Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

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alanmacall
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Joined: January 9th, 2017, 2:45 pm

Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by alanmacall » January 13th, 2017, 2:56 pm

I once heard a preacher talk about Luke 11:9 and the exhortation to ask, seek and knock. I recall the preacher saying that these words were in the present continuous tense so we should 'keep asking' and 'keep seeking' and 'keep knocking'. I'm now a little uncertain about this as I don't find any mention of a 'present continuous tense' in my studies. I've now looked up Luke 11:9, and learned a few things about the present imperative. I *think* that it would be more correct to say that the three verbs are present imperatives and that we normally understand present imperatives to have an ongoing aspect. Therefore, the exhortation is indeed to keep on asking, seeking and knocking but it's not a 'present continuous tense' but a continuous aspect.

Have I got that right? And would I be right to say that 'present continuous tense' is the wrong term because there isn't really such a tense at all?

Alan
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Alan
A beginner trying to self learn Greek

Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » January 13th, 2017, 5:24 pm

Basically you're right. You can read for example http://journal.rts.edu/article/sharpeni ... rs-part-i/ for a short introduction to the topic. It has flaws but is still pretty good in introducing what certain influential NT scholars have said on the topic. And the tense/aspect distinction and the debates about the Koine morphological "tense" have been discussed quite much here, especially in the Language and Linguistics subforum and its sub-subforums (just look for the word "aspect").
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » January 13th, 2017, 5:42 pm

On the other hand, imperative isn't necessarily so simple. Basically the difference between two main aspects of Koine is in whether the action is seen as a whole, especially having an endpoint (perfective), and not having an endpoint (imperfective). That difference, or different aspects in general, lead to different interpretations in different contexts. "Continuous" isn't necessarily a perfect description or a perfect interpretation for imperfective (not sorry for the pun). Mike Aubrey have given some short opinions about imperative and aspect, maybe he can comment on this.
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » January 13th, 2017, 5:46 pm

Okay, I'll spoil you with another link: https://evepheso.wordpress.com/2016/05/ ... -specific/
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Eeli Kaikkonen
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Re: Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by Eeli Kaikkonen » January 13th, 2017, 6:44 pm

Here's still another topic for tense, aspect and Aktionsart: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vie ... =50&t=3200. It has links for more.
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alanmacall
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Joined: January 9th, 2017, 2:45 pm

Re: Is there a 'present continuous tense'?

Post by alanmacall » January 15th, 2017, 7:57 pm

Eeli Kaikkonen wrote:Here's still another topic for tense, aspect and Aktionsart: http://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vie ... =50&t=3200. It has links for more.
Thanks for all the information! Much of it is too advanced for me but I hope to be able to return to it sometime later.

Best regards

Alan
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Alan
A beginner trying to self learn Greek

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