Predicate Accusatives

In double accusative constructions, predicate accusatives are (a) both objects of the same verb and (b) synonymous with one another. They are especially common with verbs of naming, choosing, appointing, making, esteeming and showing.

  • They elected Cicero consul: Cicerōnem cōnsulem creavērunt.
  • The people will soon name me augur: populus mē mox augurem nōminābunt.
  • He thought no one a man in comparison with himself: hominem prae sē nēminem putāvit.
  • He offered himself as leader: ducem sē praebuit.
  • She turned boys into men: puerōs virōs vertēbat.
  • The girl named the horse Blondie: puella Flavum equum appellāvit.

The distinction here is with double accusative constructions that feature two different accusative objects.

  • She taught the boys the basics: puerōs elementa docuit.

There is no identity between the boys and their basics, whereas with Cicero and consul are now synonymous in the first example above.

When these constructions are made passive, both predicates are put in the nominative.

  • Cicero is elected consul: Cicerō cōnsul creātur.
  • Blondie was named by the girl: Flavus ab pellā appellātus est.

The predicate accusative can also be an adjective.

  • Old age makes men mild and gentle: aevus mītēs et mānsuētōs hominēs facit.

The Essential AG: 392-3