I am reading through the participle-section of the course "La teorio Nakamura" at lernu.net. One of the examples surprized me.
Oni preskaŭ kaptis lin, sed li forkuris. → Kaptote, li forkuris. = He was almost caught, but he ran away. → About to be caught he ran away. When the escape occurred the capture was imminent.
Earlier, I assumed -ont and -ot participles describe something that is certainly going to happen. It is impossible to predict the future, so I did accept cases where one is convinced something is going to happen but in the end it never does. That is not what happens in the example above though. The sentence itself says he wasn't caught and there is also "kaptote".
I'd like to write this differently, with some kind of conditional element. Kiam li estus kaptota, li forkuris. However, in my opinion, that isn't any better than the original Oni preskaŭ kaptis lin, sed li forkuris.
Looking at this example by lernu.net, I realize my limits to the two participles were probably wrong. Are they? Can one use -ot- and -ont knowing that the expected never happened?