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Actual and Natural Result...

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Actual and Natural Result...

Postby Minoan Sun Goddess » Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:47 am

Hello,
I am still having a bit of a problem knowing whether a result is Actual or Natural. I will say that I am using a very old book to learn Greek with my professor: A New Introduction to Greek by Alston Hurd Chase and Henry Phillips, Jr. - Harvard Univ Press. I didn't have a choice in the matter of books, so I am going with it. The authors are not exactly overly in-depth with explanations. The following is all they say:

Result is expressed in Greek in two ways:
(a) Actual result is expressed by ωστε plus the indicative. The negative is ou. "He did not come, so that the Greeks were worried." [then the Greek translation of that sentence]
(b) Natural result, which often denotes intention, tendency, or capacity is expressed by ωστε and the infinitive. The negative is [Mu-Eta]. "He was so brave as not to flee." [then the Greek translation of that sentence]

I get it correct about half of the time. Is there anymore information anyone could give me. Any tips on knowing which is which more easily than how these authors explain it?

Thank you so very much in advance.
TJ
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Re: Actual and Natural Result...

Postby Qimmik » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:35 am

I'm not sure this will help much, but ask yourself the question, did the result -- the event described in the result clause -- really happen? If it did, it's actual result.

Natural result: "He was so brave as not to flee." He was so brave by nature that he would never flee [e.g., even if he had met Achilles in battle, though he never actually did].

An actual result clause would be "He was so brave that he did not flee [e.g. when he met Achilles in battle]."

Dr. Phillips was my second-year Greek teacher. The book dates from the 1950s, I think, which to me doesn't seem that old as these things go, or didn't when I was taking the course (1961-2). Dr. Phillips never seemed very enthusiastic about teaching teenagers Greek. My first-year Greek teacher, Dr. Phillips' colleague, used the much older Crosby and Schaefer, which always seemed like a much richer and more stimulating book. At least it went to much greater efforts to retain the interest of a 14-year-old.
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Re: Actual and Natural Result...

Postby demetri » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:22 am

Ah...good old Chase & Phillips, my first Greek text. Don't fret; I know of instructors still using it today for a first year course.
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Thanks!

Postby Minoan Sun Goddess » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:24 am

Thank you both very much! I am glad to hear that the book is still used a bit :)

What you have said Qimmik, does make sense. So, if it "actually happens" within the clause, it is Actual. Makes sense. I will go with this!
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Re: Actual and Natural Result...

Postby ailuros » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:19 am

i was taught with Chase and Phillips and found it less than ideal, for just the kind of reasons mentioned by Minoan sun Goddess. It's a skimpy text, and there are many places where just a few more sentences could have provided some much needed clarification. I also remember my professor commenting on its appallling misogyny (it was the first time I had ever heard the term), but maybe that stuff has been since removed.

MSD, you might want to try something like Louise Pratt's The Essentials of Greek Grammar as a study aid. It's in paperback and would nicely supplement a sketchy text like Chase and Phillips. Dan
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Re: Actual and Natural Result...

Postby Qimmik » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:46 am

Let me clarify something.

An actual result clause is a statement of fact. It can be in the future: "X happened [or is happening or will happen], with the result that Y will actually happen." Or even the present: "X happened, with the result that Y is actually happening."

I haven't fully thought this through, but I think that generally, if you can translate ὥστε as "with the result that", or substitute it for "so that" in an English sentence if you're translating from English to Greek, it is an actual result clause.

Natural result: the English lead-in would generally amount to something like "so as to".

Once you can identify actual result, it's easier to distinguish natural result.
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