You are here:

Latin/ablativus absolutus


Is there an ablativus absolutus in "Ave Maria gratia plena"?
If so, why would it require an ablativus absolutus in such a sentence?

Pax etiam tibi!

Actually in  “Ave Maria, gratia plena” , that are the first words of the prayer asking for the intercession of the Virgin Mary, there is no ablative absolute nor this Latin idiomatic construction is required, simply because  “Ave Maria, gratia plena”  means  “Hail Mary, full of grace”, as you can read below where I'm parsing it.

So, note that:

-Ave (2nd person singular, present  imperative  of AVEO, “I am well”) =literally, “Be well” and then “Hail” as a morning greeting.

-Mariă (vocative case, 1s declension)=[ o] Mary

-gratiā (ablative of plenty from the noun “gratiă”, 1st declension) =of grace

-plenă ( adjective in the feminine related to “Maria”. This adjective requires the Ablative of plenty)= full

As you can see, “gratiā plenă” (full of grace) is not an Ablativus Absolutus, but an adjective (plenă) with the Ablative of Plenty (gratiā).

Also, note that the ablative of “gratia” has a long ā, while the nominative and vocative have a short ă.

Hope all is clear enough.

Best regards,



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




I am an expert in Latin Language and Literature and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning this matter.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

I received my Ph.D. in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2017 All rights reserved.