I_) The nominative is used for the subject of a finite verb.
Ipse Epicurus obit. Lucretius Dë rêrum nâtûrâ 3.1042
It is also used for the predicate of a finite copulative verb, that is, a verb such as to be, seem, appear, or be called that is followed by a description or definition of the subject.
I am good Aeneas.
Quod nisi concédas, habeâre insuâvis♦ *Horace Sermônës 1.3*85
If you were not to concede this, you would be considered harsh.
_J The vocative is used to address another person.
ExI e cullna sis foras, mastigia, Plautus Mostellaria 1
Come out into the open from the kitchen, if you please, [you] rascal. Nil recitas et vis, Mamerce, poeta videri.
Martial Epigrammata 2.88.1 You recite nothing, and [yet] wish to appear a poet, Mamercus.
The accusative is used for the direct object of transitive verbs and after certain prepositions.
Quid tam sollicitis vitam consümimus annísí
Manilius Astronómica 4.1
Why do we spend our lives in such anxious years? ... priusquam tellüs in longas est patefacta vias.
Tibullus Elegies i.3.35í.
.., before the earth was cleared into long roads.
Because of their meaning, some verbs can take two accusatives.
C Factitive verbs, that is, verbs of making, calling, thinking, etc. (The English construction is usually the same.)
Ingenii... vocas carmen inertis opus.
You call poetry the work of a lazy mind.
Ovid Amores 1.15.2
Horace Odes i.24.nf. *Plautus Trinummus 1016
<[ Verbs of asking, teaching, and a few others
Tu frustra ... poscis Quintilium deds.
You in vain ask the gods for Quintilius. Is hunc hominem cursuram docet. He teaches this man [the art of] running.
When a verb of the second type is put into the passive, one of the accusatives can be kept (retained accusative).
Chloe ... dulcis docta modds. Horace Odes 3.9.9f.
Chloe, skilled, (lit., having been taught) sweet melodies.
The accusative-and'infinitive construction is used after verbs of say-ing, thinking, believing, showing, perceiving, etc., where English normally uses a noun clause introduced by that. The subject of the infinitive is put into the accusative, and the tense of the infinitive (present, future, or perfect) is that of the finite verb in the original statement.
Necdum etiam sese quae visit visere credit.
Catullus Carmina 64.55
Not even yet does she believe that she is seeing what she sees.
Lapides in corpore terrae ossa reor diet.
Ovid Metamorphoses i.393f.
I think that stones are called (die!) bones in the earth's body.
^11 1 The accusative is used to express time how long.
Dies noctesque bibite. Plautus Mostellaria 22
Drink for days and nights.
In Silver Latin, the ablative can be used for this purpose.
Secura potes totis tussire diebus. Martial Epigrammata 1.19.3
You can cough without care for entire days.
The accusative is used to express spatial extent.
Sulmo mihi patria est,... mtlia qui noviens distat ab urbe decern.
Ovid Tristia 4.io.3f. My native place is Sulmo, which is nine times ten (i.e., ninety) miles from the city (i.e., Rome).
, Motion toward is expressed by the accusative more freely in verse _J than in prose, where it is confined to certain nouns.
Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam fato profugus Lavtniaque venit Utora. Vergil Aeneid i.iff. I sing of arms and of the man who, an exile by fate, first came from the shores of Troy to Italy and the coasts of Lavinium.
The accusation of exclamation indicates amazement, admiration, or distress. It is sometimes preceded by ô or some other word of exclamation.
Ô të, Bôlàne, cerebri fèlïceml Horace Sermônës i.g.ni.
O Bolanus, [how] fortunate [you are] in [your] bad temper! Mê miserum, quanti montes volvuntur aquàrum! Ovid Tristia 1.2.19 Unhappy me! What great mountains of water are surging up!
Was this article helpful?