5

Using the Collatinus conjugator there isn't a form for plural gerund, but there is for the gerundive since the gerundive acts like an adjective. I therefore always assumed that gerunds are never plural. However, I'm looking at the Lasla database and they have many words in the gerund plural unless it is a mistake. It should be noted however that all of the plural are in the dative or ablative case, never accusative or genitive, though so far I've only looked through 40% of the database. If you need me to track down the actual text that these words come from then I can do that but I'd rather not since it will take quite a while for me to do that.

Also, the Greenough grammar just says:

The gerund expresses an action of the verb in the form of a verbal noun. As a noun the gerund is itself governed by other words; as a verb it may take an object in the proper case.

I would think that because they do not specifically state that the gerund cannot be plural then it would follow that it can since nouns without plural are the exception rather than the rule.

Also on sec 190 of the Greenough grammar 1916 edition, they just list the first form of the gerund and expect you to fill in the rest.

1 Answer 1

8

If you see what looks like a gerund in the plural, it is actually a gerundive, and the meaning should reflect that.

I imagine Latin grammars didn't need to spell it out because they didn't permit it (never assume something is true because a grammar neglects to say it isn't - no Latin grammar, for example, says that you can't write in Chinese characters, but that is absurd).

But if you want some reference that makes it clear, see this site: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/latin/stage-2-latin/lessons/lesson-23-gerunds-and-gerundives/

All of the potential plural gerund examples you found should be gerundives.

1
  • 2
    Maybe a good parallel is the infinitive: What would be the plural of laudare?
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Jan 28 at 9:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.