Certain abstract nouns can take the dative case to express purpose or means (especially with the verb esse). This use of the dative has several names:
The Predicative Dative (because the dative noun takes a predicative position).
The Dative of Purpose (because it conveys a sense of purpose).
The Double Dative (because it usually appears alongside another dative noun – a dative of reference).
The basic translation of this dative is “as a…. (to/for something.)”
|e.g.||tertiam aciem nostris auxilio misit.|
|He sent the third line as a help to our men.|
A better translation of auxilio would be as a source of help or in order to help. The following phrases involving the predicative dative are formed from AS vocabulary words:
|auxilio esse||to be a source of help (to help)|
|bono esse||to be a benefit (to benefit)|
|curae esse||to be a matter of concern (to worry)|
|dolori esse||to be a cause of grief|
|dono (dare)||(to give) as a gift|
|exemplo esse||to be an example|
|exitio esse||to be a cause of destruction (to destroy)|
|honori esse||to be an honour|
|laudi esse||to be a credit|
|malo esse||to be a source of harm (to harm)|
|muneri||as a service, present|
|odio esse||to be an object of hatred (to be hated)|
|periculo esse||to be a source of danger (to endanger)|
|praesidio esse||to be a means of protection|
|pudori esse||to be a cause of shame|
|saluti esse||to be the salvation (to save)|
|usui esse||to be of use (to benefit)|
- patriae nostrae magno exitio fuit id bellum.
That war was a great cause of destruction for our country.
- illa femina, quae liberos suos interfecit, odio omnibus est.
That woman, who killed her own children, is hated by everyone.
- cui bono scelus erat?
Who benefited from the crime?
- equos principi hostium dono misit.
He sent horses to the enemy chieftain as a gift.
- suis saluti fuit.
He was the salvation of his men.
- magno usui nostris consilium erat.
The advice was of great use to our men.
- periculo est civibus in viis media nocte ambulare.
It is dangerous for the citizens to walk the streets in the middle of the night.
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