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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

ACCUSATIVE CASE/ Direct Object

388. Certain special verbs require notice.

a. Many verbs apparently intransitive, expressing feeling, take an accusative, and may be used in the passive:—

meum cāsum lūctumque doluērunt (Sest. 145), they grieved at my calamity and sorrow.

sī nōn Acrisium rīsissent Iuppiter et Venus (Hor. Od. 3.16.5), if Jupiter and Venus had not laughed at Acrisius.

rīdētur ab omnī conventū (Hor. S. 1.7.22), he is laughed at by the whole assembly.

For the Cognate Accusative with verbs of taste, smell, and the like, see § 390. a.

Note— Some verbs commonly intransitive may be used transitively (especially in poetry) from a similarity of meaning with other verbs that take the accusative:—

gemēns īgnōminiam (Georg. 3.226), groaning at the disgrace. [Cf. doleō.]

festīnāre fugam (Aen. 4.575), to hasten their flight. [Cf. accelerō.]

cōmptōs ārsit crīnīs (Hor. Od. 4.9.13), she burned with love for his well-combed locks. [Cf. adamō.]

b. Verbs of motion, compounds of circum, trāns, and praeter, and a few others, frequently become transitive, and take the accusative (cf. § 370. b):—

mortem obīre, to die (to meet death).

cōnsulātum ineunt (Liv. 2.28), they enter upon the consulship.

nēminem convēnī (Fam. 9.14), I met no one.

sī īnsulam adīsset (B. G. 4.20), if he should go to the island.

trānsīre flūmen (id. 2.23), to cross the river (cf. § 395).

cīvēs quī circumstant senātum (Cat. 1.21), the citizens who stand about the senate.

Note— Among such verbs are some compounds of ad, in, per, and sub.

c. The accusative is used after the impersonals decet, dēdecet, dēlectat, iuvat, oportet, fallit, fugit, praeterit:—

ita ut vōs decet (Plaut. Most. 729), so as befits you.

mē pedibus dēlectat claudere verba (Hor. S. 2.1.28), my delight is (it pleases me) to arrange words in measure.

nisi mē fallit, unless I am mistaken (unless it deceives me).

iūvit mē tibi tuās litterās prōfuisse (Fam. 5.21.3), it pleased me that your literary studies had profited you.

tē nōn praeterit (Fam. 1.8.2), it does not escape your notice.

Note 1— So after later in poetry and post-classical prose: as, latet plērōsque (Plin. N. H. 2.82), it is unknown to most persons.

Note 2— These verbs are merely ordinary transitives with an idiomatic signification. Hence most of them are also used personally.

Note 3— Decet and latet sometimes take the dative:—

ita nōbīs decet (Ter. Ad. 928), thus it befits us.

hostī que Rōma latet (Sil. It. 12.614), and Rome lies hidden from the foe.

d. A few verbs in isolated expressions take the accusative from a forcing of their meaning. Such expressions are:—

ferīre foedus, to strike a treaty (i.e. to sanction by striking down a victim).

vincere iūdicium (spōnsiōnem, rem, hōc), to prevail on a trial, etc. [As if the case were a difficulty to overcome; cf. vincere iter, Aen. 6.688.]

aequor nāvigāre (Aen. 1.67), to sail the sea. [As if it were trānsīre, § 388. b.]

maria aspera iūrō(id. 6.351), I swear by the rough seas (cf. id. 6.324). [The accusative with verbs of swearing is chiefly poetic.]

noctīs dormīre, to sleep [whole] nights (to spend in sleep).

Note 1— These accusatives are of various kinds. The last example approaches the cognate construction (cf. the second example under § 390).

Note 2— In early and popular usage some nouns and adjectives derived from transitive verbs retain verbal force sufficient to govern the accusative:—

quid tibi istanc tāctiō est (Plaut. Poen. 1308), what business have you to touch her? [Cf. tangō.]

mīrābundī bēstiam (Ap. Met. 4.16), full of wonder at the creature. [Cf. mīror.]

vītābundus castra (Liv. 25.13), trying to avoid the camp. [Cf. vītō.]

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