Review of Active and Middle Voices:
I. All the forms representing continuous action that you have learned thus far (present and imperfect indicative; present imperative, infinitive, participle) derive from the continuous action ("present") stem. You see this stem in the first principal part of the verb.
II. The active voice denotes action in which the subject acts and the middle voice action in which the subject acts for its own purposes or interest.
III. In form, the active differs from the middle in having different endings.
The passive voice indicates that the subject is being acted upon ("The book is read by me. The boat is being rowed by my friend).
Read the following sentence and answer the questions:
o( a!nqrwpoj ble/petai u(po/ mou. What is the subject? Is there a direct object? Given that u(po/ means "by" and "mou" means "me," how would you translate the sentence?
The verbs you have seen until now have been in the active or middle voice, in which the subject of the verb does the action.
e)gw\ ble/pw to\ paidi/on. I see the child. I am doing the seeing.
e)gw\ ble/pomai to\ paidi/on. I see the child. I am doing the seeing of my own child or in my own interest.
In English, "I see the child" is a sentence in the active voice. The same idea expressed in the passive voice is "The child is seen by the me." The subject is acted upon by someone or something else.
In Greek, this statement is expressed as:
to\ paidi/on ble/petai u(po/ mou.
You can see that the form of the Present Passive Indicative is the same as that of the Present Middle Indicative.
Translate the following sentences and consider the questions:
e)gw\ ble/pomai u(po\ tw~n qew~n. (What is the subject?) su ble/ph| u(po\ tw~n qew~n.
(As you know, the verb form should actually be ble/pesai. What happened? This form is sometimes spelled ble/pei. How can you distinguish this second person from the third person singular present active indicative?)
o( a!nqrwpoj ble/petai u(po/ mou. (How do you know that this is not the present middle indicative?) h(mei~j blepo/meqa u(po\ tw~n qew~n. (How does the passive form compare with the active? Do you need to express the subject here?) u(mei~j ble/pesqe u(po\ tw~n qew~n. (How does the passive form compare with the active? Do you need to express the subject?) o( a!nqrwpoj kai\ h( gunh\ ble/pontai u(po/ mou. (How would you express "The man and the woman are seeing me" in the active voice? the middle?)
Compare the Greek passive with English. Notice the familiar pattern of vowels before each ending:
ble/pomai o + mai I am seen ble/ph| or ble/pei h| (e + sai) you are seen ble/petai e + tai he/she is seen blepo/meqa o + meqa we are seen ble/pesqe e + sqe you (pl.) are seen ble/pontai o + ntai they are seen
To form the Present Indicative Passive, add the "primary middle-passive endings" to the "continuous action stem."
How might you form the imperfect passive indicative? As you would expect, the form is exactly the same as that of the imperfect middle indicative. The only way you can differentiate between middle and passive forms is in context. Thus: e)paideu/eto to\ paidi/on (She was teaching her child) and e)paideu/eto u(po\ mou~ (She was being taught by me).
The English translation of the Imperfect Passive may seem awkward: "I was being taught, used to be taught, kept being taught," etc.
The secondary middle-passive endings, therefore are:
o + mhn ou (e + so) e + to o + meqa e + sqe o + nto
You will see some similarities when you compare the "secondary middle-passive endings" with the "primary middle-passive endings," those used for present middle-passive forms:
PRIMARY SECONDARY -omai -omhn -h| -ei (esai) -ou (-eso) -etai -eto -omeqa -omeqa -esqe -esqe -ontai -onto
As you study these endings, consider the patterns. Compare these endings to the primary and secondary active endings, and look for patterns to help you identify them correctly.
How might you form the present passive infinitive and participle? As you expect, they look just like the middle forms. Thus bou/lomai paideu/esqai u(po\ tou~ filoso/fou means "I wish to be taught by the philosopher" and paideuo/menoj u(po\ tou~ filoso/fou means "being taught by the philosopher.
Without a context, can you determine the voice of paideu/esqai or paideuo/menoj?
Since the forms for the present middle and passive are identical, a context is needed to determine which voice is meant. When you are identifying a verb form in a context, you must determine whether the form is middle or passive in that particular context or you will have trouble understanding the sense of the Greek.
In other words, the form paideu/etai could be present middle or passive third person singular, so you need to notice whether or not there is a direct object, as in paideu/etai th\n gunai~ka (this verb is in the middle voice), or if the agent of the action is expressed, as in paideu/etai u(po\ mou~. (this verb must be in the passive voice).
Two points to remember:
A VERB IN THE PASSIVE VOICE DOES NOT TAKE A DIRECT OBJECT.
