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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar


387. The Direct Object of a transitive verb is put in the Accusative (§ 274 ).

a. The Accusative of the Direct Object denotes (1) that which is directly affected , or (2) that which is caused or produced by the action of the verb:—

(1) Brūtus Caesarem interfēcit, Brutus killed Cæsar.

(2) aedem facere, to make a temple. [Cf. proelium pūgnāre, to fight a battle, § 390 .]

Note— There is no definite line by which transitive verbs can be distinguished from intransitive. Verbs which usually take a direct object (expressed or implied) are called transitive, but many of these are often used intransitively or absolutely. Thus timeō, I fear, is transitive in the sentence inimīcum timeō, I fear my enemy, but intransitive (absolute) in nōlī timēre, don't be afraid. Again, many verbs are transitive in one sense and intransitive in another: as,— Helvētiōs superāvērunt Rōmānī, the Romans overcame the Helvetians; but nihil superābat, nothing remained (was left over). So also many verbs commonly intransitive may be used transitively with a slight change of meaning: as,— rīdēs, you are laughing; but mē rīdēs, you're laughing at me.

b. The object of a transitive verb in the active voice becomes its subject in the passive, and is put in the nominative (§ 275 ):—

Brūtus Caesarem interfēcit, Brutus killed Cæsar.

Caesar ā Brūtō interfectus est, Cæsar was killed by Brutus.

domum aedificat, he builds a house.

domus aedificātur, the house is building (being built).

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