Style: which forms to use where

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Style: which forms to use where

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Out 22, 2006, 8:45am

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, 10:11am

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, 10:16am

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

Nov 9, 2007, 11:43am

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, 5:43am

>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, 9:11am

#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 ;)

Abr 14, 2009, 3:54pm

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).

Abr 15, 2009, 12:52am

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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