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The ablative is an "indirect" case of the grammar of several living and dead languages and expresses a separation or movement away.

Origin and application

The term ablative is derived from the Latin (casus) ablativus [au-fero, au-ferre, abs-tuli, ab-latus = carry away, bring away]. Some languages ​​express a separation through a special case, the separative . The ablative developed especially in Latin from the separative and then got a wide range of functions. Its most common functions are:

  • Separation ("from ... her"),
  • Means or tool ("with", "through"),
  • Accompaniment ("accompanied by"),
  • Location information (“in”, “on”, “on”) and some others.

Which functions or meanings are pronounced differs from language to language. Many languages ​​do not have any actual forms of the ablative, but express it with the help of prepositions or postpositions .

In the absence of the ablative, the German language mostly uses the dative or the accusative with a corresponding preposition .

Indo-European languages

The ablative is one of the cases of the Indo-European original language . It has not survived in any of the Germanic languages , but Latin , Armenian , Albanian and Sanskrit know it .


In the Albanian language the ablative was preserved and is called rasa rrjedhore . Albanian nouns are primarily influenced by gender (masculine, feminine, neutral) and number (singular, plural) . The plural formation is very irregular and is formed with a suffix (-ra, -a, -e, -onj, -ë). The endings of the nouns are gradually being changed and adapted. Only after this process can the final ablative shape be formed (with a suffix). The endings of the declinations are divided into different classes and types.

  • Type I: masculine and neutral declination
    • Suffix (indefinite / definite): -i / -it
  • Type II: masculine and neutral declination
    • Suffix (unidentified / determined ): -u / -ut
  • Type III: feminine declination
    • Suffix ( indefinite / determined ): -e / -ës, -së
  • Type IV: feminine declination
    • Suffix (unidentified / determined ): -je / -s, -së
  • Plural:
    • Suffix ( indefinite / determined ): -sh / -ve, -vet
  • Example declination, type I (masculine, neutral):
case indefinite, sg. indefinite, pl. best., vg. best., pl.
Nominative times times e times i times et
German mountain Mountain e the mountain the mountain e
ablative times i times esh times it times eve / m á l evet
German - - - -
Nominative djath ë djath na / dj á th ëra djath ET / djath i djath nat / djath ërat
German cheese cheese the cheese the cheese
ablative djath i djath nash / dj á th nash djath it djath navet / dj á th navet
German - - - -
  • Example declination, type II (masculine, neutral):
case indefinite, sg. indefinite, pl. best., vg. best., pl.
Nominative pl ak pl eq pl aku pl eqtë
German old he M a nn old e M ä nn he the old e M a nn the old s M ä nn he
ablative pl aku pl eqsh pl acute pl eqvet
German - - - -
  • Declination example, type III (feminine):
case indefinite, sg. indefinite, pl. best., vg. best., pl.
Nominative vajz ë vajz a vajz a vajz at
German girl girl the girl the girls
ablative vajz e vajz ash * vajz ës vajz avet / v á jz avet / vajz ave
German - - - -

* Note: Arbëresh ablative form, indefinite, plural: , va jzash > va shaç

  • Example declination, type IV (feminine):
case indefinite, sg. indefinite, pl. best., vg. best., pl.
Nominative lul e lul e lul yes lul et
German flower Flower n the flower the flower n
ablative lul eje / lul je / l ú l eje lul esh lul it lul evet / l ú l evet / lul eve
German - - - -

Ablative can be formed with or without a preposition.

  • Example without a preposition:
    • I dolën mendje fjalët e plakut. Roughly: The old man's words have been carried away from his mind.
  • Example with preposition prej (from / from):
    • I dolën prej mendje fjalët e plakut. Roughly: The old man's words came out of / out of his mind.

Further preposition possibilities would be:

  • afër (near) ,
  • larg (wide) ,
  • përballë (opposite) and
  • përgjatë (along) .


The Latin ablative takes on the functions of two other original cases, namely the locative (indication of place) and the instrumental (indication of the mean).

