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Perfect Active Participle

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Perfect Active Participle

Postby jamesbath » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:40 pm

χαίρετε,

Will some helpful soul translate the following Greek word into English so I can get a better idea of a Perfect Active Participle?

εἰδότες = (part pl perf act masc nom)

Thanks,

Iacobus Balneum
(James Bath)
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby NateD26 » Tue Jan 25, 2011 5:00 pm

Although it is technically a perfect participle, its meaning is present,
simply knowing (pl.) (οἶδα means I know, not I have known).
Nate.
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby MiguelM » Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:19 pm

This really isn't the best example to get a grasp of Perfect participles, the verb οἶδα as it were having a present meaning in spite of it being grammatically Perfect (literally: I have seen; contextually: I know [because I have seen]), both in regular conjugation as well as in participles.
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby jamesbath » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:26 pm

MifuelM and NateD26, thanks for your replies.

(ἔχω ὁ ἠλίθιος ὁ νοῦς). I was so focused on Latin PERFECT PASSIVE Participles and the fact that Latin had no PERFECT ACTIVE Participles that I stupidly forgot that English DOES HAVE Perfect Active Participles (unless I'm mistaken) -- such as burnt toast, painted signs, etc. So in this "can't-see-the-forest-for-the-trees" state of mind, when I ran across the Perfect Active Participle in Greek, I thought it was more exotic than it probably was.

I am still very interested in Participles in general and Greek Participles in particular. I am googling up this and that and looking through my books for more understanding of them. Anyway, thanks again for helping me piece it together.

έχετε a great day!

Iacobus Balneum
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby MiguelM » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:45 pm

That is incorrect, unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean. "Burnt toast" is a passive participle. The toast was burnt by someone. An active perfect participle would be a word that would replace the italics in the following phrase:

The man who [in the past] had burnt a toast ate bread; or: The [in-the-past-]toast-burner man

The problem is, as you say, that there are no cross-language parallels. Latin has a passive perfect participle (tostus), an active present participle (torrens), and an active future participle (tosturus). Greek has both active and passive for all of them. It's not as much exotic as missing, and all you have to do is interiorize what is meant by active and passive in this terminology.

Hope I could be of help.
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby calvinist » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:29 pm

As Miguel said, English past participles are passive, not active. 'Burnt toast' implies that the toast was burned, not that it burned something else. We have present active participles in English though: running water. English cannot easily translate the idea of the perfect active participle, it usually requires a phrase in English, and depends upon whether it is adverbial or adjectival in function. I think the best way to understand their meaning is seeing them used in context over and over again, such as practice sentences in a textbook. Eventually you won't have to think of them through English or Latin, but will understand them directly, that is the goal.
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby Imber Ranae » Thu Jan 27, 2011 8:37 pm

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".
Ex mala malo
bono malo uesci
quam ex bona malo
malo malo malo.
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby calvinist » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:21 pm

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.
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby jamesbath » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:43 pm

This whole thread has been a huge help to me. It's given me several different intelligent angles from which to view Participles; which I'm doing right now as I read chapter Six of William Watson Goodwin's "Syntax of the Moods and Tenses of the Greek Verb" and creating flash cards, for studying, from some of his examples.

Thank you all very much.
James
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby jswilkmd » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:06 pm

Even if you are not primarily interested in Biblical Greek, the participle chapters in Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek and (for a more advanced treatment of syntax) Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics are very easy to understand, yet quite thorough. They are worth checking out.
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby jamesbath » Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:34 pm

jswilkmd wrote:Even if you are not primarily interested in Biblical Greek, the participle chapters in Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek and (for a more advanced treatment of syntax) Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics are very easy to understand, yet quite thorough. They are worth checking out.

Thanks. Are these viewable on the internet?
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby jswilkmd » Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:35 pm

jamesbath wrote:Thanks. Are these viewable on the internet?


No; they are all copyrighted. They are widely used in seminaries and colleges in the U.S. and used copies are readily available at amazon and textbook dealers.
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby calvinist » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:11 pm

The Basics of New Testament Syntax is the abridgment to Wallace's Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics and you can find it on Amazon for around $15 used. I own both, and the main difference is that Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics quotes many more examples from the NT and has some lengthy discussions about verses with debated interpretations. For a Koine Greek reference grammar, The Basics of New Testament Syntax is excellent for its clear organization and easy-to-follow discussions. Participles, as well as all other aspects of Koine grammar are thoroughly explained.
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby jamesbath » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:10 pm

jswilkmd and calvinist,

Thank you for the information. I will look into it. Have a great day!
Last edited by jamesbath on Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby jamesbath » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:39 pm

I looked inside "The Basics of New Testament Syntax" at Amazon.com and, I must say, I was so impressed by what I read that I shot it right over to my shopping cart. I chose the hardcover edition which is discounted from 30 to 20 dollars -- only a five dollar difference from the price calvinist mentioned for a used edition, so I think why not.

Thanks again for the tip.
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Re: Perfect Active Participle

Postby calvinist » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:45 am

One great thing about it is that it's a pretty small book. You can take it with you to a coffee shop and just sit there browsing through the chapters, reading whatever peaks your interest. That's the method I used. I tried to read it straight through page by page, but I found it was better to skip around and read those sections that most interested me, which were usually the ones that were most insightful to me as well.
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