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388. Certain special verbs require notice.

a. Many verbs apparently intransitive, expressing feeling, take an accusative, and may be used in the passive:—

  1. meum cāsum lūctumque doluērunt (Sest. 145) , they grieved at my calamity and sorrow.
  2. nōn Acrisium rīsissent Iuppiter et Venus (Hor. Od. 3.16.5) , if Jupiter and Venus had not laughed at Acrisius.
  3. rīdētur ab omnī conventū; (Hor. S. 1.7.22), he is laughed at by the whole assembly.

For the Cognate Accusative with verbs of taste, smell, and the like, see § 390. a.

Note.--Some verbs commonly intransitive may be used transitively (especially in poetry) from a similarity of meaning with other verbs that take the accusative:—

  1. gemēnsīgnōminiam (Georg. 3.226) , groaning at the disgrace. [Cf. doleō .]
  2. festīnāre fugam (Aen. 4.575) , to hasten their flight. [Cf. accelerō .]
  3. cōmptōsārsit crīnīs (Hor. Od. 4.9.13) , she burned with love for his well-combed locks. [Cf. adamō .]
b. Verbs of motion, compounds of circum , trāns , and praeter , and a few others, frequently become transitive, and take the accusative (cf. § 370. b):—
  1. mortem obīre, to die (to meet death).
  2. cōnsulātum ineunt (Liv. 2.28) , they enter upon the consulship.
  3. nēminem convēnī; (Fam. 9.14), I met no one.
  4. īnsulam adīsset (B. G. 4.20) , if he should go to the island.
  5. trānsīre flūmen (id. 2.23), to cross the river (cf. § 395).
  6. cīvēs quī circumstant senātum (Cat. 1.21) , the citizens who stand about the senate.

Note.--Among such verbs are some compounds of ad , in, per, and sub .

c. The accusative is used after the impersonals decet , dēdecet , dēlectat , iuvat , oportet , fallit , fugit , praeterit :—

  1. ita ut vōs decet (Plaut. Most. 729), so as befits you.
  2. pedibus dēlectat claudere verba (Hor. S. 2.1.28) , my delight is (it pleases me) to arrange words in measure.
  3. nisi fallit, unless I am mistaken (unless it deceives me).
  4. iūvit tibi tuās litterās prōfuisse (Fam. 5.21.3) , it pleased me that your literary studies had profited you.
  5. nōn praeterit (Fam. 1.8.2) , it does not escape your notice.

Note 1.--So after later in poetry and post-classical prose: as,latet plērōsque (Plin. N. H. 2.82), it is unknown to most persons.

Note 2.--These verbs are merely ordinary transitives with an idiomatic signification. Hence most of them are also used personally.

Note 3.-- Decet and latet sometimes take the dative:—

  1. ita nōbīs decet (Ter. Ad. 928) , thus it befits us.
  2. hostīque Rōma latet (Sil. It. 12.614), and Rome lies hidden from the foe.

d. A few verbs in isolated expressions take the accusative from a forcing of their meaning. Such expressions are:—

  1. ferīre foedus, to strike a treaty (i.e. to sanction by striking down a victim).
  2. vincere iūdicium (spōnsiōnem, rem, hōc), to prevail on a trial, etc. [As if the case were a difficulty to overcome; cf. vincere iter , Aen. 6.688.]
  3. aequor nāvigāre (Aen. 1.67) , to sail the sea. [As if it were trānsīre , § 388. b.]
  4. maria aspera iūrō; (id. 6.351), I swear by the rough seas (cf. id. 6.324). [The accusative with verbs of swearing is chiefly poetic.]
  5. noctīs dormīre, to sleep [whole] nights (to spend in sleep).

Note 1.--These accusatives are of various kinds. The last example approaches the cognate construction (cf. the second example under § 390).

Note 2.--In early and popular usage some nouns and adjectives derived from transitive verbs retain verbal force sufficient to govern the accusative:—

  1. quid tibi istanc tāctiō est (Plaut. Poen. 1308), what business have you to touch her? [Cf. tangō.]
  2. mīrābundī bēstiam (Ap. Met. 4.16) , full of wonder at the creature. [Cf. mīror .]
  3. vītābundus castra (Liv. 25.13) , trying to avoid the camp. [Cf. vītō .]

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • J. B. Greenough, Benjamin L. D'Ooge, M. Grant Daniell, Commentary on Caesar's Gallic War, AG BG 5.2
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