A School Grammar of Attic Greek

Thomas Dwight Goodell

SIMPLE SENTENCES/ Special Idioms of Predication

545. The commonest form of predication is a simple verb; the copula εἰμι or the like with a predicate adjective or noun is also familiar, and is like English and Latin usage; the predicate noun agreeing with the object is described in 534. But Greek employs the predicate noun and adjective (and participle) more freely than English or Latin does, and in some peculiar idioms.1

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English uses many predicate adjectives and nouns in a manner like those in 546, 547; but the words so used are mostly different in meaning from those so used in Greek, and they are much fewer and less common:
  • Benighted walks under the midday sun.- MILTON, Comus.
  • To glide a sunbeam by the blasted pine,
    To sit a star upon the sparkling spire.-TENNYSON, Princess.
  • Noon lay heavy on flower and tree.-SHELLEY, To Night.
  • Kneel undisturbed, fair saint.-THACKERAY.
  • - May find
    Thee sitting careless on a granary floor.-KEATS, Ode to Autumn.
  • And learns her gone and far from home.-TENNYSON, In Mem., viii.
So in many common prose expressions: go barefoot, run dry, lie quiet, live secure, come home hungry, also build a wall high, strike one dumb, walk oneself lame, drink the stream dry, etc.