Ergative versus accustive patterns

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Ergative versus accusative patterns, in linguistics, are patterns used in different languages for marking the grammatical case of the subject of an intransitive verb, the agent of a transitive verb, and the object of a transitive verb. In ergative languages, such as Basque, the subject and the object have the same form, while the agent has a different form. By contrast, in accusative languages, such as English, the subject and the agent have the same form (e.g., "he"), while the object has a different form (e.g., "him").[1]


  1. Ergative vs. accusative patterns