Chapter 23

What Participles Are/ What They Can Do


Participles are the switch hitters of the grammatical world. They are adjectives formed from verbal stems and as a consequence they:

The tense of a participle is used to describe the time during which the verbal action of the participle takes place relative to the main verb of the sentence.

The voice of participles works just like the voice of verbs. The participial system, however, is not complete. There is no present passive participle or perfect active participle. As a consequence, [particularly with perfect passive participles] there are some limitations in what you can express with participles.

When you translate participles, you should feel free to use subordinate (relative, temporal, causal) clauses as well as the literal translation of the participle. For example,

Sacerdötës, pressï ab ducibus, petïverunt mïlitem.

 


Chapter Index / Formation of participles