Elements of Latin Lesson 106
The Gerund and Gerundive -
Vocabulary Review

Crēscit eundō — She grows as she goes
Motto of the state of New Mexico. Literally, She grows by going.

690. Review the word lists in §778, §779.

691. Gerund. A verbal noun is the name of an action: as,

Talking is useless.

692. English has many verbal nouns ending in -ing. When these are in the nominative case, they are expressed in Latin by the infinitive: as,

Seeing is believing, vidēre est crēdere

693. When the English verbal noun is not a nominative, it is expressed in Latin by a verbal noun called a gerund.

694. The Latin gerund is used only in the genitive, dative, accusative, and ablative singular, and is formed by adding -ndī, -ndō, -ndum, -ndō to the present stem: as,

   Gen. vocandī, of calling
   Dat. vocandō, for calling
   Acc. vocandum, calling
   Abl. vocandō, by calling

Learn the gerunds of the other model verbs, moneō, regō, capiō, audiō (§§ 833-836). Deponent verbs have the gerund of the active voice.

695. Uses of Gerund. The gerund has the construction of a noun; but, being verbal in character, it may have an object: as,

gerendō bellum
by waging war

Here gerendō is ablative of means and bellum is its direct object.

696. Gerund denoting Purpose. The accusative of the gerund with ad, or the genitive of the gerund followed by causā (for the sake of), is often used to express purpose.

Hominēs ad videndum vēnērunt
the men came for the purpose of seeing, to see
(literally, for seeing)

Hominēs videndī causā vēnērunt
the men came for the sake of seeing, to see

697. Gerundive. The future passive participle (§565) is called the gerundive when it takes the place of the gerund. The gerund, being a noun, may be used either alone or with an object; but the gerundive, being an adjective, must agree with a noun. Observe the following sentences:

1. Urbem videndī causā vēnērunt
they came to see the town

2. Urbis videndae causā vēnērunt
they came to see the town
(literally, they came for the sake of the town to be seen)

In sentence 1, we have the gerund videndī and its direct object urbem. In 2, we have the gerundive videndae in agreement with urbis. Note that the sentences are translated alike. The gerund with a direct object must not be used except in the genitive or in the ablative without a preposition. Even then the gerundive construction is more common.


1. The gerund is a noun. The gerundive is an adjective.

2. The gerund may stand alone or with an object.

3. The gerundive construction is more frequently used than the gerund with an object.

4. The gerund with an object may be used only in the genitive or in the ablative without a preposition.

5. The accusative of the gerund or gerundive after ad, or the genitive preceding causā, may be used to denote purpose.


698. 1. Omnēs mulierēs ōrātiōnem audiendī1 causā mānsērunt.

2. Omnēs mulierēs ad ōrātiōnem audiendam1 mānsērunt.

3. Fuga erat tam celeris ut nūllum spatium ad novās cōpiās cōgendās darētur.

4. Multīs vulnerātīs, reliquī adventum ducis exspectāvērunt, minimē diūtius resistendī causā sed pācis petendae causā.

5. Spatium neque arma capiendī neque auxilī petendī datum est.

6. Haec cīvitās, auctōritāte et grātiā rēgis adducta, cōpiās pedestrēs ad iter nostrum prohibendum mīserat.

7. Maximae rēs nōn exspectandō sed agendō cōnficiuntur.

   1. Which of these expressions is gerund and which gerundive?

699. 1. You will make your death more certain by remaining among the Gauls.

2. He made the journey much1 shorter by building2 a bridge.

3. They sent ambassadors to seek3 peace.

4. The cavalry battle was very severe, since4 the place was unfavorable for fighting.

5. Caesar learned, by inquiring, what5 the nature of the island was.

   1. Latin, by much, ablative of measure of difference, § 452.
   2. Use both the gerund and the gerundive construction.
   3. Use the genitive with causā.
   4. cum causal, § 642.
   5. What kind of question? See § 671.