The term "aspect" refers to a type of action, unlike "tense" which refers to the time when an action takes place. There are three aspects in ancient Greek which we will call continuous, punctual, and state of being.
Remember that in English we can represent these three aspects with the verb to die:
He is dying. (Continuous action, present time)
He was dying. (Continuous action, past time)
He died yesterday. (Punctual action)
He is dead. (State of being, present time)
He has been dead for three years. (State of being, past time)
You can now recognize and form Greek verbs that express continuous action. You have learned the present active and middle indicative, the infinitive, and the participle. The Present Indicative represents continuous action in the present time. All other presents simply indicate continuous action.
Remember that in Greek there is only one way of representing, for instance, the present active indicative 1st person singular (paideu/w), but in English there are several ways, depending on what fits best into the context (I am teaching, I teach, I do teach).
Refer again to "THE CHART!" introduced at the end of Thrasymachus Chapter VIII (Supplement). Remember that forms which we call "present" actually represent continuous action. Those called "aorist" represent punctual action, and those called "perfect" represent state of being.
The indicatives, which are statements of fact, do represent time, or tense: present, imperfect (past continuous action), aorist (past punctual action).
The FUTURE is actually a tense, and in form is closely related to the aorist. The future represents action that will occur at a future time. How do you express this in English?
The future in Greek is usually formed by adding a sigma to the present stem and then the primary endings. Thus paideu/w (I teach) and paideu/sw (I will teach).
Note what happens when there is a consonant at the end of the stem to combine with the s such as in ble/pw. ble/pw plus a sigma = ble/psw. Since ble/psw sounds like ble/yw, the simpler form is used. Thus some verbs retain the "sigma sound" with a slightly altered spelling.
You have seen another common pattern: filw~ in the future becomes a lengthened form with a sigma, filh/sw.
Future forms are not entirely predictable. Some futures are deponent, for instance, although the present is not, and some are contracted without a sigma. Because of this, the future stem must be learned as a separate "principal part" of the verb. ble/pw, ble/yw; file/w, filh/sw; a)kou/w, a)kou/somai; ba/llw, balw~.
For the future middle indicative, you need the future stem and the middle endings.
Below is a representative list of verbs with their first two principal parts. Note the pattern: in the "ideal verb" the future would simply be the present with a "s" before the primary ending. Since most verbs are not completely "ideal", you are given the forms that cannot be predicted.
a)kou/w, a)kou/somai, hear, listen to (plus genitive)
a)na/ssw, a)na/cw, rule, reign over
a)poqnh/skw, a)poqanou~mai, die, be killed
bai/nw, bh/somai, go
ba/llw, balw~, throw, hurl
ble/pw, ble/yw, to look at, see
bou/lomai, boulh/somai, to wish, be willing, want
dakru/w, dakru/sw, weep, shed tears
dei~, deh/sei, impersonal, there is need of, it is necessary
dida/skw, dida/cw, teach, instruct
ei)mi/, e/)somai, be
e!rxomai, e)leu/somai, come
e)sqi/w, e!domai, eat
e!xw, e#cw (note the breathing) or sxh/sw, have, hold
komi/zw, komiw~ bring, accompany
lamba/nw, lh/yomai, grasp, hold, seize
lei/pw, lei/yw, leave
manqa/nw, maqh/somai, to learn, understand
ma/xomai, maxe/somai or maxou~mai, to fight
paideu/w, paideu/sw, teach
pa/sxw, pei/somai, to suffer, experience
peiqw, peisw, persuade
pe/mpw, pe/myw, to send
pisteu/w, pisteu/sw, trust, believe
fai/nw, fanw~, show
xrh/, xrh/sei, it is necessary
See Thrasymachus p. 41 for paradigms of the future active and middle indicative forms. You will see the contraction in the second person singular ending on the future stem that you saw in the present middle indicative form.
XI-XII, A. Observing carefully the principal parts of the verbs above, change the following to the equivalent future forms:
|1. e)/rxetai||6. lamba/nousi||11. bou/lontai|
|2. pei/qw||7. ba/llei||12. e)sqi/eij|
|3. pempo/meqa||8. e)sti/||13. dida/skw|
|4. a)kou/ete||9. leipo/meqa||14. pe/mpetai|
|5. ble/pomen||10. dida/skomen||15. a)kou/omai|
XI-XII, B. Translate the following sentences and follow the directions in the parentheses.
1. oi( au)toi\ filo/sofoi ou[j ble/pomen e)n po/lei paideu/ousin tou\j tw~n basile/wn pai~daj. (Underline the "bare bones" of the sentence. Change all verbs to the future and retranslate).
