Verbs of Remembering and Recalling

The verbs of remembering and recalling take either and accusative or a genitive.

  • With the accusative, they describe a sort of physical possession of some object within the mind or memory.
  • With the genitive, they describe a mindful or contemplative state with respect to some object.
  • I remember Sulla killing the man: Sullam quattuor hominēs interficere meminī.
  • He thought fondly of Sulla: Sullae benē meminerat.
  • She remembers her own dog, but not her neighbor’s dog: suum canem meminit, set nōn sui vicinī canem.
  • She was mindful of her own business: suae meminerat.

Recall that meminī is a perfect with present sense (denoted a perfected state), and pluperfect with perfect (past) sense.

Also, note:

  • Personal pronouns (meī, tuī, suī, nostrī) are generally in the genitive.
  • Neuter pronouns (illum, istum, hōc) are generally in the accusative.

Some other common verbs of remembering:

  • revocō, revocāre, revocāvī, revocātum
  • memorō, memorāre, memorāvī, memorātum (sic. commemorō, etc.)
  • teneō, tenēre, tenuī, tentum

(I can’t confirm this, but I get the sense that teneō would only take the accusative, and not the airier ‘remembering state’ wit hthe genitive. I feel this is true because it’s more directly attached to physical possession than the other verbs.)

Reminīscor, reminīscī, – is a rare alternative, though it takes the same two options: accusative for physical possession of memory, or gentive of a mindful state.

Recordor, recordārī, recordātus sum usually takes the accusative, though may take dē + ablative.

  • I am reminded of their tears: dē suōrum lacrimīs recordor.

The Essential AG: 350a-d

Greek Nouns (in Latin) of the Second Declension

Consider this a sequel to my earlier post on Greek Nouns (in Latin) of the First Declension:

  • As with “Greek” first-declension nouns, these second-declension nouns decline like their regular Latin counterparts in the plural
  • Like the Greek second declension, nouns are by-and-large masculine or feminine
  • For the singular, they decline more regularly than the first-declension nouns. Have a look:

So, a few things:

  • These correspond more or less identically corresponding second-declension Greek nouns, with the genitive -ου rendered as the regular Latin -ī and dative -ῳ rendered as -ō
  • The exception here is Athōs, which declines more like an Attic-declension noun (see below)
  • Occasionally, the plural nominative -οι appears as -oe, rather than the typical Latin -ī
  • Nota bene that certain Greek names, like Odysseus, are actually third-declension nouns, which we’ll get to shortly.

For more on second-declension Greek nouns and the Attic declension:

The Essential AG: 52

Greek Nouns (in Latin) of the First Declension

Latin features loanwords from Greek, which I doubt will surprise you. A&G mentions a host of proper names, as well as “about thirty-five” other words in the first declension.

  • “Greek forms” are only a feature of singular nouns, since the “Greek” nouns decline like typical Latin nouns in the first declension plural
  • By my reading, all or nearly all of these verbs correspond to the first/α-declension in Greek

From what I see, these more or less correspond to the four basic variations of the Attic first declension, with the datives -ῃ and -ᾳ rendered as -ae, and the genitive -ου as (again) -ae.

The Greek is slightly complicated beyond the ‘four basic variations’ (some would say there are six basic, and there are certainly eight total). That’s not my line of work, so here’s a Wiki Synopsis:
Indeed, the Latin nouns are complicated too. Suffice it to say what I’ve offered above is a very terse representation of the numerous variations that A&G offer on each of these nouns. They also offer 5 additional sample nouns with different variations.

The Essential AG: 44

Objects Direct and Indirect

Pardon the vacation, everyone. I’ve spent the last week cramming for and completing the GRE.

Direct Objects are “immediately affected by the action of a verb” within a standard sentence.

  • Direct objects always follow transitive verbs

Indirect Objects are less than immediately affected by the action of the verb

  • This definition captures the indirect sensibility of genitive and ablative indirect objects, which are not your standard ‘recipient of gift’ phenomena
  • Indirect objects are immediately affected by the milieu of a subject-verb-direct object ‘unit’, regardless of whether this ‘unit’ states all parts explicitly
  • Indirect objects may therefore follow transitive or intransitive verbs

The accusative is the case proper to direct objects, yet an English sentence containing a direct object, where translated to Latin, may feature the other cases as well.
Direct and Indirect in Latin

The following sentences, in English, all feature ‘girl’ as direct object, yet in Latin receive either direct or indirect variations, dependent on the particular syntax of the Latin verb:

  • puellam videō: I see the girl.
  • puellae serviō: I serve the girl. (dative, indirect)
  • puellae misereor: I pity the girl. (genitive, indirect)
  • puellā ūtor: I make use of the girl. (ablative, indirect)

Note that the dative usage holds the regular ‘recipient of gift’ formula that we’d imagine in English, yet the genitive and ablative examples feature non-active verbs, which couldn’t take any object in English without a preposition.

