The Origin of Ad
“obscure and doubtful” (AG, 219)
Summary of Use
Ad takes and accusative; it may be translated to, toward, at, near
Ad precedes its noun, with exceptions in poetry
- She came to the city: ad urbem venit.
- She came to him: ad eam venit.
- They danced until the ninth hour: saltābant ad nōnam hōram.
- They assembled on the [appointed] day: convēnērunt ad diem.
- He spoke in this way: loquēbātur ad hunc modum.
- He was sentenced to death: condemnāvit ad mortem. (ad of penalty)
- He went into politics: adiit ad rem pūblicam.
- Besides, he was dead: ad hōc periit.
- It is fit for the ways of war: aptus est ad rem bellum. (ad of fitness)
- It is useful to us for this thing: nōbis ūtile est ad hanc rem. (ad of use)
Ad versus In
“With the name of a country, ad denotes to the borders; in…into the country itself.” (AG, 428c)
- He came to Italy: ad Ītaliam venit.
- He came into Italy; in Ītaliam venit.
The temporal uses ad and in are identical.
- They wandered until nightfall: ad noctem errāvērunt.
- They wandered until nightfall: in noctem errāvērunt.
With Gerunds and Gerundives
“The accusative of the gerund and gerundive is often used after the preposition ad, to denote purpose.” (AG, 506)
- You summon me to write: mē vocās ad scrībendum.
- You live to outdo your crimes: vīvis ad vincandum nefas.
Ad may be used to form numerous verbal compounds, or the prepositional compounds adversus (against) and adversum (towards)
The prepositions take an accusative; most of the verbs take an accusative.
The Essential AG: 221.2
Famous Phrase: ad fontes (to the source) [motto of the Renaissance humanists]