The ablative is formed in the singular by lengthening the theme vowel, with consonant stems by the ending -e. In the plural, the ablative corresponds to the form after the dative with the ending -īs or - elongated theme vowel / i -bus.

The three basic functions of the ablative are further differentiated in Latin; often prepositions signal its more precise meaning. Accordingly, it is to be rendered differently in German.

Ablativus instrumentalis or instrumenti ablative of the tool (by what? With what?)

The instrument is called the instrumental ablative. It is expressed in the simple ablative. It is translated using the prepositions with or through . Since people cannot be used, they are never in the ablative instrumenti. An exception to this rule are some landfill sites such as B. uti - use , niti - lean on or frui - enjoy , who regularly have the ablative instrumenti with them almost like an object .

  • Examples:
    Gladiator gladio pugnat. - The gladiator fights with a sword .
    Milites nave Romam navigant. - The soldiers are sailing to Rome by ship .
    Caesar ictu Bruti mortem obiit. - Caesar died from the sting of Brutus.

Ablativus sociativus (with whom?)

The ablativus sociativus expresses the community (sociativus <sociare - to connect).

  • Examples:
    Dominus vobiscum ! - The Lord [be] with you !
    Marcus cum Lucio in aulam it. - Markus goes into the courtyard with Lucius .

Ablativus modes (How? In what way?)

The ablativus modi expresses the way or the accompanying circumstances under which something happens.

  • Examples:
    Ea amicitiam cum diligentia colit. - She cultivates friendship with care .
    Gladiator magno cum clamore in Colosseum currit. - The gladiator runs into the Colosseum amid great shouting .

Ablativus mensurae , also ablativus discriminis (How much bigger, smaller, smarter, etc.?)

The ablativus mensurae expresses the extent to which someone or something differs in a comparison.

  • Examples:
    Sol multis partibus maior est terra. - The sun is many times larger than the earth.
    Paucis annis post seditionem servorum copiae Spartaci magna clade victi sunt. - A few years after the uprising of the slaves, the troops of Spartacus were defeated by a great defeat.

Ablativus limitationis (in what respect? To what extent?)


The ablativus limitationis indicates the way in which a statement applies.

  • Examples:
    Graeci doctissimi litteris erant. - The Greeks were very educated in the sciences .
    Tres partes Galliae lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. - The three parts of Gaul differ from one another in terms of their language, their customs and their laws .

Ablativus separativus ablative of the starting point and the separation (where from? From what?)

  • Example:
    Roma profectus est. - He left Rome .

In some languages ​​this case is expressed by a special separative . A special case of the ablativus separativus is

Ablativus originis ablative of origin (from what kind of family?)

  • Example:
    L. Catilina nobili genere natus est. - Lucius Catilina came from a noble family .

Ablativus auctoris ablative of the agent (often referred to as the logical subject) in the passive (from whom?)

  • Example:
    Cantare doctus est a Dionysio . - He was trained in singing by Dionysius .

Ablativus comparationis ablative of the comparison in the comparative (as who / what?). It replaces the conjunction quam - als

  • Example:
    Matre pulchra filia pulchrior! - Daughter, even more beautiful than her beautiful mother .

Ablativus thematis Ablativus of the topic (about what?) It is mostly used for headings

  • Example:
    De bello Gallico - The Gallic War (actually: "From the Gallic War" or "About the Gallic War")

Ablativus locativus (also ablativus loci ) ablative of the place (where?)

  • Example:
    Est mode in rebus . - There is a measure in things .

Ablativus temporalis or temporis ablative of time, actually transferred locative (time is seen as place ( locus also generally means "circumstance")) (When? In which period of time?)

  • Example:
    Illo tempore exiit edictum a Caesare Augusto. - At that time , a command was issued by Emperor Augustus.

Ablativus qualitatis ablative property (What kind What kind?) - he is the only ablative, the one attribute is

  • Examples:
    Catilina fuit magna vi animi et corporis . - Catilina possessed great strength of mind and body .

