Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics

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Gerundive (Verbal Adjective)
(1,640 words)


The gerundive, or better the verbal adjective of obligation, is an adjective consisting of a verbal root and the suffix -téos. It expresses that the verbal action must or should be performed: ōphelētéā soi hē pólis estí  ‘the city must be helped by you’ (Xen. Mem. 3.6.3). The verbal adjective of obligation seems to occur in the Linear B bookkeeping texts, but then disappears for ca 700 years. It reappears in the 5th c. BCE and there is mainly used in plays and literary prose. After the Classical p…

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Yves Duhoux, “Gerundive (Verbal Adjective)”, in: Encyclopedia of Ancient Greek Language and Linguistics, General Editor: Georgios K. Giannakis. Consulted online on 05 February 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-448X_eagll_COM_00000142>
First published online: 2013

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