The dative construction is a grammatical way of constructing a sentence, with the subject in the dative case and the direct object in the nominative case. A sentence is also said to be in dative construction if the subject and the object (direct or indirect) can switch their cases for a given verb, without altering the verb's structure (subject becoming the new object, and the object becoming the new subject). The latter case is not to be confused with the passive voice, where only the direct object of a sentence becomes the subject of the passive-voiced sentence, and the verb's structure also changes to convey the meaning of the passive voice. The dative construction tends to occur when the verb indicates a state rather than an action.
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Some articles on dative construction:
... Latin uses a dative construction for possession (dativus possessivus) ... Mihi est liber ...
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“No real vital character in fiction is altogether a conscious construction of the author. On the contrary, it may be a sort of parasitic growth upon the authors personality, developing by internal necessity as much as by external addition.”
—T.S. (Thomas Stearns)