Αόριστος και παρακείμενος.

LoraLanguage

Senior Member
Bulgarian - Bulgaria
Γεια σας!
I want to ask you about the use of two tenses: Αόριστος and Παρακείμενος.
In English language past simple tense is used for actions in the past, which are completed and present perfect for actions happened at an unspecified time before now. I think that these rules are the same as the rules in Greek language. But I don't know which tense to use if I talk about an action which I haven't seen personally but I know that it has happened!
For example: My friends have gone on an excursion and they've told me what they've done. Later I want to tell about that to somebody else. I know when this have happened but I am not its witness. In this case in Bulgarian we use a special grammatical mood but in English present perfect. What is the situation in Greek?
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Lora, unless there is a member here who can help you translate from Bulgarian to Greek, it would be helpful if you gave us an example of something written by a native English speaker. Tenses are tricky things. Ι don't know why you would want to use the perfect tense in English there. The English use of the present perfect is similar to the Greek use of the παρακείμενος.

    Some examples, if they are any help.

    My friend Mary has been to Paris, but I've never been there.
    Η φίλη μου η Μαρία έχει παει στο Παρίσι, αλλά εγώ δεν έχω πάει.

    My friends went on a trip to Aegina and brought me back some nuts.
    Οι φίλοι μου πήγαν εκδρομή στην Αίγινα και μου έφερεν φιστίκια.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    In your little essay you were talking about a specific trip that your friend went on. The simple past tense is appropriate. When talking about our travel experience in general, we use the present perfect (παρακείμενος).

    <<'Εχουν επισκεφτεί το μουσείο του Λούβρου και Champs-Élysées.>>
    Επισκέφτηκαν το Μουσείο του Λούβρου και τα Ηλύσια Πεδία. (They went there on this specific trip)

    'Εχεις πάει ποτέ στο Παρίσι; - Ναι, έχω πάει τρείς φορές. (You are talking about your life experience)




     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Here is a blogpost in Greek that gives some guidance on when to use each of these tenses, with examples, but I suppose your grammar book tells you something similar:
    http://mplampla-blog.blogspot.gr/2010/06/blog-post_26.html

    <<Η κλασική συμβουλή που δίνεται είναι: χρησιμοποιήστε τον αόριστο για πράξεις που έγιναν στο (συχνά μακρινό) παρελθόν και δεν υφίστανται πια, ή σε περιγραφή πράξεων, και χρησιμοποιήστε τον παρακείμενο για πράξεις που έγιναν (συνήθως στο πρόσφατο παρελθόν) και οι συνέπειές τους υφίστανται ακόμη.[...]

    Αυτό που χρήζει προσοχής είναι ότι όταν χρησιμοποιείται ο παρακείμενος, ποτέ δεν καθορίζεται ο χρόνος της πράξης, ούτε καν ασαφώς. Και αντίστροφα, όταν καθορίζεται ο χρόνος της πράξης, έστω και ασαφώς, χρησιμοποιείται πάντοτε ο αόριστος.>>
     

    LoraLanguage

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Bulgaria
    This site is very very useful! I read also about the unnecessary use of "ας/να πούμε"! I have never heard about it before. Actually I think I have met this phrase but I didn't know that it's so often used! Thanks!
     
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    Live2Learn

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    For example: My friends have gone on an excursion and they've told me what they've done. Later I want to tell about that to somebody else. I know when this have happened but I am not its witness. In this case in Bulgarian we use a special grammatical mood but in English present perfect. What is the situation in Greek?

    Apparently, Bulgarian is similar to Turkish in having a special form of the verb to report events that have not been witnessed by the speaker. In Turkish, a form of the suffix mış/miş/muş/müş is added to the stem of the verb, depending on the vowel in the stem, to convey that the speaker is reporting what s/he heard, but does not have firsthand knowledge of the event.

    Neither Greek nor English changes the verb to express this nuance in meaning. Instead, both languages use other words or phrases. For example, in English, we often use hedging to do this:

    As far as I know, Chris asked to be transferred to our company's Chicago branch.
    I think that Chris asked to be transferred....
    I was told that Chris asked to be transferred....
    They say that Chris asked to be transferred....

