Re: Present tence copulative verbs

From: G. Ross (
Date: Sun Sep 06 1998 - 03:16:05 EDT

>>Subject: Re: Present tence copulative verbs
From: Jonathan Robie <>
Date: Wed, 02 Sep 1998 12:08:27 -0400
X-Message-Number: 25<<

Jonathan said --

>>May I suggest that B-Greek is about Greek, and not about English? If we
start going down the path of which constructions are grammatical in
English, we will then have to make judgements about whether the verb "to
be" operates the same way, for both English and Greek, and we will get into
a deep swamp that we will never get out of.<<

Gordon Ross replies --

Hmm, I think I disagree somewhat, Jonathan -- not with your statement that
B-Greek is about Greek, but with the implication that a contrastive
grammatical discussion of Greek and English -- as it pertains to a
particular Greek word or phrase and its various English translatons -- is

Since our discussion is in English and since we use our knowledge of English
grammar as a referent for discussion of Greek grammar, I think that from
time to time contrastive grammatical analysis is appropriate, as long as our
aim is to better our understanding of the Greek text.

Actually, it is unfortunate that we are not able to discuss NT Greek grammar
as native speakers of koine Greek, or better, as native speakers of koine
Greek who had at our fingertips a descriptive grammar and lexicon of koine
Greek prepared by Greek linguistic scientists familiar with the principles
and field techniques of modern descriptive linguists. However, that is not
the case, so we must do our best, using the stipulated language of this
message list: English.

Gordon Ross

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