Uses of the Dative Case

The color I use for dative endings is purple, the color of passion and for person. It is also not a primary color, as the dative is usually not a core part of the sentence. My nickname is the “Darling Dative” or the “Daddy, Dative,” that you give things to, do things for, or, “Daddy, tell me a story,” etc.

Context Clues or Markers Translations Grammatical Term or Construct
Person; with verb of giving, showing, telling, etc.; near acc. noun.
“Oraculum amicō dixit”
verb-_____-D.O./ to _____
“S/he told the oracle to his/her friend./He told the friend the oracle.”
Indirect Object
Near adj. meaning “pleasing” (gratus), “near” (finitimus), “friendly” (amicus), “suitable” “equal” etc.
“gratum liberīs
adjective to _____
“pleasing to the children
Dative with Certain Adjectives (Reference)
Compound verb (ad-, ante-, circum-, con-, in-, inter-, ob-, post-, prae-, pro-, sub-, super-); (near acc. noun)
“bellum urbī intulērunt”
verb stem (D.O.)
prefix _____
“They brought war into the city
Dative with Compound Verbs
Special Verbs (e.g. noceo, placeo)
“Tibi nōn crēdō.”
“novīs rēbus studēbat.”
As D.O. or translation of verb including “to” or “for”.
“I do not believe you
“He was eager for a revolution
Dative with Certain Verbs
Person; verb “sum”
“Arma agricolae non erant.”
“silvae altae insulae sunt.”
(without verb “sum,” sometimes best translated as a possessive adj.: “arma eī
(subject “is/belongs to –“)
(as “subject”) _____ has
“The farmer did not have weapons.”
“The island has tall woods.
“his weapons”
(sometimes “for” (benefit) or “from him” (dis-interest)
Dative of Possession
(Dative of reference: dative of advantage or disadvantage)
2 Datives: 1 person; 1 thing (with verbal idea – “help” “gift” “safety” etc.)
“Ad urbem salutī mihi venit”
“With a verb like “sum”
“magnō auxiliō nostrīs amicīs fuimus.”
“as a (dat. thing) to (dat. person)”
“to (verbal idea as verb) (dat. person)/ “to (dat. person) for/as (dat. thing)”
“He came to the city to save me/. . . as a deliverance for me.
verb (dat. thing)
“to (dat. person)
“We were a great help to our friends
Person- Dative of Reference
Things- Dative of Purpose
With passive periphrastic
“Id Romanīs faciendum erat.”
(as agent) “by _____”
“This had to be done by the Romans” “The Romans had to do this”
Dative of Agent
Not required in sentence; with some impersonal verbs
“Licet mihi īre.”
“for _____”
“to me” or make dat. the subject
“It is permitted to me to go
(“I can go”)