Imber Ranae wrote:English has a perfect active participle, but it can only be formed with the auxiliary participle "having" + perfect passive participle, e.g. "having seen", "having gone", etc. This is a pretty good approximation of the Greek perfect active participle for the beginner, but since it is not used in English nearly to the extent that it is in Greek, translating every Greek perfect active participle with "having" will sound clunky. As others have said, it's often better to rephrase the English translation with a separate clause, such as a relative clause or temporal clause with "when".
I think there is misunderstanding here. English does not
have a perfect active participle. Any English reference grammar will note that there are two participles in modern English: 1) the present (active) 2) the past (perfect passive). Obviously English can express the same idea as the Greek (as can any language in the world), but English cannot do it in a single word, which is what a participle is. The verbal phrase "having seen" is exactly that... a verbal phrase, but not a participle. You are failing to see the whole genius of the Greek participle, which is its ability to condense a lot of information into a single word, the amount of information that most other languages can only express in phrases made up of two or more words. Every language in the world can express the idea behind the perfect active participle, otherwise how is translation and communication done across languages? Should we then say every language in the world has a perfect active participle? No. A distinction between the amount of information different languages encode into their words is necessary and helpful. Ancient Greek is one of a few languages that encodes so much semantic information inside its verbal forms.