    This frees the speaker from culpability in case what is being reported turns out to be untrue.

    Greek is similar to English in this respect:

    Απ'όσο γνορίζω, δεν ήρθε.
    Νομίζω πως δεν ήρθε.
    Μου είπαν ότι δεν ήρθε.
    Λέγεται ότι...

    Also, particularly in news reports, the verb φέρεται is used:

    Η εταιρεία φέρεται να ετοιμάζει το δικό της αυτοκίνητο. The company is said to be getting ready [to manufacture] its own [electric] car. (This is hearsay right now; there isn't enough evidence available to know for certain.)
    Ο άνδρας φέρεται να πυροβόλησε τον γείτονά του. (He is alleged to have shot his neighbor, but we don't know for sure as he hasn't been tried and convicted in a court of law.)

    Finally, notice the first sentence in my reply:

    Apparently, Bulgarian is similar to Turkish in having a special form of the verb to report events that have not been witnessed by the speaker.

    I started out using the adverb apparently because I don't know for sure. I'm simply inferring that Bulgarian and Turkish are similar, based on LoraLanguage's query and what I know about Turkish.
     

    LoraLanguage

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Bulgaria
    Thank you Live2Learn for the useful information! I learned some new phrases as "Απ'όσο γνορίζω" and "φέρεται".
     

    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Indeed, there is no grammatical distinction in Greek expressing whether the speaker has witnessed what he relates or is only repeating what he was told. The choice of verbal tense in no way depends on that.
    The παρακείμενος is hardly ever compulsory in Greek. You can almost always use the αόριστος instead. The παρακείμενος is used to refer to things that happened in the past but affect the present or are seen from the perspective of the present. You can say "Έχω πάει στο Λούβρο" to mean "I have been to the Louvre and remember quite a few things I saw there", but you can also perfectly well say "Πήγες ποτέ στο Λούβρο;" Unlike in English, it is NOT used for situations that are still true: "I have known for ten years" is "Τον γνωρίζω δέκα χρόνια", ΝΟΤ "τον έχω γνωρίσει..." (which means "I have met him, I made his acquaintance some time in the past"). When in doubt, definitely opt for the αόριστος.

    I suppose the short Greek text is a learner's exercise. Allow me to correct the few minor mistakes it contains:
    Μία φίλη μου/η καλύτερη μου φίλη ήταν στο Παρίσι με την οικογένειά της. 'Ηταν εκεί πέντε μέρες. Επέστρεψαν στη Βουλγαρία την Κυριακή και τη Δευτέρα μας έδειξαν φωτογραφίες από την εκδρομή. Μας διηγήθηκαν πόσο μεγάλα ήταν όλα - τα πάρκα, τα λιβάδια, τα κάστρα, τα κτίρια.......! Η αρχιτεκτονική της πόλης ήταν πολύ όμορφη! Αλλά στα πάρκα σχεδον δεν είχε γρασίδι, μόνο άμμο_. 'Ομως είχε πολλά δέντρα και σε κάποια σημεία είχε λουλούδια.
    Επισκέφτηκαν το μουσείο του Λούβρου και τα Champs-Élysées. Μας έδειξαν φωτογραφίες της εικόνας της Μόνα Λίζα και της Αφροδίτης της Μήλου. Μας έδειξαν επίσης τον ποταμό Σηκουάνα και πολλές πλατείες. Σχεδόν όλη την ώρα περπατούσαν με τα πόδια και ήταν πολύ κουραστικό! 'Εως την τρίτη ή την τετάρτη (δε θυμάμαι) μέρα βρήκαν ένα τουριστικό λεωφορείο όπου είχε ξενάγηση σε διαφορετικές γλώσσες. Είχε επίσης επιβατικό τουριστικό πλοίο στον ποταμό Σηκουάνα. Η εκδρομή ήταν αξέχαστη!
     
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