Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

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Lukas
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Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

Post by Lukas » Sat Oct 19, 2019 1:23 am

I have two main points of trouble with translating a passage. Posters may find more than two errors, but I am concentrating on two.

I am supposed to write in Greek, "Strife and violence are harmful to a city in the same way: each is responsible for the death of good men [use articular infinitive.].

I wrote, "Ἡ στάσις κὰι ἡ ὔβρις βλάβεραι πόλιν τὸν αὐτὸν τρόπον: ἐκτέρα αἰτια τοῦ τῶν ἀγαθῶν ἀποθανεῖν."

The answer book wrote:
Image

The two problems that bother me the most are:

1. I was uncertain for a long time whether to put πόλις in the accusative or dative. I finally thought it was an accusative of result, but the answer book placed it in the dative. I do not know how many times I have referred to Unit 17 about accusatives, but it has been numerous times, and I still have trouble distinguishing between some accusatives and datives. To me, πόλις seemed more like a direct object than an indirect object.


2. It also looks like the answer book placed "of good men" in the accusative. Why is "of good men" not a genitive?
Usually the subject of an infinitive is in the accusative, but I do not know if that is what is winning out over the genitive or something else. I am confused by this.

Note: I used only the adjective for "men" and left out the "be" verbs. I am not bothered by that unless other posters are.
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seneca2008
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Re: Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

Post by seneca2008 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:59 pm

Lukas wrote:1. I was uncertain for a long time whether to put πόλις in the accusative or dative.
"Strife and violence are harmful to a city"

The meaning of this is Strife and violence are harmful for a city. And this is clearly the dative. I suppose if you put city into the accusative that could mean "in respect of the city" but that doesn't have quite the same meaning. The dative is however frequently employed with the idea of "interest or disadvantage". Look at page 87 in M.

"Dative of advantage or disadvantage. The dative is used to denote the person or thing for whose advantage or disadvantage something is, or is done.

τὰ παιδία αἴτια πόνων τοῖς ἀνθρώποις. Children are a cause of toil for mankind.

ὁ ἀγαθὸς πλούσιός ἐστι τοῖς πολίταις, οὐχ ἑαυτῷ.
The virtuous man is rich for (in the interest of, to the advantage of ) his fellow citizens, not for himself."
2. It also looks like the answer book placed "of good men" in the accusative. Why is "of good men" not a genitive?
"each is responsible for the death of good men"

This is a tricky point. You seem to know the answer to this. English usage here is different to the Greek and when you see "of" you cannot assume it means a genitive. You have to think about the sense of the English and then how to express it in Greek. You are not engaged in translating every word and form in the English into Greek.

So you have an articular infinitive in the genitive case following "αἴτιος". If you look on page 79 you will see

"4. Subject of the Infinitive. When the subject of the action denoted by the infinitive is expressed in Greek, it is normally in the accusative case, unless it is the same person or thing as the subject of the finite verb. "

"Note that in English the subject of an infinitive is often expressed in a prepositional phrase with for or as the possessive with a gerund.."





I don't think you can leave out εἰσιν and ἐστίν.

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Re: Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

Post by Lukas » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:51 pm

1. The dative of advantage seems quite close to the accusative of result. I thought that the result of strife and violence brought harm to the city. I still do not know what the line is between some of the accusatives and the datives. I used to by the use of a preposition, but since Unit 17 that does not work anymore.

2. I think I was understanding articular infinitives wrong. Up until last night, I thought that the article was the article only for the infinitive while the rest of the phrase used regular grammar, although the subject was placed in the accusative. I short-circuited when I came across a genitive v. accusative phrase. If it is correct that the article is for the whole phrase, what happens if there is a phrase with a subject in the accusative and another noun normally in the dative? Do I still place the other noun in the dative?
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Re: Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

