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The Verb: Past Tenses: Aorist

Synopsis Weak & Strong 4 Forms
Vocabulary [Strong] Irregulars [Strong] Examples
Exercises ******** ********

 

Synopsis

 

The Aorist tense is used (mainly) for a single action completed in the past. 
In English the weak form of this tense is made from the verb + ed (I defend, I defended) or -d (I love, I loved).
A strong form changes the vowel (I come, I came; I throw, I threw).
Similarly, in Greek a weak aorist adds a weak ending and a strong aorist changes the vowel.
If the verb stem ends in a vowel the aorist is weak; some consonant verbs have the same adaptation to the -s- of the aorist as the future, e.g.

 

gra&fw

 

gra&yw

 

e1graya

 

Strong aorist verbs tend to be very common; the aorist stem generally contains the root meaning of the verb, and the present is an extension of it, as:

 

manqa&nw e1maqon I learn
pa&sxw

 

e1paqon

 

I suffer

 

A dictionary or vocabulary will give the three main parts of the verb (present, future, aorist), which will show whether the aorist is weak (ending in -sa,  -samhn) or strong (ending in -on,  -omhn) as:

 

pau&w pau&sw e1pausa I stop
qea&omai qea&somai e0qeasa&mhn I look at
lei/pw lei/yw e1lipon I leave
ai0sqa&nomai

 

ai0sqh&somai

 

h!|sqo&mhn

 

I perceive

 


The weak aorist is made from:

 

past marker + verb stem + person ending -sa (active)
(augment)
-sa&mhn

 

(middle)

 

The strong aorist is formed with:

 

past marker + aorist verb stem + imperfect person ending -on (active)
(augment)
-o&mhn

 

(middle)

 


Here is the pattern of these four forms:

 

lu&w lu&omai lei/pw gi/gnomai
Weak aorist active

 

Weak aorist middle

 

Strong aorist active

 

Strong aorist middle

 

I released I ransomed I left I became
e1lusa e0lusa&mhn e1lipon e0geno&mhn
e1lusaj e0lu&sw e1lipej e0ge/nou
e1luse(n)

 

e0lu&sato

 

e1lipe(n)

 

e0ge/neto

 

e0lu&samen e0lusa&meqa e0li/pomen e0geno&meqa
e0lu&sate e0lu&sasqe e0li/pete e0ge/nesqe
e1lusan

 

e0lu&santo

 

e1lipon

 

e0ge/nonto

 


Strong Aorist Vocabulary

 

Some common strong aorists:

 

ba&llw I throw e1balon I threw
pa&sxw I suffer e1paqon I suffered
a!gw I lead h!gagon I led
a(marta&w I mistake h#marton I mistook
lei=pw I leave e1lipon I left
pi/ptw I fall e1peson I fell
feu&gw I flee e1fugon I fell
lamba&nw I seize e1labon I seized
manqa&nw I learn e1maqon I learnt
tugxa&nw

 

I chance on

 

e1tuxon

 

I chanced on

 

ai0sqa&nomai I perceive h|)sqo&mhn I perceived
punqa&nomai I find out e0puqo&mhn I found out
a)fikne/omai I arrive a)fiko&mhn I arrived
gi/gnomai

 

I become

 

e0geno&mhn

 

I became

 

Note the following:

(the strong aorist stem without augment is given in brackets)

 

ai9re/w I take ei[-lon I took (e9l-)
e1xw I have e1sxon I had (sx-)
o(ra&w I see ei]don I saw (i0d-)
fe/rw I carry h!negkon I carried (e0negk-)
eu(ri/skw I find hu{ron I found (eu(r-)
e1rxomai I come h}lqon I came (e0lq-)
le/gw I say ei]pon I said (ei0p-)
a)poqnh&|skw

 

I die

 

a)pe/qanon

 

I died

 

(a)poqan-)

 


bai/nw and  gignw&skw have irregular strong aorists:

 

I go I went I know I knew, recognised
bai/nw e1bhn gignw&skw e1gnwn
e1bhj e1gnwj
e1bh

 

e1gnw

 

e1bhmen e1gnwmen
e1bhte e1gnwte
e1bhsan

 

e1gnwsan

 


Aorist Active and Middle: Examples

 

e1bale he threw
a)fiknei=tai he arrives
a)fi/keto he arrived
punqano&meqa we find out
e0puqo&meqa we found out
ei1pomen

 

we said

 

a}ra pa&sxeij deinw~j;

Are you suffering dreadfully?

a}r' e1paqej;

Did you suffer?

ou) le/gei tau~ta sofw~j.

He does not say this wisely.

ou)k ei]pe tau~ta. He did not say this.
a}ra manqa&nete tau~ta eu}; Are you learning this well?
a}r' e0ma&qete; Did you learn it?
a)pe/qanen e0n th~| ma&xh|. He died in the battle.
a)fiko&meqa ei0j th_n nh~son.

 

We arrived at the island.

 


Aorist Active and Middle: Exercises

11(i)

Translate:

e1lusa e0lu&sato e1lipe
 

 

 

 

pa&sxomen e0pa&qomen e1labej
 

 

 

 

 

 

e1fugej e1maqon a)fi/keto
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

we stopped the horse we ceased from the war

Now check your ANSWERS here.

11(ii)

Translate:

 

we throw  
we threw  
  h(ma&rtomen
he falls  
he fell  
  e1fuge
you suffered  
  ti/ e1maqej;
what happened?  

Now check your ANSWERS here.

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