Differentiating 1st-S./3rd-Pl. person in imp. ind. active

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quickly
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Differentiating 1st-S./3rd-Pl. person in imp. ind. active

Post by quickly » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:05 am

I am working through White's First Greek Book, and I have a problem. In Lesson VII, "Imperfect Indicative Active," the paradigm for this tense indicates that the suffix -ον plus the prefix ε serves to signal both the 3rd and 1st person. For each example, it gives the same conjugation for each verb in these cases. Same with the dual 2nd and 3rd person in the present indicative active: both have the suffix -ετον.

How am I to differentiate between these, with the exception of context? This site, which I have been using to check my answers, and which has usually been extremely faithful to what I produce, indicates that the correct translation of ηγον (circumflex and smooth breathing on η; I don't know how to type this in window) is "I was leading." But it appears that "they were leading" is also correct. On a simple translation exercise, where only the verb, without a context, is given, how do I differentiate between these two quantities and the dual in present indicative active?

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Re: Differentiating 1st-S./3rd-Pl. person in imp. ind. activ

Post by annis » Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:50 pm

quickly wrote:How am I to differentiate between these, with the exception of context?
Context is the only way to distinguish them.
indicates that the correct translation of ηγον (circumflex and smooth breathing on η; I don't know how to type this in window) is "I was leading." But it appears that "they were leading" is also correct. On a simple translation exercise, where only the verb, without a context, is given, how do I differentiate between these two quantities and the dual in present indicative active?
You don't, I'm afraid.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

quickly
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Post by quickly » Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:24 am

Thank you, annis. If I may, I have another problem (if anyone wants to take it up) the first translation exercise to trip me up, and send my head spiraling downwards into syntactical chaos. Exercise 97.10 gives this sentence to translate (Microsoft's Greek polytonic keyboard seems unable to represent the grave accent):

"Κάι ?πί τήν γέφυ?α τόν στ?ατηγόν πέμπειν ?κέλεuσε Κῦ?ος φυλακήν."

Now, the first accusative phrase, "?πί τήν γέφυ?α τόν στ?ατηγόν...", makes sense in the context of both "πέμπειν" (present third person singular act. ind.), and "?κέλεuσε" (first aorist 3rd person singular act. ind.); but since every substantive in the sentence is in the accusative except for Κῦ?ος, and each verb is in the third person singular, I cannot tell which verb is modifying what, and White gives no indication (up until this point) as to how a sentence with two verbs is to be interpreted.

My best effort comes up with something alone the lines of: "And to the bridge the general sends the garrison, Cyrus commanded."; or "And Cyrus commanded the general send the garrison to the bridge." But in the first and second attempt, I need garrison to take a definite article, which is lacking in the Greek, and the indefinite construction doesn't seem appropriate; in the second, "send" seems like an awkward translation of the present tense as it's been presented so far, unless there is something about the use of an embedded present tense phrase or verb within a sentence dominated by the aorist. The second problem is that I seem to be able to construct this sentence, but it seems intuitively incorrect: "Cyrus sends the general (who) commanded the garrison to the bridge).

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Post by jk0592 » Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:20 pm

I think that πέμπειν is infinitive.
Jean K.

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Post by Bert » Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:44 pm

quickly wrote: ....or "And Cyrus commanded the general send the garrison to the bridge."
Like jk0592 said, πέμπειν is infinitive. If you insert "to" before "send" in your translation, it makes sense.
quickly wrote: But in the first and second attempt, I need garrison to take a definite article, which is lacking in the Greek, and the indefinite construction doesn't seem appropriate;
No need for the article. It is fine without it.

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Post by quickly » Sat Aug 02, 2008 8:50 am

Interesting...I found the brief mention of the infinitive buried deep within the book. Now why would the third person singular present indicative with v-movable look exactly like the infinitive?

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Post by annis » Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:16 pm

quickly wrote:Interesting...I found the brief mention of the infinitive buried deep within the book. Now why would the third person singular present indicative with v-movable look exactly like the infinitive?
An accident — there's no actual relationship between the infinitive and the 3sg active ending. The middle infinitive -σθαι looks a bit like the 2pl. middle ending, too, -σθε. The athematic infinitive is -μεν.

ν-movable is only for endings in -ε and -ι, not -ει.
William S. Annis — http://www.aoidoi.org/http://www.scholiastae.org/
τίς πατέρ' αἰνήσει εἰ μὴ κακοδαίμονες υἱοί;

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