Ablativus causae ablative of reason (why?). It is very often in front of participles like commotus - causes, incensus - burning, etc.

  • Examples:
    Principibus metu, non pudore parent. - They obey their princes out of fear, not out of awe .
    Sic enim iam tecum loquar, non ut odio permotus esse videar, quo debeo, sed ut misericordia , quae tibi nulla debetur. - I talk to you in this way so that it doesn't appear that I am motivated by hatred as I should, but by pity , which you don't deserve at all.

Ablativus pretii ablative of the quotation (for how much?)

  • Example:
    Emisti grandi pecunia . - You bought it for a lot of money .

The ablative absolutus , a sentence-valued participle construction, has to be distinguished from these case functions of the ablative .


In Sanskrit , as in Latin, the ablative is an indirect case.


In the Mongolian language the ablative answers the questions "where from?", "From whom?", "Since when?" And "from what"? The ending depends on the vowel harmony and the type of word stem: -аас, -ээс, -оос, өөс; -гаас, -гээс, -гоos, -гөөс; -иас, -иос.

Examples: улсаас (from улс "state"), модноос (from мод "tree, wood, stake"), ангиас (from анги "class, academic year")

Turkic languages


In the Bashkir language , the ablative has similar endings as in Turkish. However, it varies more there because of the consonant harmony. That means, not only the forms - дән / dɛn / or - дан / dan / and - тән / tɛn / or - тан / tan / appear, but also - ҙән / ðɛn /, - ҙан / ðan /, - нән / nɛn / - нан / nan /.

Example: өҫтәл дән "from the table"; шкаф тан "out of the closet"; Германия нан "from Germany".


In the Turkish language , the ablative is the where-from case. It is formed by adding den or dan and varies according to the rules of the small vowel harmony . The variants ten or tan appear after voiceless consonants .

Example: Nere den geliyorsun? (Where here you come from?) Sinema dan geliyorum. (I come from the cinema.)

Finno-Ugric languages


In Estonian the ablative ends in -lt or in the plural with -telt or -delt.

Examples: tells "from whom?", Minult "from me", turult "from the market"


The Finnish language also has an ablative. The case ending is -lta or -ltä depending on the vowel harmony . In Finnish, the ablative describes a movement away from a place ( talolta - "away from the house"). To indicate the time, he modified numerals ( viideltä - "at five (o'clock)").


In Mordovian , the ablative ends in -до (Ersja) or -да (Mokscha).


In Hungarian , the ablative ends in -től or -tól and is based on the vowel harmony .

Examples: hajótól "from the ship", körtől "from the circle"

Other languages

The ablative is also available in several other languages:


  • Oda Buchholz, Wilfried Fiedler: Albanian grammar. Verlag Enzyklopädie, Leipzig 1987, ISBN 3-324-00025-4 .
  • Margarete I. Ersen-Rasch: Bashkir. Textbook for beginners and advanced learners. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 978-3-447-05730-1 , p. 43.
  • Kauderwelsch Volume 15, Finnish word for word - plus dictionary, 2015, ISBN 978-3-8317-6458-7 , p. 36.
  • Martin Putz: Finnish grammar. Lulu Enterprises Inc. 2008, ISBN 978-1-4092-0343-8 , pp. 78-79, 97.
  • Irja Grönholm: Estonian word for word (= gibberish. Vol. 55). 3. Edition. Reise-Know-How-Verlag Rump, Bielefeld 2002, ISBN 3-89416-245-7 .
  • József Tompa: Short Hungarian grammar. Publishing house Enzyklopädie, Leipzig 1972.
  • Hans-Peter Vietze : Textbook of the Mongolian language. 5th revised edition. Verlag Enzyklopädie, Leipzig 1988, ISBN 3-324-00242-7 .

Web links

Wiktionary: ablative  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikibooks: Latin Grammar Ablative  - Learning and Teaching Materials