SVO in narration

Liz Fried lizfried at
Thu Aug 31 09:54:33 EDT 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dave Washburn [mailto:dwashbur at]

> > > Better, I think, to bring the arguments than to claim a view outdated.
> > Yes, can we have some examples where SVO clauses are clearly meant
> > to carry the narration along?
> I want to be sure I understand you here: are you saying that the
> only two possible options for SVO are either 1) pluperfect or 2) "to
> carry the narration along"?  If so, this is the problem.  As Harold
> Holmyard already pointed out, SVO is mainly used to provide
> circumstantial information that may be, but need not necessarily
> be, pluperfect.  In fact it can be concurrent with the main line, or
> even subsequent as required by the context.  There are some
> pluperfects, to be sure, but pluperfect is not the primary force of the
> SVO construction.

I was taught that, the SVO in a narrative text should be translated
with "meanwhile," i.e., concurrent as you say, or in the pluperfect.
Are there any examples where the SVO clause is clearly subsequent?
I was working on the Dinah story, and got called to task by my professor
because I hadn't taken account of this. Gen. 34:5 I had translated
"then Joseph heard," and the prof wanted "Meanwhile, Joseph had heard."

An example from Rashi is Gen. 4:1,
"And the man knew' already before the events related above took place--
he sinned and was driven out of the Garden of Eden. So, also, the conception
and birth of Cain took place before this. Had it been written,
yada(  )adam
it would imply that after he was driven out children were born to him."

This is very important, do you have any examples where the SVO
clause is clearly subsequent?


> Dave Washburn
> "Éist le glór Dé."
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