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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar


503. When the Gerund would have an object in the Accusative, the Gerundive1 is generally used instead. The gerundive agrees with its noun, which takes the case that the gerund would have had:—

    parātiōrēs ad omnia perīcula subeunda (B. G. 1.5), readier to undergo all dangers. [Here subeunda agrees with perīcula, which is itself governed by ad. The (inadmissible) construction with the gerund would be ad subeundum perīcula; ad governing the gerund, and the gerund governing the accusative perīcula.] For details, see §§ 504 - 507.

Note 1— In this use the gerund and the gerundive are translated in the same way, but have really a different construction. The gerundive is a passive participle, and agrees with its noun, though in translation we change the voice, just as we may translate vigiliae agitandae sunt (guard must be kept) by I must stand guard.

Note 2— In the gerundive construction the verbs ūtor, fruor, etc., are treated like transitive verbs governing the accusative, as they do in early Latin (§ 410. a. N. 1): as, —ad perfruendās voluptātēs (Off. 1.25), for enjoying pleasures.

a. The following examples illustrate the parallel constructions of Gerund and Gerundive:—


    urbem capiendī

    urbis capiendae

    a design of taking the city.
    DAT.dat operam

    agrōs colendō

    agrīs colendīs

    he attends to tilling the fields.

    ACC.veniunt ad

    mihi pārendum

    pācem petendam

    they come to obey me. to seek peace.
    ABL. terit tempus

    scrībendō epistulās

    scrībendīs epistulīs

    he spends time in writing letters.

Note 1— The gerund with a direct object is practically limited to the Genitive and the Ablative (without a preposition); even in these cases the gerundive is commoner.

Note 2— The gerund or gerundive is often found coördinated with nominal constructions, and sometimes even in apposition with a noun:—

    (1) in forō, in cūriā, in amīcōrum perīculīs prōpulsandīs (Phil. 7.7), in the forum, in the senate-house,in defending my friends in jeopardy.

    (2) ad rēs dīversissimās, pārendum atque imperandum (Liv. 21.4), for the most widely different things, obeying and commanding.


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The gerundive construction is probably the original one.