13.2 Sintaxe dos Casos Latinos. Genitivo


Contents: 01, 02, 03, 04,

Bibliografia Charles Bennett .

GENITIVE WITH NOUNS. Cfr. A New Latin Grammar by Charles Bennett apud The Latin Library

195. With Nouns the Genitive is the case which defines the meaning of the limited noun more closely. This relation is generally indicated in English by the preposition of. There are the following varieties of the Genitive with Nouns:—

Genitive of Origin,

Objective Genitive,

Genitive of Material,

Genitive of the Whole,

Genitive of Possession,

Appositional Genitive,

Subjective Genitive,

Genitive of Quality.

196. Genitive of Origin; as,—

Mārcī fīlius, the son of Marcus.

197. Genitive of Material; as,—

talentum aurī, a talent of gold;

acervus frūmentī, a pile of grain.

198. Genitive of Possession or Ownership; as,—

domus Cicerōnis, Cicero's house.

1. Here belongs the Genitive with causā and grātiā. The Genitive always precedes; as,—

hominum causā, for the sake of men;

meōrum amīcōrum grātiā, for the sake of my friends.

2. The Possessive Genitive is often used predicatively, especially with esse and fierī; as,—

domus est rēgis, the house is the king's;

stultī est in errōre manēre, it is (the part) of a fool to remain in error;

dē bellō jūdicium imperātōris est, nōn mīlitum, the decision concerning war belongs to the general, not to the soldiers.

a. For the difference in force between the Possessive Genitive and the Dative of Possession, see, § 359.1.

199. Subjective Genitive. This denotes the person who makes or produces something or who has a feeling; as,—

dicta Platōnis, the utterances of Plato;

timōrēs līberōrum, the fears of the children.

200. Objective Genitive. This denotes the object of an action or feeling; as,—

metus deōrum, the fear of the gods;

amor lībertātis, love of liberty;

cōnsuētūdō bonōrum hominum, intercourse with good men.

1. This relation is often expressed by means of prepositions; as,—

amor ergā parentēs, love toward one's parents.

201. Genitive of the Whole. This designates the whole of which a part is taken. It is used—

1. With Nouns, Pronouns, Comparatives, Superlatives, and Ordinal Numerals; as,—

magna pars hominum, a great part of mankind;

duo mīlia peditum, two thousand foot-soldiers;

quis mortālium, who of mortals?

major frātrum, the elder of the brothers;

gēns maxima Germānōrum, the largest tribe of the Germans;

prīmus omnium, the first of all.

a. Yet instead of the Genitive of the Whole we often find ex or with the Ablative, regularly so with Cardinal numbers and quīdam; as,—

fidēlissimus dē servīs, the most trusty of the slaves;

quīdam ex amīcīs, certain of his friends;

ūnus ex mīlitibus, one of the soldiers.

b. In English we often use of where there is no relation of whole to part. In such cases the Latin is more exact, and does not use the Genitive; as,—

quot vōs estis, how many of you are there?

trecentī conjūrāvimus, three hundred of us have conspired (i.e. we, three hundred in number).

2. The Genitive of the Whole is used also with the Nominative or Accusative Singular Neuter of Pronouns, or of Adjectives used substantively; also with the Adverbs parum, satis, and partim when used substantively; as,—

quid cōnsilī, what purpose?

tantum cibī, so much food;

plūs auctōritātis, more authority;

minus labōris, less labor;

satis pecūniae, enough money;

parum industriae, too little industry.

a. An Adjective of the second declension used substantively may be employed as a Genitive of the Whole; as, nihil bonī, nothing good.

b. But Adjectives of the third declension agree directly with the noun they limit; as, nihil dulcius, nothing sweeter.

3. Occasionally we find the Genitive of the Whole dependent upon Adverbs of place; as,—

ubi terrārum? ubi gentium? where in the world?

a. By an extension of this usage the Genitive sometimes occurs in dependence upon prīdiē and postrīdiē, but only in the phrases prīdiē ejus diēī, on the day before that; postrīdiē ejus diēī, on the day after that.

202. Appositional Genitive. The Genitive sometimes has the force of an appositive; as,—

nōmen rēgis, the name of king;

poena mortis, the penalty of death;

ars scrībendī, the art of writing.

