27 votes
Accepted

Why "ex nihilo" instead of "e nihilo"?

That's actually not a rule. ab and ex can lose their consonant, but in fact it's far more common for them not to. Check out Lewis and Short's entries on them: ex/e ex always before vowels, and ...
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  • 39.4k
20 votes
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Are the two cums related?

The similarity is a coincidence; these words are unrelated. Etymological dictionaries such as De Vaan's give the following account of the two words: The earlier form of the conjunction cum is quom; ...
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  • 28.2k
17 votes
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Would it be good Classical Latin style to always use the preposition "ab" and never "ā"?

I believe that would be considered very odd. Before certain words, ab is almost never used by any author. Consider for example *ab te, which is found 0 times in the Hewlett-Packard repository. If you ...
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  • 18.5k
12 votes
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Can you place "et" inside a prepositional phrase?

An alternative way to phrase the question is to ask whether a preposition should be repeated after et. I went through a book for all the examples of et used with prepositions in a way that would allow ...
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11 votes
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What is the difference between Ob and Propter?

The causal meaning of these two prepositions developed separately, so the history of their usage is a bit complex. But in Classical Latin and after, while some authors used the two interchangeably, ...
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11 votes
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Prefix chaining in Latin verbs

For what I know, the double prefixation beginning with per- is the most productive (I quote only a few examples): perincertus [per+ in + certus] (Sall. hist. 4,1,2 [Gell. 18,4,4]: perincertum ...
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  • 2,866
11 votes

What's the correct way to say, in Latin, "creation within God" & "creation through God"?

Here are the Vulgate versions of the two verses you mention: Colossians 1.16: quoniam in ipso condita sunt universa in cælis, et in terra, visibilia, et invisibilia, sive throni, sive ...
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  • 28.2k
11 votes
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Semantic difference of ablative and accusative cases when following "in"

Do not only look for “movement” when you see in used with the accusative. In is very versatile and has a lot of meanings that cannot be easily summed up in a few words. A good dictionary will describe ...
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10 votes
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"With respect to" in mathematics

There is one word that seems to fit the bill: quoad. Although this word has a temporal ("as long as") and spatial ("as far as") meaning, Lewis and Short also gives the following meaning: B.3: With ...
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  • 36.7k
10 votes
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Are prepositions really never used with cities?

It was recognized even in antiquity to be solecism: [Quintilian 1.5.38] To avoid all suspicion of quibbling, I will say that a solecism may occur in one word, but never in a word in isolation. There ...
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  • 39.4k
9 votes
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What underlying semantic notions explain the meaning of 'against' for the preposition 'in'?

What you've neglected (an easy thing to neglect) is the case that "in" governs with each meaning. "In" plus the ablative connotes coherence and inclusion, and it's roughly equivalent to English "in." "...
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9 votes

How do I best translate "A big window into history"?

Whether you say fenestra magna or magna fenestra is up to you – both is absolutely fine in Latin. If you go with fenestra at all, I recommend using the preposition ad, because there is a precedence ...
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9 votes
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Is ἐν changing to ἐμ or ἐγ only a thing in Attic?

It does not actually state that. It says that when they're used as prefixes: When the prepositions ἐν and σύν are used as prefixes, they retain these forms when the verb begins with a vowel. When the ...
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  • 39.4k
8 votes

Why did Medieval Latin use "ad" with the accusative instead of just using the dative?

I'm not sure there is a "why", but it probably happened under the influence of contemporary vernacular languages and/or Vulgar Latin, since French, Italian, and Spanish also use more prepositions than ...
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  • 18.5k
8 votes

E pluribus unum or Ex pluribus unum?

The general rule for the use of e and ex as prepositions can be found in Latin grammars like Gildersleeve's: Ē is used before consonants only, ex before both vowels and consonants. (§417.6) Lewis ...
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7 votes

Would it be good Classical Latin style to always use the preposition "ab" and never "ā"?

Lewis and Short provide some guidance on the limitations of the pre-consonant use of ab: [ab] has become the principal form and the one most generally used through all periods—and indeed the only ...
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7 votes

What's the correct way to say, in Latin, "creation within God" & "creation through God"?

If I may supplement TKR's answer: Colossians 1:16 is decidedly ambiguous. The Greek original has: ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ ἐκτίσθη τὰ πάντα, τὰ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς καὶ τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, τὰ ὁρατὰ καὶ τὰ ἀόρατα, εἴτε ...
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  • 15.7k
7 votes
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Can conjunctions be used to join prepositions with the same object?

DRN 2.393: aut quia ni mirum maioribus est elementis / aut magis hamatis inter se perque plicatis. This one is somewhat dubious. It could be analysed as an adverb. I think the problem is that ...
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  • 18.5k
7 votes
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Concerning the Verbal "From"

They're all different uses! Different verbs will have different constructions, and you cannot, as a rule, ever do a one-to-one correspondence based on English's idioms. Take "take away," for example. ...
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  • 39.4k
7 votes
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Is 'extra' an adverb or preposition here?

You are correct that extra is a preposition here. Although it can be an adverb, it has a clear object here that would not make syntactical sense otherwise. This particular argument follows Spinoza's ...
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  • 36.7k
7 votes
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Why would the prae­po­si­tion "per" ᴇᴠᴇʀ take an ab­la­tive in­stead of an ac­cu­sa­tive com­ple­ment?

The L&S entry is pretty clear, in my opinion. Per takes the accusative, but it has mistakenly been used with the ablative. It cites two examples from later inscriptions: Inscr. Miseni Repert. ex ...
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  • 36.7k
7 votes
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Why is it to say 'paucis post diebus'?

In this case, post is being used as an adverb, not a preposition; essentially, it's being treated as a comparative adverb*, and the ablative paucis diebus is expressing the 'degree of difference,' as ...
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  • 17.9k
7 votes
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In memoriam: why not "in memoria"?

As L&S put it, in their classic textwall style (entry for in, II.C.2): Of the object or end in view, regarded also as the motive of action or effect: “non te in me illiberalem, sed me in se ...
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  • 51.2k
6 votes
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Why did Cicero switch from "abs te" to "a te" in his later works?

It seems to be a case of simple regularization. As L&S point out, abs is rarely used before a word other than te; a Packard search yields only ten such cases vs. 277 of abs te (and two of the ten ...
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  • 28.2k
6 votes

Is there a difference between 'a' and 'de' when the meaning is 'from'?

Like all good questions, this one has no simple answer. The big dictionaries devote many columns to it. Kennedy 286 gives a crisp & useful summary. A couple of firm examples: Travelling from a ...
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6 votes

Would it be good Classical Latin style to always use the preposition "ab" and never "ā"?

Here is a relevant passage from the second-century (CE) grammarian Velius Longus: antiquos scimus et abs te dixisse: nos contenti sumus a te dicere. scimus ipsos et ab Lucio dixisse: nos observamus ...
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  • 28.2k
6 votes
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"Fighting with someone" and the different uses of "with" in Latin

With is such a versatile word in English that how's it actually being used is sometimes obscured. Consider the following: I am going to the store with my friends. I am making a house with the best ...
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  • 39.4k
6 votes

Using pro and ab in place of ante and post?

Pro means 'before' in the sense of 'in front of, in the presence of', as in he stood before the judge, but to my knowledge doesn't have a temporal sense. Ab means 'after' in the sense of 'from, since'...
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  • 786
6 votes
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When to omit a preposition?

I would not read that as an omitted preposition. The plain ablative also has its uses, and here it is used in the instrumental sense: the donkeys were loaded with breads. Notice that here the English "...
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