Definition of benefactive in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌbɛnɪˈfaktɪv/


Denoting a semantic case or construction that expresses the person or thing that benefits from the action of the verb, for example for you in I bought this for you.
Example sentences
  • The privative and benefactive suffixes should have vowels (a and e) written with underdots.
  • A key feature of South Efate grammar is the grammaticalisation of a benefactive phrase in pre-verbal position.


The benefactive case, or a word or expression in it.
Example sentences
  • I'm going to look at applicatives and benefactives shortly.
  • Let's look at an example with benefactives: ‘Sam baked a cake for Matilda’ (for Matilda is the benefactive).
  • The association between dative case and recipients or benefactives holds for direct objects and subjects as well as indirect objects.


1940s: from Latin benefactus 'capable of giving' + -ive.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bene|fac¦tive

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