[*] 387. The Direct Object of a transitive verb is put in the Accusative (§ 274). [*] a. The Accusative of the Direct Object denotes (1) that which is directly affected, or (2) that which is caused or produced by the action of the verb:—
- (1) Brūtus Caesarem interfēcit, Brutus killed Cæsar.
- (2) aedem facere, to make a temple. [Cf. proelium pūgnāre, to fight a battle, § 390.]
[*] Note.--There is no definite line by which transitive verbs can be distinguished from intransitive. Verbs which usually take a direct object (expressed or implied) are called transitive, but many of these are often used intransitively or absolutely. Thus timeō, I fear, is transitive in the sentence inimīcum timeō, I fear my enemy, but intransitive (absolute) in nōlī timēre, don't be afraid. Again, many verbs are transitive in one sense and intransitive in another: as,—Helvētiōs superāvērunt Rōmānī, the Romans overcame the Helvetians; but nihil superābat, nothing remained (was left over). So also many verbs commonly intransitive may be used transitively with a slight change of meaning: as,—rīdēs, you are laughing; but mē rīdēs, you're laughing at me.[*] b. The object of a transitive verb in the active voice becomes its subject in the passive, and is put in the nominative (§ 275):—