Can any verb which means "to go (to somewhere)" be used in a double-accusative construction? Like dīcō?

Can I use any particular verb for "to go" preceded by two accusatives and have the sentence be grammatical?

1 Answer 1


I suspect you are referring to a specific construction, the so-called double accusative, as described, for instance, in Bennett's New Latin Grammar #178:

Some Verbs take two Accusatives, one of the Person Affected, the other of the Result Produced

Such a construction only works with certain specific verbs, such as rogo, postulo, posco, oro, and celo. If you are referring to this specific construction, the answer is no. Ire cannot take two accusative direct objects for the same reason that it cannot take one: it is intransitive. (There is one "cognate accusative" which is a quasi-exception: see below.)

Answering your literal question more broadly:

Can I use any particular verb for "to go" preceded by two accusatives and have the sentence be grammatical?

The answer is an emphatic yes! Even if we assume that you mean "stand-alone accusatives" (excluding an example like apud eum eo), here are some combinations I can imagine:

  1. Accusative of Motion + Supine

    Eo Romam lusum.

    I go to Rome to play.

  2. Accusative of Duration + "Cognate Accusative"

    Tres dies vias ibam.

    I went through the streets for three days.

("Vias ire" means "to go through the streets": it's the closest you'll get to a "direct object" for ire.)

Other possibilities (such as an accusative in apposition) are readily imaginable.

  • About ire being intransitive, how do sentences like I domum or Romam eunt accord with that? Are they just peculiar exceptions or part of a more general pattern?
    – Ben Kovitz
    Apr 25, 2017 at 23:59
  • 1
    That is accusative of motion, used only with certain place names. I believe it's a residue of older forms
    – brianpck
    Apr 26, 2017 at 0:13
  • What you labelled as "Accusative of Motion" is very similar to what I am trying to render into Latin, which is a Sankrit phrase that uses the accusative case to denote the object towards which motion occurs.
    – Caoimhghin
    Apr 26, 2017 at 1:53
  • @Caoimhghin Take a look at #182 in the grammar I linked above: it explains the (very limited) cases where you can use the accusative alone in this way. Otherwise, Latin requires a preposition like ad or in.
    – brianpck
    Apr 26, 2017 at 2:01

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