2. e)rxo/meqa pro\j th\n po/lin. boulo/meqa o(ra~n to\n basile/a. (Change any present forms to the future. Change first person forms into second person).
3. oi( qe/oi oi# ei)sin e)n ou)ranw~| fi/lousi tou/j e)n gh~| a)nqrw/pouj. (Change the main verb to the future tense. Change the subject to the opposite number and make the necessary changes.
4. ti/nej boulo/menoi ei]nai a)gaqoi\ pisteu/sousin tou/toij toi\j qe/oij; (Change the subject to the opposite number and make all necessary changes).
5. pe/mpousai ta\ dw~ra toi\j a)ndra/si, ai( gunai/kej dida/skousi ta\ kala/. (Change the verb to the future and identify the underlined word).
Read the following sentences:
o( filo/sofoj paideu/ei to\n pai~da. o( filo/sofoj paideu/sei to\n pai~da. o( filo/sofoj e)pai/deuse to\n pai~da.
You know that the present indicative indicates continuous action in the present time and the future indicative indicates future time. (It is important to remember that what we call "present" represents continuous action in Greek. In the indicative form only it represents continuous action in the present time. The future is a real tense, i.e., any future form represents future time.)
The verb e)pai/deuse is an example of the aorist. The Greek aorist indicates punctual action. In the indicative only, the aorist represents punctual action in the past.
To see the difference between punctual and continuous action in the past in English, compare:
Punctual: I taught that lesson Continuous: I was teaching that lesson Continuous: I kept teaching that lesson Continuous: I used to teach that lesson
Review: to form the present active indicative, use the "present stem" plus "primary endings" (w, eij, ei, omen, ete, ousi for the active forms). And to form the future, use the "future stem" plus "primary endings." You see the "present stem" in the first principal part. You see the "future stem" in the second principal part.
How do you form the aorist active indicative?
Look carefully at the following examples:
e)gw\ e)pai/deusa to\n pai~da. su e)pai/deusaj to\n pai~da. o( filo/sofoj e)pai/deuse to\n pai~da. h(mei~j e)paideu/samen to\n pai~da. u(mei~j e)paideu/sate to\n pai~da. oi( filo/sofoi e)pai/deusan to\n pai~da.
Clearly, you must add an epsilon (e, called the "augment") at the beginning. At the end you see a sigma and endings that are similar but slightly different from the "primary" endings you have learned. But onto what stem do you add endings and augment?
If every verb were highly regular, like paideu/w, you would simply take the paideu- stem from the first principal part, add the augment at the beginning and sigma, plus endings that are slightly different from the ones you have learned. (What patterns do you see in these endings?). However, as you know by know, in a spoken language, irregularities do occur, so we often see aorists that are different in form from the present-stem-plus-augment-and-ending. Because these aorist stems are not predictable, it is necessary to know a third principal part, the aorist, indicative, active.
So: to form the aorist indicative active, add the augment and the appropriate secondary endings to the punctual action stem (as you see it in the third principal part).
Important copncept to keep in mind: the aorist stem indicates punctual action. Only the aorist indicative represents punctual action in the past.
Below are some of the verbs you saw above (you will soon see why some of them are omitted!), but this time with their first three principal parts. You will see the pattern of the "ideal verb," i.e., the future is simply the present with a sigma before the primary ending, and the aorist uses the same sigma before an aorist ending, with an augment (epsilon or a lengthened vowel if the the verb starts with a vowel). Since most verbs are not completely "ideal," you will also see forms that cannot be predicted.
a)kou/w, a)kou/somai, h!kousa, hear, listen to (plus genitive)
a)na/ssw, a)na/cw, h!naca, rule, reign over
ble/pw, ble/yw, e!bleya, to look at, see
dakru/w, dakru/sw, e)da/krusa, weep, shed tears
dei~, deh/sei, e)de/hse, impersonal, there is need of, it is necessary
dida/skw, dida/cw, e)di/daca, teach, instruct
e)ri/zw, e)ri/sw, h!risa, strive
komi/zw, komiw~, e)ko/misa, bring, accompany
ma/xomai, maxe/somai or maxou~mai, e)maxesa/mhn, to fight
ne/mw, nemw~ or nemh/sw, e!neima, distribute, occupy, inhabit, possess,
paideu/w, paideu/sw, e)pai/deusa, teach
pei/qw, pei/sw, e)/peisa, persuade
pe/mpw, pe/myw, e!pemya, to send
pisteu/w, pisteu/sw, e)pi/steusa, trust, believe
XI-XII, C. Choose two of the verbs above and, with careful attention to their principal parts, conjugate the present, future, and aorist active indicative. Translate one form of each conjugation.
XI-XII, D. Do exercises 2 and 3 on p. 129 of Thrasymachus .
There are two types of aorist, the first aorist (or weak aorist) and the second aorist ( or strong aorist). Most Greek verbs have either a first or second aorist form, not both.
The first aorist generally has a sigma before the endings, and endings containing an alpha except for third person singular).
The second aorist has the same endings as those of the imperfect, which uses the present stem. (See Thrasymachus XIII for more of the imperfect. For practice in recognizing these forms, they will be mixed into the exercises for this chapter.) For the second aorist, the endings are added to a stem which is often a shortened version of the present stem, but may be completely unpredictable. Compare the two sets of active personal endings:
Person First Aorist Second Aorist + Imperfect First singular -a -on Second singular -aj -ej Third singular -e -e First plural -amen -omen Second plural -ate -ete Third plural -an -on
See the verbs below and move ahead to Thrasymachus XIII, page 50, for the principal parts of common verbs with second aorists. You will notice that some verbs show a simplification of the present stem in the second aorist (such as lei/pw) but that many others are not predictable in their future and aorist stems. Obviously, some verbs (such as e!rxomai, e)leu/somai, h]lqon) are highly irregular. The most common of those verbs, such as those on Thrasymachus page 50, will need to be memorized.
bai/nw, bh/somai, e!bhn, go
ba/llw, balw~, e!balon, throw, hurl
e)sqi/w, e!domai, e!fagon, eat
e!xw, e#cw (note the breathing) or sxh/sw, e!sxon, have
e!rxomai, e)leu/somai, h]lqon, come
lamba/nw, lh/yomai, e!labon, grasp, hold, seize
lei/pw, lei/yw, e)lipon, leave
manqa/nw, maqh/somai, e!maqon, to learn, understand
pa/sxw, pe/isomai, e!paqon, to suffer, experience
fe/rw, oi)sw, h!negkon, carry
Because so many common Greek verbs differ so drastically from the "ideal verb," it is very important to know their principal parts well if you are going to be able to recognise any form of these verbs.
The PRESENT and IMPERFECT active, middle and passive forms are both derived from the "first principal part," which provides the "continuous action stem."
The FUTURE active and middle forms (in many verbs predictable from the first principal part) are derived from the second principal part, which provides the "future stem."
The AORIST active and middle forms (in many verbs that have a first aorist predictable from the first principal part) are derived from the third principal part, which provides the aorist stem.
FUTURE and AORIST passive forms are derived from the sixth principal part which provides the "aorist passive stem." This principal part will not be needed until Thrasymachus Chapter XV.
XI-XII, E. Identify each verb in the sentences below and change it to the opposite number.
1. h9 gunh\ pe/mpei ta\ dw~ra. 2. h9 gunh\ pe/myei ta\ dw~ra 3. h9 gunh\ e!pemye ta\ dw~ra 4. h9 gunh\ e1pempe ta\ dw~ra
XI-XII, F. Identify each of the following and indicate from what principal part it is formed:
1. e1grayan 5. e)pei/sate 2. e)pe/mpomen 6. a)pe/qane 3. e1lipej 7. h]lqon 4. e)lei/pomen 8. e1maqe
XI-XII, G. Translate the following. Then change the subject of each (first to su, then to o( filo/sofoj, h(mei~j, u(mei~j, and oi( filo/sofoi) and make all necessary changes:
|1. paideu/w ta\ paidi/a.|
|2. paideu/sw ta\ paidi/a|
|3. e)pai/deuon ta\ paidi/a|
|4. e)pai/deusa ta\ paidi/a|
As you expect, the aorist active infinitive is formed from the aorist stem (the third principle part). Add -sai to the stem when it is a "first (weak) aorist", and -ein when it is a "second (strong) aorist".
Thus: pai/deusai and ba/lein.
Be sure to notice that that there is no augment on the aorist infinitive.
Consider the difference in meaning between the present (continuous action) and aorist (punctual action) infinitives, paideu/ein and pai/deusai. How might you explain the difference in meaning between these two sentences: e)qe/lw paideu/ein to\ paidi/on and e)qe/lw pai/deusai to\ paidi/on.
What is the difference between a present active infinitive and a second aorist active infinitive, lei/pein and li/pein? Knowing principal parts and observing stems very precisely will help make these forms clear.
Again, as you expect, you use the first aorist stem (third principle part) to form the aorist active participle. Add the aorist active participle endings -saj, -sasa, -san.
Thus: paideu/saj paideu/sasa paideu/san. The characteristic -sa- before the ending appears in all of the forms.
