previous next


428. The augment (increase) denotes past time. It appears only in the secondary or past tenses of the indicative mood, namely, imperfect, aorist, and pluperfect. The augment has two forms, the syllabic and the temporal.

429. Syllabic Augment.—Verbs beginning with a consonant prefix ε as the augment, which thus increases the word by one syllable. In the pluperfect ε is prefixed to the reduplication.


a. Verbs beginning with ρ double the ρ after the augment. ῥί_πτω throw, ἔ-ρρι_πτον, ἔ-ρρι_ψα, ἐ-ρρί_φθην; ῥήγνυ_μι break, ἔ-ρρηξα, ἐ-ρράγην.

N.—ρρ is here due to assimilation of ϝρ, as in Hom. ἔρρεξα did (and ἔρεξα); of σρ in ἔρρεον flowed. Cp. 80 a.

429 a. D. Hom. has ἔλλαβε took (for ἐ-σλαβε), ἔννεον swam (for ἐ-σνεον), ἐσσείοντο shook (for ἐ-τϝειοντο), ἔδδεισε feared (for ἐ-δϝεισε). ἔμμαθε learned is due to analogy.

430. βούλομαι wish, δύναμαι am able, μέλλω intend augment with ε or with η (especially in later Attic); thus, ἐβουλόμην and ἠβουλόμην, ἐδυνάμην and ἠδυνάμην, ἐδυνήθην and ἠδυνήθην.

a. These forms seem to be due to parallelism with ἤθελον (from ἐθέλω wish) and ἔθελον (from θέλω).

431. Some verbs beginning with a vowel take the syllabic augment because they formerly began with a consonant. Thus,

ἄγνυ_μι break (Ϝάγνυ_μι), ἔα_ξα, aor. pass. ἐά_γην.

ἁλίσκομαι am captured (Ϝαλίσκομαι), imperf. ἡλισκόμην, aor. ἑά_λων (with temporal augment) or ἥλων.

ἁνδάνω please (Ϝανδάνω), aor. ἕαδον (Ionic).

ἀν-οίγω open (Ϝοίγνυ_μι), imperf. ἀν-έῳγον.

ἐάω permit (σεϜαω), εἴων, εἴα_σα, εἰά_θην.

ἑζόμαι sit (for σεδιομαι), εἱσάμην.

ἐθίζω accustom (σϜεθίζω, cp. 123), εἴθιζον, εἴθισα, εἰθίσθην.

ἐλίττω roll (Ϝελίττω), εἴλιττον, εἴλιξα, εἰλίχθην.

ἕλκω or ἑλκύω draw (σελκω), εἷλκον, εἵλκυσα, εἱλκύσθην.

ἕπομαι follow (σεπομαι), εἱπόμην.

ἐργάζομαι work (Ϝεργάζομαι), εἰργασάμην.

ἕρπω creep (σερπω), εἷρπον.

ἑστιάω entertain (Ϝεστίαω), εἱστίων, εἱστία_σα, εἱστιά_θην.

ἔχω hold (σεχω), εἶχον.

ἵημι send (σισημι), aor. du. εἷτον for ἐ-ἑ-τον, εἵθην for ἐ-ἑ-θην.

ἵστημι put (σιστημι), plup. εἱστήκη for ἐ-σε-στηκη.

ὁράω see (Ϝοράω), ἑώρων, ἑώρα_κα or ἑόρα_κα.

ὠθέω push (Ϝωθέω), ἐώθουν, ἔωσα, ἐώσθην.

ὠνέομαι buy (Ϝωνέομαι), ἐωνούμην, ἐωνήθην.

εἶδον saw, 2 aor. of ὁράω (for ἐ-Ϝιδον).

εἷλον took, 2 aor. of αἱρέω (for ἐ-ἑλον).

431 D. Syllabic augment in Homer before a vowel is a sure proof of initial ϝ in ἔειπον and some other verbs. Similar Ionic and poetic forms occur from εἶδον, εἴλω, εἴρω, ἔλπω, ἕννυ_μι, ἔρδω, οἰνοχοέω, etc.

432. Some forms of some verbs in 431 are augmented as if no consonant had preceded the first vowel, as ἠργαζόμην (and εἰργαζόμην).

