Accusative Case

Determining How an Accusative Case is Used

 

STEP ONE

Observe the sentence to see if a preposition appears before the accusative noun. 

If so, the noun is simply the object of a preposition that demands accusative after it.  Go to the lexicon and study the meaning of the preposition.  You do not need to worry about the uses described under Step Two.


STEP TWO

 

1.  Accusative of Direct Object

This is by far the most common usage of the accusative case.
            Example:  I speak truth (John 8:46).

 

2.  adverbial accusatives

Sometimes an accusative is not really a direct object.  Instead it tells something about the action of the verb.  In such cases, it is called an adverbial accusative.

    a.  OF MEASURE
            The accusative noun tells the extent of time or distance:  how long or how much.
                Example (time):  They remained that day (John 1:39) -- It tells how long they stayed.
                Example (distance):  When they had rowed about 25 or 30 furlongs (John 6:19) -- It tells how far they rowed.

    b.  OF REFERENCE
            This just shows a general connection between the verb and the accusative noun.
                Example:  who labored [with reference to] many things for you. (Romans 16:6).

 

3.  COGNate ACCUSATIVE

In this use, the accusative noun following the verb is actually a noun form of the verb.  Both words are from the same word family.  The effect is to emphasize that verbal idea.

Example:  I have fought the good fight (2 Timothy 4:7).

 

4. DOUBLE ACCUSATIVE

Some verbs require two objects, both in the accusative case, to complete their meaning.

Example:  He will teach (1) you (2) all things (John 14:26).
Example:  I no longer call (1) you (2) servants (John 15:15.

 

5.  Accusative as the Subject of an Infinitive

If an infinitive has its own subject - one that differs from the subject of the sentence - that subject is always in the accusative.  Such phrases must often be paraphrased to bring the idea into English.

Example:  Because he knows all things (John 2:24) - Lit, because of him knowing all things.
Example:  If I want him to remain (John 21:22) - Note that "him" is both the direct object of "want" and the subject of "to remain."