What are participles and how are they used?

Participles are defined as verbal adjectives: they are formed from verbs, describing an action but are used as adjectives. For example, 'I ran away from the collapsing house' uses the participle 'collapsing'. 

Since they are used as adjectives, in Greek they agree with a noun/pronoun. While in English word order indicates agreement, in Greek this is shown through number, gender and case of both the participle and its corresponding noun/pronoun. 

Different tenses of participle have different meaning also. 

1) The present participle is used to describe an action that is simultaneous to the main verb. 

ταῦτα ἔπρατε στρατηγῶν - He did this while he was general. 

2) The future participle refers to a future time. If is often used to express purpose, often when used alongside ὡς. 

συλλαμβάνει Κῦπρον ὡς ἀποκτενῶν - He arrests Cyrus in order to put him to death. 

After a verb of motion, ὡς is often omitted. 

3) The aorist participle usually communicates an action which has occurred before the action of the main verb. 

δειπνήσας ἐχώρει - After dining, he went off. 

4) The perfect participle indicates a present state which came about as a result of a past event. 

οἱ τεθνηκότες  - The dead (lit. those who have died). 

Meenakkhi B. 11 Plus Maths tutor, GCSE Maths tutor, A Level Maths tut...

7 months ago

Answered by Meenakkhi, a GCSE Classical Greek tutor with MyTutor

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist


£22 /hr

Maria P.

Degree: Classics (Masters) - Edinburgh University

Subjects offered:Classical Greek, Latin+ 5 more

Classical Greek
English Literature
English Language

“INTRODUCTION A self-motivated and conscientious multilingual Classics student at the University of Edinburgh, with a passion for the Arts and Humanities.  EXAMINATION BOARDS AND SUBJECTS TAUGHT I can assist pupils studying the follow...”

PremiumBen P. IB Latin tutor, 13 plus  Latin tutor, GCSE Latin tutor, A Leve...
£24 /hr

Ben P.

Degree: Classics (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered:Classical Greek, Latin

Classical Greek

“About me:  Hi, I’m Ben, a friendly and passionate graduate in Classics and Ancient History from the University of Exeter.  Having thoroughly enjoyed my three years of studying at the university, I am graduating this summer with a...”

£24 /hr

Jack A.

Degree: Classics (Bachelors) - Oxford, Magdalen College University

Subjects offered:Classical Greek, Latin+ 3 more

Classical Greek
English Literature

“In my opinion the best tutoring session is highly engaging, fully supportive and educational, and allows you to learn with confidence in your subject”

About the author

£18 /hr

Meenakkhi B.

Degree: Classics (Bachelors) - Cambridge University

Subjects offered:Classical Greek, Maths+ 6 more

Classical Greek
Classical Civilisation
-Oxbridge Preparation-

“Top tutor from the renowned Russell university group, ready to help you improve your grades.”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Posts by Meenakkhi

How is time expressed in Latin?

What are participles and how are they used?

What is a mole?

Other GCSE Classical Greek questions

How is αὐτος used in Greek?

What was the impact of Augustus on Ancient Rome?

How are you qualified to teach Classical Greek at GCSE Level?

What is the difference between the aorist tense and the perfect tense?

View GCSE Classical Greek tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss