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Present and perfect participles

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Present and perfect participles

Postby brookter » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:15 pm

Salvēte amīcī,

In response to a question "Ubi est Iūlius cum hospitēs adveniunt?" my "safe" answer (I hope) is: In balneō est, ubi novam vestem induit postquam lautus est.

But I'd like to use participles instead, which I understand is a 'more Latin' way of doing things... Could I say: In balneō lautus et novam vestem induēns est?

Specifically, I'm reasonably sure about the 'induēns', it's the 'lautus' I'm having doubts about... I thought I'd understood it and now I'm having second thoughts :(

Regards and thanks

David
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Re: Present and perfect participles

Postby lauragibbs » Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Careful with that induens est! English has what is called a "present progressive" tense (he is putting on)... but Latin does not use the present participle that way, to form a finite verb. I am guessing you wrote "induens est" as a kind of Latin imitation of the English, is that right?
The way Latin uses participles, rather differently from English, is to replace a clause containing a finite verb. So there where you have "induit" and "lautus est" - two finite verbs - it's easy to turn one verb ("lautus est") into a participle (lautus). That allows you to transform "In balneo est, ubi novam vestem induit postquam lautus est" into something shorter, with the participle "lautus" replacing the whole clause containing "lautus est" - In balneo est, ubi, lautus, novam vestem induit."
It's just a stylstic choice, though, not a grammatical one! We can do that in English also, "Having bathed, he puts on..." - it's just that we are not so quick to choose that stylistic option as Latin is. That's why you have to get away from the English as soon as you can: thinking in English won't prompt you to make the kinds of choices that are easy and natural to make in Latin.
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Re: Present and perfect participles

Postby brookter » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:22 pm

Laura,

Thanks for the quick reply!
Careful with that induens est! English has what is called a "present progressive" tense (he is putting on)... but Latin does not use the present participle that way, to form a finite verb. I am guessing you wrote "induens est" as a kind of Latin imitation of the English, is that right?


Actually, in my mind the 'est' was connected to 'balneo' and not to 'induēns'. I'd originally written In balneō est, lautus et novam vestem induēns but then changed the word order. My thinking was that the actual question is 'where is he?' - the emphasis in the answer is therefore on 'in the bath', with the actions presented as supplementary information - in English: 'He is in the bathroom, putting on his clothes after having bathed'. Does In balneō est lautus et novam vestem induēns not convey that?

Many thanks

David
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Re: Present and perfect participles

Postby lauragibbs » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:40 pm

Sure, you can do that - what you had posted not "in balneo est, induens" but instead something different.
Because the verb "est" is often omitted in Latin, you would never say "in balneo (blah blah blah blah) est" - nobody would expect the "est" there at the end; instead, we would just assume "in balneo (implied: est)" because you would never wait that long for an est that is optional anyway. But definitely it makes sense to say: "in balneo est, (blah blah blah blah)" with two or three or four or five participles after that finite verb. That's exactly the idea: one finite verb plus participles, instead of the English use of multiple finite verbs. So, if your main statement is "in balneo est" then you make that statement and then add on as many participles as you want.
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Re: Present and perfect participles

Postby brookter » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:33 pm

Thanks again, Laura!

Your comments about the optional nature of 'est' making it unlikely that it would be deferred to the end of the sentence are very useful - at this stage it's sometimes hard to see the implications of various word orders. Interesting stuff!

Regards

David
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Re: Present and perfect participles

Postby lauragibbs » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:18 pm

The optional "est" is something really hard for English speakers to get used to, but it is very very very commonly omitted in Latin. To us, it sounds like "Tarzan speech," (Me Tarzan, you Jane) - but it is very common for "est" to be left out of a Latin sentence; any form of "esse" can get easily left out, in fact, but especially the little "est" :-)
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Re: Present and perfect participles

Postby brookter » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:34 pm

I grateful :D
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