The More, The More

The two phrases quō..eō (hōc), tantō…quantō (hōc) can be broadly translated as ‘the more…the more.’ They are ablatives of degree of difference used to correlate to comparatives.

  • quō minus cpiditātis, eō plus auctōritātis, the less greed, the more authority
  • quantō erat gravior oppūgnātiō, tantō crēbriōrēs litterae mittēbantur, the severe the siege was, the more frequently letters were sent

The third variation is simply emphatic.

  • quantō plus crustulōs murī dabis, tantō hōc plus crustulīs eget: the mouse’s desire for cookies will increase in exact proportion to the number of cookies that you give him.

A&G note that this correlative construction later mutated to describe Cause instead of Degree of Difference.

  • eō mē minus paenitet, for that reason I regress less.

(Severe addicts should check out A&G’s note on this section 414an1, which details how the English ‘the…the’ is actually a direct descendent of these expressions, emerging from the instrumental case of a pronoun in Angle-Saxon, thȳ.)

The Essential AG: 414a, 414an

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Comparison of Gerund and Gerundive (Ablative)

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 Ablative

The ablative of gerunds and gerundives has three purposes: (1) as an ablative of manner, means, or cause, (2) after comparatives, (3) after certain prepositions

In each use, the gerund and gerundive have similar frequencies

These ablatives may take a direct object, but they do so rarely

 

Ablative of Manner, Means and Cause

  • He persuades by large promises: multa pollicendō persuādet. (gerund)
  • She is equal to any man in speaking Latin: Latīnē loquendō cuivīs pār est. (gerund)
  • He revealed by reading these very things: hīs ipsīs legendīs ostendābat. (gerundive)

With Comparatives

  • No duty is more important than repaying favors: nūllum officium referendā grātiā magis necessārium est. (gerundive)
  • He enjoys reading more than writing: legendō magis quam scrībiendō fruitur. (legendō is abl. with fruor, describing manner) (gerund)

After Prepositions

  • These prepositions are ab, dē, ex, in and prō 
  • I want to be employed in conducting affairs: in rē gerendā versārī volō (gerundive)
  • She spoke of mourning: lugendō orābat. (gerund)

 

The Essential AG: §507

 

Famous Phrase: castigat rigendō mōrēs. (one corrects custom through laughter)

[neo-Latin phrase coined by the French poet Jean de Santeul]

 

ger_ger_p3:3.pdf