Με το ... να

themountain

New Member
Dutch - Netherlands
I'm always struggling with sentences containing wording like 'με το .. να', πχ : Κανέις 'ακουσε τους πυροβολισμούς, με τους αστυνομικούς να εικάζουν πως ο δολοφόνος χρησιμοποίησε όπλο με σιγαστήρα.
Would this translate as : Nobody heard the shots, the policemen suspecting that the killer used a gun with a silencer ?
 
  • Acestor

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Hi

    Let me rewrite the sentence correctly, as it appears in the press:

    Κανείς δεν άκουσε τους πυροβολισμούς, με τους αστυνομικούς να εικάζουν πως ο δολοφόνος χρησιμοποίησε όπλο με σιγαστήρα [ή άλλο μετασκευασμένο όπλο].

    Your translation is correct. I might change the tenses:

    Nobody heard the shots, the police[men] suspecting that the killer had used a gun with a silencer...
     

    themountain

    New Member
    Dutch - Netherlands
    Ευχαριστώ πολύ, τώρα να βρω τη σωστή ολλανδική μετάφραση.
     

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    Is it possible to explain the elementary meanings of "με" and "να" in this "με ... να" construction? What other example sentence contains the word "με" with the same meaning as in
    Κανείς δεν άκουσε τους πυροβολισμούς, με τους αστυνομικούς να εικάζουν πως ο δολοφόνος χρησιμοποίησε όπλο με σιγαστήρα [ή άλλο μετασκευασμένο όπλο].
    but does not contain the word "να"?
     

    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Is it possible to explain the elementary meanings of "με" and "να" in this "με ... να" construction? What other example sentence contains the word "με" with the same meaning as in «Κανείς δεν άκουσε τους πυροβολισμούς, με τους αστυνομικούς να εικάζουν πως ο δολοφόνος χρησιμοποίησε όπλο με σιγαστήρα» but does not contain the word "να"?
    Tρόμαξα που τον είδα με το κεφάλι γεμάτο αίματα. = Τρόμαξα που τον είδα με το κεφάλι καταματωμένο. = Τρόμαξα που τον είδα με το κεφάλι του να στάζει αίμα.
    I agree it is not quite the same construction. But as demotic Greek does not have an ablative absolute, so that this με... να... is the only of joining two loosely related sentences, other than simply juxtaposing them (Κανείς δεν άκουσε τους πυροβολισμούς· οι αστυνομικοί εικάζουν πως ο δολοφόνος χρησιμοποίησε όπλο με σιγαστήρα.)
     

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Dank je wel themountain and thanks other contributors. This is not a construction I'd heard of before - seems handy to have.

    Can I ask about εικάζω, also new to me. Dictionaries give suppose or deduce, υποθέτω or συμπεραίνω. Up till now I have υποπτεύομαι for the verb suspect. Not a great difference I agree, but any comments?
     

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    This is not a construction I'd heard of before - seems handy to have.
    It was not new to me, but yesterday I was intrigued when I found it again in a newspaper article:
    Προς το παρόν, το επιδημιολογικό φορτίο παραμένει υψηλό, με την Αττική να δείχνει «δειλά σημεία εύθραυστης βελτίωσης», τη Θεσσαλονίκη [...]

    Η επίμονη διατήρηση των κρίσιμων αριθμών της πανδημίας σε υψηλά επίπεδα επηρεάζει και τις αποφάσεις για το Πάσχα, με [το ενδεχόμενο να ανοίξουν οι μετακινήσεις] να απομακρύνεται για την ώρα.
    (I have inserted the square brackets [] myself.)

    After the helpful messages above from Άγγελος and Perseas, I searched again the dictionary entry about με, and I think that I have found the matching section for the meaning of με here:
    β. συνθήκες που συνοδεύουν και προσδιορίζουν μια πράξη ή μια κατάσταση (χρόνος, τρόπος, αιτία): Tαξιδεύαμε ~ βροχή. Πού πας ~ τέτοιον καιρό; Στεκόταν ~ χαμηλωμένο κεφάλι. Ξημερώθηκε ~ πυρετό. Πού πας ~ όλα σου τα πράγματα;
    I.e. the words after "με" describe (determining) circumstances.
     
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    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Can I ask about εικάζω, also new to me. Dictionaries give suppose or deduce, υποθέτω or συμπεραίνω. Up till now I have υποπτεύομαι for the verb suspect. Not a great difference I agree, but any comments?
    Εικάζω is more precisely ‘to conjecture’. Εικασία is a conjecture. Ο θείος Πέτρος και η εικασία του Γκόλντμπαχ = Uncle Peter and the Goldbach conjecture is the title of a novel by Απόστολος Δοξιάδης about mathematicians, which I would highly recommend.
    Amusingly, the original meaning was closer to ‘represent, imitate’ (cognate with ancient έοικα = I look like), and εικαστικές τέχνες is the modern Greek term for ‘visual arts’.
     

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    να in με ... να looks like a relative pronoun. Couldn't it simply be replaced, as in the following example?
    "Κανείς δεν άκουσε τους πυροβολισμούς, με τους αστυνομικούς [να / οι οποίοι / που] εικάζουν πως ο δολοφόνος χρησιμοποίησε όπλο με σιγαστήρα."

    PS: Well, the tense of εικάζουν would not be correct, of course.
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    @διαφορετικός

    "με τους αστυνομικούς" couldn't be followed by "που/οι οποίοι". The structure is "με + accusative of a noun + να + verb". I hear it often in journalistic speech.

