Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Modal uses of θα with the present

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Native language
    English--US
    Posts
    304

    Modal uses of θα with the present

    Are both of the sentences below considered correct?

    Background: Έφυγε από το γραγείο του πριν από μια ώρα....

    1) Λοιπόν θα έρχεται τώρα.
    2) Λοιπόν θα έρθει τώρα.

    Obviously, I want to the sentence to say: "So he must be coming now." I suspect that 1) is fine, but I'm not sure about 2). If 2) is incorrect, then why?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Athens
    Native language
    Greek
    Age
    21
    Posts
    50

    Re: Modal uses of θα with the present

    The second one would be correct if you changed the time marker τώρα.
    Take a look at this one instead: Λοιπόν, θα έρθει όπου να 'ναι/από ώρα σε ώρα (meaning he's expected to come any time soon).
    As you can see, both versions of the Greek future tense (instant and progressive-στιγμιαίος και εξακολουθητικός) are relatively interchangeable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Native language
    English--US
    Posts
    304

    Re: Modal uses of θα with the present

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariana94 View Post
    The second one would be correct if you changed the time marker τώρα.
    Thanks. OK, so basically if you want to use θα modally to express the likelihood of an action occurring in the present, then you have to use the continuous form of the verb?

    Take a look at this one instead: Λοιπόν, θα έρθει όπου να 'ναι/από ώρα σε ώρα (meaning he's expected to come any time soon).
    As you can see, both versions of the Greek future tense (instant and progressive-στιγμιαίος και εξακολουθητικός) are relatively interchangeable.
    And this would actually be the future tense (even if it's the "near" future), right? Therefore, he will be coming soon. So I take it that θα is not being used modally here--just the regular old simple future tense.

    Concerning θα and the different tenses, here's a little table. It seems to me that some categories can have 2 different meanings, but others only 1. Please correct me where I'm wrong. We'll use the verb δίνω.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    θα δίνει -- 1) he will give/will be giving or 2) he probably gives/is giving

    θα δώσει -- he will give (one time)

    θα έδινε -- 1) he would give/would be giving or 2) he probably was giving

    θα έδωσε -- he probably gave

    θα έχει δώσει -- 1) he probably has given/has been giving or 2) ???? (can this one have a "would" meaning?)

    θα είχε δώσει -- 1) he would have given/would have been giving or 2) he probably had
    given/had been giving
    Last edited by panettonea; 2nd August 2013 at 1:27 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Athens
    Native language
    Greek
    Age
    21
    Posts
    50

    Re: Modal uses of θα with the present

    Quote Originally Posted by panettonea View Post
    Thanks. OK, so basically if you want to use θα modally to express the likelihood of an action occurring in the present, then you have to use the continuous form of the verb?
    Correct.

    And this would actually be the future tense (even if it's the "near" future), right? Therefore, he will be coming soon. So I take it that θα is not being used modally here--just the regular old simple future tense.
    Exactly.

    Concerning θα and the different tenses, here's a little table. It seems to me that some categories can have 2 different meanings, but others only 1. Please correct me where I'm wrong. We'll use the verb δίνω.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    θα δίνει -- 1) he will give/will be giving or 2) he probably gives/is giving

    θα δώσει -- he will give (one time) + he will be giving. You don't strictly follow the rules at this one but it wouldn't be considered a mistake in that sense, too. For example, Θα δώσει διάλεξη για μία ώρα. Θα δίνει would be the ideal tense here, however that'd still sound fine to native speakers' ears.

    θα έδινε -- 1) he would give/would be giving or 2) he probably was giving

    θα έδωσε -- he probably gave

    θα έχει δώσει -- 1) he probably has given/has been giving or 2) ???? (can this one have a "would" meaning?) --> I'd say this is more like the equivalent of will have given (no probably involved). Once more, time markers play an important part in your syntax. For example, Θα της έχω δώσει τα χρήματα μέχρι να επιστρέψεις. - Ι will have given her the money by the time you come back.

