Please Enter a Colour
Background:
Text:
Home Contents Words Glossary

The Verb

Present & Future lu&w Being Examples
Questions & Negatives Conjunctions Reading Exercises

 

The Greek verb is characterised by:

VOICE active I defend
  middle I defend myself
  passive I am defended
     
TENSE present I help, am helping
  future I shall help, shall be helping
  imperfect I was helping, started / continued / used to help
  aorist I helped
  perfect I have built
  pluperfect I had built [rare]
     
MOOD indicative I help
  subjunctive I may / let me help
  optative I might / wish I could help
  imperative help!
  infinitive to help
     
PERSON three persons 1st, 2nd, 3rd
     
NUMBER singular I (1st), you (2nd), he / she / it (3rd)
  plural we (1st), you (2nd), they (3rd)
  dual [rare] for two together
     

There are also Participles which are Adjectives:

and Gerunds which are Nouns:

Note:

  this is different from the present tense: the children are-writing,

where writing is not a participle or gerund, but part of the present tense with are, equivalent to the children write.

 


There are two main groups of verbs:

  1. those ending in     -w     (the majority)
  2. those ending in     -mi

THE VERB: Present and Future Indicative Active

  Singular Plural

The endings:

 

-w, -eij, -ei

 

-omen, -ete, -ousi(n)

 

are added to the verb stem  e.g. lu- for the present: lu&w I release etc.
and to the verb stem lu + s- for the future: lu&sw I shall release etc.

 

If the subject is not expressed separately it is understood (as a pronoun) from the person and number of the verb ending:
lu& - omen we release, we are releasing
lu&s - ousi(n)

 

they will release, they will be releasing

 


Present and Future Tenses cover the momentary action:
  • le/gei he says (this)
  • kelu&ei he gives an order

and the continuous:

  • le/gei he is speaking
  • keleu&sei he will be commanding.

Present Indicative Active of  lu&w, I release, am releasing:

 

     
lu&-w I release   lu&-omen we release
lu&-eij you (sing.) release   lu&-ete you (pl.) release
lu&-ei he / she releases *   lu&-ousi(n) they release

 

* English rarely uses it [3rd p. sing.] with an active verb.

 

Future Indicative Active of  lu&sw, I shall release, shall be releasing:

 

   
lu&s-w I shall release lu&s-omen we shall release
lu&s-eij you (sing.) will release lu&s-ete you (pl.) will release
lu&s-ei he / she will release * lu&s-ousi(n) they will release

 

The letter  is sometimes added to a final short vowel  -e  or  -i   
at the end of a sentence or before a word beginning with a vowel to avoid hiatus and finish more firmly:
lu&ousi dou&louj. dou&louj lu&ousin. lu&ousin au)tou&j.

 

Some common verbs in  -w:

 a)kou&w  bai/nw  ble&pw  gra&fw
I hear I go I see I write
 diw&kw  eu(ri/skw  e1xw  le/gw
I pursue I find I have I say, speak
 speu&dw  fe/rw  feu/gw  
I hurry, speed

 

I carry, bring

 

I flee, run away

 

 

A verb in  -mi, irregular but very important, is the present tense of being:

 
 ei0mi I am
 ei0 you are (s.)
 e0sti(n) s/he is
 
 
 e0smen we are
 e0ste you are (pl.)
 ei0si(n) they are

Present Tense Examples:

 a0kou&w  diw&kete  speu&domen
I hear you pursue (pl.) we hurry
 bai/nousi  eu9ri/skw  fe/reij
they go I find you are carrying
 ble/pei  e1xete  feu&gousin
he looks you have (pl.) they run away
 gra&fomen  le/gei  e0sti
we write

 

he is speaking

 

s/he is

 

he hears they pursue you find
 a)kou&ei  diw&kousi  eu(ri/skeij
you are he is hurrying we are going
 e0ste

 

 speu&dei

 

 bai/nomen

 


Vocabulary:

 

 

qu&w

 

keleu&w

 

pau&w

 

paideu&w

 

pisteu&w

  I sacrifice I order I stop I educate I believe

Future Tense Examples:

 qu&somen  keleu&sousi  pau&sei
we shall sacrifice

 

they will command

 

he will stop

 

 paideu&sw  pisteu&sei  pau&sete
I shall educate

 

he will believe

 

you will stop

 

 qu&seij pai/deu&sei  keleu&somen
you will sacrifice

 

he will educate

 

we shall command

 


QUESTIONS and NEGATIVES:

A verb is made negative by prefixing:

 

  • ou)      normally
  • ou)k    before a vowel with smooth breathing
  • ou)x   before a vowel with rough breathing
 ou) le/gei he is not speaking
 ou) lu&sei he will not release
 ou)k e1xei he does not have

(k avoids hiatus)

 ou)x eu(ri/skei he does not find

(the h sound in the rough breathing softens the previous k to x)


A verb is made interrogative (i.e. turned into a question) by prefixing:

 

  • a}ra      normally
  • a}r 0       before a vowel
(remember: English semi-colon ; = Greek question mark ?)

