I'm currently doing Latin in high school, and there's one thing which I can't get my head around in a recent test I got back.

I translated the command "Listen to me!" as "mihi audi!" but it was marked as wrong, and the correct answer (according to my teacher) was "me audi!".

Why isn't the dative (mihi) used here? Doesn't it literally mean "Listen to me", or am I misunderstanding something?


2 Answers 2


Your match of mihi with "to" is correct, but that's the dative case, not the genitive. The genitive is mei.

Neither case is appropriate here, though. Audio more or less contains the idea of "to" in itself—it means "hear" or "listen to". Thus

Listen to me!


(Listen to) (me)!


Audi me!

Another way of saying "Listen to me" could be "Hear me". In that rephrasing, the reason for using accusative is more obvious.

If you wanted a word that more closely meant "listen to" rather than "hear", a word that didn't have that sort of passive undertone, you could use ausculto.


As a matter of fact, audire, in the sense “listen to, obey”, can be construed with a dative, or indeed two datives, in the idiom “dicto audientem esse alicui”, literally “to be listening to the word to someone”, that is: “to obey someone”.

So for “listen to me!” you could say “dicto audiens es mihi”.

See here (towards the end): https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0059%3Aentry%3Daudio

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