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Accusative: subject of an infinitive or participle clause


ἐκ πολλῆς εὐδίας ἀνάγκη καὶ χειμῶνα γενέσθαι

‘After a long period of good weather winter must come again.’ (Aesop Fab. 13.1.12)

The accusative signals a subject in an infinitive or participle clause (with the macroroles agens, experiens and

Syntactic usage

If the subject of the infinitive clause is coreferential with that of the main clause, it is usually omitted (e.g. οὐ βούλομαι τὸν μάντιν ἀντειπεῖν κακῶς ‘I have no wish to contradict the seer in an insulting way.’ – Soph. Ant. 1053). When the same happens with the subject of a participle clause, the participle is put in the nominative.

Example Sentences: 

ἴστε δήπου νόμον ἡμῖν ὑπάρχοντα, ἐξ οὗ τήνδε οἰκοῦμεν τὴν πόλιν, πάντων εἶναι κυρίαν τὴν βουλήν, πλὴν…

So you know that as long as we have inhabited this city, we have had a law that the assembly is sovereign in everything, except…

οὐ χρὴ πόλλ᾿ ἔχειν θνητὸν ἄνθρωπον, ἀλλ᾿ ἐρᾶν καὶ κατεσθίειν.

Apart from love and food a mortal needs nothing. ֍

δεῖ γὰρ ἀληθῶς βασιλέα καλοποιεῖν· ὁ δὲ κακοποιῶν, τύραννος

For a king must truly act nobly. He who acts basely is a tyrant.

νομίζω δὲ δύο τὰ ἐναντιώτατα εὐβουλίᾳ εἶναι, τάχος τε καὶ ὀργήν

In my judgement there are two things that are diametrically opposed to prudence: haste and anger. ֍