Lesson 11

11.1 Direct and Indirect Object: Coptic uses nouns or pronouns to expand the meaning of the sentence. They are usually introduced by certain prepositions. They usually express the object of the action of the verb, whether that action is transferred to such object directly (Direct Object), or indirectly (Indirect Object). In other words, these nouns are being used in the Accusative case or in the Dative case respectively.

11.1.1 The Direct Object: The Direct Object of a transitive verb is usually introduced by the preposition 'n-(m-), mmo=', as follows:

a.f.kwt n.ou./i he built a house
a.f.kwt mmof he built it

Many verbs, especially those denoting perception, uses 'e-, ero=' to introduce the Direct Object, as follows:

a.n.cwtem e.tef.cm/ we heard his voice
a.n.cwtem eroc we heard it

Sometimes other prepositions are used to introduce the Direct Object like 'nca, ncw=', as follows:

a.f.sini nca tef.chimi he looked for his wife
a.f.sini ncwc he looked for her

11.1.2 The Indirect Object: The Indirect Object, if available is usually introduced by the preposition 'n-(m-), n=', as follows:

a.i.] m.pi.jwm m.pi.rwmi I gave the book to the man

The preposition 'e-, ero=' is often used to mark the corresponding Dative form in English and Greek.

11.1.3 Order Within the Sentence: The Direct Object preceds the Indirect Object, if both are nouns, both are pronouns, or the Direct Object is a pronoun. If the Indirect Object is a pronoun and the Direct Object is a noun, then the order is reversed, i.e. Indirect Object then Direct Object, as follows:

a.i.] mmof m.pi.rwmi I gave it to the man
a.i.] mmof naf I gave it to him
a.i.] naf m.pi.jwm I gave to him the book

Note: The position of the Direct or the Indirect Object depends in many cases on the degree of emphasis accorded to each.

11.2 The Negative Construction of the Verbal Sentences:

11.2.1 Bipartite Tenses: These tenses are negated in a similar way to the negation of the nominal sentense, i.e. the introduction of the particle 'an' after the conjugated verb with an occasional preceding 'n-'. An example of the negative First Present tense is as follows:

n.].empsa an I am not worthy

11.2.2 Tripartite Tenses: These tenses are negated using a distinct verbal prefix plus the nominal or pronominal subject in the same way that the affirmative tenses are conjugated. An example of the negative First Perfect tense is as follows:

Person Singular Plural
1-mf mpi.mosi I didn't walk mpen.mosi we didn't walk
2-m mpek.mosi you (m) didn't walk mpeten.mosi you (pl) didn't walk
2-f mpe.mosi you (f) didn't walk same
3-m mpef.mosi he didn't walk mpou.mosi they didn't walk
3-f mpec.mosi she didn't walk same


11.3 Vocabulary 11

kwt n-(mmo=) vb to build sini nca vb. to seek, inquire
nau e- vb. to see jimi n-(mmo=) vb. to find
cm/ f. sound, voice ] e- vb. to give to
cwtem e- vb. to hear, listen to -- n-(mmo=) vb. to give to
-- n-(na=) vb. to obey --mmo= ebol vb. to sell
-- nca vb. to obey -- n-(na=) vb. to give to
sy/n f. garment, tunic -- oube vb. to fight
sini e- vb. to visit, greet [i n-(mmo=) vb. to take, receive

11.4 Exercises 11: Translate the following into English:


A 1. a.f.] n/i nou.sy/n 6. a.f.sini erof qen tef.ri
  2. a.i.] naf m.pa.joi ebol 7. a.f.[i n.ta.sy/n
  3. mpou.cwtem nca nou.[iceu 8. a.c.jimi n.ou.sy/n qen pec./i
  4. a.i.cwtem e.].cm/ m.pi.ou/b 9. a.i.nau e.p.wou m.p.[oic nem tef.jom
  5. a.u.sini ncwi qen ].agora    

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