203. Genitive of Quality. The Genitive modified by an Adjective is used to denote quality. This construction presents several varieties. Thus it is used—

1. To denote some internal or permanent characteristic of a person or thing; as,—

vir magnae virtūtis, a man of great virtue;

ratiōnēs ejus modī, considerations of that sort.

a. Only a limited number of Adjectives occur in this construction, chiefly magnus, maximus, summus, tantus, along with ejus.

2. To denote measure (breadth, length, etc.); as,—

fossa quīndecim pedum, a trench fifteen feet wide (or deep);

exsilium decem annōrum, an exile of ten years.

3. Equivalent to the Genitive of Quality (though probably of different origin) are the Genitives tantī, quantī, parvī, magnī, minōris, plūris, minimī, plūrimī, maximī. These are used predicatively to denote indefinite value; as,—

nūlla studia tantī sunt, no studies are of so much value;

magnī opera ejus exīstimāta est, his assistance was highly esteemed.

4. By an extension of the notion of value, quantī, tantī, plūris, and minōris are also used with verbs of buying and selling, to denote indefinite price; as,—

quantī aedēs ēmistī, at how high a price did you purchase the house?

5. Any of the above varieties of the Genitive of Quality may be used predicatively; as,—

tantae mōlis erat Rōmānam condere gentem, of so great difficulty was it to found the Roman race.


204. The Genitive is used with many Adjectives to limit the extent of their application. Thus:—

1. With adjectives signifying desire, knowledge, familiarity, memory, participation, power, fullness, and their opposites; as,—

studiōsus discendī, desirous of learning;

perītus bellī, skilled in war;

īnsuētus labōris, unused to toil;

immemor mandātī tuī, unmindful of your commission;

plēna perīculōrum est vīta, life is full of dangers.

a. Some participles used adjectively also take the Genitive; as,—

diligēns vēritātis, fond of truth;

amāns patriae, devoted to one's country.

2. Sometimes with proprius and commūnis; as,—

virī propria est fortitūdō, bravery is characteristic of a man.

memoria est commūnis omnium artium, memory is common to all professions.

a. proprius and commūnis are also construed with the Dative.

3. With similis the Genitive is the commoner construction in Cicero, when the reference is to living objects; as,—

fīlius patris simillimus est, the son is exactly like his father;

meī similis, like me; vestrī similis, like you.

When the reference is to things, both Genitive and Dative occur; as,—

mors somnō (or somnī) similis est, death is like sleep.

4. In the poets and later prose writers the use of the Genitive with Adjectives is extended far beyond earlier limits; as, atrōx animī, fierce of temper; incertus cōnsilī, undecided in purpose.


205. The Genitive is used with the following classes of Verbs:—

Memini, Reminīscor, Oblīvīscor.


a. meminī always takes the Genitive of personal or reflexive pronouns; as,—

meī meminerīs, remember me!

nostrī meminit, he remembers us.

With other words denoting persons meminī takes the Accusative, rarely the Genitive; as,—

Sullam meminī, I recall Sulla;

vīvōrum meminī, I remember the living.

b. oblīvīscor regularly takes the Genitive; as,—

Epicūrī nōn licet oblīvīscī, we mustn't forget Epicurus.

2. WHEN REFERRING TO THINGS, meminī, reminīscor, oblīvīscor take sometimes the Genitive, sometimes the Accusative, without difference of meaning; as,—

animus praeteritōrum meminit, the mind remembers the past;

meministīne nōmina, do you remember the names?

reminīscere veteris incommodī, remember the former disaster;

reminīscēns acerbitātem, remembering the bitterness.

a. But neuter pronouns, and adjectives used substantively, regularly stand in the Accusative; as,—

haec meminī, I remember this;

multa reminīscor, I remember many things.

3. The phrase mihi (tibi, etc.) in mentem venit, following the analogy of meminī, takes the Genitive; as,—

mihi patriae veniēbat in mentem, I remembered my country.

Admoneō, Commoneō, Commonefaciō.

