The Dative with Compound Verbs

Verbs Taking the Dative (p6/7)

The Dative with Compounds

Compounds with Prepositions

Verbs with the prepositions ad, ante, con, circum, in, inter, ob, post, prae, prō, sub and super will take a dative

  • “In these cases, the dative depends not on the preposition, but on the compound verb in its acquired meaning” [AG, 370a]
  • Therefore, in my opinion, the only sure method is good guesswork: does the meaning of the verb appear to demand a dative?

(Some) Compounds

  • I do no agree with them: nōn eīs adsentior.
  • The nature of man is superior to beasts: nātūra hominis pecudibus antecēdit.
  • He was in accord with himself: sibi ipse cōnsēnsit.
  • Virtues are always connected with pleasures: virtūtēs semper voluptātibus inhaerent.
  • He not only had a hand in all matters, but took the lead in them: omnibus negōtiīs nōn interfuit sōlum sed praefuit.
  • Arts yields to weather: tempestātī ars obsequitur.
  • He will never yield to his foes: numquam inimīcīs succumbet.


There are plenty of compounds verbs that do not take the dative

  • He will kill the women: fēminās interficiet!
  • He calls together his men: convocat suōs.
  • She opposes us: nōs oppūgnat.

See also aggredior (to go against + acc.), adeō (to approach +acc. ), antecēdō or anteeō or antegredior or praecēdo (to go before–dat. or acc.), conveniō (to suit + dat. or to convene, gather + acc.), ineō (to enter +acc. ), obeō (to go against +acc), offendō (to offend, fail, find fault with, defect, hit upon (cf. τυγχάνω) +acc. ), and subeō (to enter, to steal upon (cf. λανθάνω) +acc.)

Other verbs will take a dative and accusative, according to their particular meaning

  • We offer ourselves to dangers: nōs ipsōs offerimus perīculīs.

Compounds with satis, bene and male

  • I never satisfy myself: mihi ipse numquam satisfaciō.
  • He spoke ill of the excellent woman: optimae fēminae maledixit.
  • It is a glorious thing to benefit the commonwealth: pulchrum est benefacere reī pūblicae.

The Essential AG: 368.2, 370a-b

Famous Phrase: quī tacet consentīre vidētur (who is silent, appears to approve)

[I can’t find the source for this–any ideas?]



4 comments on “The Dative with Compound Verbs

  1. awilliams says:

    small quibble: “he will kill” should be interficiet

  2. awilliams says:

    also, you write: Arts yields to weather: tempestātī ars obsequntur.
    not sure what you mean by this? art (sg) yields = ars obsequitur; or arts (pl) yield = artes obsequuntur ?

    also, i have located the provenance of “quī tacet consentīre vidētur”
    it appears to originate with the 88 regulae iuris appended to the sixth book of decretals (papal letters that form the basis of canon law). specifically, it is the 43rd axiom of his 88 (he added the most of any pope, it seems) (see here:

    you can also find it on page 225 of this book:

  3. rsmease says:

    Awesome work. Keep it up.

    • awilliams says:

      the auctor may get 99% of the recognition to the editor’s 1, he (usually – and especially in this case) deserves about 98% -or, to put it another way, res profundo ex mente nascitur; cui enim oculi nihil sed auxilio

      what i mean to say is the accolades belong to you. this blog is a manifestation of something i’ve had in mind for the past couple of summers (during which i regularly reread A&G). i would resent that fact if this blog weren’t so expertly executed. i will definitely be sharing it with my students (who, despite their obsession with the internet, nevertheless seem to be mostly oblivious to the truly helpful content it contains; sometimes, sadly, even after i have pointed it out)! here’s a link to a sporadically updated tumblr:

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