Style: which forms to use where

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Style: which forms to use where

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Oct 22, 2006, 8:45 am

My gut tells me to use infinitives for links decribing the action performed on the page linked to (e.g., 'Addere libros' for 'to add books').

However, there are other places where a subjunctive or an imperative makes better sense. The imperatives seem clear (e.g., 'Go away' as 'Abi.')

But where Librarything gives a simple description of what can be done, I think the subjunctive is best, e.g., 'Get recommendations' as 'commendationes librorum capias.' I've added librorum because it's ambiguous otherwise (almost 'Receive praise.').

Nov 9, 2007, 10:11 am

I have no gut instinct, but I think the sources I tend to read would use the gerundive for both (libris addendis / ad libros addendos).

Nov 9, 2007, 10:16 am

I hesitate to mention ut clauses: 'in order to add books' (press here).

Nov 9, 2007, 11:43 am

I like the ad + gerundive option, which is, of course, one way to convey purpose. And MyopicBookworm, no hesitation needed - shout out that ut clause! Either of these are more accurate than the infinitive, and the imperative is a little pushy, maybe :)

Nov 10, 2007, 5:43 am

>4 scaifea:
At the risk of making too much of this subject, I agree that the infinitive doesn't work. In fact I think it's not an infinitive being suggested, but a gerund. I'm no philologist but I vaguely remember something about gerunds and objects in Lateinische Grammatik. My recollection: the gerund takes objects in the dative and genitive, but rarely in the accusative; the Roman mind naturally switched to the gerundive when the noun is the object of the action. So libris addendo ('in adding to my books'); libris addendis ('in adding books (to my library)'); but never libros addendo (yuck).

Nov 10, 2007, 9:11 am

#5 messpots: you're right - I was assuming that mostly one would have objects in these phrases, so I just mentioned the gerundive, being too lazy to launch into a full-scale explanation (sad, since I do this for a living) - thanks for picking up my slack! You do need the *ad* (or *in*) though , to indicate purpose when using the gerund/gerundive.

PS: Some Roman authors do use gerund + object, but only the non-conformists of the bunch ;)

Apr 14, 2009, 3:54 pm

in all cases the gerundive, agreeing with it's notional object is found, and seems clear enough (either dat of purp. or ad + acc of purp.). However, the gerund in the abl. (sine prep.) or in the genitive is found with a direct object (cf. Cic. Phil. 2, nulla causa ... contra patriam arma capiendi).

Apr 15, 2009, 12:52 am

Interesting example. I suppose nulla causa armorum contra patriam capiendorum is too inelegant, or that causa + gerund in the genitive is too usual a formula to be resisted.

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