    θα είχε δώσει -- 1) he would have given/would have been giving or 2) he probably had
    given/had been giving

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Athens
    Native language
    Greek
    Age
    21
    Posts
    50

    Re: Modal uses of θα with the present

    θα έχει δώσει -- 1) he probably has given/has been giving or 2) ???? (can this one have a "would" meaning?)

    Also, check out this interesting point involving reported speech:

    Θα της έχω δώσει τα χρήματα μέχρι τότε. --> Είπε ότι θα τις έχει δώσει τα χρήματα μέχρι τότε.
    I will have given her the money until then. --> He said he would have given her the money until that time.

    Both the Greek and the English reporting verbs are in the past tense. However, while in Greek the rest of the sentence remains unchanged compared to the direct statement, in English you always have to go one tense back. Maybe this is the would meaning you were going for...
    Last edited by Mariana94; 2nd August 2013 at 3:28 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Native language
    English--US
    Posts
    304

    Re: Modal uses of θα with the present

    θα δώσει -- he will give (one time) + he will be giving. You don't strictly follow the rules at this one but it wouldn't be considered a mistake in that sense, too.
    Thanks, I never knew that. None of the books tell you.

    θα έχει δώσει -- 1) he probably has given/has been giving or 2) ???? (can this one have a "would" meaning?) --> I'd say this is more like the equivalent of will have given (no probably involved).
    Duh, I was so concerned with all the "corner" cases that I omitted the most obvious translation here: future perfect!

    I'd say this is more like the equivalent of will have given (no probably involved).
    Indeed. BTW, what is the Greek term for using θα to mean "probably/must" rather than to indicate a future tense? I can use that term from now on to avoid ambiguity.

    Θα της έχω δώσει τα χρήματα μέχρι να επιστρέψεις. - Ι will have given her the money by the time you come back.
    Yes, that's easy to follow.

    I wish grammar books would include a table like this to illustrate all the possible combinations of θα with tenses and their various meanings. Based on this thread, it seems that:

    1) The modal use of θα (i.e., meaning "probably/must") can occur with any "normal" tense except the dependent (or aorist subjunctive).

    2) The "would" sense of θα normally occurs only when it is followed by the imperfect or the pluperfect. (Actually, in the unofficial translation of the Clairis/Babiniotis grammar, one sentence containing θα followed by the present perfect is given a "would" translation as well, but I'll save my question about that for another thread. )

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Native language
    English--US
    Posts
    304

    Re: Modal uses of θα with the present

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariana94 View Post
    I will have given her the money until then.
    Actually, in English that would be translated "by then."

    Θα της έχω δώσει τα χρήματα μέχρι τότε. --> Είπε ότι θα τις έχει δώσει τα χρήματα μέχρι τότε.


    Thanks, that's really interesting--yet another topic I haven't seen covered in a book. Would it also be OK to use here:
    Είπε ότι θα τις είχε δώσει τα χρήματα μέχρι τότε?
    Both the Greek and the English reporting verbs are in the past tense. However, while in Greek the rest of the sentence remains unchanged compared to the direct statement, in English you always have to go one tense back. Maybe this is the would meaning you were going for...
    Well, I was looking for any "would" meaning, and this one definitely qualifies. I think it's also interesting that, as GACG explains, often the pluperfect is used in Greek where it would not be in English.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Athens
    Native language
    Greek
    Age
    21
    Posts
    50

    Re: Modal uses of θα with the present

    Indeed. BTW, what is the Greek term for using θα to mean "probably/must" rather than to indicate a future tense? I can use that term from now on to avoid ambiguity.

    I'd say the ''probably/must'' idea could be summarized in the Greek term δυνητικές εγκλίσεις (conditional mood of the verb), which may denote:

    1) a situation that holds no truth (το μη πραγματικό) --> Θα ερχόμουν/Θα είχα έρθει, αν δεν ήμουν κουρασμένη.
    2) probability, likelihood (το πιθανό, ενδεχόμενο) --> Δε μιλάει καθόλου΄θα είναι στεναχωρημένος./Δε μίλησε όλο το βράδυ΄θα ήταν στεναχωρημένος.