 

With a present verb that is not continuous English uses the auxiliary verb do, does to complete the sense:

 

 le/gei he is speaking, he speaks
 ou) le/gei he is not speaking, does not speak
 a}ra le/gei;

 

is he speaking? does he speak?

 


Examples:

 a}ra ble/pete;  a}r 0 a0kou&ousin;  a}ra feu&gousin;
are you looking?

 

are they listening?

 

do they run away?

 

 ou0 diw&komen  ou0k a0kou&omen  ou0x eu#riskei
we are not pursuing we are not listening he does not find

 

CONJUNCTIONS join verbs: e.g.

a)lla&

but

kai/

and

ou)de/

and not

and join sentences, especially with these three words which come SECOND in the sentence:

 de/ and / but (adds information)
 ga&r for (gives the reason)
 ou]n therefore, and so (gives the result)

 

 ble/pei a)ll 0 ou)x eu(ri/skei.  ou)k a)kou&ei ou)de\ ble/pei.
He looks but does not find.

 

He is not listening and he is not looking.

 

 ou) le/gei a)lla_ gra&fei.  ou) le/gei: gra&fei ga&r.
He does not speak but he writes.

 

He does not speak; for he is writing.

 

 feu&gousin, di/wkei ga&r.  ble/peij: eu(ri/skeij ou}n.
They run away, for he is pursuing.

 

You look and so find.

 

Are we going? for they hurry. She educates, and so we listen.
 a}ra bai/nomen: speu&dousi ga&r.

 

 paideu&ei: a)kou&omen ou}n.

 


Reading:

 o( fi/loj e0stin a!lloj au)to&j.
A friend is a second self.  (In Latin: alter ego)

 

 o(  3Omhroj tou_j   0Aqhnai/ouj paideu&ei.
Homer educates the Athenians.

 

 a)rxh_ h#misu pa&ntwn.
Beginning is half of the whole (well begun is half done)

 

Exercises:

2(i)

Present Tense Exercise:

[Read aloud &] Translate into English:
 a)kou&omen  diw&kw  speu&dei
 bai/neij  eu(ri/skeij  fe/rete
 ble/pousi  e1xete  feu&gei
 gra&fomen  le/gousin  e)smen
 
 a)kou&omen a)ei\ kai\ gra&fomen.
 ou) feu&gete a)lla_ speu&dete.
 feu&gousi: diw&komen ga&r.
 ou)k a)kou&omen: gra&fomen ga&r.
 h(  0Aqh&nh a)kou&ei a)ll 0 ou) le/gei.
 ble/pw a)ll 0 ou)x eu(ri/skw.
 ou) le/gousin: a}ra bai/nousin;
 ou) ble/pei ou)de\ gra&fei.
 a)ei\ diw&komen: feu&gousin ou}n.
 o( Poseidw~n a)ei\ diw&kei.

Now check your ANSWERS here.

2(ii)

Translate into Greek:

 

he has we hurry they carry I look
we find they speak we go they are
are you writing? we are going.
they aren't chasing but fleeing.
we listen but do not speak.
I hurry, for he is running away.

Now check your ANSWERS here.

2(iii)

Future Tense Exercise:

[Read aloud &] Translate into English:
 qu&sei  pau&sousi  keleu&sw
 paideu&sei  pau&sete  pisteu&somen
 o(  0Apo&llwn keleu&sei.
 h(  9Eka&bh kai\ h( Kasa&ndra qu&sousin.

Now check your ANSWERS here.

Try this reading:
 e0smen kai\ ou)k e0smen.
We are and we are not.
[An enigmatic fragment, perhaps from Heraclitus.]
 e0n au)tw~| zwh\ h]n , kai\ h( zwh_ h]n to\ fw~j (light) tw~n a)nqrw&pwn (of men)
In it was life, and the life was the life of men
 kai\ to\ fw~j e0n th~| skoti/a (darkness) fai/nei.
and the light shines in the darkness.

 

Home Contents Words Glossary