Because all participles are verbal adjectives, these forms have declension endings, and agree with a noun or pronoun in gender, number, and case. As in the present active participle, the masculine and neuter forms have third declension endings, while the feminine forms have first decelension endings:
CASE (Singular) MASCULINE FEMININE NEUTER Nominative paideu/saj paideu/sasa paideu/san Accusative paideu/santa paideu/sasan paideu/san Genitive paideu/santoj paideusa/shj paideu/santoj Dative paideu/santi paideusa/sh| paideu/santi
CASE (Plural) MASCULINE FEMININE NEUTER Nominative paideu/santej paideu/sasai paideu/santa Accusative paideu/santaj paideusa/saj paideu/santa Genitive paideusa/ntwn paideusa/swn paideusa/ntwn Dative paideu/sasi paideusa/saij paideu/sasi
If a Greek verb has a second aorist instead of a first aorist, it uses the aorist stem and the present active participle endings to form the second aorist active participle. Only the stem will differ between the present and the aorist participles. Also, notice where the accent falls.
Thus: lipw/n lipou~sa lipo/n. Compare the present active participle of lei/pw: lei/pwn lei/pousa lei/pon
THERE IS NO AUGMENT ON THE AORIST PARTICIPLE FORMS EXERCISES
XI-XII, H. Based on your knowledge of the present active participle endings, decline the forms of the second aorist participle of ba/llw: balw/n balou~sa balo/n.
XI-XII, I. Choose five verbs whose principal parts you know. For each give the following forms: nominative plural, all genders for the present active, future active, and aorist active participles.
XI-XII, J. Give the aorist equivalents for the following participle forms.
1. pei/qonta 4. ble/pousi 7. ba/llousai 2. lei/pousa 5. e)xo/ntwn 8. pisteu/onti 3. manqa/nontoj 6. pa/sxonta 9. e)rizou/shj Answer Key TRANSLATION
The translation of the aorist participles is difficult. Most common are, for example, "leaving" (with the understanding that the action is punctual) or "having left" (which may better represent a punctual action, but with suggestion of past time).
Try translating these sentences into English that accurately represents the present, future, and aorist active participle forms:
paideu/ontej ta\ paidi/a, oi( filo/sofoi/ ei)sin a)gaqoi/. paideu/sontej ta\ paidi/a, oi( filo/sofoi/ ei)sin a)gaqoi/. paideu/santej ta\ paidi/a, oi( filo/sofoi bai/nousin ei)j th\n po/lin.
You can probably predict how to form the aorist middle forms of the indicative, infinitive, and participle.
Indicative: augment (e-) plus aorist stem plus personal endings. (these are the "secondary middle" endings.)
First or Weak Aorist:
Second or Strong Aorist:
These endings will also be used for the Imperfect, but on the present stem.
Infinitive: aorist stem plus middle infinitive ending (no augment).
First Aorist: paideu/asqai
Second Aorist: ma/xesqai
Participle: aorist stem plus middle participle endings (no augment).
First Aorist: paideusa/menoj -h -on
Second Aorist: maxo/menoj -h -on
XI-XII, K. Identify each of the following, then give the aorist equivalent:
|1. paideu/ein||4. a)kou/ousi||7. a)kou/esqai|
|2. paideu/onti||5. manqa/nousai||8. pei/qonti|
|3. paideu/etai||6. a)kou/onta||9. pei/qomen|
XI-XII, L. Translate each sentence. Then follow the directions in parentheses. Remember to look at principal parts of irregular verbs if you need them.
1. oi( a!ndrej paideu/ontej tou\j pai~daj e)/rxontai ei)j th\n oi)ki/an. (Change the verb to the future, and the aorist. Retranslate the verb each time. Now change the participle to the aorist form and state how it differs from the present equivalent.)
2. h( gunh\ bou/letai paideu/sein ta\ paidi/a. (Change the infinitive to the present and aorist equivalents and retranslate the sentence).
3. o( au)to\j basileu\j bou/letai manqa/nein. (Change the infinitive to the middle equivalent and then to the aorist active and middle equivalents. What is the difference in meaning?)
XI-XII, M. Write five short Greek sentences of your own, including at least one infinitive and one participle in each. Choose one main verb, one infinitive, and one participle with which to work. Change each verb form (taking it out of context from the sentence) into its equivalent in other aspects.
[For instance, if you choose a present active indicative, 3rd person plural, give the equivalent future, and aorist forms].
INFORMATION ON CHARACTERS IN CHAPTERS XI, XII, and XIII
Forward to Chapter XIII Back to Contents