The Accusative Case has various uses:

DIRECT OBJECT: The most common use of the accusative case is to show the direct object. The direct object is the person or thing in a sentence most directly affected by the action of the subject. For example, in the sentence "The batter hit the ball to the shortstop," the object most directly affected by the action of the subject (the batter) is the ball. We call the "ball" the direct object and indicate that by putting the word "ball" into the accusative case.

The direct object is part of the basic skeleton of a sentence, unlike many words in a sentence that simply add a spot of colour to another word in a sentence. When attempting to translate a difficult sentence, try to identify the direct object early, if there is one.

WITH PREPOSITIONS EXPRESSING MOTION TO: Prepositions expressing "motion to" generally are followed by a noun in the accusative case. See the illustrations on the Prepositions & Cases page.

SUBJECT OF THE INFINITIVE: In some constructions, the infinitive has a "subject." In other words, the sentence indicates who does the action expressed by the infinitive, as in "They wanted him to hit the ball." "To hit" is the infinitive; the one who does this action is "him." One might rephrase the sentence as "They wished that he hit the ball," where the subject "he" stands in the nominative case since the verb is finite, not infinitive. In Greek (as in English), the subject of an infinitive is in the accusative case. "Him" is used instead of "he," which would normally be used where the verb is in a finite form.

ACCUSATIVE OF RESPECT+: A number of terms are used to capture the sense of the accusative in Greek (accusative of respect, accusative, of specification, accusative of general reference, adverbial accusative). While there are nuances that one might wish to distinguish between these uses, in many ways we can simply say that the accusative is frequently used to express in regard to what or in respect of what the action of the verb is related. There are a number of ways to reflect this general idea in English translation, but the one suggested immediately below captures the whole range with a rough, but clear, English equivalent.

A rough English equivalent for the various accusatives of respect, etc., (listed immediately above) is the construction ending in '-wise" (e.g. 'number-wise,' 'time-wise,' 'health-wise,' 'size-wise,' etc.). In the example "about five thousand in number", one could say "number-wise, about five thousand." In Greek, 'in number' or 'number-wise' would be in the accusative case.

DOUBLE ACCUSATIVE: Some Greek verbs can take two accusatives (often the corresponding verbs in English do also). Common among these are verbs that relate to asking, teaching, making, and clothing, as illustrated in the sentence: "He taught the students Greek." Both 'students' and 'Greek' would be in the accusative case.

EXTENT OF TIME: The length or extent of time can be expressed by placing the noun and adjectives indicating the time in the accusative case, without an accompanying preposition, though English normally requires a preposition with this construction, as in "He journeyed for three days." In Greek, the adjective 'three' and the noun 'days' would be in the accusative case; no preposition would be used. (see other TIME EXPRESSIONS).