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Allen and Greenough/ New Latin Grammar

Uses of Participles

496. The Present and Perfect Participles are often used as a predicate, where in English a phrase or a subordinate clause would be more natural.

In this use the participles express time, cause, occasion, condition, concession, characteristic (or description), manner, means, attendant circumstances:—

    volventēs hostīlia cadāvera amīcum reperiēbant (Sall. Cat. 61), while rolling over the corpses of the enemy they found a friend. [Time.]

    paululum commorātus, sīgna canere iubet (id. 59), after delaying a little while, he orders them to give the signal. [Time.]

    longius prōsequī veritus, ad Cicerōnem pervēnit (B. G. 5.52), because he feared to follow further, he came to Cicero. [Cause.]

    quī scīret laxās dare iussus habēnās (Aen. 1.63), who might know how to give them loose rein when bidden. [Occasion.]

    damnātum poenam sequī oportēbat (B. G. 1.4), if condemned, punishment must overtake him. [Condition.]

    salūtem īnspērantibus reddidistī (Marc. 21), you have restored a safety for which we did not hope (to [us] not hoping). [Concession.]

    Dardanius caput ecce puer dētēctus (Aen. 10.133), the Trojan boy with his head uncovered. [Description.]

    nec trepidēs in ūsum poscentis aevī pauca (Hor. Od. 2.11.5), be not anxious for the needs of age that demands little. [Characteristic.]

    incitātī fugā montīs altissimōs petēbant (B. C. 3.93), in headlong flight they made for the highest mountains. [Manner.]

    mīlitēs sublevātī aliī ab aliīs māgnam partem itineris cōnficerent (id. 1.68), the soldiers, helped up by each other, accomplished a considerable part of the route. [Means.]

    hōc laudāns, Pompêius idem iūrāvit (id. 3.87), approving this, Pompey took the same oath. [Attendant Circumstance.]

    aut sedēns aut ambulāns disputābam (Tusc. 1.7), I conducted the discussion either sitting or walking. [Attendant Circumstance.]

Note 1— These uses are especially frequent in the Ablative Absolute (§ 420).

Note 2— A coördinate clause is sometimes compressed into a perfect participle:—

    īnstrūctōs ōrdinēs in locum aequum dēdūcit (Sall. Cat. 59), he draws up the lines, and leads them to level ground.

    ut hōs trāductōs necāret (B. G. 5.6) that he might carry them over and put them to death.

Note 3— A participle with a negative often expresses the same idea which in English is given by without and a verbal noun: as, —miserum est nihil prōficientem angī (N. D. 3.14), it is wretched to vex oneself without effecting anything.

Note 4— Acceptum and expēnsum as predicates with ferre and referre are bookkeeping terms: as,— quās pecūniās ferēbat eīs expēnsās (Verr. 2.170), what sums he charged to them.

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