Sophia says: Understand participles

Participles are verbal adjectives: they have verb stems combined with adjectival endings. Their tenses denote stages of action rather than absolute time: the present participle denotes action going on at the same time as the main verb; the aorist participle usually denotes action which has happened before the action of the main verb. Compare these examples:

Present – ‛ο στρατιωτης πιπτει φευγων = The soldier fell while fleeing
Aorist – λυσας τον ‛ιππον, ‛ο παις οικαδε ηλθε = After setting free the horse, the boy went home

Present participle: λυων, λυουσα, λυον
Aorist participle: λυσας, λυσασα, λυσαν

The negative with the participle is normally ου

The three main uses of participles are attributive, circumstantial and supplementary.

Attributive participles describe nouns just like adjectives (as above)

Circumstantial participles are added to nouns or pronouns, without the article, to explain circumstances under which the main action occurs e.g. γελων ειπε = he said with a laugh

Supplementary participles are used with some verbs to complete their sense e.g. ετυγχανον λεγων = I was just saying

Sophia the donkey

Sophia the donkey


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