Double Accusatives

Double Accusatives

Summary of Use

In addition to an accusative direct object, some verbs take either (i) a predicate accusative or (ii) a second object

Predicate Accusative

A predicate accusative renames the direct object

It appears with verbs of naming, choosing, appointing, making, showing, etc.

The predicate accusative is not an apposition, because it is not contained within a separate clause


  • Let us elect Cicero consul: creēmus Cicerōnem cōnsulem.
  • They named me augur: mē augurem nōmināvērunt.
  • He considered no one a man: hominem nēminem putāvit.
  • She offered herself as a leader: ducem sē praebuit.

Second Object

Certain verbs take two accusative objects, including verbs of asking, teaching, and cēlō, to conceal

Many of these verbs have alternative constructions featuring one accusative object, and one ablative of agent


  • He asked my opinion: mē sententiam rogāvit.
  • He prays to the gods for rest: ōtium dīvōs rogat.
  • She taught them the basics: elementa eōs docēbat.
  • I did not conceal the talk from you: nōn tē sermōnem celāvī.

Passive Constructions

When converted to passive form, double accusative constructions will often place one accusative in the nominative, leaving the other in the accusative

  • Caesar was asked his opinion: Caesar sententiam rogātus est.

Passive constructions may also use one nominative and one ablative of agent

  • This was urgently demanded of him: id ab eō flāgitābātur.

Secondary Object

“The accusative of secondary object is used…to denote something more remotely affected by the action of the verb” (AG, 394)

Here, there is a clear hierarchy between primary and secondary accusative objects

The secondary object is rare, an appears with only a handful of verbal compounds of dūco, iāciō, and portō, especially compounds with the preposition trāns

  • These are they whom Pompey conducted through his garrison: hīs sunt quōs Pompeius sua praesidia circumdūxit.

The Essential AG: 393, 396

Famous Phrase: multōs multa expierentia dōcet (Experiences teaches much to many.)

[a motto for pathologists]


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