Definition of benefactive in English:


Line breaks: bene|fac¦tive
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.
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    • 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.


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  • The benefactive case, or a word or expression in it.
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    • 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.

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