Praegnans constructio

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In rhetoric, praegnans constructio (or constructio praegnans) is a form of brachylogy in which two clauses or two expressions are condensed into one. The term comes from the Latin term of the same name, which translates to pregnant construction;[1][2] generally, the construction involves a sentence which uses a verb not expressing motion being followed by a prepositional phrase such as slaughter into the fire, or - alternatively - a motion verb combined with a static prepositional phrase such as throw in the fire[3]. The construction is most commonly found in Greek, but also can be found in a handful of other languages such as Hebrew.[4]


  1. ^ "Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, constructĭo". Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  2. ^ "Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, praegnans". Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  3. ^ Nikitina, Tatiana; Maslov, Boris (1 January 2013). "Redefining Constructio Praegnans: On the Variation between Allative and Locative Expressions in Ancient Greek". Brill. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  4. ^ Ewald, Heinrich (2018). A Grammar of the Hebrew Language of the Old Testament. pp. 326–327. ISBN 9781378704516.
  • Smyth, Herbert Weir (1920). Greek Grammar. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press. pp. 682–683. ISBN 0-674-36250-0.