Participles - declining them?

By mibamars, in 'Latin Grammar Questions', Sep 1, 2007.

  1. mibamars New Member


    I'm trying to learn about participles. It says present participles decline like Ingens.....but how the f*ck am I supposed to know what ingens declines like? It no where in my books. Please help.


    Also, what other types of participles are there?
  2. kmp Civis Illustris

    Ingens, ingentis is a third declension adjective meaning "huge"

    If you don't know how third declension adjectives decline then perhaps you are rushing ahead a little in trying to take on participles.

    Anyway, there are three types of participle in Latin: present, past and future. For example :

    amo = I love

    amans (present participle) = loving

    amatus (past participle) = having been loved

    amaturus (future participle) = about to love / going to love

    A participle is a kind of verbal adjective. It is very important in Latin, because Latin uses participles to express meaning in ways English does not.
  3. QMF Civis Illustris

    Virginia, US
    Technically amandus (going to be loved) is also a participle, though it is also a gerundive. But yeah, you may be going a little ahead to be touching on participles if you're not familiar with some of the common third declension adjectives. And please, pass on the swearing if you would. I'm not really opposed to it but this is an academic place.
  4. Decimvs Aedilis

    I am just past the third declension nouns and adjectives in my studies. So, for each of these forms above in the quote, are there several other forms also, for example we have amare, to love.

    So for the present we have amo, i love
    amabo, i shall love, will love
    amabam, i have loved, used to love
    and then the commands ama, and amate.

    My question is then, for amans, will that have the same break down, will there be a "i was loving, i am loving, i shall be loving?" And for amaturus will there be "i was about to love, i shall be about to love" et cetera?

    I have not come that far yet, and am just curious, it seems obvious that there would be all of those same forms for the other types of verbs too.
  5. QMF Civis Illustris

    Virginia, US
    Participles work like adjectives. So if you say "amans sum", that's "I am loving."; if you say "amans eram", that's "I was loving." (Normally you would just use "amo" or "amabam", so don't be confused by the way English does things.) An interesting aspect of Latin participles is the way they relate to the verb of the sentence. For instance "Ambulabo ad tabernam poculum vini ferens" is "I will walk to the tavern carrying a cup of wine." "Carrying" is "present" with respect to the verb, meaning that it is also done in the future. All the different tenses of participles work in this sense; past participles happen before the verb of the sentence, future participles after the verb of the sentence.
  6. kmp Civis Illustris

    Don't get confused, divinity, as qmf says participles are adjectives, They agree with a noun in gender and number and case. They don't conjugate like verbs in any way.

    amans vir reginam vidit. = the loving man saw the queen (amans vir is nominative)

    regina virum amantem vidit = the queen saw the loving man (virum amantem is accusative)

    Many times, though, the noun is implied:

    odi amantem = I hate the loving (person)
  7. Iynx Consularis

    I think that we are on tricky ground here. I do admit that there are different ways to look at things. Grammatical structures can be described in differing ways. It's not really so much a question of "right" and "wrong" as of "more useful" and less "useful".

    But I prefer to think of participles not as adjectives (nomina adjectiva), properly speaking, but as verb forms--they have tense, after all, and they may govern objects.

    Some grammarians prefer to assign participles to a part-of-speech sui generis.

    It is true that present participles (like amans) usually decline like adjectives of one ending (potens or ingens) EXCEPT THAT THE PARTICIPLES GENERALLY TAKE -E IN THE ABLATIVE SINGULAR. I frequently forget that, and I am not alone. So:

    potens declines thus:

    potentem /potens

    potentes / potentia
    potentes / potentia

    (where two forms are separated by a slash, the form on the left is masculine and feminine, and that on the right is neuter)

    For completeness: amans declines as follows:

    amantem / amans

    amantes /amantia
    amantes /amantia

    Hope this helps.
  8. QMF Civis Illustris

    Virginia, US
    Iynx: is potens not simply a participle of posse used in a modified sense? That is, literally meaning "being able" but without a specification of what the noun in question is able to do, and thus meaning "powerful"? Or is this incorrect? The fact that esse lacks a present participle would help in indicating that this is incorrect, as potens being a participle of posse would require the phrase "potis ens" to also be grammatically correct, as far as I know.
  9. Decimvs Aedilis

    Thanks for the examples, that makes perfect sense.
  10. kmp Civis Illustris

    Well, I didn't forget that, lynx. And I thought about pointing it out. But I think you have to tailor your reply to the needs of the original poster. I didn't want to complicate the issue too much.

    In fact, the ablative ending is more complicated than just "it takes an -e".

    If the participle is being used adjectivally then it takes an -i just like ingens. Only if the participle is being used with verbal force (generally in ablatives absolute) does it take an -e.

    For example

    a puero dormienti = by the sleeping boy


    puero dormiente = while the boy was sleeping.

    Good point.
  11. kmp Civis Illustris

    Talking of participles governing objects, can anyone explain this in Ovid's Metamorphoses Book One describing the creation of Man?

    finxit in effigiem moderantum cuncta deorum,

    "(which) he moulded into the image of the gods who rule all things"

    I take moderantum to be genitive plural here, agreeing with deorum, and governing cuncta, so the literal meaning is:

    he moulded into the image of the controlling-all-things-gods.

    The problem is - why does moderantum not end in -ium like ingens (ingentium)? I've checked the text, by the way. It really is moderantum not moderantium.

    Any ideas? Is this just poetic licence? Or have I missed some important point?
  12. Cato Consularis

    Chicago, IL
    -um for -ium is common among the poets. If you think about it, the long-short-long ending of -ntium can never be used in dactylic hexameter without a "harsh" elision (i.e. killing a naturally long syllable to make a short).
  13. kmp Civis Illustris

    Thanks Cato.

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