The ablative case is a case found in Latin and Sanskrit. The Latin ablative combines the Indo-European ablative (indicating "from"), instrumental (indicating "with" or "by") and locative (indicating "in") cases. From these original meanings several others developed, including the ablative of cause (indicating "caused by"), the ablative of time (indicating "at the time of", deriving from the locative), and the ablative absolute.
In Latin, the ablative case has absorbed the functions of the old instrumental case and the former locative case. The ablative absolute construction in Latin, bane of many students, is a development from these uses of the ablative.
In the Finnish language (Suomi), it is the sixth of the locative cases with the basic meaning "from off of" - a poor English equivalent, but necessary to distinguish it from "from out of" which would be Elative case.
The other locative cases in Finnish are:
- Inessive case ("in")
- Illative case ("into")
- Adessive case ("on")
- Allative case ("onto")