Έμεινα + adjective/noun - ?? tenses, person etc.

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Helleno File

Senior Member
English - UK
I'm aware of a number of expressions where describing oneself Greek uses the construction έμεινα followed by an adjective or even a noun. Some of these but not all are quite colloquial. Examples that come to mind at the moment are:

Έμεινα έκπληκτος - I'm surprised
Έμεινα ρέστος - I'm broke
Έμεινα παγωτό/κάγκελο - I'm gobsmacked

The odd thing to me is that Greek uses the imperfect where English has the present tense. Can you use the present or would it mean something different? How would you say I was any of these things? Or even will be or would be?! Does the same construction work in the second and third persons ?

Can you even say είμαι plus any of the above? I don't think I've got the idea why it's μένω and not είμαι.
 
  • Perseas

    Senior Member
    "Είμαι έκπληκτος" is also idiomatic for the present tense. Also the verb "εκπλήσσομαι" or the present perfect "έχω εκπλαγεί". The past tense "έμεινα έκπληκτος" would fit better when talking about an action that happened in the past, but you could also use it as a reaction to something you heard just a short time ago.

    "Έμεινα ρέστος", "έχω μείνει ρέστος", "είμαι ρέστος" are all okay. They can all refer to present, while the past tense may also refer to the past. Synonyms: "verb + άφραγκος/ταπί (και ψύχραιμος) /απένταρος", "δεν έχω μία". ("ρέστος" is to my perception somewhat dated).

    "Έμεινα παγωτό" is slang and it's a relatively new phrase. It's mainly used by younger people. I don't use it, I'd maybe use it to sound funny.
    "Έμεινα κάγκελο" is an established colloquial/slang phrase.
    Here you could again use "έχω μείνει". The past tense "έμεινα" could be used as a reaction to something you heard just a short time ago (the same applies to "έχω μείνει") or for the past. You can't say "*είμαι παγωτό/κάγκελο", because it wouldn't make any sense.
    Synonyms: "verb + σύξυλος/άναυδos/άφωνος/εμβρόντητος", which are actually (more) formal.

    How would you say I was any of these things? Or even will be or would be?! Does the same construction work in the second and third persons ?
    As said, "έμεινα" can also be used for an action that happened in the past. Eg."Όταν τον άκουσα χθες να λέει ότι ..., έμεινα έκπληκτος/παγωτό". "Εξεπλάγην" is also okay but too formal.

    For the future "θα μείνω έκπληκτος", "θα εκπλαγώ", "θα μείνω ρέστος", "θα είμαι ρέστος", "θα μείνω κάγκελο".

    The same construction works in the second and third persons.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Apart from the above, "μένω (aor. έμεινα) + X" is a very common way to use expressions in Greek. Here's a piece of information from the lemma "μένω"( source: online dictionary ΛΚΝ):
    1α. είμαι, βρίσκομαι σε ορισμένη κατάσταση: ~ ευχαριστημένος / εμβρόντητος / ανεξεταστέος / στάσιμος. ~ ξύπνιος / άγρυπνος. ~ έγκυος. ~ χωρίς δουλειά. ~ πίσω* και ως έκφραση. Έμεινε ακίνητος σαν πεθαμένος. Πέθανε ο άντρας της κι έμεινε χήρα. Tα καταστήματα έμειναν κλειστά λόγω της απεργίας. ΦΡ και εκφράσεις ~ με την όρεξη*. ~ με το στόμα* ανοιχτό. ~ με την κακία μου / μου μένει η κακία, δεν πραγματοποιείται η επιθυμία μου που ήταν βλαβερή, επιζήμια για κπ. άλλο. έμεινα, για κατάσταση έκπληξης ή αμηχανίας. ~ πανί* με πανί / με άδειες τσέπες*. ~ στο ράφι* / στα κρύα του λουτρού* / μπουκάλα*. ~ με τη γλύκα*. ~ στα λόγια*. ~ στον άσο*. ~ στήλη* άλατος. ~ (ο) μισός*. ~ ρέστος* / σέκος* / ξερός* / σύξυλος* / ταπί*. ~ κόκαλο*. ~ στον τόπο*
    Παράλληλη αναζήτηση
     
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    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Also note that έμεινα is not an imperfect (which would be έμενα) but an aorist. It therefore means "I was left speechless / penniless / etc." (=I entered the state of speechlessness etc. at that moment and remained in that state for a while.)
    And just in case this isn't quite clear, some of the expressions mentioned are indeed highly informal or outright slangy, but the use of μένω/έμεινα in that sense is perfectly standard: it is perfectly proper to say Μένω εμβρόντητος = I am astounded, or Έπαθε εγκεφαλικό κι έμεινε παράλυτος = He had a stroke and was left paralysed.
     

    Helleno File

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Also note that έμεινα is not an imperfect (which would be έμενα) but an aorist. It therefore means "I was left speechless / penniless / etc." (=I entered the state of speechlessness etc. at that moment and remained in that state for a while.)
    And just in case this isn't quite clear, some of the expressions mentioned are indeed highly informal or outright slangy, but the use of μένω/έμεινα in that sense is perfectly standard: it is perfectly proper to say Μένω εμβρόντητος = I am astounded, or Έπαθε εγκεφαλικό κι έμεινε παράλυτος = He had a stroke and was left paralysed.
    Gosh! :eek: Thanks Άγγελε - although the tense is obvious I've had a "blind spot" about it. So your explanation really does make it crystal clear!:thumbsup:
     
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