Comparison of Gerund and Gerundive (Dative and Accusative)

Summary of Comparison

The gerundive, or perfect passive participle, is a verbal adjective, which conveys a sense of necessity, obligation or propriety

  • The gerundive may appear in any case, according to its corresponding noun

The gerund is a type of gerundive, appearing only the oblique (non-nominative) cases, used substantial as a verbal noun

  • This use of the gerundive, always neuter singular, is comparable to the English gerund, which ends in -ing

For a more basic discussion of gerunds and gerundives, see the articles on ‘Gerunds’ and ‘Gerundives’ elsewhere in this blog


Gerunds and Gerundives with the Dative

Gerundives, expressive purpose, appear as a dative in a few standard expressions

  • He appointed a day for doing the work: diem praestitit operī faciendō.
  • She had take charge of working the land: praeesse agrō colendō erat.
  • The visit was for paying the fine: adventus solvendō fuit.

Both may appear as datives with certain verbs of fitness or adapability

Here, though, ad + accusative gerund/gerundive is preferred

  • He discovered a sort of armor suited to the defense of the body: genus armōrum aptum tegendīs corporibus invēnit. (gerundive)
  • They were suitable for carrying the instructions of the soldiers: perferndīs mīlitum mandātīs idōneus fuērunt. (gerundive)
  • It was a good thinking chair: silla bona dubitandō fuit. (gerund)

The gerundive appears in various legal phrases indicating scope of office

  • The participated in elections for nominating consuls: comitiīs cōnsulibus rogandīs participābunt. (comitiīs = abl. with participo)
  • He was elected triumvir for planting colonies: triumvirum colōniīs dēdūcundīs allēgit. 

Gerunds and Gerundives with the Accusative

The expression ad + gerund/gerundive, expressing purpose, is incredibly common in classical Latin

The expression never takes a direct object

  • You summon me to write: mē vocās ad scrībendum. (gerund)
  • You live not to put off, but to confirm daring: vīvis nōn ad dēpōnendum sed ad cōnfirmandum audāciam. (gerund)
  • She proceeded, having found means to undertake these things, nactus aditūs ad ea cōnanda prōfecta est. (gerundive)


The Essential AG: §505, 506


Famous Phrase: ad referendum (to be proposed)

[intermediary status of bill under the consideration of a legislative body]




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s