Use of AUTOS

Brent Hudson brent at
Fri Sep 28 09:42:51 EDT 2001

I received a private email asking about the various uses of the pronoun
AUTOS.  I gave what I thought was a standard blurb; however, I was quickly
pointed to a problem in several texts.

Machen, Hewitt, define the nominative AUTOS in the predicate position
as meaning "-self".  Definite AUTOS in any case in the attributive position
meaning "the same" and oblique cases meaning "him, her, it".  Then they
proceed to give examples where the accusative AUTON is used to mean "-self".
North and Hillard also do this in their volume on composition as well and
even venerable Smyth seems does not clarify this (at least not that I can

I referred the person to this list, but I have my doubts that they will send
anything.  Since my blissful ignorant state has been shattered, could
someone please help understand why the 'rules' say one thing and the
'examples' say another?


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