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Dative: adjective complement


ἔτι οἱ γεωργοὶ τί χρήσιμοι τῇ πόλει;

‘In what respect are the farmers still useful for the city?’ (Aristot. Pol. 1268a.20)

The dative signals a complement with adjectives, especially in the roles of standard of comparison, beneficiary or malefactive.

Lexical usage


εὐμένης, εὔνους ‘well-disposed’, χρήσιμος, ὠφέλιμος ‘useful’, πιστός ‘faithfulness’, πλήσιος ‘close’, φίλος ‘friendly’ etc.


ἀντίπαλος, ἐναντίος ‘opposite’, ἐχθρός ‘hostile’, κατήκοος ‘obedient’, πολέμιος ‘hostile’ etc.

Standard of comparison

ὁ αὐτός ‘the same’, ὅμοιος ‘similar’, παραπλήσιος ‘nearly resembling’, ἴσος ‘equal’.
Further also with ἴδιος or οἰκεῖος [also + gen.] ‘own, peculiar’, κοινός [also + gen.] ‘common, shared’.

Example Sentences: 

ἡμεῖς γάρ, ὦνδρες οἱ παρόντες ἐν λόγῳ,

νόσον νοσοῦμεν τὴν ἐναντίαν Σάκᾳ

For, men who are present at this discourse, we suffer from a disease which is the opposite of that of Sacas. ֍

δύναται ἴσον τῷ δρᾶν τὸ νοεῖν

Thinking can accomplish as much as doing. ֍

αἰσθήσεως μὲν οὖν καὶ νοῦ ἀφαιρεθεὶς ἄνθρωπος φυτῶι γίγνεται παραπλήσιος.

A human, deprived of his senses and his intellect, becomes very much like a plant. ֍

ἐλέχθη δὲ καὶ ὅτι τῷ μεθύειν τὸ ἐρᾶν ὅμοιόν ἐστιν

It was also said that being in love resembles drunkenness. ֍

κόποι γὰρ καὶ ὕπνοι μαθήμασι πολέμιοι.

Tiredness and sleep are enemies of study.