title>Chapter 454 — Allen and Greenough's Latin Grammar

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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Infinitive as Apparetn Subject of Impersonals

454. The Infinitive is used as the apparent Subject with many impersonal verbs and expressions:

Such are libet, licet, oportet, decet, placet, vīsum est, pudet, piget, necesse est, opus est, etc.:—

    libet mihi cōnsīderāre (Quinct. 48), it suits me to consider.

    necesse est morī (Tusc. 2.2), it is necessary to die.

    quid attinet glōriōsē loquī nisi cōnstanter loquāre (Fin. 2.89), what good does it do to talk boastfully unless you speak consistently?

    neque mē vīxisse paenitet (id . 84), I do not feel sorry to have lived.

    gubernāre mē taedēbat (Att. 2.7.4), I was tired of being pilot.

Note— This use is a development of the Complementary Infinitive (§ 456); but the infinitives approach the subject construction and may be conveniently regarded as the subjects of the impersonals.

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