Indeed, the conservative structure of Latin syntax allows Latin to omit many English prepositions when constructing subject-verb-direct object units:

  • petit aprum: he aims at the boar.
  • laudem affectat: he strives for praise.

Where the direct object/subject transition, in English, requires a preposition, Latin merely requires a shift in case:

  • pater fīlium vocat: the father calls his son
  • fīlius patre vocātur: the son is called by his father

The Essential AG: 274-5

The Locative Case (p1)

My last post left me curious about the precise use and character of the Locative case, so I took to milling around A&G for just about every line I could find on the matter. There’s more than the might imagine for a case so rare–

Let’s start with the formation of the locative case (post 1) and then I’ll search out all the things we can do with it (post 2).


Formation for First Declension

singular genitive; plural dative

(Rōmae; Athēnīs)

[remember that only place names which are already plural, like Athēnae, will appear with a plural locative]


Formation for Second Declension

singular genitive; plural dative

[Corinthī; Philippīs]


Formation for Third Declension

singular dative or ablative (-ī or -e); plural dative

[Carthāginī or Carthāgine; Trallibus]


Formation for Fourth Declension

The only locative offered by A&G is that for domus, house: it’s either domī or domuī


Formation of the Fifth Declension

Here, the locative only appears in a few fixed expressions of time, where it always ends in the singular ablative:

hodiē, today; diē quārtō (etc.), on the fourth day; postrīdiē, tomorrow; perendiē, the day after tomorrow; prīdiē, yesterday


1 —> gen/dat; 2 —> gen/dat; 3 —> dat or abl/dat; 4&5 —> just a few words!


The Essential AG: (scattered, I know) 43c; 49a; 80; 93 n1; 98b

Famous Phrase: in locō parentis [in place the parent]

This is a legal term describing a state of non-parent custody of children; a teacher or your aunt (while you’re staying at her cottage) are in locō parentis figures

Ablative of Source and Material

The Ablative of Source

The ablative of source, usually with a preposition, describes the source of any given thing

  • poetry will often omit the preposition (asyndeton)
  • verbs denoting birth or origin use the ablative of source without a preposition


  • The Rhine rises in from the country of the Lepontii: Rhēnus oritur ex Lepontiīs.
  • Here is the sweetness of odors which flow from the flowers: hīc suāvitās odōrum quī afflārentur ē flōribus.
  • He was born of kings: ēditus est rēgibus.
  • She lost Caius Fleginas of Placentia : dēsiderāvit C. Flegīnātem Placentiā.
  • The charm of the house consisted in its wood : dōmūs amoenitās silvā cōnstābat.

The Ablative of Material

The ablative of material, usually with a preposition, describes the material of which something consists

  • poetry will often omit the preposition (asyndeton)
  • the verbs cōnsistō and contineor use the ablative of material without a preposition
  • the ablative of material, without a preposition, is used with faciō and ficior to mean “to do with” or “become of”
  • the ablative of material may replace a partitive genitive


  • He was made all of fraud and falsehood: erat tōtus ex fraude et mendāciō factus.
  • I will build a temple of marble: templum dē marmore pōnam.
  • The charm of the house consisted in its wood : dōmūs amoenitās silvā cōnstābat.
  • What will you do with this man: quid hōc homine faciātis?
  • What will become of my dear Tullia: quid Tulliolā meā fīet?
  • He was one of four: erat ūnus ēx quattuor.

The Essential AG: 403

Famous Phrase: ē plūribus ūnum: from many, one

[motto of the United States]

Speaking of ūnus, coinage and Latin–cēterum censeō pennem dēlendam esse.

Death to Pennies.

Comparison of Gerunds and Gerundives (Genitive)

Comparison of Gerunds and Gerundives (Genitive) (p1/3)


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 Genitive

Both gerund and gerundive may appear as either an objective or subjective (possessive) genitive

  • It is the best end of living: vīvendī fīnis est optimus (subjective gerund)
  • She has a love for pillaging: amōrem capiendī habet. (objective gerund)
  • She is the daughter of that praiseworthy general: filia laudandī imperatōris est. (subjective gerundive)

Gerunds and gerundives in the genitive may take a direct object

  • I believe there is no just cause for taking up arms: nūllam causam arma capiendī esse putō. (objective gerundive)
  • He demonstrated the art of distinguishing true and false: artem vēra ac falsa dīiūdicandī ostendāvit. (objective gerund)

Occasionally, they take a second objective genitive in place of the direct object

  • They sought the ability to recover themselves: suī colligendī facultātem petīvērunt.

The gerundive with causā or gratiā (abl.) expresses purpose

  • He left for the sake of avoiding suspicion: abiit vītandae suspīciōnis causā.
  • She was silent in order to deceive: simulandī gratiā tacuit. 


The Essential AG: §504


Famous Phrase: in statū nascendī (in the state of being born)



[concept in cellular biology]