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A gerundive is a verb form, usually non-finite, occurring in certain languages. In Latin, a gerundive is the future passive participle – a verbal-adjectival form such as portandus, meaning "(which is) to be carried", in the sense of either futurity or necessity. The Latin gerundive is similar in form to the gerund, which is a different non-finite verb form, serving as a verbal noun.

The term gerundive may also be applied in grammatical descriptions of some other languages[clarification needed], where it can denote verbal adjectives, verbal adverbs, or certain finite verb forms. The word comes from Latin gerundīvus ("of a gerund"), which is from gerundium ("gerund"), derived from gerundus, which is itself the gerundive of gerō ("carry, bear, carry out").

Latin gerundive[edit]

The Latin gerundive is a non-finite verb form which serves as and is declined like an adjective (it may be called a future passive participle). It is used to indicate that someone or something (the referent of the noun it modifies) needs or deserves to be the object of an action. For example, if one refers to someone using the gerundive amandus, then one is saying that the person is suitable to be loved or deserves to be loved. The meaning is close to that of "lovable" in English, but the Latin is closer in meaning to "should be loved", the English closer to "may be loved".

For details of the formation and usage of the Latin gerundive, see Latin conjugation: Gerundive.

Some examples of uses of Latin gerundives are noted below.

Gerundives in other languages[edit]

The term gerundive is occasionally used in descriptions of English grammar, to denote the present participle used adjectivally or adverbially. (This form, ending in -ing, is identical to that of the English gerund, but it is generally called a gerund when it is used as a noun, not as an adjective or adverb.)[1]

In the east African Semitic language Tigrinya, gerundive is used to denote a particular finite verb form, not a verbal adjective or adverb. Generally speaking, it denotes completed action which is still relevant. A verb in the gerundive can be used alone, or serially with another gerundive verb; in the latter case it may sometimes be translated with an adverbial clause: bitri hidju kheydu (literally, "a-stick he-took-hold-of he-began-walking") means "while holding a stick, he is walking", i.e. "he is carrying a stick". See Tigrinya verbs.


External links[edit]

The following pages provide definitions or glosses of the term gerundive: