Periphrastic verb forms, specifically a participle plus an auxiliary verb, are very common in English ("I am writing now"). They also appear in Latin and Ancient Greek and a number of Romance languages.

The types I'm most familiar with in Latin are the passives of the perfect system, and the gerundive of obligation.

Perfect passive participle + present = perfect passive
Perfect passive participle + imperfect = pluperfect passive
Perfect passive participle + future = future perfect passive
Future passive participle + present = future passive

This question indicates that you can also find perfect passive participle + perfect, to emphasize that an action is complete.

Are there any other attested combinations? For example, do we ever see a present participle combined with an auxiliary?

  • I think you mean future active participle? // I believe forms like daturus erat are possible. There is also the subjunctive, daturus sit. // Present participles can be used with auxiliaries when the participle is felt to be like an adjective, I believe. // Habere + p.p.p. is also possible, although, in classical Latin, most would not call it an actual periphrastic tense, but rather a special construction.
    – Cerberus
    Mar 1, 2018 at 1:32
  • @Cerberus Ah, no, I'm thinking of Carthago delenda est with the passive. Though the rest of those would make a good answer!
    – Draconis
    Mar 1, 2018 at 2:01
  • Ah, I would call that a grundive!
    – Cerberus
    Mar 1, 2018 at 2:23
  • @Cerberus True; I was taught that the gerundive was also effectively a passive participle, so the gerundive of obligation construction was a form of periphrastic. Do you think it belongs with the others?
    – Draconis
    Mar 1, 2018 at 4:40
  • Hmm perhaps it depends on one's definition of periphrasis? But it is at least a very similar construction, so why not!
    – Cerberus
    Mar 1, 2018 at 19:21


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