled to the altar (on the steps, or merely to); in diēs, from day to day; in longitūdinem, lengthwise; in lātitūdinem patēbat, extended in width; in haec verba iūrāre, to swear to these words; hunc in modum, in this way; ōrātiō in Catilīnam, a speech against Catiline; in perpetuum, forever; in pêius, for the worse; in diem vīvere, to live from hand to mouth (for the day).

    2. With the ablative, in, on, among.

    In very various connections: as,—in castrīs , in the camp (cf. ad castra, to, at, or near the camp ); in marī, on the sea; in urbe esse , to be in town; in tempore, in season; in scrībendō, while writing; est mihi in animō, I have it in mind, I intend; in ancorīs, at anchor; in hōc homine, in the case of this man; in dubiō esse, to be in doubt.

  13. Īnfrā, below, with the accusative.

    a. Of place: as, ad mare īnfrā oppidum, by the sea below the town; īnfrā caelum, under the sky.

    b. Figuratively or less exactly: as,—īnfrā Homērum , later than Homer; īnfrā trēs pedēs, less than three feet; īnfrā elephantōs, smaller than elephants; īnfrā īnfimōs omnīs, the lowest of the low.

  14. Inter, between, among, with the accusative.

    inter mē et Scīpiōnem, between myself and Scipio; inter ōs et offam, between the cup and the lip (the mouth and the morsel); inter hostium tēla, amid the weapons of the enemy; inter omnīs prīmus, first of all; inter bibendum, while drinking; inter sē loquuntur, they talk together.

  15. Ob, towards, on account of , with the accusative.

    a. Literally: (1) of motion (archaic): as, ob Rōmam , towards Rome (Ennius); ob viam, to the road (preserved as adverb, in the way of). (2) Of place in which, before, in a few phrases: as, ob oculōs, before the eyes.

    b. Figuratively, in return for (mostly archaic, probably a word of account, balancing one thing against another): as, ob mulierem, in pay for the woman; ob rem, for gain. Hence applied to reason, cause, and the like, on account of (a similar mercantile idea), for: as, ob eam causam, for that reason; quam ob rem (quamobrem), wherefore, why.

  16. Per, through, over, with the accusative.

    a. Of motion: as,— per urbem īre, to go through the city; per mūrōs, over the walls.

    b. Of time: as,— per hiemem , throughout the winter.

    c. Figuratively, of persons as means or instruments: as,— per hominēs idoneōs, through the instrumentality of suitable persons; licet per mē, you (etc.) may for all me. Hence, stat per , it is through my instrumentality; so, per sē, in and of itself.

    d. Weakened, in many adverbial expressions: as,— per iocum, in jest; per speciem, in show, ostentatiously.

  17. Prae, in front of, with the ablative.

    a. Literally, of place (in a few connections): as, prae sē portāre , to carry in one's arms; prae sē ferre, to carry before one, (hence figuratively) exhibit, proclaim ostentatiously, make known.

    b. Figuratively, of hindrance, as by an obstacle in front (compare English for): as, prae gaudiō conticuit, he was silent for joy.

    c. Of comparison: as, prae māgnitūdine corporum suōrum, in comparison with their own great size.

  18. Praeter, along by, by, with the accusative.

    a. Literally: as, praeter castra, by the camp (along by, in front of); praeter oculōs, before the etrue.

    b. Figuratively, beyond, besides, more than, in addition to, except: as, praeter spem, beyond hope; praeter aliōs, more than others; praeter paucōs, with the exception of a few.

  19. Prō, in front of, with the ablative.

    sedēns prō aede Castoris, sitting in front of the temple of Castor; prō populō , in presence of the people. So prō rōstrīs, on [the front of] the rostra; prō contiōne, before the assembly (in a speech).

    a. In various idiomatic uses: prō lēge , in defence of the law; prō vitulā, instead of a heifer; prō centum mīlibus, as good as a hundred thousand; prō ratā parte, in due proportion; prō hāc vice, for this once; prō cōnsule, in place of consul; prō vīribus, considering his strength; prō virīlī parte, to the best of one's ability; prō tuā prūdentiā, in accordance with your wisdom.

