Lesson 10
Lesson 9 Exercises / Courses / Lambdin. Introduction to Sahidic Coptic / Lesson 10 Lesson 10 Vocabulary

Lesson 10

10.1 The Direct Object. The direct object of a transitive verb is usually introduced with the preposition ⲛ̄ (ⲙ̄, ⲙ̄ⲙⲟ⸗):

ⲁϥⲕⲱⲧ ⲛ̄ ⲟⲩⲏⲓ. He built a house,

ⲁϥⲕⲱⲧ ⲙ̄ⲙⲟϥ.   He built it.

Many verbs, especially those denoting perception, employ ⲉ :

ⲁⲛⲥⲱⲧⲙ̄ ⲉⲡⲉϥϩⲣⲟⲟⲩ.    We heard his voice.

ⲁⲛⲥⲱⲧⲙ̄ ⲉⲣⲟϥ.  We heard it.

Occasionally other prepositions assume this function, as for example ⲛ̄ⲥⲁ in

ⲁϥϣⲓⲛⲉ ⲛ̄ⲥⲁ ⲧⲉϥⲥϩⲓⲙⲉ. Не looked for his wife.

ⲁϥϣⲓⲛⲉ ⲛ̄ⲥⲱⲥ.  He looked for her.

The appropriate preposition for each transitive verb will be given in the lesson vocabularies when a verb is introduced.

10.2 The Indirect Object (Dative). An indirect ob-ject, if present, is introduced with the preposition ⲛ̄ (ⲛⲁ⸗ inflected like ⲛⲙ̄ⲙⲁ⸗ in §9.1):

ⲁⲓϯ ⲙ̄ ⲡϫⲱⲱⲙⲉ ⲙ̄ ⲡⲣⲱⲙⲉ.        I gave the book to the man.

ⲁⲓϯ ⲛⲁϥ ⲙ̄ ⲡϫⲱⲱⲙⲉ.                I gave him the book.

ⲁⲓϯ ⲙ̄ⲙⲟϥ ⲛⲁϥ.                          I gave it to him.


It is unfortunate that the prenominal forms of the most frequent direct and indirect object markers are the same (ⲛ̄, ⲙ̄  before ⲡ and ⲙ). In general the direct object precedes the indirect object unless the direct object is nominal and the indirect object is pronominal . In latter case either order is correct, but there is preference for placing the indirect object first. The preposition ⲉ (ⲉⲣⲟ⸗) also often marks Greek and English  regard as an indirect object (dative).

10.3     The Negative of the First Perfect. The negative forms of the First Perfect are not formally related to the positive forms:

ⲙ̄ⲡⲓⲃⲱⲕ            I did not go

ⲙ̄ⲡⲉⲕⲃⲱⲕ         You (s.m.) did not go

ⲙ̄ⲡⲉⲃⲱⲕ           You (s.f.) did not go

ⲙ̄ⲡⲉϥⲃⲱⲕ         He did not go

ⲙ̄ⲡⲉⲥⲃⲱⲕ          She did not go


ⲙ̄ⲡⲉⲛⲃⲱⲕ         We did not go

ⲙ̄ⲡⲉⲧⲛ̄ⲃⲱⲕ       You (c.pl.) did not go

ⲙ̄ⲡⲟⲩⲃⲱⲕ         They did not go


With a nominal subject: ⲙ̄ⲡⲉ-ⲡⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲃⲱⲕ the man did not go. Variant spellings such as ⲙ̄ⲡⲕ̄-, ⲙ̄ⲡϥ̄-, ⲙ̄ⲡⲛ̄- are not uncommon.

10.4     As noted in Lesson 9, many prepositions consist of a simple preposition compounded with a noun. The nouns occurring in these expressions belong to a special group which take pronominal suffixes to indicate possession. We shall deal with the more important of these individually in later lessons, but for the moment note ⲧⲟⲟⲧ⸗, the pre-suffixal form of ⲧⲱⲣⲉ (hand). The absolute form ⲧⲱⲣⲉ survives only in the special meanings "handle, tool, spade" and in some compound verbal expressions (see Glossary); in the sense of "hand" it has been replaced by ϭⲓϫ. Prepositions compounded with ⲧⲟⲟⲧ⸗, such as ϩⲓⲧⲟⲟⲧ⸗, ⲉⲧⲟⲟⲧ⸗, ⲛ̄ⲧⲟⲟⲧ⸗ often employ a construction with an anticipatory pronominal object before the real nominal object, the latter being introduced by the particle ⲛ̄ (ⲙ̄):

ϩⲓⲧⲟⲟⲧϥ̄ ⲙ̄ ⲡⲣ̄ⲣⲟ            (through the agency of) the king.

ⲉⲧⲟⲟⲧⲟⲩ ⲛ̄ ⲛⲉϥⲥⲛⲏⲩ     to (into the hands of) his brothers.

ⲛ̄ⲧⲟⲟⲧⲥ̄ ⲛ̄ ⲧⲉϥⲥϩⲓⲙⲉ      from (from the hand of) his wife.

This same construction is also occasionally found with the other prepositions introduced thus far.