M 16.3 p 131 - "in some contexts... the imperfect can correspond to the English simple past.

Here you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Greek, and more.
Post Reply
Asterisk1234
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:19 pm
Location: Toronto

M 16.3 p 131 - "in some contexts... the imperfect can correspond to the English simple past.

Post by Asterisk1234 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:12 pm

Is there a definition somewhere for "some contexts"?

Thanks to all.

Hylander
Textkit Zealot
Posts: 1901
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:16 pm

Re: M 16.3 p 131 - "in some contexts... the imperfect can correspond to the English simple past.

Post by Hylander » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:18 pm

I don’t think it can be reduced to a definition. You need to read and understand the Greek first, and then, if you’re translating, decide how best to render the Greek in English.

One context where Greek frequently uses the imperfect but English would use the simple past is in narration. Greek often puts the main event in the aorist, after a string of imperfects describing activities that provide context or set the stage for the main event. English would generally put all of the verbs in the simple past.

Also, sometimes the Greek imperfect is used for an unsuccessful effort: “tried to”.

Asterisk1234
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:19 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: M 16.3 p 131 - "in some contexts... the imperfect can correspond to the English simple past.

Post by Asterisk1234 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:40 am

OK, thanks, that helps.

hairetikon
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:13 am

Re: M 16.3 p 131 - "in some contexts... the imperfect can correspond to the English simple past.

Post by hairetikon » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:12 am

Asterisk1234 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:12 pm
Is there a definition somewhere for "some contexts"?

Thanks to all.
What about the imperfect of εἰμί? Does this count as one such context? Because we translate ἦν not as "was being" but simply as "was."

Speaking of which, what is the reason for this?

Asterisk1234
Textkit Neophyte
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:19 pm
Location: Toronto

Re: M 16.3 p 131 - "in some contexts... the imperfect can correspond to the English simple past.

Post by Asterisk1234 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:35 pm

hairetikon, I just saw your post. I assume it is directed to Hylander.- Personally, I have no answer to your questions.

Post Reply