Accusative case

The accusative case (abbreviated ACC) of a noun is the grammatical case used to mark the direct object of a transitive verb. The same case is used in many languages for the objects of (some or all) prepositions. It is a noun that is having something done to it, usually joined (such as in Latin) with the nominative case. The English name "accusative" comes from the Latin accusativus, which, in turn, is a translation of the Greek αἰτιατική. This word may also mean "causative", and this may have been the Greeks' intention in this name, but the sense of the Roman translation stuck and it is used in some other modern languages as the name of this case, for example in Russian (винительный). The accusative case exists (or existed once) in all the Indo-European languages[citation needed] (including Latin, Sanskrit, Greek, German, Polish, Russian), in the Finno-Ugric languages, and in Semitic languages (such as Arabic). Balto-Finnic languages, such as Finnish and Estonian, have two cases to mark objects, the accusative and the partitive case. In morphosyntactic alignment terms, both perform the accusative function, but the accusative object is telic, while the partitive is not. Modern English almost entirely lacks declension in its nouns; pronouns, however, have an oblique case as in whom, them, and her, which merges the accusative and dative functions, and originates in old Germanic dative forms (see Declension in English).


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