Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

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alanmacall
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Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by alanmacall » January 13th, 2017, 2:56 pm

I once heard a preacher talk about Luke 11:9 and the exhortation to ask, seek and knock. I recall the preacher saying that these words were in the present continuous tense so we should 'keep asking' and 'keep seeking' and 'keep knocking'. I'm now a little uncertain about this as I don't find any mention of a 'present continuous tense' in my studies. I've now looked up Luke 11:9, and learned a few things about the present imperative. I *think* that it would be more correct to say that the three verbs are present imperatives and that we normally understand present imperatives to have an ongoing aspect. Therefore, the exhortation is indeed to keep on asking, seeking and knocking but it's not a 'present continuous tense' but a continuous aspect.

Have I got that right? And would I be right to say that 'present continuous tense' is the wrong term because there isn't really such a tense at all?

Alan
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Alan
A beginner trying to self learn Greek

Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » January 13th, 2017, 5:24 pm

Basically you're right. You can read for example http://journal.rts.edu/article/sharpeni ... rs-part-i/ for a short introduction to the topic. It has flaws but is still pretty good in introducing what certain influential NT scholars have said on the topic. And the tense/aspect distinction and the debates about the Koine morphological "tense" have been discussed quite much here, especially in the Language and Linguistics subforum and its sub-subforums (just look for the word "aspect").
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » January 13th, 2017, 5:42 pm

On the other hand, imperative isn't necessarily so simple. Basically the difference between two main aspects of Koine is in whether the action is seen as a whole, especially having an endpoint (perfective), and not having an endpoint (imperfective). That difference, or different aspects in general, lead to different interpretations in different contexts. "Continuous" isn't necessarily a perfect description or a perfect interpretation for imperfective (not sorry for the pun). Mike Aubrey have given some short opinions about imperative and aspect, maybe he can comment on this.
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » January 13th, 2017, 5:46 pm

Okay, I'll spoil you with another link: https://evepheso.wordpress.com/2016/05/ ... -specific/
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » January 13th, 2017, 6:44 pm

Here's still another topic for tense, aspect and Aktionsart: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vie ... =50&t=3200. It has links for more.
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alanmacall
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Re: Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by alanmacall » January 15th, 2017, 7:57 pm

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:Here's still another topic for tense, aspect and Aktionsart: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vie ... =50&t=3200. It has links for more.
Thanks for all the information! Much of it is too advanced for me but I hope to be able to return to it sometime later.

Best regards

Alan
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Alan
A beginner trying to self learn Greek

johnsal777
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Re: Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by johnsal777 » December 15th, 2018, 8:12 am

Moderator note: Please contact one of the moderators about changing your screen name to your real name per B-Greek policy. Also, one must be currently studying Greek to be a regular participant in the discussions, but since you are a Dallas Th.M. student you'll undoubtedly be starting your Greek soon, so okay. -- BH

Friends,

I think when your pastor was talking about this, he was probably referring to the KJV "eth" which is added to the end of verbs... I've heard a similar message in church a couple times... I was just looking it up, but can't really find anything conclusive, but I don't think it has to do with the Greek as much as it does with the way the folks King James appointed to translate the Scriptures - i.e. Old English...

I probably need to research it more, but I just thought I'd offer "present continual tense" does exist (see: https://examples.yourdictionary.com/pre ... mples.html). Though it may not have in 70AD when some of the NT was written, and perhaps it might have been seen as something different in 1611, but if you're wondering if you should ask and continue to ask; seek and continue seeking; knock, and continue knocking, I think that after meditating on that passage and asking God what He thinks, you'll probably conclude the answer to be "yes," you may apply the present continuous tense, because guess what? it applies!

Peace,
Adam
ThM student at DTS currently - (who hasn't taken any Greek yet)
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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by Barry Hofstetter » December 15th, 2018, 10:33 am

-eth is simply the archaic form of the third singular in English, so as where a modern speaker says "sends" a speaker in the Jacobean period might say "sendeth." It's not a present progressive or what some people are apparently calling a present continuous tense. The issue for those learning Greek is that English morphologically, through the use of modals, presents more than one aspect of the present tense, each of which is called for in specific contexts, e.g., he sends, he is sending, he does send. Greek has one set of endings morphologically which covers all these uses, and so must be determined by context since it's not grammatically marked.

Yes, you have a lot to learn. But it's Greek, and besides being useful, it's going to be fun... :D
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N.E. Barry Hofstetter
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Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Stephen Carlson
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Re: Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by Stephen Carlson » December 15th, 2018, 6:56 pm

The other thing to realize is that the early modern English of the KJV employs a different tense-aspect system than contemporary modern English.
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
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