    According to Holton,Macridge & Philippaki-Warburton grammar:
    Με το να + verb is used to mean "by doing".
    "Με το να κάθεσαι με σταυρωμένα τα χέρια, δεν λύνεις το πρόβλημα"
    "By sitting with your arms folded you're not solving the problem" (i.e. "You won't solve the problem by doing nothing").
    The construction is an alternative to gerund.
    It reminds me of the German "indem" (e.g. "indem man spricht").

    I believe that the structure "με + accusative of a noun + να + verb" (e.g. "με τους αστυνομικούς να εικάζουν") is a variant of the structure above.
     

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    Thanks, Perseas.

    I understand: The meaning is different if με refers not only to "τους αστυνομικούς", but to the whole "subclause" (or gerund) which begins with "τους αστυνομικούς": not the policemen are the circumstances, but what they are doing (or thinking).
     

    amiramir

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    Would the original sentence make sense / mean the same if we changed it to either of the following:

    1. Κανείς δεν άκουσε τους πυροβολισμούς, με τους αστυνομικούς να εικάσουν πως ο δολοφόνος χρησιμοποίησε όπλο με σιγαστήρα. (one time suspicion rathering than continuous?)
    2. Κανείς δεν άκουσε τους πυροβολισμούς, με τους αστυνομικούς να εικάζουν πως ο δολοφόνος είχε χρησιμοποιήσει όπλο με σιγαστήρα. (as per English?)
    3. Thank you
     

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Εικάζω is more precisely ‘to conjecture’. Εικασία is a conjecture. Ο θείος Πέτρος και η εικασία του Γκόλντμπαχ = Uncle Peter and the Goldbach conjecture is the title of a novel by Απόστολος Δοξιάδης about mathematicians, which I would highly recommend.
    Amusingly, the original meaning was closer to ‘represent, imitate’ (cognate with ancient έοικα = I look like), and εικαστικές τέχνες is the modern Greek term for ‘visual arts’.
    Thanks Αγγελε. That pinpoints it exactly - not often you can do that with a word!
     

    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Would the original sentence make sense / mean the same if we changed it to either of the following:

    1. Κανείς δεν άκουσε τους πυροβολισμούς, με τους αστυνομικούς να εικάσουν πως ο δολοφόνος χρησιμοποίησε όπλο με σιγαστήρα. (one time suspicion rathering than continuous?)
    2. Κανείς δεν άκουσε τους πυροβολισμούς, με τους αστυνομικούς να εικάζουν πως ο δολοφόνος είχε χρησιμοποιήσει όπλο με σιγαστήρα. (as per English?)
    3. Thank you
    Τher first sentence would be unidiomatic. You can only use the imperfective form ('present subjunctive') in that sentence. Conceivably also the perfect (με τους αστυνομικούς να έχουν ανακρίνει όλους τους γείτονες = the police having interrogated all neighbors.)
    The second sentence is perfectly correct. With πως or ότι you can use any tense of the indicative mood that fits the meaning.
     

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    @διαφορετικός

    "με τους αστυνομικούς" couldn't be followed by "που/οι οποίοι". The structure is "με + accusative of a noun + να + verb". I hear it often in journalistic speech.

    According to Holton,Macridge & Philippaki-Warburton grammar: [See above]

    It reminds me of the German "indem" (e.g. "indem man spricht").

    I believe that the structure "με + accusative of a noun + να + verb" (e.g. "με τους αστυνομικούς να εικάζουν") is a variant of the structure above.
    That's a very helpful parallel. :thumbsup:

    Presumably you could also say "το να κάθεσαι... δεν λύνει το πρόβλημα."
     

    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    That's a very helpful parallel. :thumbsup:

    Presumably you could also say "το να κάθεσαι... δεν λύνει το πρόβλημα."
    Αbsolutely. You can also say «Από το να κάθεσαι και να κλαις...» ="rather than sit and cry..." To + second person subjunctive (usually present, though the aorist may also be used) is one modern Greek equivalent of the non-existent infinitive.​
     

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Αbsolutely. You can also say «Από το να κάθεσαι και να κλαις...» ="rather than sit and cry..." To + second person subjunctive (usually present, though the aorist may also be used) is one modern Greek equivalent of the non-existent infinitive.​
    Well, I never knew that either! Isn't Greek a wonderful language :) - even though it frustrates me sometimes!! ;)

    Presumably [καλύτερα] από... is understood here.

    Thanks :thumbsup: :thank you:
     

    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Well, I never knew that either! Isn't Greek a wonderful language :) - even though it frustrates me sometimes!! ;)

    Presumably [καλύτερα] από... is understood here.

    Thanks :thumbsup: :thank you:
    Not just 'understood' -- I just didn't write out the full sentence, which would be «Από το να κάθεσαι και να κλαίς, καλύτερα να δοκιμάσεις να κάνεις κάτι» = "rather than sit and cry, it would be better if you tried to do something".
    Curiously, if you used παρά instead, you would not use the article: «Παρά να κάθεσαι και να κλαίς, καλύτερα να δοκιμάσεις να κάνεις κάτι».
     

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Not just 'understood' -- I just didn't write out the full sentence, which would be «Από το να κάθεσαι και να κλαίς, καλύτερα να δοκιμάσεις να κάνεις κάτι» = "rather than sit and cry, it would be better if you tried to do something".
    Curiously, if you used παρά instead, you would not use the article: «Παρά να κάθεσαι και να κλαίς, καλύτερα να δοκιμάσεις να κάνεις κάτι».
    Ah - of course the καλύτερα comes before the second half of the sentence! Didn't know it could be used with the comparative παρά which I'm a bit unsure about in general. I'll check if there's a thread for it.
     
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