[BACK]
115
116
117
118


TENSES OF THE PARTICIPLE.

115. The participle is a verbal adjective, sharing in part the characteristics of both the verb and the adjective; it describes its subject as a doer of the action denoted by the verb. For the proper understanding of a participle three things must be observed:
(a) The grammatical agreement.
(b) The use of the tense.
(c) The modal significance, or logical force.
116. In grammatical agreement, a participle follows the rule for adjectives, agreeing with its noun or pronoun in gender, number, and case.

117. The logical force of the participle, usually the most important consideration from the point of view of interpretation, will be treated at a later point. See 419 ff. The matter now under consideration is the significance of the tense of a participle.

118. The tenses of the participle, like those of the other dependent moods, do not, in general, in themselves denote time. To this general rule the Future Participle is the leading exception, its functions being such as necessarily to express time-relations. The fundamental distinguishing mark of each of the other tenses is the same for the participle as for the dependent moods in general The Present denotes action in progress; the Aorist, action conceived of indefinitely; the Perfect, completed action. These distinctions, however, impose certain limitations upon the classes of events which may be expressed by the participle of each tense, and thus indirectly and to a limited extent, the tense of the participle is an indication of the time-relation of the event denoted by it. Since for purposes of interpretation it is often needful to define the time-relation of an event expressed by the participle, it becomes expedient to treat the tenses of the participle apart from those of the dependent moods in general.