Intersum and Rēferō

Summary of Intersum and Rēferō

Summary of Use

Intersum and rēfero appear with many meanings, both personal and impersonal

They decline irregularly, in the pattern of sum and ferō, i.o.

Personal Uses 

As a personal verb, intersum may be translated be apart, differ, be among, be between, or attend to

As a personal verb, rēferō may be translated carry back, relate, announce, decree return, repay, revive, restore, repeat, et al.

Impersonal Uses

As impersonal verbs, interest and rēfert may both be translated as be of interest or matter or be advantageous 

“The subject of the verb is a neuter pronoun or a substantive clause” (AG, 355)

The person affective is given in the genitive

  • It was an interest of Clodius that he should die: Clōdī intererat eum perīre.
  • It matters more to her than her own children: id eius quam suōs līberōs rēfert.

“The degree of interest is expressed by a genitive of value, an adverb, or an adverbial accusative” (AG, 355n2)

  • Her life matters much to me: magnī eam vīvere meī rēfert.

Rare and Advanced Alternatives 

The person affected may be replaced with a feminine ablative singular possessive pronoun

  • How does that concern you: quid tuā id rēfert? 
  • These are to your advantage: illa vestrā intersunt.

A preposition phrase with ad may replace the subject of the verb

  • It is of great consequence to our honor: magnī ad honōrem nostrum interest.
  • They matter nothing to the crop: nullī ad frūctūs rēferunt.

The person affected is given with ad or the dative

  • What does it matter to me: quid id ad mē rēfert? 
  • It makes no difference to judge: id judicī nōn interest.

The Essential AG: 355

Famous Phrase: quam benē vivās rēfert, non quam diū

(It matters how well you live, not how long.) [Seneca, Epistulae Morales, 101.15]



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