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906. The most simple form of sentence is the finite verb: ἐσ-τί he-is, λέγο-μεν we-say, ἕπε-σθε you-follow.

Here the subject is in the personal ending, the predicate in the verbal stem. No other single word than a verb can of itself form a complete sentence.

907. The subject of a sentence is a substantive or one of its equivalents.

908. Equivalents of the Substantive.—The function of the substantive may be assumed by a pronoun, adjective (in masculine and feminine more frequently with the article), numeral, participle, relative clause (““οἳ ἐλήφθησαν τῶν πολεμίων ταὐτὰ ἤγγελλονthose of the enemy who were captured made the same reportX. A. 1.7.13); by the article with an adverb (οἱ τότε the men of that day), or with the genitive (τὰ τῆς τύχης the incidents of fortune, fortune (1299)); by a prepositional phrase (οἱ ἀμφὶ τὸν Σωκράτη Socrates and his followers; ἐπὶ μέγα a great part), a preposition with a numeral (““ἔφυγον περὶ ὀκτακοσίουςabout eight hundred took to flightX. H. 6.5.10); by an infinitive with or without the article (1984, 2025); and by any word or phrase viewed merely as a thing (τὸ ὑ_μεῖς ὅταν λέγω, τὴν πόλιν λέγω when I say You, I mean the State D. 18.88). Cp. 1153 g. (Furthermore, by a clause in a complex sentence, 2189. 1.)

909. The predicate of a sentence is always a verb. The verb may either stand alone, as in Περικλῆς ἀπῆλθε Pericles departed; or it may have certain modifiers, called complements to the predicate (nouns, participles, adverbs), as Περικλῆς ἀπῆλθε πρῶτος first (ὀργιζόμενος in anger; τότε then). Cp. 924.

910. Predicate Nouns.—Nouns (substantival or adjectival) are often used as complements to the predicate. Thus,

a. A predicate substantive is a substantive forming part of the predicate and asserting something of its substantive: Περικλῆς ᾑρέθη στρατηγός Pericles was elected general, ““εἵλεσθε ἐκεῖνον πρεσβευτήνyou elected him envoyL. 13.10.

b. A predicate adjective is an adjective forming part of the predicate and asserting something of its substantive: ἀνὴρ δίκαιός ἐστι the man is just, ἐνόμισαν Περικλέα_ εὐτυχῆ they thought Pericles fortunate.

911. A predicate substantive or adjective may often be distinguished from an attributive (912) in that the former implies some form of εἶναι be. Thus, πρεσβευτήν and εὐτυχῆ in 910. After verbs signifying to name or call, εἶναι is sometimes expressed (1615).

912. Attributive Adjective.—An attributive adjective is an adjective simply added to a noun to describe it, and not forming any part of an assertion made about it: δίκαιος ἀνήρ the just-man.

913. All adjectives that are not attributive are predicate. So πρῶτοι ἀφί_<*>οντο they were the first to arrive (1042 b), τούτῳ φίλῳ χρῶμαι I treat this man <*>s a friend (= οὗτος, χρῶμαι, φίλος ἐστί).

914. Under adjectives are included participles: μέλλων (attrib.) πόλεμος the future war, ταῦτα εἰπὼν (pred.) ἀπῄειν saying this he went off, ὁρῶ σε κρύπτοντα (pred.) I see you hiding.

915. Predicate substantives, adjectives, and participles, in agreement either with subject or object, are more common in Greek than in English, and often call for special shifts in translation: ““μετεώρους ἐξεκόμισαν τὰ_ς ἁμάξα_ςthey lifted the wagons and carried them outX. A. 1.5.8. Cp. 1579.

916. Appositive.—An appositive is a noun added to another noun or to a pronoun to describe or define it: Μιλτιάδης στρατηγός Miltiades, the general, ὑ_μεῖς οἱ ἱερεῖς you, the priests, τοῦτο, σὺ εἶπες, ἀ_εὶ πάρεστι, σχολή this, which you mentioned, is always present, (I mean) leisure P. Th. 172d.

917. Copula.—An indeterminate verb that serves simply to couple a predicate substantive or adjective to the subject is called a copula: Ξενοφῶν ἦν Ἀθηναῖος Xenophon was an Athenian.

a. The most common copulative verbs are εἶναι be and γίγνεσθαι become. Many other verbs serve as copulas: καθίστασθαι become, πεφυ_κέναι, ὑπάρχειν, πέλειν (poetical) be, δοκεῖν seem, φαίνεσθαι appear. καλεῖσθαι, ὀνομάζεσθαι, ἀκούειν, κλύειν (poetical) be called, τυγχάνειν, κυρεῖν (poet.) happen, turn out, αἱρεῖσθαι be chosen, νομίζεσθαι be regarded, κρί_νεσθαι be judged, and the like.

918. a. The copula is strictly the predicate or is a part of the predicate with its supplements.

b. The above verbs may also be complete predicates: ἔστι θεός there is a god.

c. For the omission of the copula, see 944.

d. A predicate substantive or adjective stands in the same case as the subject when coupled to it by a copulative verb (939).

e. For εἶναι added to a copulative verb, see 1615.

919. Object.—A verb may have an object on which its action is exerted. The object is a substantive (or its equivalent, 908) in an oblique case. An object may be direct (in the accusative) or indirect (in the genitive or dative): Κῦρος δώσει ἓξ μνᾶς (direct) τῷ δούλῳ (indirect) Cyrus will give six minae to the slave, ἔλαβον τῆς ζώνης (indirect) τὸν Ὀρόντα_ν (direct) they took hold of Orontas by the girdle X. A. 1.6.10.

920. Transitive and Intransitive Verbs.—Verbs capable of taking a direct object are called transitive because their action passes over to an object Other verbs are called intransitive.

a. But many intransitive verbs, as in English, are used transitively (1558, 1559), and verbs usually transitive often take an indirect object (1341 ff., 1460 ff., 1471 ff.).

hide References (7 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (7):
    • Demosthenes, On the Crown, 88
    • Lysias, Against Agoratus, 10
    • Plato, Theaetetus, 172d
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.6.10
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.7.13
    • Xenophon, Anabasis, 1.5.8
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 6.5.10
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