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17.4 Equivalent constructions

EQUIVALENCES OF PARTICIPLES IN THEIR VARIOUS USES

 

This list of constructions equivalent to participles relates to the classification of participial functions in 15.5.

Click here for a chart on participial functions.

 

A1PARTICIPLES THAT FUNCTION PRIMARILY AS ADJECTIVES

 

Equivalent constructions in English:

Example of an “attributive participle” :  the helping boy.  It may be replaced by:

a) an attributive adjective : the helpful boy                                   

b) a simple relative clause:  the boy, who helps ... the boy that helps...

Substitutions between these syntactically equivalent functions are often  limited by vocabulary (a corresponding verb does not exist, or has a different connotation, etc.) and are always conditioned by style.

 

Equivalent constructions in Greek: 

Example of an “attributive participle” :  ὁ ψευδόμενος ἀνήρ  (the lying man).  It may be replaced by: 

a) an attributive adjective ὁ ψευδὴς ἀνήρ  the mendacious man  

b) a simple relative clause:  ὁ ἀνὴρ ὃς ψεύδεται  the man who lies...

 

A2PARTICIPLES USED AS NOUNS OR SUBSTANTIVES

(No such usage in English)

ἡ τίκτουσα / ἡ τεκοῦσα (present / 2nd aorist pple of τίκτω, to give birth.  An equivalent in Greek may be a noun, if it exists: ἡ μήτηρ.   For this particular example, there is in English an equivalent noun, “the mother.”  

 

ὁ ψευδόμενος.  For this particular example, there is no equivalent noun in Greek, but we have one readily available in English: “a liar.”   Yet in most cases the English translation of a substantive participle will need to be supported by a nominal element, as in: “the one lying,”  (sg);  “those lying” (pl).

 

B) PARTICIPIAL uses where the verbal function predominates.

       

α)  as VERBAL PREDICATES OF NOUN CLAUSES DEPENDING UPON "VERBS OF PERCEPTION." 

                      They are equivalent to indirect statements introduced by  ὅτι  or  ὡς:

ὁρᾷς τὸν παῖδα τρέχοντα;  Do you see the boy running?.

ὁρᾷς ὅτι ὁ παῖς τρέχει;  Do you see that the boy is running? 

                 β)  supplementary participles,with verbs  meaning “begin,” “continue,” etc.

 

·     B2) circumstantial participles, INDICATING CIRCUMSTANCES of THE VERBAL ACTION.  They may be

            B2a) "attached" or

                B2a) "absolute."

         Both varieties are usually equivalent to, and may be replaced by, both in English and in Greek, adverbial clauses.

 

EXAMPLES

a)  adverbial clause of time (temporal clause)

Examples (these participles are all in the nominative, but they could take any case, agreeing with the noun to which they refer):

1) action of participle simultaneous with main verb = present participle

εἰς τὸ ὄρος τρέχοντες οἱ ἄνδρες παρεκαλοῦντο ἀλλήλους.

Running to the mountain, the men encouraged each other.

It may be replaced by: As they were running to the mountain...

 

2) action of participle prior to the main verb = aorist participle.

εἰς τὸ ὄρος ἀφικόμενοι οἱ ἄνδρες ἐπαύσαντο.  

Having arrived at the mountain, the men stopped.   Upon arriving at the mountain...

It may be replaced by: When, after, they arrived at / reached the mountain...

b)  causal clause

τῇ μητρὶ οὐ πειθόμενος, ὁ παῖς ἔπεσε.

Not listening to his mother, the boy fell down. (= because he did not listen to her).

 

c) conditional clause

καλὰ ἄλλους ποιοῦντες καλὰ πάσχομεν.

Doing good to others we (lit.) experience good. / Treating others well, we are treated well. ( = if we treat others well... ).

 

d) other adverbial clauses

ἔβλεπε εἰς ἐμὲ ὡς αἰτιῶσά με.  

She was looking at me as if blaming me.  ( = ... as if she were blaming me.)