Uses of the Accusative Case

My nickname is the “Adventuresome Accusative” because it goes “to” places and things happen to it (direct object). One of my students compared it to a dog, that runs up to you, jumps onto you, and gets into things. I use the color red, because a primary color expresses its direct object use as a core part of the sentence. It also reminds you to stop and think when you see it at the beginning of the sentence; it is not the subject (which most likely carries over from the previous sentence). For a review of the endings, see the Summary of Noun and Adjective Endings.

Context Clues or Markers Translations Grammatical Term or Construct
Early in sentence/clause; active (or deponent) verb Translate after verb Direct Object
Nota: some verbs (e.g. doceo, rogo) can take two accusatives (A & G 394, 396)
With factitive verb of naming, calling, appointing. regarding etc.
“Fratrem tuum praetorem creavimus”
“Omnes eum felicem habebant.”
Trans. after the D.O. (sometimes with “as”)
“We have elected your brother (as) praetor.”
“Everyone used to consider him fortunate.”
Object Complement (A&G 392-393)
After preposition that takes the accusative Object of Preposition
Proper names of city, town, small island; verb of motion.
“Thebās veni.”
“to” —–
“I came to Thebes.”
Accusative place to which [Nota: “ad” + proper name = “near, in the vicinity of”]
Unit of time (especially with a plural cardinal number)
quinque diēs.”
Longum tempus stabamus.”
for five days
“We were standing (for) a long time.”
Accusative duration of time [Phrases with prepositions, etc., see A&G 423, 424; Minkova 88-91]
Measure of space or distance.
quattuor milia passuum”
(for) —–
“(for) four miles (mile = 1000 paces)
Accusative extent of space
with “neck-up” verbs & infinitive (Indirect Statement)
“Putavi eum venire
Hic dixit sē id fecisse
subject of “that” clause in English. (Note se should be trans. as “s/he/it them” not “himself” etc.)
“I thought that he was coming.”
“He said that he [= same “he” as subject of “said”] had done it.”
Accusative subject of indirect statement (acting as the direct object of the “neck-up” verb);
note that the infinitive is a verbal (accusative) noun
Short noun adjective phrase, usually with exclamation point. Accusative of Exclamation (A&G 397d)

A & G = Allen and Greenough, New Latin Grammar. # = paragraph number.