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INFLECTION: PRELIMINARY REMARKS (355-380

355. The Greek verb shows distinctions of voice, mood, verbal noun, tense, number, and person.

356. Voices.—There are three voices: active, middle, and passive.

a. The middle usually denotes that the subject acts on himself or for himself, as λούομαι wash myself, ἀμύ_νομαι defend myself (lit. ward off for myself).

b. The passive borrows all its forms, except the future and aorist, from the middle.

c. Deponent verbs have an active meaning but only middle (or middle and passive) forms. If its aorist has the middle form, a deponent is called a middle deponent (χαρίζομαι gratify, ἐχαρισάμην); if its aorist has the passive form, a deponent is called a passive deponent (ἐνθυ_μέομαι reflect on, ἐνεθυ_μήθην). Deponents usually prefer the passive to the middle forms of the aorist.

357. Moods.—Four moods, the indicative, subjunctive, optative, imperative, are called finite, because the person is defined by the ending (366). The infinitive, strictly a verbal noun (358), is sometimes classed as a mood.

358. Verbal Nouns.—Verbal forms that share certain properties of nouns are called verbal nouns. There are two kinds of verbal nouns.

1. Substantival: the infinitive.

N.—The infinitive is properly a case form (chiefly dative, rarely locative), herein being like a substantive.

2. Adjectival (inflected like adjectives):

a. Participles: active, middle, and passive.

b. Verbal adjectives:

In -τός, denoting possibility, as φιλητός lovable, or with the force of a perfect passive participle, as γραπτός written.

In -τέος, denoting necessity, as γραπτέος that must be written.

359. Tenses.—There are seven tenses in the indicative: present, imperfect, future, aorist, perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect. The future perfect commonly has a passive force, but it may be active or middle in meaning (see 581).

The subjunctive has three tenses: present, aorist, and perfect.

The optative and infinitive have five tenses: present, future, aorist, perfect, and future perfect.

The imperative has three tenses: present, aorist, and perfect.

359 D. Hom. does not use the future or future perfect in the optative.

360. Primary and Secondary Tenses.—There are two classes of tenses in the indicative: (1) Primary (or Principal) tenses, the present and perfect expressing present time, the future and future perfect expressing future time; (2) Secondary (or Historical) tenses, the imperfect, pluperfect, and aorist expressing past time. The secondary tenses have an augment (428) prefixed.

361. Second Aorists, etc.—Some verbs have tenses called second aorists (active, middle, and passive), second perfects and pluperfects (active only), and second futures (passive). The meaning of these tenses ordinarily corresponds to that of the first aorist, etc.; but when a verb has both forms in any tense (which is rarely the case), the two forms usually differ in meaning. Sometimes one form is poetical, the other used in prose.

362. No single Greek verb shows all the tenses mentioned in 359 and 361; and the paradigms are therefore taken from different verbs.

363. Number.—There are three numbers: the singular, dual, and plural.

364. Person.—There are three persons (first, second, and third) in the indicative, subjunctive, and optative. The imperative has only the second and third persons.

a. Except in a few cases in poetry (465 c) the first person plural is used for the first person dual.

365. Inflection.—The inflection of a verb consists in the addition of certain endings to the different stems.

366. Endings.—The endings in the finite moods (357) show whether the subject is first, second, or third person; and indicate number and voice. See 462 ff.

a. The middle has a different set of endings from the active. The passive has the endings of the middle except in the aorist, which has the active endings.

b. The indicative has two sets of endings in the active and in the middle: one for primary tenses, the other for secondary tenses.

c. The subjunctive uses the same endings as the primary tenses of the indicative; the optative uses the same as those of the secondary tenses.

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