edited by Meagan Ayer et al.

Important Rules of Syntax

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594. IMPORTANT RULES OF SYNTAX

  1. A noun used to describe another, and denoting the same person or thing, agrees with it in Case (§ 282).
  2. Adjectives, Adjective Pronouns, and Participles agree with their nouns in Gender, Number, and Case (§ 286).
  3. Superlatives (more rarely Comparatives) denoting order and succession—also medius, (cēterus), reliquus —usually designate not what object, but what part of it, is meant (§ 293).
  4. The Personal Pronouns have two forms for the Genitive plural, that in -um being used partitively, and that in oftenest objectively (§ 295.b).
  5. The Reflexive Pronoun (), and usually the corresponding possessive (suus), are used in the predicate to refer to the subject of the sentence or clause (§ 299).
  6. To express Possession and similar ideas the Possessive Pronouns must be used, not the Genitive of the personal or reflexive pronouns (§ 302.a).
  7. A Possessive Pronoun or an Adjective implying possession may take an appositive in the Genitive case agreeing in gender, number, and case with an implied noun or pronoun (§ 302.e).
  8. A Relative Pronoun agrees with its Antecedent in Gender and Number, but its Case depends on its construction in the clause in which it stands (§ 305).
  9. A Finite Verb agrees with its Subject in Number and Person (§ 316).
  10. Adverbs are used to modify Verbs, Adjectives, and other Adverbs (§ 321).
  11. A Question of simple fact, requiring the answer yes or no, is formed by adding the enclicic -ne to the emphatic word (§ 332).
  12. When the enclitic -neis added to a negative word, as in nōnne, an affirmative answer is expected. The particle numsuggests a negative (§ 332.b).
  13. The Subject of a finite verb is in the Nominative (§ 339).
  14. The Vocative is the case of direct address (§ 340).
  15. A noun used to limit or define another, and not meaning the same person or thing, is put in the Genitive (§ 342).
  16. The Possessive Genitive denotes the person or thing to which an object, quality, feeling, or action belongs (§ 343).
  17. The Genitive may denote the Substance or Material of which a thing consists (§ 344).
  18. The genitive is used to denote Quality, but only when the quality is modified by an adjective (§ 345).
  19. Words denoting a part are followed by the Genitive of the whole to which the part belongs (Partitive Genitive, § 346).
  20. Nouns of action, agency, and feeling govern the Genitive of the object (Objective Genitive, § 348).
  21. Adjectives denoting desire, knowledge, memory, fulness, power, sharing, guilt, and their opposites; participles in -nswhen used as adjectives; and verbals in -āx, govern the Genitive (§ 349.a-c).
  22. Verbs of remembering and forgetting take either the Accusative or the Genitive of the object (§ 350).
  23. Verbs of reminding take with the Accusative of the person a Genitive of the thing (§ 351).
  24. Verbs of accusing, condemning, and acquitting take the Genitive of the charge or penalty (§ 352).
  25. The Dative is used of the object indirectly affected by an action (Indirect Object, § 361).
  26. Many verbs signifying to favor, help, please, trust, and their contraries; also, to believe, persuade, command, obey, serve, resist, envy, threaten, pardon, and spare, take the Dative (§ 367).
  27. Many verbs compounded with ad, ante, con, in, inter, ob, post, prae, prō, sub, super, and some with circum, admit the Dative of the indirect object (§ 370).
  28. The Dative is used with esse and similar words to denote Possession (§ 373).
  29. The Dative of the Agent is used with the Gerundive, to denote the person on whom the necessity rests (§ 374).
  30. The Dative often depends, not on any particular word, but on the general meaning of the sentence (Dative of Reference, § 376).
  31. Many verbs of taking away and the like take the Dative (especially of a person) instead of the Ablative of Separation (§ 381).
  32. The Dative is used to denote the Purpose or End, often with another Dative of the person or thing affected (§ 382).
  33. The Dative is used with adjectives (and a few adverbs) of fitness, nearness, likeness, service, inclination, and their opposites (§ 384).
  34. The Direct Object of a transitive verb is put in the Accusative (§ 387).
  35. An intransitive verb often takes the Accusative of a noun of kindred meaning, usually modified by an adjective or in some other manner (Cognate Accusative, § 390).
  36. Verbs of naming, choosing, appointing, making, esteeming, showing, and the like, may take a Predicate Accusative along with the direct object (§ 393).
  37. Transitive verbs compounded with prepositions sometimes take (in addition to the direct object) a Secondary Object, originally governed by the preposition (§ 394).
  38. Some verbs of asking and teaching may take two Accusatives, one of the Person, and the other of the Thing (§ 396).
  39. The subject of an Infinitive is in the Accusative (§ 397.e).
  40. Duration of Time and Extent of Space are expressed by the Accusative (§ 424.c§ 425).
  41. Words signifying separation or privation are followed by the Ablative (Ablative of Separation, § 400).
  42. The Ablative, usually with a preposition, is used to denote the source from which anything is derived or the material of which it consists (§ 403).
  43. The Ablative, with or without a preposition, is used to express cause (§ 404).
  44. The Voluntary Agent after a passive verb is expressed by the Ablative with ā or ab (§ 405).
  45. The Comparative degree is often followed by the Ablative signifying than (§ 406).
  46. The Comparative may be followed by quam, than. When quam is used, the two things compared are put in the same case (§ 407).
  47. The Ablative is used to denote the means or instrument of an action (§ 409).
  48. The deponents, ūtor, fruor, fungor, potior and vēscor, with several of their compounds, govern the Ablative (§ 410).
  49. Opus and ūsus, signifying need, are followed by the Ablative (§ 411).
  50. The manner of an action is denoted by the Ablative, usually with cum unless a limiting adjective is used with the noun (§ 412).
  51. Accompaniment is denoted by the Ablative, regularly with cum (§ 413).
  52. With Comparatives and words implying comparison the Ablative is used to denote the degree of difference (§ 414).
  53. The quality of a thing is denoted by the Ablative with an adjective or genitive Modifier (§ 415).
  54. The price of a thing is put in the Ablative (§ 416).
  55. The Ablative of Specification denotes that in respect to which anything is or is done (§ 418).
  56. The adjectives dīgnus and indīgnus take the Ablative (§ 418.b).
  57. A noun or pronoun, with a participle in agreement, may be put in the Ablative to define the time or circumstances of an action (Ablative Absolute, § 419). An adjective, or a second noun, may take the place of the participle in the Ablative Absolute construction (§ 419.a).
  58. Time when, or within which, is denoted by the Ablative; time how long by the Accusative (§ 423).
  59. Relations of Place are expressed as follows:

    1. The place from which, by the Ablative with ab, , ex.

    2. The place to which (or end of motion), by the Accusative with ad or in.

    3. The place where, by the Ablative with in (Locative Ablative). (§ 423)

  60. With names of towns and small islands, and with domus and rūs, the relations of place are expressed as follows:

    1. The place from which, by the Ablative without a preposition.

    2. The place to which, by the Accusative without a preposition.

    3. The place where, by the Locative. (§ 427)

  61. The Hortatory Subjunctive is used in the present tense to express an exhortation, a command, or a concession. (§§ 439 - 440).
  62. The Optative Subjunctive is used to express a wish. The Present tense denotes the wish as possible, the Imperfect as unaccomplished in present time, the Pluperfect as unaccomplished in past time (§ 441).
  63. The Subjunctive is used in questions implying (1) doubt, indignation, or (2) an impossibility of the thing's being done (Deliberative Subjunctive, § 444).
  64. The Potential Subjunctive is used to suggest an action as possible or conceivable (§ 446).
  65. The Imperative is used in commands and entreaties (§ 448).
  66. Prohibition is regularly expressed in classic prose (1) by nōlī with the Infinitive, (2) by cavē with the Present Subjunctive, (3) by with the Perfect Subjunctive (§ 450).
  67. The Infinitive, with or without a subject accusative, may be used with est and similar verbs (1) as the Subject, (2) in Apposition with the subject, or (3) as a Predicate Nominative (§ 452).
  68. Verbs which imply another action of the same subject to complete their meaning take the Infinitive without a subject accusative (Complementary Infinitive, § 456).
  69. The Infinitive, with subject accusative, is used with verbs and other expressions of knowing, thinking, telling, and perceiving (Indirect Discourse, see § 459).
  70. The Infinitive is often used for the Imperfect Indicative in narration, and takes a subject in the Nominative (Historical Infinitive, § 463).
  71. SEQUENCE OF TENSES. In complex sentences, a primary tense in the main clause is followed by the Present or Perfect Subjunctive in the dependent clause; a secondary tense by the Imperfect or Pluperfect (§ 483).
  72. Participles denote time as present, past, or future with respect to the time of the verb in their clause (§ 489).
  73. The Gerund and the Gerundive are used, in the oblique cases, in many of the constructions of nouns (§§ 501 - 507).
  74. The Supine in -umis used after verbs of motion to express Purpose (§ 509).
  75. The Supine in is used with a few adjectives and with the nouns fās, nefās, and opus, to denote Specification (§ 510).
  76. Dum, modo, dummodo, and tantum ut, introducing a Proviso, take the Subjunctive (§ 528).
  77. Final clauses take the Subjunctive introduced by ut (utī), negative (ut nē), or by a Relative Pronoun or Relative Adverb (§ 531).
  78. A Relative Clause with the Subjunctive is often used to indicate a characteristic of the antecedent, especially where the antecedent is otherwise undefined (§ 535).
  79. Dīgnus, indīgnus, aptus, and idōneus, take a Subjunctive clause with a relative (rarely with ut) (§ 535.f).
  80. Clauses of Result take the Subjunctive introduced by ut so that (negative, ut nōn), or by a Relative Pronoun or Relative Adverb (§ 537).
  81. The Causal Particles quod, quia, and quoniam take the Indicative when the reason is given on the authority of the writer or speaker; the Subjunctive when the reason is given on the authority of another (§ 540).
  82. The particles postquam (posteāquam), ubi, ut (ut prīmum, ut semel), simul atque (simul ac, or simul alone) take the Indicative (usually in the Perfect or the Historical Present ) (§ 543).
  83. A Temporal clause with cum (when) and some past tense of the Indicative dates or defines the time at which the action of the main verb occurred (§ 545).
  84. A Temporal clause with cum and the Imperfect or Pluperfect Subjunctive describes the circumstances that accompanied or preceded the action of the main verb (§ 546).
  85. Cum Causal or Concessive takes the Subjunctive (§ 549). For other concessive particles, see § 527.
  86. In Indirect Discourse the main clause of a Declaratory Sentence is put in the Infinitive with Subject Accusative. All subordinate clauses take the Subjunctive (§ 580).
  87. The Present, the Perfect, or the Future Infinitive is used in Indirect Discourse, according as the time indicated is present, past, or future with reference to the verb of saying etc. by which the Indirect Discourse is introduced (§ 584).
  88. In Indirect Discourse a real question is generally put in the Subjunctive; a rhetorical question in the Infinitive (§ 586).
  89. All Imperative forms of speech take the Subjunctive in Indirect Discourse (§ 588).
  90. A Subordinate clause takes the Subjunctive when it expresses the thought of some other person than the writer or speaker (Informal Indirect Discourse, § 592).
  91. A clause depending on a Subjunctive clause or an equivalent Infinitive will itself take the Subjunctive if regarded as an integral part of that clause (Attraction, § 593). For Prepositions and their cases, see §§ 220 - 221. For Conditional Sentences, see § 512 ff. (Scheme in § 514). For ways of expressing Purpose, see § 533.

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