Participle: agreeing argument with nouns


καὶ μετεμέλοντο τὰς σπονδὰς οὐ δεξάμενοι

En ze hadden er spijt van dat ze het verdrag niet aanvaard hadden.

The participle signals an object agreeing with the subject or another object. This is the case with verbs of (sensory or mental) perception and emotions, as well as with verbs of speaking.

Lexical usage

Verbs of perceiving and knowing
  • {seeing and noticing} αἰσθάνομαι ‘to perceive’, δείκνυμι ‘to show’ (with inf. ‘to enjoin’), δηλόω ‘to prove’ (with inf. ‘to enjoin’), δοκιμάζω ‘to appear’ (with inf. ‘to approve’), ἔοικα (+ nom. ‘to seem to’, + dat. ‘to seem like’; with inf. ‘to appear to’), ὁράω ‘to see’ (often with present participle), ποιέω ‘to present’ (with inf. ‘to cause’ or ‘to accept’), σημαίνω ‘to show’;
  • {hearing and perceiving} ἀκούω, ἀκροάομαι ‘to hear’, εὑρίσκω ‘to find that, to judge’ (with inf. ‘to find out, discover’), πυνθάνομαι ‘to learn’;
  • {knowing and realising} ἀγγέλλω ‘to announce’, γιγνώσκω ‘to realise’ (with inf. ‘to judge, learn’), ἐπιλανθάνομαι ‘to forget that’ (with inf. ‘to forget how’), ἐπίσταμαι and οἶδα ‘to know’ (also with ὅτι or ὡς; with inf. ‘to be capable of’), κατανοέω ‘to suspect’, μέμνημαι (+ genitive present participle; + nominative aorist participle.) ‘to remember that’ (with inf. ‘to remember to do something’), μανθάνω ‘to find out’ (with inf. ‘to learn’), νοέω ‘realise’ (also with ὡς), νομίζω ‘to be of the opinion’ (also with ὡς), σύνοιδα ‘to know well, to be aware of’.
Verbs expressing a frame of mind
  • {emotions} αἰσχύνομαι ‘to be ashamed at doing something’ (with inf. ‘… to do something’), ἀναίνομαι ‘to disown, be ashamed’ (with inf. ‘to refuse’), ἄχθομαι ‘to be annoyed’, ἐθέλω ‘to be willing’ (also with inf.), ἥδομαι ‘to enjoy oneself’, μεταμέλομαι ‘to repent, to be sorry’, χαίρω ‘to be delighted’ (+ acc. or dat.), χαρίζομαι ‘to gratify with…’;
  • {judging} ἀδικέω ‘to act unjustly by…’, εὖ/κακῶς/καλῶς ποιέω of λέγω ‘to speak good or bad of…’;
  • {persevering} ἀνέχομαι ‘to persevere in…’ (sometimes with inf.), ἡττάομαι ‘to be worsted’, περιοράω ‘to overlook’ (with present participle) or ‘to close one's eyes to’ (with aorist participle), but ‘to let happen’ (with inf.), ὑπομένω ‘to endure’ (with inf. ‘to have good courage to’) [in poetry also μένω, τολμάω and τλάω].

Translation tips

The meaning of a verb often changes depending on whether it is followed by an infinitive or a participle. A dictionary should be consulted for this.

Syntactic behaviour

Coreference with the subject

If the subject of the participle is coreferential with the object, the participle is put in the nominative. If the participle is coreferential with an object, the participle takes the case of the object. In the first case traditional grammars speak of a nominativus cum participio, in the second case of an accusativus (or genitivus or dativus) cum infinitivo. If the participle itself has a subject, this subject takes the same case as the participle.

Particle ὡς or ὥσπερ

In rare cases a participium completivum is accompanied by ὡς or ὥσπερ. The particle ὡς emphasises the frame of mind of one of the participants in the state of affairs.

Aspect stems

If the main verb is in the aorist, its complementary participle has the tendency to take the aorist too. In any case, the main verb and the participle are usually simultaneous, since direct perception would not be possible otherwise.

Historical background

With verbs of speaking the participle only occurs from the fifth century B.C. onwards, and even then only rarely (Crespo e.a. 2003).

Frequential information

In de eerste twee boeken van zijn Historiën kiest Thucydides in 77,7% van de gevallen voor een deelwoord wanneer hij ook voor een infinitiefzin of een finiete completiefzin had kunnen kiezen (Coppieters, apud Duhoux).

Example Sentences: 

κἂν μὴ ὑπὸ μειζόνων καὶ σεμνοτέρων τιμᾶσθαι [δύνωνται], ὑπὸ σμικροτέρων καὶ φαυλοτέρων τιμώμενοι ἀγαπῶσιν, ὡς ὅλως τιμῆς ἐπιθυμηταὶ ὄντες

En als ze niet door grotere en meer hoogstaande mannen geëerd kunnen worden, dan houden ze ervan door kleinere en minderwaardige mannen geëerd te worden, vermits ze helemaal aan eer verslingerd zijn.

καὶ ἀγανακτοῦσιν ὡς μεγάλων τινῶν ἀπεστερημένοι καὶ τότε μὲν εὖ ζῶντες, νῦν δὲ οὐδὲ ζῶντες

En zij ergeren zich in de mening dat ze van een aantal grote dingen beroofd zijn en dat ze nu eens goed leven, en dan weer geen leven hebben.

ἴστε δήπου νόμον ἡμῖν ὑπάρχοντα, ἐξ οὗ τήνδε οἰκοῦμεν τὴν πόλιν, πάντων εἶναι κυρίαν τὴν βουλήν, πλὴν…

No doubt you know that we have had a law since we first inhabited this city, that the assembly is sovereign in all matters, except...

οἱ μὲν ἄλλοι γεωργοὶ καὶ νομεῖς ἔχαιρον πόνων τε ἀπηλλαγμένοι πρὸς ὀλίγον

The other farmers and shepherds were glad that they had been freed from their tasks for a while.