207. These verbs, in addition to an Accusative of the person, occasionally take a Genitive of the thing; as,—

tē veteris amīcitiae commonefaciō, I remind you of our old friendship.

a. But more frequently (in Cicero almost invariably) these verbs take with the Ablative; as,—

mē admonēs dē sorōre, you remind me of your sister.

b. A neuter pronoun or adjective used substantively regularly stands in the Accusative (§ 178, 1, d); as,—

tē hōc admoneō, I give you this warning.

Verbs of Judicial Action.

208. 1. Verbs of Accusing, Convicting, Acquitting take the Genitive of the charge; as,—

mē fūrtī accūsat, he accuses me of theft;

Verrem avāritiae coarguit, he convicts Verres of avarice;

impietātis absolūtus est, he was acquitted of blasphemy.

2. Verbs of Condemning take—

a. The Genitive of the charge; as,—

pecūniae pūblicae condemnātus, condemned (on the charge) of embezzlement (lit. public money);

capitis damnātus, condemned on a capital charge (lit. on a charge involving his head).

b. The Ablative of the penalty; as,—

capite damnātus est, he was condemned to death;

mīlle nummīs damnātus est, he was condemned (to pay) a thousand sesterces (lit. by a thousand sesterces, Abl. of Means).

3. Note the phrases:—

vōtī damnātus, vōtī reus, having attained one's prayer (lit. condemned on the score of one's vow);

dē vī, (accused, convicted, etc.) of assault;

inter sīcāriōs, (accused, convicted, etc.) of murder.

Genitive with Impersonal Verbs.

209. 1. The Impersonals pudet, paenitet, miseret, taedet, piget take the Accusative of the person affected, along with the Genitive of the person or thing toward whom the feeling is directed; as,—

pudet mē tuī, I am ashamed of you (lit. it shames me of you);

paenitet mē hūjus factī, I repent of this act;

eum taedet vītae, he is weary of life;

pauperum tē miseret, you pity the poor.

a. Instead of the Genitive of the thing we often find an Infinitive or Neuter Pronoun used as subject of the verb. Thus;—

mē paenitet hōc fēcisse, I repent of having done this;

mē hōc pudet, I am ashamed of this.

2. Misereor and miserēscō also govern the Genitive; as,—

miserēminī sociōrum, pity the allies.

Interest, Rēfert.

210. With interest, it concerns, three points enter into consideration; viz.

a) the person concerned;

b) the thing about which he is concerned;

c) the extent of his concern.

211. 1. The person concerned is regularly denoted by the Genitive; as,—

patris interest, it concerns the father.

a. But instead of the Genitive of the personal pronouns, meī, tuī, nostrī, vestrī, the Latin uses the Ablative Singular Feminine of the Possessive, viz.: meā, tuā, etc.; as,—

meā interest, it concerns me.

2. The thing about which a person is concerned is denoted—

a) by a Neuter Pronoun as subject; as,—

hōc reī pūblicae interest, this concerns the state.

b) by an Infinitive; as,—

omnium interest valēre, it concerns all to keep well.

c) by an Indirect Question; as,—

meā interest quandō veniās, I am concerned as to when you are coming.

3. The degree of concern is denoted—

a) by the Genitive (cf. § 203, 3): magnī, parvī, etc.; as,—

meā magnī interest, it concerns me greatly.

b) by the Adverbs, magnopere, magis, maximē, etc.; as,—

cīvium minimē interest, it concerns the citizens very little.

c) by the Neuters, multum, plūs, minus, etc.; as,—

multum vestrā interest, it concerns you much.

4. Rēfert follows interest in its construction, except that it rarely takes the Genitive of the person. Thus:—

meā rēfert, it concerns me;

but rarely illīus rēfert, it concerns him.

Genitive with Other Verbs.

212. 1. Verbs of Plenty and Want sometimes govern the Genitive; as,—

pecūniae indigēs, you need money.

a. These verbs more commonly take the Ablative (cf. § 203, 3): indigeō is the only verb which has a preference for the Genitive.

2. Potior, though usually followed by the Ablative, sometimes takes the Genitive, almost always so in Sallust; and regularly in the phrase potīrī rērum, to get control of affairs.

3. In poetry some verbs take the Genitive in imitation of the Greek; as,—

dēsine querellārum, cease your complaints;

operum solūtī, freed from their tasks.