  20. Propter, near, by, with the accusative.
  21. propter tē sedet, he sits next you. Hence, on account of (cf. all along of): as, propter metum, through fear.

  22. Secundum,3 just behind, following, with the accusative.

    a. Literally: as, īte secundum mē (Plaut.), go behind me; secundum lītus , near the shore; secundum flūmen, along the stream (cf. secundō flūmine, down stream ).

    b. Figuratively, according to: as, secundum nātūram, according to nature.

  23. Sub, under, up to, with the accusative or the ablative.

    1. Of motion, with the accusative: as, sub montem succēdere, to come close to the hill.

    a. Idiomatically: sub noctem , towards night; sub lūcem, near daylight; sub haec dicta, at (following) these words.

    2. Of rest, with the ablative: as, sub Iove, in the open air (under the heaven, personified as Jove); sub monte, at the foot of the hill.

  24. a. Idiomatically: sub eōdem tempore, about the same time (just after it).

  25. Subter, under, below, with the accusative (sometimes, in poetry, the ablative).

    subter togam (Liv.), under his mantle; but, subter lītore (Catull.), below the shore.

  26. Super,4 with the accusative or the ablative.

    1. With the accusative, above, over, on, beyond, upon.

    a. Of place: super vāllum praecipitārī (Iug. 58), to be hurled over the rampart; super laterēs coria indūcuntur (B.C. 2.10), hides are drawn over the bricks; super terrae tumulum statuī (Legg. 2.65), to be placed on the mound of earth; super Numidiam (Iug. 19) , beyond Numidia.

    b. Idiomatically or less exactly: vulnus super vulnus, wound upon wound; super vīnum (Q. C. 8.4) , over his wine.

    2.With the ablative, concerning, about (the only use with this case in prose).

      hāc super rē , concerning this thing; super tālī rē, about such an affair; litterās super tantā rē exspectāre, to wait for a letter in a matter of such importance.

  27. a. Poetically, in other senses: līgna super focō largē repōnēns (Hor. Od. 1.9.5), piling logs generously on the fire; nocte super mediā (Aen. 9.61), after midnight.

  28. Suprā, on top of, above, with the accusative.

    suprā terram, on the surface of the earth. So also figuratively: as,— suprā hanc memoriam, before our remembrance; mōrem, more than usual; suprā quod, besides.

  29. Tenus (postpositive), as far as, up to, regularly with the ablative, sometimes with the genitive (cf. § 359 . b ).

    1. With the ablative: Taurō tenus, as far as Taurus; capulō tenus, up to the hilt.

    2. With the genitive: Cumārum tenus (Fam. 8.1.2), as far as Cumae.

    Note 1— Tenus is frequently connected with the feminine of an adjective pronoun, making an adverbial phrase: as, hāctenus , hitherto; quātenus , so far as; dē hāc rē hāctenus , so much for that (about this matter so far).

    Note 2— Tenus was originally a neuter noun, meaning line or extent. In its use with the genitive (mostly poetical) it may be regarded as an adverbial accusative (§ 397 . a).

  30. Trans, across, over, through, by, with the accusative.

    a. Of motion: as, trāns mare currunt, they run across the sea; trāns flūmen ferre , to carry over a river; trāns aethera, through the sky; trāns caput iace, throw over your head.

    b. Of rest: as, trāns Rhēnum incolunt, they live across the Rhine.

  31. Ultrā beyond (on the further side), with the accusative.

    cis Padum ultrāque, on this side of the Po and beyond; ultrā eum numerum , more than that number; ultrā fidem, incredible; ultrã modum, immoderate.

Note— Some adverbs appear as prepositions: as, intus, īnsuper (see § 219 ).

For Prepositions in Compounds, see § 267 .

XML File

Ab signifies direction from the object, but often towards the speaker; compare , down from , and ex , out of.
Of originally meant from (cf. off ).
Old participle of sequor .
Comparative of sub .