participle for present?

John Ronning ronning at
Wed Dec 16 06:31:22 EST 1998

Randall Buth wrote:

> the following multiple choices are not all considered
> correct, biblical or appropriate. which is which? and why?  :-)
> how would a 1st temple person/writer say:
> "I see the cows over there."
>         a. ereh et ha-parot sham.
>         b. ani roeh et ha-parot sham.
>         c. ra'iti et ha-parot sham.
>         d. ??

I'd say d, close to b., changing sham to `ad koh.  Note e.g. Jer 1:11, The word of the
Lord came to me saying, "What do you see, Jeremiah?" (mah 'attah ro'eh)  And I said,
"I see a rod of an almond tree."  ('anoki ro'eh).  Also Gen 22:5 shows `ad koh for
"over there."

> "I am speaking to you right now."
>         a. adabber elexa `ata
>         b. ani medabber elexa `ata
>         c. dibbarti elexa `ata
>         d. ani dover elexa `ata
>         e. ??

I would choose b., with hayyom instead of `attah.

> "I am fleeing from the bad guys."
>         a. evraH meha-anashim ha-resha`im
>         b. ani voreaH meha-anashim ha-resha`im
>         c. baraHti meha-anashim ha-resha`im
>         d. ??

again, d., based on b. following Gen 16:8: mippeney ha'anashim haresha`im 'anoki

> "I am looking for my brothers"
>         a. avaqqesh et aHay
>         b. ani mevaqesh et aHay
>         c. biqqashti et aHay
>         d. ??
> b. is very close to Gen 37:16 - `et aHay 'anoki mevaqqesh

> A step beyond these would be "immediate future":
> "I am going to destroy the cities"
>         a. ani ashHit et he-`arim.
>         b. ani mashHit  et he-`arim.
>         c. ani holex lehashHit  et he-`arim.
>         d. hineni mashHit  et he-`arim.
>         e. ani `omed lehashHit et he-`arim.
>         f. ??

b. is close to Gen 19:13 (mashHitim 'anaHnu 'et hammaqom hazzaeh), though as I note in
a separate message, holek + infinitive can be used for immediate future (Gen 25:32) .
d. is also OK - note Gen 6:13 "behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth."
(hineni mashHitam).

> "I am about to vomit"
>         a. ani meqi'
>         b. ani qarov lehaqi'
>         c. ani `omed lehaqi'
>         d. hineni meqi'
>         e. ani meqi' beqarov
>         f. ??

a. is OK (does anyone deny that the participle can be used for the immediate
future?).  b. is not unlike Jer 48:16 "The disaster of Moab will soon come" (qarob 'ed
Mo'ab la'bo').  More frequently we have verbal qrb with days or years as subject.  d.
is like the example above so is OK too.  I would question the others.

John Ronning

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