Lesson 36: The Predicate/Adverbials


555. The predicate consists of the main (finite) verb plus its modifiers. The predicate may be defined as everything that does not belong to the subject (excluding sentence-transcending words, e.g. οὖν, therefore).

    1b          2  
(1)      ἐγὼ / ὑπάγω Jn 8:21
  I go away  
   1b         2          3n+  
(2)      ἐγώ / εἰμι / τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου Jn 8:12
  I am the light of the world  
      2               5d              ln+  
(3)      εἶπον [οὖν] αὐτῷ / οἱ Φαρισαῖοι / ... Jn 8:13
  The Pharisees [therefore] said to him . . .  

In (1) the predicate consists of verb only (S-I). The predicate in (2) includes the equative verb (εἰμί) plus the subjective complement (3n+). Example (3) is S-IV with indirect object (5d) and direct object (what they said); the predicate thus consists of 2 (verb) + 5d + the statements made. ouv is a sentence transcending word and is consequently put in brackets.

The heart of the predicate is the finite verb or verb chain that serves as the head term of the predicate.

The sentence types enumerated in §§504-510, 520-524 are really types of predicates (§503). In addition to the constituent elements belonging to the basic structure of each of these types, other words and word groups may modify the verb in a variety of ways. Such other modifying words and word groups include verbs, adverbs, a noun or adjective in an oblique case,

a word group initiated by a preposition, a participle or a word group headed by a participle, and an included dependent sentence.

A provisional sketch of the predicate will indicate what common adverbials may be expected in the predicate beyond the constituent elements belonging to the basic structure of each sentence type.

5550. Analytic scheme of notation. In view of the new symbols 3n+ and 5d in (2) and (3) (§555) , it is necessary to recall the essential features of the notational scheme and expand it somewhat.

5550.1 Arabic numbers have been employed as follows (§513-516) :

1  = word or word group in the structure of subject
2  = finite verb or main verb in the predicate
= in the predicate, a word or word group with the head term in the nominative case
4  = in the predicate, a word or word group with the head term in the accusative case
5  = in the predicate, a word or word group with the head term in the dative case
6  = in the predicate, a word or word group with the head term in the genitive case

To supplement the system of arable numbers, A will be employed (§557) to mark any adverb (indeclinable) in the predicate:

A  = in the predicate, any adverb

5550.2 Small letters were used to describe the various types of words and word groups appearing as subject (§548). It was observed that the same letters could be employed elsewhere to describe words and word groups.

b   = pronoun
b+  = word cluster headed by a pronoun
d   = pronominal adjective
d+  = word cluster headed by a pronominal adjective
n   = noun
n+  = word cluster headed by a noun
a   = adjective
a+  = word cluster headed by an adjective
g   = participle
g+  = word cluster headed by a participle
i    = infinitive
i+   = word cluster headed by an infinitive
s    = included sentence

5550.3 The symbol 3n+ in (2), §555, thus describes a word group in the predicate, headed by a noun in the nominative case. 5d in (3) describes a pronominal adjective in the predicate, in the dative case. The same arabic numbers and small letters may be variously combined to describe other words and word groups.

5550.4 Prepositions are designated p. A word cluster initiated by a preposition would then be described as p, followed by the case of the head term of the nominal cluster (4, 5, or 6), followed in turn by a description of the word or word groups. Examples may be found in §558.


556. Consider the adverbials in the following English sentences:

(i)    He eame / silently / to him / at night
(ii)    He stayed / there / two days
(iii)   I write / this way / customarily
(iv)   He went / his way / laughing
(v)    You cannot go / where I go

These examples reveal that the following words and word groups may serve as modifiers of the verb (adverbials) in the English sentence: (a) adverbs (silently, there, customarily); (b) word groups initiated by prepositions (p-groups) (to him, at night); (c) noun clusters, i.e. groups headed by nouns (two days, this way, his way)', (d) participles (laughing); (e) included dependent sentences (where I go).

Such adverbials may appear singly or in various combinations, and they may be entirely optional in the sentence. Example (i) could be rewritten in a variety of ways:

He came
He oame silently
He came at night
He oame to him
He oame to him at night
is thus a type I sentence with numerous adverbial options.