433. Since ϝ disappeared early, many augmented forms show no trace of its existence, as, ᾤκουν from οἰκέω dwell (ϝοῖκος). Besides ε, η was also used as the syllabic augment. This appears in Hom. ἠ-είδεις (-ης?), Attic ᾔδεις you knew.

434. The verbs ἄγνυ_μι, ἁλίσκομαι, (ἀνοίγνυ_μι, ὁράω, which began originally with ϝ, show forms that appear to have a double augment; as ἐά_γην, ἑά_λων, (ἀνἐῳγον (rarely ἤνοιγον), ἑώρων, ἑώρα_κα (and ἑόρα_κα). These forms appear to be due to transference of quantity (34) from ἠ-ϝα^γην, ἠ-ϝοιγον, ἠ-ϝορων (cp. 433).

435. Temporal Augment.—Verbs beginning with a vowel take the temporal augment by lengthening the initial vowel. The temporal augment is so called because it usually increases the time required to pronounce the initial syllable. Diphthongs lengthen their first vowel.

α becomes η:ἄγω leadἦγονἦχαἤχη
εη:ἐλπίζω hopeἤλπιζονἤλπισαἤλπικαἠλπίκη
ιι_:ἱκετεύω supplicateἱ_κέτευονἱ_κέτευσαἱ_κέτευκαἱ_κετεύκη
οω:ὁρίζω mark offὥριζονὥρισαὥρικαὡρίκη
υυ_:ὑβρίζω insultὕ_βριζονὕ_βρισαὕ_βρικαὑ_βρίκη
αι:αἱρίω seizeᾕρουνᾕρηκαᾑρήκη
αυηυ:αὐλέω play the fluteηὔλουνηὔλησαηὔληκαηὐλήκη
ει:εἰκάζω likenᾔκαζονᾔκασα
ευηυ:εὔχομαι prayηὐχόμηνηὐξάμηνηὖγμαιηὔγμην
οι:οἰκέω dwellᾤκουνᾤκησαᾤκηκαᾠκήκη

435 D. Initial α becomes α_ in Doric and Aeolic; initial αι and αυ remain.

436. Initial becomes : ᾁδω sing, ᾖδον. Initial η, ι_, υ_, ω remain unchanged. Initial α_ usually becomes η: ἀ_ριστάω breakfast, ἠρίστησα. ἀνα_λίσκω and ἀνα_λόω expend form ἀνά_λωσα and ἀνήλωσα, ἀνα_λώθην and ἀνηλώθην.

437. Initial diphthongs are sometimes unaugmented: αυ in αὑαίνομαι dry; ει: εἴκαζον, ᾔκαζον; ευ: εὑρέθην and ηὑρέθην from εὑρίσκω find, εὐξάμην and ηὐξάμην from εὔχομαι pray; ου is never augmented, since it is never a pure diphthong when standing at the beginning of a verb-form.

438. Omission of the Augment.—a. In Attic tragedy the augment is sometimes omitted in choral passages, rarely in the dialogue parts (messengers' speeches), which are nearer akin to prose.

b. In χρῆν (from χρὴ ¨ ἦν) the augment is strictly unnecessary, but is often added (ἐχρῆν) since the composition of χρῆν was forgotten.

c. In Homer and the lyric poets either the syllabic or the temporal augment is often absent; as φάτο and ἔφατο, βῆν and ἔβην, ἔχον and εἶχον. Iteratives (495) in Hom. usually have no augment (ἔχεσκον).

N.—In Homer the absence of the augment represents the usage of the parent language, in which the augment was not necessarily added to mark past time. It is therefore erroneous, historically, to speak of the omission of the augment in Homer.

d. In Herodotus the syllabic augment is omitted only in the case of pluperfects and iteratives in σκον; the temporal augment is generally preserved, but it is always omitted in verbs beginning with αι, αυ, ει, ευ, οι, and in ἀγι_νέω, ἀεθλέω, ἀνώγω, ἔρδω, ἐάω, ὁρμέω, etc.; in others it is omitted only in some forms (as ἀγορεύω, ἄγω, ἕλκω, ὁρμάω), and in others it is variable (ἀγγέλλω, ἅπτω, ἄρχω, ἐπίσταμαι, ἀνέχομαι); in cases of Attic reduplication the augment is never added. Hdt. omits the augment for the reduplication in the above verbs.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: