AGLatin Wiki

1. Special Verb:

Dative as a direct object. Some verbs take the dative case as a direct object.

  • Dido Aeneae non credidit. - Dido did not believe Aeneas.
  • Dominus puellae persuadere non potuit. - The master could not persuade the girl.

Dative with a compound. This is NOT the same as an indirect object. This is what happens when a compound verb takes two objects. The "verbal part" the compound takes an accusative object and the "prepositional part" of the compound takes a dative object.

  • aurea subnectens cingula mammae - Fastening gold belts beneath her breast
    • subnecto, -ere means "to fasten beneath". Notice how the accusative noun comes after "fasten" and the dative noun comes after "beneath" in the translation.
  • bis collō squamea terga circumdatī - Having placed their scaly backs around his neck twice
    • circumdo, -are means "to place around". Notice how the accusative noun comes after "place" and the dative noun comes after "around" in the translation.
  • quid quibus anteferam? - What am I to place before such things?
    • antefero, -ferre means "to place before". Notice how the accusative "quid" functions as the object of "place" and the dative "quibus" functions as the object of "before" in the translation.

2. Dative of reference. Used to indicate benefit to, harm/hindrance to, or perception by a person or group. I like to call this the "cop-out" dative. When in doubt, put this.

  • si tibi quicquam dulce meum - If my anything was sweet to you (perception; i.e. if you perceive it as sweet)
  • Difficile erat regi regere civitatem - It was difficult for the king to rule the state (hindrance)
  • Tibi auxilium latum est - Help has been brought to you. (benefit)

When quotes or indirect statements are said to somebody, that somebody is dative of reference.

  • Puerō dixi matrem mox reventuram esse. - I said to the boy that his mother would soon return.

The dative of reference can indicate possession when the verb used is not "esse":

  • Si quis mihi parvulus aulā luderet Aeneas - If any tiny Aeneas were playing in my palace (lit. the palace for me)

3. Dative of purpose. This will NEVER BE A PERSON. This is the purpose that an action, person, or thing serves, or what it is for.

  • Vestiamus corpus funerī. - Let us dress the body for the funeral.
  • Si quis locus precibus adhuc - If there was any place for prayers until now

4. Double dative. This is a construction consisting of a dative of purpose and a dative of reference. The thing is dative of purpose, and the person is dative of reference.

  • Scribere est solaciō poetae. - To write is a comfort to the poet. (lit. to write is for comfort to the poet)

5. Indirect object. Tells "to or for whom" something is done. You cannot have an indirect object without a direct object.

  • Emistine togam novam filiō tuō? - Did you buy the new toga for your son?
  • Fabrī aulam reginae construerunt. - The craftsmen built a palace for the queen.

6. Dative of agent. Tells "by whom" a something is done. Usually found in a passive periphrastic with a gerundive of obligation.

  • Vobīs manendum est. - You must stay. (lit. it must be stayed by you)
  • Bonae vitae nobīs ducendae sunt. - We must lead good lives. (lit. good lives must be led by us)
  • Nulla sororum tuārum mihi visa est. - None of your sisters has been seen by me.

7. Dative of direction. In poetry, the dative case is often used instead of "ad" and an accusative to express place to which.

  • inferretque deōs Latiō - He would bring in gods to Latium
  • Figit oculōs terrae - She fixes her eyes to the ground

8. Dative with special adjective. Adjectives relating to familiarity, likeness, attitude, closeness, or aptitude will often take the dative. Remember the acronym FLACA:






  • Similis avī - Similar to a bird (likeness)
  • Videt Atridās Priamumque et saevum ambōbus Achillem. - He sees the sons of Atreus and Priam and Achilles hostile to them both (attitude).

9. Dative of possession. Used with the verb "to be" to denote possession.

  • Mihi feles nigra est. - I have a black cat. (lit. there is a black cat to me)
  • Quinque annīs magnae opēs virō erunt. - In five years, the man will have great riches. (lit. In five years, great riches will be to the man)