557. In Greek, as in English, adverbs may modify verbs:

      2-1          A  
(1)    ἔμεινεν / ἐκεῖ Jn 4:40
  He stayed / there
    A      2pass-l  
(2)    ἤδη / κέκριται Jn 3:18
  He has / already / been judged  
      A           2-1  
(3)    οὕτως / γράφω 2 Thess 3:17
  Thus / I write

N. The designation A appears over the adverb in the illustrations above; it may be used to mark adverbs wherever they appear (§5550.1)

Sentences (l)-(3) illustrate three meaning-based categories of adverbs and adverbials: In (1) ἐκεῖ is an adverb of place or a locative adverb; ἤδη in (2) indicates time and is therefore a temporal adverb; οὕτως (3) is an adverb of manner. The three groups may be represented by the catchwords there, then, thus; in Greek: ἐκεῖ, τότε, οὕτως. There are other categories of adverbs as well.

558. Word groups initiated by prepositions (p-groups) may also appear as modifiers of verbs:

         p5d           2-1  
(4)    παρ’ αὐτῷ / ἔμεινεν Jn 1:39
  They stayed with him
       2                        p4n+
(5)    ὁ υἱὸς / μένει / εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα Jn 8:35
  The son abides forever
      Id                4d         p5n             2  
(6)    οὐδεὶς / [γὰρ] τι / ἐν κρυπτῷ / ποιεῖ Jn 7:4
  [For] No one does anything secretly

The three p-groups in (4) -(6) correspond to the three categories of adverbs represented by the catchwords ἐκεῖ, τότε, οὕτως (§557).

559. Noun clusters may be used as adverbials in Greek as in English (§556). Since all nouns are inflected in Greek, the head term of the cluster will have to appear in a specific case. The head term may appear, for example, in the accusative case:

       2-1              4n+  
(7)    ἔμεινεν / τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκείνην Jn 1:39
  They stayed that day  

Or in the genitive case:

      Id          2           6n  
(8)    οὗτος / ἦλθεν / νυκτός Jn 3:2
  This one came by night  

Or in the dative case:

     2 pass-1           5n+  
(9)    ἐγήγερται / τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ 1 Cor 15:4
  He was raised on the third day

Examples (7)-(9) reveal that the cases express different temporal ideas when used adverbially. Generally speaking, the accusative expresses duration, the genitive time within which, and the dative time when. The cases are not always used in such contexts with great precision, however.

560. Various types of adverbials may, of course, be combined. Examples (4) and (7) are actually from the same sentence, so that the full sentence contains both a p-group and a noun cluster:

        p5d             2-1             4n+  
(10)    παρ’ αὐτῷ / ἔμειναν / τὴν ἡμέραν ταύτην Jn 1:39
  They stayed with him that day  

The full form of (1) also contains adverbials expressing both place and time, this time an adverb and a noun cluster:

      2-1           A          4n+  
(11)    ἔμεινεν / ἐκεῖ / δύο ἡμέρας Jn 4:40
  He stayed there two days  

Both ideas may be expressed by p-groups:

               1n+              2                  p5n+                  p5n+  
(12)    ὁ [δὲ] δοῦλος / οὐ μένει / ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ / εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα Jn 8:35
  The slave does not abide in the house forever  

Or by a p-group and the genitive case (the actual form of (8)) :

      1d          2                 p4d          6n  
(13)    οὗτος / ἦλθεν / πρὸς αὐτὸν / νυκτός Jn 3:2
  This one came to him by night  

Common adverbials in the forms of adverbs, p-groups and noun clusters may thus be employed in a variety of combinations.

561. Participles (g) and word groups headed by participles (g+) often appear as adverbials.

       2           1n+                                  3g             3g  
(14)    ἦλθεν / ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου / ἐσθίων καὶ πίνων Mt 11:19
  The son of man came eating and drinking  

The twin participles, ἐσθίων καὶ πίνων, express manner: How did he come? He came eating and drinking. A word group headed by a participle may be used temporally:

                                       4n+              2             1n+         3g+  
(15)    τοῦτο . . . δεύτερον σημεῖον / ἐποίησεν / ὁ Ἰησοῦς / ἐλθὼν ἐκ τῆς Ἰουδαίας εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν Jn 4:54
  This second sign Jesus did after coming out of Judea into Galilee

The participle itself does not specify which adverbial idea is meant. The particular meaning must be inferred from the context in each instance so that more than one meaning is often possible.

5610. Other uses of the participle as an adverbial and the infinitive as a modifier of the verb are considered under verb chains, §§565-585, the infinitive, §§0830ff., and the participle, §§0845ff.