Ablative case

The ablative case (sometimes abbreviated abl) is a grammatical case for nouns, pronouns and adjectives in the grammar of various languages; it is sometimes used to express motion away from something, among other uses. The word "ablative" derives from the Latin ablatus, the (irregular) perfect passive participle of auferre "to carry away".[1] There is no ablative case in modern Germanic languages such as German, nor in ancient Greek.

Indo-European languages

Latin

The ablative case in Latin (casus ablativus) appears in various grammatical constructions, including following various prepositions, in an ablative absolute clause, and adverbially. The Latin ablative case was derived[citation needed] from three Proto-Indo-European cases: ablative (from), instrumental (with), and locative (in/at).

Greek

In Ancient Greek, there was no ablative case; some of its functions were taken by the genitive and others by the dative; the genitive had functions belonging to the Proto-Indo-European genitive and ablative cases.[2] The genitive case with the prepositions ἀπό apó "away from" and ἐκ/ἐξ ek/ex "out of" is an example.

German

German does not have an ablative case (but exceptionally, Latin ablative case-forms were used from the 17th to the 19th century after some prepositions, for example after von in von dem Nomine: ablative of the Latin loanword Nomen). Grammarians at that time, such as Justus Georg Schottel, Kaspar von Stieler ("der Spate"), Johann Balthasar von Antesperg and Johann Christoph Gottsched, listed an ablative case (as the sixth case after nominative, genitive, dative, accusative and vocative) for German words. They arbitrarily considered the dative case after some prepositions to be an ablative, as in von dem Mann[e] ("from the man" or "of the man") and mit dem Mann[e] ("with the man"), while they considered the dative case after other prepositions or without a preposition as dem Mann[e] to be a dative.

There is some confusion in German culture about the Latin ablative and the German dative.

Serbo-Croatian

As in Ancient Greek, the functions of the ablative case in the Serbo-Croatian language are performed by the genitive case. Of the three forms of genitive in Serbo-Croatian (partitive, possessive and ablative), the noun in the ablative genitive marks the origin of something: departure or detachment from it.

Albanian

The ablative case is found in Albanian; it is the fifth case, rasa rjedhore.

Sanskrit

In Sanskrit, the ablative case is the fifth case (pañcamī) and has a similar function to that in Latin. It is bound up with a special semantic condition, apādāna (अपादान) in Sanskrit. In fact, the fifth case (ablative) is the typical morphological realization of apādāna (Pāṇini 2.3.28).

Sanskrit nouns in this case often refer to a subject "out of" which or "from" whom something (an action, an object) has arisen or occurred: patram vṛkṣāt patati "the leaf falls from the tree".

It is also used for nouns in several other senses, as for actions occurring "because of" or "without" a certain noun, indicating distance or direction. When it appears with a comparative adjective, (śreṣṭhatamam, "the best"), the ablative is used to refer to what the adjective is comparing: "better than X".

Armenian

The modern Armenian ablative has different markers for each main dialect, both originating from Classical Armenian. The Western Armenian affix -է (definite -էն -ēn) derives from the classical singular; the Eastern Armenian affix -ից -ic’ (both indefinite and definite) derives from the classical plural. For both dialects, those affixes are singular, with the corresponding plurals being -(ն)երէ(ն) -(n)erē(n) and -(ն)երից -(n)eric’.

Western Eastern Gloss
մարդէ
martē
մարդից
mardic’
from (a) man
մարդէն
martēn
մարդից
mardic’
from the man
(տուն) > տանէ
(dun) > danē
(տուն) > տնից
(tun) > tnic’
from a house/from home
(տուն) > տանէն
(dun) > danēn
(տուն) > տնից
(tun) > tnic’
from the house

The ablative case has several uses. Its principal function is to show "motion away" from a location, point in space or time:

Western Eastern Gloss
քաղաքէն եկայ
k’aġak’ēn yega
քաղաքից եկա
k’aġak’ic’ yeka
I came from the city
այստեղէն հեռու կը բնակէի
aysdeġēn heṙu gě pnagēi.
այստեղից հեռու բնակում էի
aysteġic’ heṙu bnakvum ēi
I used to live far from here

It also shows the agent when it is used with the passive voice of the verb:

Western Eastern Gloss
ինծմէ միջտ կը սիրուէիր
incmē mišd gě sirvēir
ինձնից միջտ սիրում էիր
indznic’ mišt sirvum ēir
You were always loved by me
ազատիչներիէն ազատեցանք
azadič’nerēn azadec’ank’
ազատիչներից ազատվեցինք
azatič’neric’ azatvec’ink’
We were freed by the liberators

It is also used for comparative statements in colloquial Armenian (including infinitives and participles):

Western Eastern Gloss
Ի՞նչ մեղրէն անուջ է
Inč’ meġrēn anuš ē
Ի՞նչ մեղրից է անուջ
Inč’ meġric’ ē anuš
"What is sweeter than honey?" (proverb)
Մարիամ եղբօրմէն պզտիկ է
Mariam yeġpōrmēn bzdig ē
Մարո ախպորից փոքր է
Maro axporic’ p’ok’r ē
Mary is younger (lit. smaller) than her brother
թզեր համտեսել տեսնելէ աւելի լաւ է
t’ëzer hamdesel desnelē aveli lav ē
թզեր համտեսել տեսնելուց ավելի լավ է
t’ëzer hamtesel tesneluc’ aveli lav ē
Figs are better to taste than to see

Finally, it governs certain postpositions:

Western Eastern Gloss
ինծմէ վար
incmē var
ինձնից վար
indznic’ var
below me
քեզմէ վեր
k’ezmē ver
քեզնից վեր
k’eznic’ ver
above you
անոնցմէ ետք
anonc’mē yedk’
նրանից հետո
nranic’ heto
after them
մեզմէ առաջ
mezmē aṙač
մեզնից առաջ
meznic’ aṙadž
before us
Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Çıxışlıq hal
български: Аблатив
Boarisch: Ablativ
bosanski: Ablativ
brezhoneg: Troad ablativel
català: Cas ablatiu
čeština: Ablativ
dansk: Ablativ
Deutsch: Ablativ
Esperanto: Ablativo
estremeñu: Ablativu
euskara: Ablatibo
français: Ablatif
galego: Ablativo
hornjoserbsce: Ablatiw
Bahasa Indonesia: Ablativus
íslenska: Sviptifall
italiano: Ablativo
Basa Jawa: Kasus ablatif
қазақша: Аблатив
Latina: Ablativus
latviešu: Ablatīvs
lietuvių: Abliatyvas
Limburgs: Ablatief
македонски: Аблатив
Malti: Ablativ
Nederlands: Ablatief
日本語: 奪格
norsk: Ablativ
norsk nynorsk: Ablativ
polski: Ablatyw
português: Caso ablativo
română: Cazul ablativ
русский: Аблатив
slovenčina: Ablatív
српски / srpski: Аблатив
suomi: Ablatiivi
svenska: Ablativ
татарча/tatarça: Чыгыш килеше
українська: Аблатив
vèneto: Ablativo
Zazaki: Ablatif
中文: 离格