Well, At Least Try

Two related of clauses of effort take a substantive clause of purpose with ut + subjunctive. They are classed under the general heading of such phrases that denote an action directed toward the future.

  • I will give it my best shot so that you will be satisfied: huic optīmam operam dābō tibi gratum sīs.
  • Let us attempt it now, to spare ourselves later pains: operam nunc dēmus ut postmodo onera vītēmus.
  • I will chew this over tomorrow: huic negōtium dābō postrīdiē.
  • Take care of this matter so that the plants do not die: huic negōtium dāte ne germina excīdant.

Note this alternative construction for operam dare.

  • He made the effort for the sake of learning: operam dedit discēndō. (gerundive clause)

The Essential AG: 505, 505n1, 563

Dative of Agent (1/2)

My recent posts on the Ablative of Agent sent me back to my earlier work on the Gerund/Gerundive distinction, and I realize that I never fully articulated that gerundives take a Dative of Agent.

  • This province is for you to defend: haec vōbis prōvincia est dēfendenda.
  • I have to fight one thousand matches: mihi est mille certamina pugnandum.
  • The armor you must wear is in the cabinet: arma gestanda tibi in armāriō sunt.

AG would like us to compare this construction to the dative of possession, viewing the gerundive as an ascribed duty for the dative Person:

  • I have to fight one thousand matches: mihi est mille certamina pugnandum.
  • My name is Commodus: mihi nomen Commodus est.

With the Second Passive Periphrastic construction (always gerundive + sum), the Ablative of Agent (ā/ab + ablative) may appear where a dative would be ambiguous.

  • To whom must you submit: quibus est ā vōbis cēdendum?
  • To whom should we give the books: quō ā nōbis librōs legendōs sunt?

The Essential AG: 374

My earlier work on the Gerund/Gerundive divide starts here. Flip posts at the bottom of the page to find the one you want. There are five of them on the topic.

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

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]

 

ger_ger_p2:3.pdf

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)

 

ger_ger_p1:3.pdf

[concept in cellular biology]

Uses of the Gerundive

Uses of the Gerundive

Summary of the Gerundive

The gerundive has two distinct forms–it may appear as verbal adjective (gerundive proper) or as verbal noun [the gerund–see ‘Uses of the Gerund’ (Gerund and Gerundive)]

  • There gerundive is attributive, the gerund substantive

The gerundive, a verbal adjective, “is always passive, denoting necessity, obligation, or propriety” (AG, §500)

The gerundive proper has three uses:

  1. It may agree with a noun, conferring a descriptive sense of necessity, obligation or propriety onto that noun
  2. It may appear within the secondary periphrastic construction, as a predicate to some noun with esse
  3. With certain verbs to express purpose

The Gerundive as Adjective

  • We see a brave man, worthy to be preserved: fortem et cōnservandum virum vidēmus.
  • We hear from him that an unbearable injury is done: iniūria facta esse nōn ferenda eō audīmus.

The Gerundive with the Second Periphrastic

Recall that the second periphrastic is a construction tying some form of esse to the gerundive (‘future passive participle’)

  • Won’t he need to be heard: nōnnē audiendus eus erit?
  • The city must be taken: urbs capienda est.

The Gerundive as Impersonal Periphrastic

Note that this is the only use of the gerundive capable of taking an object, and the use that falls nearest to the gerund

Since these gerundives, like all gerunds, are neuter, they can only be distinguished in sense–gerundives always carry a tone of necessity, obligation or propriety

  • Time must be obeyed: temporī serviendum est.
  • Caesar must not be succeeded: Caesarī nōn succendum est.
  • Moderate exercise must be used: ūtendum est exercitātiōnibus modicīs (abl.)

The Gerundive of Purpose

The gerundive may appear with certain verbs, those describing giving, delivering, agreeing for, having, receiving, undertaking and demanding

  • He took care that the ships and cargoes should be kept: nāvīs atque onera adservanda cūrābat.
  • He held the temple for overseeing: aedem habuit tuendam.
  • He admitted the men for prayers: virōs petendōs accēpit.

Essential AG: 196, 500

Famous Phrase: ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam

(With that, I say that Carthage must be destroyed.)

[Cato the Elder ended all of his speeches with this line after the Second Punic War. His wishes were fulfilled, three years after his death, in 146 BC.]

gerundive_summary.pdf

Uses of the Gerund (Gerund vs. Gerundive)

Summary of the Gerund (p1/3)

Summary of Use

The gerund is a verb noun, as the English gerund, which ends in -ing

  • Reading is a doorway.

The gerund is a (neuter singular) genitive, dative, accusative or ablative declension of the gerundive, the fourth principle part of the Latin noun

  • moneō, monēre, monuī, monitus (for the gerund, imagine monitum)

An important distinction between English and Latin gerunds: Latin gerunds appear only in the oblique cases.

Where a nominative is needed, Latin uses the infinitive

  • Reading is a doorway: legēre porta est.
  • The habit of reading is a doorway: mōs legendī porta est.

Gerund vs. Gerundive

Ideally, the gerundive, a verbal adjective, will agree with its corresponding noun, while the gerund, a verbal noun, remains neuter singular

  • This isn’t helpful when working with neuter nouns

Here are some examples that we can distinguish:

  • He had a design of taking the city: ratiō urbis capiendae tenuit. (gerundive)
  • He had a design of taking the city: ratiō urbem capiendī tenuit. (gerund)
  • The phrase urbis capiendae is entirely feminine, but the phrase urbem capiendī sees a neuter verbal noun with a feminine accusative object
  • Here, the gerundive is preferred

Here’s a more challenging example:

  • I occupied myself in the forum, the Curia and the defense of my friends: in forō, in cūriā, in amīcōrum perīculīs prōpulsandīs
  • First, note that gerunds and gerundives may be placed in apposition to nouns
  • Second, see that perīculum is neuter (dative or ablative), but prōpellō takes an accusative direct object
  • Therefore, prōpulsandīs must be agreeing with perīculīs, and this must be a gerundive construction
  • The (more awkward) gerund equivalent: in amīcōrum perīcula prōpulsandīs 

A gerund with a direct object is rare, so don’t let it worry you

The Essential AG: §501-503

Famous Phrase: tenet insānābile multōs scrībendī cacoethes

(the insatiable itch of writing grips many) -Juvenal, Saturās, 7.51

gerund_p1.pdf