William of Ockham

On Franciscan Poverty

Latin Grammar: Present Participles

Ad cuius evidentiam est sciendum quod papa non habet regulariter potestatem super temporalibus, praecipue superabundantibus, collatis a regibus et aliis fidelibus ecclesiis a iure divino, sed solummodo a iure humano, si dantes super datis ei potestatem aliquam concesserunt.

Present Participles

Participles are used much more often in Latin than in English and often sound stilted when translated literally. They sound better translated as their own clause and, much like cum clauses, can take on a temporal, a causative, or an adversative quality. 

  • The participle can be introduced by the words "when," "while," "during," "because," "since," "although," and still others.  It is up to you as the translator to figure out the relationship that exists between the participle and the main verb and translate accordingly. 
  • It is also important to keep in mind that time of a participle depends on the main verb - the present participle always expresses something contemporaneous with the main verb. 
  • Furthermore, remember that participles, and especially present participles, can often be translated as simple adjectives. 

Translate the following English sentences into Latin using a present participle.

1. Because I was scared, I fled. (timore)

2. When I approached, I saw him. (adire)
eum vidi.

3. Although I wanted this, I did not take it. (vult)
Hoc non accepi.

4. The hesitant girl saw me. (cunctare)
Puella me vidit.

5. That one found me because I was shouting. (exclamare)
Ille me invenit.

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