Does anyone know of any resources that explain the aorist tenses? I found some, but the explain it in Greek, which obviously makes it more difficult to understand.
Maybe it can help to think that the distinction between aorist and present in infinitives, imperatives, subjunctives and optatives is the same as or at least very similar to that between perfect and imperfect in Latin, but transferred into more tenses and moods.Actually, there's nothing that I find more confusing about switching back and forth from Latin to Greek than the aorist. It doesn't map nicely onto anything in Latin, and (for anything but indicative) it's used in quite a different manner than the Latin perfect.
Ah. Well, I suppose that's true in a vaguely theoretical sort of way, but it isn't of that much practical help since one doesn't have imperfect infinitives/imperatives in Latin, or anything else that can actually be used in most of the ways that the Greek aorist is.Re-read my post. I said the diffence between perfect and imperfect (between e.g. fuit and erat), not between present and perfect infinitives (fuisse and esse).
It's not so much that I have difficulties dealing with the aorist per se, but that switching back to Latin disorients me (in that I find myself reading, e.g. a perfect infinitive and my brain automatically treats it as an aorist infinitive, producing a result that doesn't make any sense in the context.)I think Pacifica has a point there. Imagine that you transfer your target imperative of infinitive into a finite indicative past tense: which one suits better, aorist or imperfect? And if you don't do there too many mind tricks, you should come to the expected answer also aspect wise.
Ah, yes, of course, I had understood that one point from you - no problem, I was just meditating on the Pacifica's idea...It's not so much that I have difficulties dealing with the aorist per se, but that switching back to Latin disorients me (in that I find myself reading, e.g. a perfect infinitive and my brain automatically treats it as an aorist infinitive, producing a result that doesn't make any sense in the context.)
Going from Latin to Greek isn't half so difficult, somehow.
I guess Greek, but then those few Greeks (and I would think there were more of them in the classical age of Rome) who wanted to deal with Latin written resources and literature would feel much more confused in it than Romans in Greek - since the old truth would apply to them all the same: the Latin noun phrases (and often broken phrases) make just the overall Latin syntax much more confusing to intake for a foreigner - no matter the easier morphology. But then the easier morphology means also more meanings encoded only in the context which sometimes helps less than more unless your language is heavily analytical as English or Chinese and uses a bunch of different indicators.I wonder if we have any record of whether Greek and Latin speakers in ancient times found one another's languages difficult to learn and/or confusing, and if so, which one tended to be viewed as more difficult (probably Greek since it has features Latin doesn't, but that's just a guess.)
If we're still talking about aorist as the past indicative tense (because there are two issues to deal with in learning the aorist: 1) its use as a normal indicative past tense 2) its use in the infinitive/imperative/subjunctive/optative which is a DIFFERENT issue grammatically and has little to none to do with aorist being a normal past tense in the indicative) then the idea is the same as of the Latin perfect. I once made a picture helping a student with the idea of Perfect and Imperfect, so let me share it here:Temporally, what things happen in reality in the aorist? How do you conceptualize aorist time as an abstraction?