    I wish grammar books would include a table like this to illustrate all the possible combinations of θα with tenses and their various meanings. Based on this thread, it seems that:

    1) The modal use of θα (i.e., meaning "probably/must") can occur with any "normal" tense except the dependent (or aorist subjunctive). --> Correct.

    2) The "would" sense of θα normally occurs only when it is followed by the imperfect or the pluperfect. (Actually, in the unofficial translation of the Clairis/Babiniotis grammar, one sentence containing θα followed by the present perfect is given a "would" translation as well, but I'll save my question about that for another thread. )[/QUOTE] --> While in English the distinction between the present-past climax does matter, in Greek it's generally accepted for them to be relatively mixed up. You'll realize that as soon as the language really opens up to you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Athens
    Native language
    Greek
    Age
    21
    Posts
    50

    Re: Modal uses of θα with the present

    [QUOTE=panettonea;13529920]Actually, in English that would be translated "by then."

    I guess that's what happens when one's been typing too fast... That's what I was initially aiming to write. Excuse me!

    [/B]Thanks, that's really interesting--yet another topic I haven't seen covered in a book. Would it also be OK to use here:
    Είπε ότι θα τις είχε δώσει τα χρήματα μέχρι τότε?--> Nope, makes no sense at all...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Native language
    English--US
    Posts
    304

    Re: Modal uses of θα with the present

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariana94 View Post
    I'd say the ''probably/must'' idea could be summarized in the Greek term δυνητικές εγκλίσεις
    Thanks. It's kind of strange that the WR dictionary doesn't list either of those terms. OTOH, they're both in my grandfather's pocket 1951 dictionary. But he used it the opposite way.

    1) a situation that holds no truth (το μη πραγματικό)
    In English, our term for that is counterfactual.

    2) probability, likelihood (το πιθανό, ενδεχόμενο)
    This is the one I'm especially interested in. OK, I'll plan to use one of those terms from now on.

    --> Δε μιλάει καθόλου΄θα είναι στεναχωρημένος./Δε μίλησε όλο το βράδυ΄θα ήταν στεναχωρημένος.
    Are those "semicolons" in the middle of your sentences? I'm used to seeing them round, like periods, but maybe WR doesn't render them correctly.

    Let's see, your sentences seem to mean: He's not speaking at all; he must be upset/worried. He didn't speak all evening; he must have been upset/worried. Incidentally, the WR dictionary also doesn't list the spelling στεναχω-. It doesn't seem to be a very complete dictionary.

    While in English the distinction between the present-past climax does matter
    Climax?

    in Greek it's generally accepted for them to be relatively mixed up. You'll realize that as soon as the language really opens up to you.
    I guess you mean that the sequence of tenses can be rather mixed up? OK, that's helpful to know--I'll keep that in mind. I've noticed that Greek sentences also tend to be "mixed up" in a couple other ways: 1) They often don't use commas in places where we would in English. 2) They often join together without the use of a semicolon or period what we would consider independent clauses in English. I guess every language has its own unique style.
    Last edited by panettonea; 4th August 2013 at 11:21 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Native language
    English--US
    Posts
    304

    Re: Modal uses of θα with the present

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariana94 View Post
    I guess that's what happens when one's been typing too fast... That's what I was initially aiming to write. Excuse me!
    Oh, no big deal. Even if you had written that intentionally, it still wouldn't have been a big deal.

    Είπε ότι θα τις είχε δώσει τα χρήματα μέχρι τότε?--> Nope, makes no sense at all...
    Thanks--I would have never guessed that one. That's something GACG should have pointed out but did not. It seems that the book isn't so "comprehensive" after all.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Native language
    English--US
    Posts
    304

    Re: Modal uses of θα with the present

    Quote Originally Posted by Mariana94 View Post
    Είπε ότι θα τις είχε δώσει τα χρήματα μέχρι τότε?--> Nope, makes no sense at all...
    I found this sentence in the Babiniotis grammar:

    Καλά, εσύ δεν έλεγες ότι θα είχες γράψει τουλάχιστον ένα μυθιστόρημα πριν από τα τριάντα σου;

    Why is this sentence OK, but the one above is not?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •