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289. Neuter Adjectives are used substantively in the following special senses:—

a. The neuter singular may denote either a single object or an abstract quality:—

raptō vīvere, to live by plunder. in āridō, on dry ground.

  1. honestum, an honorable act, or virtue (as a quality).
  2. opus est mātūrātō, there is need of haste. [Cf. impersonal passives § 208. d.]
b. The neuter plural is used to signify objects in general having the quality denoted, and hence may stand for the abstract idea:—

honesta, honorable deeds (in general). praeterita, the past (lit., bygones).

  1. omnēs fortia laudant, all men praise bravery (brave things).
c. A neuter adjective may be used as an appositive or predicate noun with a noun of different gender (cf. § 287. a):—
  1. trīste lupus stabulīs (Ecl. 3.80) , the wolf [is] a grievous thing for the fold.
  2. varium et mūtābile semper fēmina (Aen. 4.569) , woman is ever a changing and fickle thing.
  3. malum mihi vidētur esse mors (Tusc. 1.9) , death seems to me to be an evil.

d. A neuter adjective may be used as an attributive or a predicate adjective with an infinitive or a substantive clause:—

  1. istuc ipsum nōn esse (Tusc. 1.12) , that very “not to be.”
  2. hūmānum est errāre, to err is human.
  3. aliud est errāre Caesarem nōlle, aliud nōlle miserērī; (Lig. 16), it is one thing to be unwilling that Cæsar should err, another to be unwilling that he should pity.

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