Post by seneca2008 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:33 pm

Lukas wrote:1. The dative of advantage seems quite close to the accusative of result.
I don't know what you mean by the accusative of result. Can you point to where in M you got this term? Do you mean that the (transitive) verb acts on an object and produces some result? Of course direct and indirect objects are similar in that they are both objects of a verb. Maybe you should revise the use of the dative case on p. 87. I think some confusion between direct and indirect objects has crept into your thinking.
2. I think I was understanding articular infinitives wrong. Up until last night, I thought that the article was the article only for the infinitive while the rest of the phrase used regular grammar, although the subject was placed in the accusative. I short-circuited when I came across a genitive v. accusative phrase. If it is correct that the article is for the whole phrase, what happens if there is a phrase with a subject in the accusative and another noun normally in the dative? Do I still place the other noun in the dative?
I think you haven't understand my previous response. The way we express things in English is not the same as it is expressed in Greek. Until you get this right you will have a lot of problems.

Perhaps it would be easier to understand if the English sentence "each is responsible for the death of good men" was rewritten as ""each is responsible for good men dying" you can see that there is no "of" so you would not be misled into thinking of a non existent genitive in the original sentence. Read what I quoted from M. ""Note that in English the subject of an infinitive is often expressed in a prepositional phrase with for or as the possessive with a gerund.."

The form of the Greek is: articular infinite in the genitive case (underlined) depending on αἰτία and the subject in the accusative in bold:

τοῦ ἀγαθοὺς ἄνδρας ἀποθανεῖν αἰτία ἐστίν.

I dont really understand the rest of your question. The article goes with the infinitive to make an "articular infinitive". I don't understand your thinking behind introducing a dative.
Perhaps if you were to give an example of an English sentence we might be able to think about it more.

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Re: Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

Post by Lukas » Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:10 pm

1. Unit 17. Page 140.

ii. Object of the thing effected, accusative of result, or (loosely) direct object:
a thing (often but not always concrete) that is brought into existence, produced,
or effected by an action and that continues to exist as a temporary or
enduring result is expressed in the accusative case.
ποιήματα γράφει. She writes poems.
ἀσπίδας ποιεῖ. He makes shields.
φόβον ποιοῦσιν. They create (cause) fear.

2. I cannot think of an added dative right now, but how about a second genitive.: death of men from the plague. According to the textbook, I have a genitive article plus a subject in the accusative plus the infinitive at the end. But this time I have another preposition and a noun normally in the genitive before the infinitive. Is the second genitive still in the genitive? Or Is it also in the accusative?
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Re: Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

Post by mwh » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:00 am

1.“ποιήματα γράφει. She writes poems.
ἀσπίδας ποιεῖ. He makes shields.
φόβον ποιοῦσιν. They create (cause) fear.”
All these are direct objects, and have to be accusative.
Quite different from βλάβεραι τῇ πόλει (“harmful to the city”), where the dative depends on the adjective (not the verb), and the accusative wouldn’t make sense. Similarly with e.g. “useful for us.”

2. Articular infinitive.
(A) The thing to grasp is that the subject of the infinitive goes into the accusative (there’s one important exception, but never mind that for now). That’s true of all infinitives, with or without the article. So here agathous andras is the subject of the infinitive.
The English says “the death of good men,” but Greek can change the construction and use an articular infinitive, with “good men” as its subject (as in “good men died” but with “died” as an articular infinitive).
The infinitive is free to have an adverbial phrase accompanying it, or anything else that a verb can have, whether infinitive or not. So “from the plague” could easily be added before the infinitive.
(B) Here the articular infinitive is in the genitive. That's because αἴτιος (“responsible for”) takes the genitive, so the neuter article of the articular infinitive is in the genitive case. You got that right, but your mistake—a fatal mistake—was to put “good men” in the genitive instead of the accusative.
What you need to remember is that Greek does not always work the same way English does. If you see “of” you shouldn’t automatically think “genitive” but rather consider the Greek syntactical structure.

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Re: Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

Post by Lukas » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:05 am

2. What if someone wrote, "death of good men from the plague." Would plague be in the genitive or would it also be in the accusative?
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Re: Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

Post by seneca2008 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:50 am

Lukas wrote: 2. What if someone wrote, "death of good men from the plague." Would plague be in the genitive or would it also be in the accusative?
Go back to your original sentence "Strife and violence are harmful to a city in the same way: each is responsible for the death of good men". In your new phrase you are simply changing the cause of the death of good men so the structure of the sentence remains the same. ""Plague is harmful to a city: it is responsible for the death of good men"

If you intend your new phrase to be an addition to the original it just doesn't make sense.

