Re: Participles

From: Karen Pitts (
Date: Mon Dec 11 1995 - 21:40:41 EST

RE> Participles 12/12/95 10:05 AM


Here's my view of participles and how to teach them to beginners. The first
time I had to teach participles, I was thouroughly dissatisfied with the
beginning grammars I had at my disposal. I reviewed Smyth's description of
participles and then taugtht that participles can be either

  functioning as a adjective (the one who teaches) or substantive (noun)
  supplementary to the main verb, completing the thought, especially following
     kinds of verbs (Smyth has an extensive list that I don't want to attempt
     from memory)
  adverbial clause, either time related or causational
  genitive absolute

You may already know what Smyth says about supplementary stuff, but if you
don't, I recommend it. I found it very helpful, and I don't think koine is
different from classical here.

I found that presenting it in these four categories clarified the usage
enough. I haven't made a study based on word order, but knowing that the
participle can be either modifying the noun, supplementing the verb, or
introducing an adverbial clause seemed to clarify things sufficiently to get
them translating.


Karen Pitts
Hopewell Presbyterian Church, Hopewell, NJ, teacher of NT Greek
David Sarnoff Research Center, Princeton, NJ, statistician

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