cognate accusative

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Calque of Latin accūsātīvus cognātus (a cognate accusative).




 • “The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one” — A Farewell to Arms (1929) by Ernest Hemingway,[1] paraphrasing Julius Caesar (c. 1599) by William Shakespeare.[2]
 • “Stars shining bright above you / Night breezes seem to whisper ‘I love you’ / Birds singing in the sycamore trees / Dream a little dream of me” — “Dream a Little Dream of Me” (1931) by Gus Kahn (lyrics), and Fabian Andre and Wilbur Schwandt (music).

cognate accusative (plural cognate accusatives)

  1. (grammar) An object of kindred sense or derivation; specifically, that which may adverbially follow an intransitive verb (for example, the word death in “to die the death”).
    • 1856, John Day Collis, “Division III. Exercises on the Commonest Rules of Greek Syntax.”, in Praxis Græca. A Series of Elementary, Progressive, and Miscellaneous Questions and Exercises on Greek Grammar, part II (Syntax), London: Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, & Roberts, OCLC 800574934, exercise LXXVIII, paragraph 11, page 214:
      These accusatives cognate are to be translated into English.
    • 1874, Henry John Roby, “Use of the Accusative Case”, in A Grammar of the Latin Language from Plautus to Suetonius [...] In Two Parts, part II (Containing Book IV. Syntax. Also Prepositions &c.), London: Macmillan & Co., OCLC 941839077, paragraph 1100, page 40:
      The extent of action of the verb may be expressed by a substantive of the same meaning as the verb, accompanied (usually) by an oblique adjectival predicate. (Cognate accusative.)
    • 1876, C[harles] P[eter] Mason, “Syntax”, in English Grammar Including the Principles of Grammatical Analysis, 21st edition, London: George Bell & Sons, OCLC 41238083; 21st Canadian copyright edition, Toronto, Ont.: Adam Miller & Co., 1877, OCLC 697743099, section 372, subsection 4, page 148:
      What is often termed the cognate accusative (or objective) (as in ‘to run a race,’ ‘to die a happy death’) should more properly be classed among the adverbial adjuncts. [Footnote: The cognate objective sometimes appears in a metaphorical shape, as in “to look daggers at a person”; “To rain fire and brimstone.” The vague pronoun it is freely used in this construction, as, “We shall have to rough it”; “Go it, boys,” &c.]

Alternative forms[edit]




  1. ^ Ernest Hemingway (1929), chapter XXI, in A Farewell to Arms, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner's Sons, OCLC 929467439, page 149.
  2. ^ William Shakespeare (c. 1599), “The Tragedie of Ivlivs Cæsar”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies, London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, Act II, scene ii, page 117, column 1: “Cowards dye many times before their deaths, / The valiant neuer taſte of death but once: []

Further reading[edit]




  • (Classical) IPA(key): /koɡˈnaː.te ak.kuː.saːˈtiː.we/, [kɔŋˈnaː.t̪ɛ ak.kuː.saːˈt̪iː.wɛ]
  • (Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /koɲˈɲa.te ak.ku.saˈ, [kɔɲˈɲaː.t̪ɛ ak.ku.zaˈt̪iː.vɛ]


cognāte accūsātīve m

  1. vocative singular of cognātus accūsātīvus