Rather than trying to complicate the issue try to understand the material M. has presented.

MWH reiterates the point I have made above that "What you need to remember is that Greek does not always work the same way English does. If you see “of” you shouldn’t automatically think “genitive” but rather consider the Greek syntactical structure. "

Until you grasp this progress will be difficult.

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Re: Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

Post by Lukas » Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:21 pm

I was not trying to complicate the issue. I was trying to figure out if adding an element would still be in the accusative or not, which nobody wants to answer.
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Re: Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

Post by mwh » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:04 pm

Nobody wants to answer because it only complicates the issue. Any element can be added, in any appropriate form. For what it’s worth, “from the plague” could be translated in a number of ways (most likely the plain dative; certainly not the accusative or genitive)—but that’s a side-issue; and anyway, as Seneca says, it wouldn’t make sense in the given sentence. What you should be focussing on is understanding why your attempt at using the articular infinitive was fundamentally wrong.

You need to understand the basics of the articular infinitive construction. Take a sentence such as “Good men died.” That could be expanded in any number of ways (including “from the plague,” but never mind that). More to the point, it could be turned into an articular infinitive, converting the direct statement into the idea of the death of good men (the fact that good men died); then it would be a noun phrase. You'd do that by (i) adding the neuter article at the outset, in the appropriate case—nom., acc., gen., or dat. (it's the article that makes makes it a noun phrase), (ii) making “good men” accusative (since it's now the subject of an infinitive) and (iii) making “died” infinitive. Any additional elements would remain the same (since the change in the form of the verb makes no difference to them).

I suggest you carefully study Mastronarde’s examples of the articular infinitive (I presume he gives some), and if you still don’t understand how the construction works then try to explain your difficulty.

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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:41 pm

mwh wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:04 pm

I suggest you carefully study Mastronarde’s examples of the articular infinitive (I presume he gives some), and if you still don’t understand how the construction works then try to explain your difficulty.
τὰ ἀληθῆ αὐτὸς λέγει. Let me add, Lukas, that at times you ask really good questions, and at other times questions based on extrapolating what you are learning, but your extrapolation goes into territory that will be clarified by further study of the language. Slow up, take time to smell the Greek coffee and the Bear's Breeches. Concentrate on thoroughly understanding what is in the unit you are currently on (while reviewing earlier material, as suggested before). Study the examples. Try to avoid "what if" questions at this level, so you can lay a firm foundation for when such questions really will make sense, and you can make sense out of the answers.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

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Re: Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

Post by Hylander » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:37 pm

the death of good men [use articular infinitive.].
One point to note here: where English prefers to use a noun ("death"), Greek prefers a verb (του αποθανειν). As this exercise illustrates, the articular infinitive often serves to express an idea that in English would be expressed by a noun.

Lukas, as others have suggested, you need to slow down a bit, go over the material more carefully, and review what you've already covered repeatedly.

No one said ancient Greek would be easy, and Mastronarde is a particularly demanding textbook, but once you've gone through it and assimilated all the material in it, you will be very well equipped to move on to reading "real" Greek.

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Re: Unit 21, Part II, Number 2

Post by truks » Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:43 pm

Hylander wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:37 pm
Lukas, as others have suggested, you need to slow down a bit, go over the material more carefully, and review what you've already covered repeatedly.
To add to what others have said, I would recommend adding all (yes, all) the material Mastronarde presents in each chapter in an app like Anki and drilling it backwards and forwards. Use Cloze deletion for all the running-text explanatory material he gives. Enter the paradigms and exercises (in normal and reverse order). I started doing this myself around unit 5 or so, and it really paid off.

Granted, data entry is a pain (alternatively, buy the PDF and copy/paste), but if there's one thing I learned using this book, it's that there is no extraneous information in it. You'll forget it if you don't drill it, and you'll need it again at some point.

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