Ways of Translating the Participle and Participle Constructions 

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Ways of Translating the Participle and Participle Constructions


There are two participles in the English language – thre Participle I and the Participle II, they are also called the Present and the Past Participles. There are four fourms of the Participle I:


Forms of the Participle Active Passive
Indefinite writing being written
Perfect having written having been written


Participle II has only one form: written.

The choice of the method and means for translating English participial constructions into Ukrainian depends on the explicit meanings of the participle itself. These meanings reflect the lexico-grammatical nature of the participle as a verbal. Namely: its voice, tense, and aspect distinctions; 2) its lexical and grammatical meanings; 3) its functions in English and Ukrainian word-groups and sentences.

When the participles originate from the verbs of motion, the word-groups are translated into Ukrainian mostly with the help of attributive subordinate clauses:

The house was alive with running voices (Mansfield). Будинок наповнювали голоси, що лунали повсюди.

English attributive past participles are mostly translated into Ukrainian with the help of their morphological, lexical, and functional equivalents, e.g., past participles. For example:

«... many disappointed hearts still wonder why Coleman never married (W.Maken). «... не одна розчарована душа й досі дивується, чому Колеман не одружився.

They came to a deserted store (Ibid). Вони прийшли до покинутої комори.

English predicative participles may turn into a finite form of the verb, i.e., into a simple verbal predicate:

...he went out to Chancery Lane, buying a paper on his way (Galsworthy)....він вийшов у провулок Чансері Лейн і по дорозі купив газету /купивши по дорозі газету.

The weather looked settled (Ibid.) Настала, здавалось, погода.

When used in an adverbial function, Indefinite and Perfect Participles have semantic and functional equivalents in Ukrainian (дієприслівник):

Reading the works of men, who had arrived, he noted every result achieved by them (London). Читаючи твори авторів, що досягли успіху, він схоплював усі особливості їхнього стилю.

Having gained her degree, she was doing no more reading (Ibid). Отримавши вчений cmyпінь, вона вже не відводила стільки часу на читання.


Ways of translating the Objective Participial Constructions. This construction consists of a noun in the common case or personal pronoun in the objective case and the present or past participle and may be faithfully translated into Ukrainian in one of the following ways:

1. With the help of the object subordinate clause introduced by the conjunction що or the adverbial connectors як, коли:

...he heard her moving about the room (W.Jacobs). … він чув, як вона ходила по кімнаті.

He listened to his uncle talking to him... (Hemingway). Він слухав, як дядько розмовляв з ним.

2. With the help of the adverbial subordinate clauses of time, purpose, manner, etc.:

I had seen him last September coming across the square towards the bar of the Continental... (Greene). Я бачив його у вересні, коли він переходив майдан до бару в ресторані Континенталь...

I took pains not to send them (stones) tumbling down the slope (S.O'Dell). Я докладав зусиль, щоб каміння не зірвалося з-під ніг і не покотилося вниз.

3. On rarer occasions a faithful translation of the object with the present participle construction may be achieved either with the help of an object subordinate clause or with the help of a semantic equivalent:

I heard someone weeping (G. Green). Я чув, як хтось плакав/ чийсь плач.

Then I heard Pyle whispering «Thomas, Thomas» (Ibid). Потім я почув Пайлів шепіт/як Пайл шепнув: «Томасе, Томасе.»

4. With the help of the finite form of the verb, i.e., with the help of the simple verbal predicate:

«I can see you marrying after a drink too many» (Greene). «Ти, бачу, як підіп'єш, то ще станеш женихатися тут».

Some objective with the present participle construction may be translated with the help of two object subordinate clauses, as in the following sentence:

He didn't care that they saw him crying (Hemingway). Йому було байдуже, 1) що вони бачать, 2) як він плаче.


Ways of Translating the Subjective Participle Constructions. This construction consisits of a noun in the common case or a personal pronoun in the nominative case and the present or past participle. The subjective with the participle constructions are mostly transformed in Ukrainian into a complex sentence introduced by the one member indefinite personal principal clause or by the infinitive, such as: кажуть /як кажуть; повідомляють/ повідомляється, що; очікується що, /очікують, що.

This kind of transformation is performed when the present participle is used with the verb of physical or mental perceptions (to see, to hear, to know, etc.).

They were heard talking together, Maitlaud beside him, fanning him with a copy of the Light (Cronin). Чули, як вони вдвох розмовляли, а Мейтлод, сидячи поруч, обмахувала його газетою «Світло».

He had been seen pressing his warm lips to the marble brow of an antique statue (O. Wilde). Бачили, як він притулявся своїми теплими губами до чола мармурової статуї.

The subjective with the past participle constructions which are used in English with the verbs to appear, to seem, to have etc., do not require considerable structural transformations in the process of translation into Ukrainian. Their meaning is usually conveyed by means of the same simple sentences as in English, with the past participle turned into the predicate verb:

He had his eyes fixed always on the future (London). Він завжди спрямовував свій погляд у майбутнє.

Ruth Morse seemed further removed than ever (Ibid). Pут Морз, здавалося, віддійшла від нього далі, ніж будь-коли.

Certainly the most confusing are participial constructions with the grammaticalized past participles given, taken, granted etc. which are translated into Ukrainian with the help of diyepryslivnyks, diyepryslivnyk constructions or even via prepositional noun phrases. Cf.:

Taken together, the results of the reaction proved the existence of some touch in the solution. Підсумовуючи/У підсумку наслідки реакції підтвердили існування домішок у розчині.

Given the present financial situation in South Korea, no other move from the IMF could be expected (Fin. News). Враховуючи/зважаючи на сучасний фінансовий стан Південної Кореї, інших кроків від МВФ не доводилось очікувати.


Ways of translating the Nominative Absolute Participial Constructions (NAPC). The nominative absolute participial construction consistis of a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the nominative case and any of the five forms of the participle.

The number of components in the paradigm of the participle has actually no influence on the expression of meaning and translation of this construction:

This duty done, we unfilled our glasses, lit our pipes, and resumed the discussion upon our state of health (J.K.Jerome). Оскільки з иим було вирішено, ми осушили келихи, запалили люльки й знову стали бідкатись про своє здоров'я.

The second structural type of the NAPC contains no participle component at all. The relation of the predication in complexes of this type is implicitly inherent in and is realized through a prepositional (usually with a noun or pronoun) or a substantival word-group. Cf.:

Now, with this visit to Cardiff in prospect, he wished her to асcompany him (Cronin). Тепер, лаштуючись до поїздки до Кардіффа, він хотів, щоб вона супроводжувала його.

Не sat down, his face serious and intent, and his fingers began to race across the keyboard (S.Sheldon). Він сів серйозний і зосереджений за рояль, і його пальці швидко забігали по клавішах.

The third structural type forms subjectless nominative absolute participial complexes. Their secondary subject may have a clearly addressed or an indistinctly addressed reference to the subject of the introductory clause:

Though being left out all night in the rain, the metal had not rusted. (Maugham). Метал хоч і пролежав цілу ніч під дощем, не поіржавів.

There can be only one way of translation of nominative absolute participial constructions into Ukrainian and this is by means of causative subordinate clauses introduced by the conjunctions оскільки, тому що, бо:

Mr. Hilary being at a meeting, the brothers had tea by themselves. (Galsworthy). Оскільки Гілері був на зборах, брати сіли за чай самі/сіли пити чай самі.



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