Imperfects as simple pasts

Kenneth Litwak (
Tue, 14 May 1996 11:21:34 -0700

Last night in translating Acts 28:24-31, I ran across a number of
imperfect forms, many of which seemed best translated by simple
pasts (sorry, I don't have examples off the top of my head and
don't keep NA27 at work nestled between books on OLE and Visual
Basic). In consulting a grammar or two, like Brooks and Winbery,
I didn't see a category for simple, non-continuous past in the
imperfect. Yet, most of the imprerfects, except for "they bean to
leave" don't seem to me to have a sense of duration. Can the
imperfect, contrary to what I learned in first year Greek, just
be a simple past "x happened"? Thanks.

Ken Litwak
Berserkely, CA