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Dative: experiencer as disjunct

Syntactical Level

ὦ μῆτερ ὡς καλός μοι ὁ πάππος

‘Mother, how handsome is grandfather!’ (Xen. Cyrop. 1.3.2)

The dative form of a personal pronoun in the first or second person (μοι, ἡμῖν, σοι [or τοί], ὑμῖν) signals an experiencer as a disjunct. The speaker assumes that the person in question takes an interest in the state of affairs.

Translation tips

Usually it is better not to translate the so-called ethical dative.


The so-called ethical dative also occurs in the third person (οἱ, αὐτῷ, αὐτῇ etc.), but this is very rare.

Example Sentences: 

τοιοῦτο ῡ̒μῖν ἐστι ἡ τυραννίς

Look, that's tyranny now. [provisional translation]

ἀλλ᾽ ὑπονόησον σύ μοι

But you can guess what I mean. ֍

τυφλός εἰμί σοι

Gosh, I'm blind! ֍

παύεσθέ μοι ὀρχεόμενοι

For goodness' sake stop dancing.