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Regarding gerundives.

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Regarding gerundives.

Postby RamenSama » Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:02 pm

Salvete particepes fori,
this is my first post on textkit so I will try to be brief. Recently I have had problems understanding the concept of gerundives, "passive verbal adjectives" as one textbook describes them. Some examples given are:

magister audiendus est - the master is to-be-listend to, or:

imperium regendum erat - The empire was to-be-ruled.

What I do not quite understand is how gerundives differ from say, passive participles? And, in what contexts should a gerundive be used? Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Postby Magistra » Mon Sep 13, 2004 10:56 pm

The examples you are giving are what are often referred to as gerundives of obligation. That's where a gerundive is used to indicate what "has to be" done.

magister audiendus est - the master/teacher/foreman is to-be-listend to, or:

imperium regendum erat - The empire was to-be-ruled.


Another way to translate these sentences is

The master must/has to be listened to.
The empire had to be ruled.

Dative case is often used with this with the translation of "by".

E.G. magister servis audiendus est.

The master must/has to be listened to by the slaves. OR The slaves must listen to the master. (The second translation is in more usual English and generally acceptable.)

The tense of the form of sum dictates what tense to use in English:

Present - must; have/has to
Imperfect - had to
Future - will have to

A perfect participle just indicates that the action of the participle happened before that of the main verb.

There are other uses for the gerund/gerundive, but I've tried to address your concerns with these examples.

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Postby RamenSama » Tue Sep 14, 2004 5:50 am

I see. I encountered several problems with nouns in the dative case, but thought to use sentances that excluded those as examples in my post. All has become much clearer now and my all too literal translations appear much cleaner.


Thank you for the help.
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Postby cweb255 » Tue Sep 14, 2004 5:12 pm

best way to translate gerundives (IMHO even gerundives of obligation) is needing to be. Vir audiendus est. - The man is needing to be heard.

PPP should be translated as "having been" except when used separately with "to be" i.e. Tu paratus urbem is. - You having been prepared go to the city.

but ... Tu paratus es. You are ready.

At least this works for me...
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