A VERB ASSOCIATED WITH u(po/ FOLLOWED BY THE GENITIVE WILL BE PASSIVE.
XIV, A. Change the following forms to the opposite number ( ble/petai; ble/pontai):
|1. ble/pei (passive)||6. pe/mpesqe|
|2. pei/qetai||7. e)pe/mponto|
|3. e)leipo/meqa||8. a)kou/ontai|
|4. ba/llontai||9. e)keleuo/mhn|
|5. e!ballon||10. h)kou/ou|
XIV, B. Change each of the above to the active equivalent. Translate each form. (ba/llontai, ba/llousi: they are thrown, they throw).
XIV, C. Translate each sentence. Rewrite it in Greek in the passive voice and retranslate it. ( o( a!nqrwpoj ble/pei to\ paidi/on: The man sees the boy. to\ paidi/on ble/petai u(po\ tou~ a)nqrw/pou: The child is seen by the man.)
1. to\ paidi/on ba/llei to\ dw~ron.
2. oi( qeoi\ filou~sin a)nqrw/pouj.
3. o( a!nqrwpoj ble/pei ta\j qea/j e)n ou)ranw~|.
4. e)gw\ ble/pw to\ paidi/on e)n th~| oi)ki/a|.
5. h( gunh\ pe/mpei ta\ dw~ra tw~| basilei~.
6. su pe/mpeij ta\ dw~ra tw~| basilei~.
7. oi( a)gaqoi\ filo/sofoi paideu/ousi ta\ maqh/mata.
8. to\n me\n pai~da o( filo/sofoj paideu/ei, to\n de\ filo/sofon oi( qeoi/.
9. ba/llei h( qea\ to\ xrusou~n mh/lon ei)j to\ me/son.
XIV, D. Change each verb in the sentences above to the imperfect.
XIV, E. Identify the underlined words as you translate each sentence. Follow the directions in the parentheses as well.
1. dialego/meqa o( basileu\j kai\ e)gw/ (with each other) e)n oi)ki/a|. (Change the verb to the imperfect equivalent.)
2. o( mwro\j neani/aj manqa/nei ta\ maqh/mata.
(Change the sentence to the passive voice [same meaning]. Rewrite the verb in the imperfect active and passive)
3. e)n ou)ranw~| kaqi/zetai o( qeo/j.
(Change the verb to the imperfect equivalent and retranslate the sentence. What voice is the verb?)
4. o( au)to\j h!lioj h]n e)n tw~| ou)ranw|~.
(Change the verb to the present equivalent.)
5. e)kei~noi oi( neani/ai h]san i)sxuroi/.
(What gender is e)kei~noi? Change the verb into the present equivalent.)
XIV, F. Thrasymachus, page 133, Exercises 2 and 3. Say each new verb form and each new sentence out loud before you write them.
I. All verbs that represent continuous action are formed from the "continuous action" stem, known commonly as the "present" stem, which you see in the first principal part.
II. These verbs can be expressed in the active, middle, or passive voices.
III. THE PASSIVE FORMS OF VERBS SHOWING CONTINUOUS ACTION ARE THE SAME AS THE MIDDLE FORMS.
As you already have seen in reading Thrasymachus, Chapter XV, number III is not true for future or aorist (punctual action) forms.
IV. FUTURE AND AORIST PASSIVE FORMS ARE DISTINCT FROM THE FUTURE AND AORIST MIDDLE FORMS. THEY ARE BASED ON THE SIXTH PRINCIPAL PART.
Just as you cannot always predict the future or the aorist from the present form, you often cannot predict the aorist passive. Thus, the aorist passive indicative, first person singular becomes another principal part. By convention, this aorist passive form is written as the sixth (and last!) principal part. (The fourth and fifth principal parts will come later, when you study the perfect.) See Thrasymachus pp. 244-53 for a list of verbs and their principal parts.
[Does every verb have 6 principal parts? Find some that don't and explain why].
If you look down the list of sixth principal parts you will immediately notice that almost all of them end in -qhn.
It is this -qh- and -qhs- which will make the aorist and future passive indicative endings for most verbs easy to recognize.
AORIST PASSIVE FUTURE PASSIVE -qhn -qh/somai -qhj -qh/sh| -qh -qhsetai -qhmen -qhso/meqa -qhte -qh/sesqe -qhsan -qh/sontai
See the paradigms on page 58 of Thrasymachus. Look at the other moods in the aorist passive. How do you form the aorist passive infinitive? The aorist passive participle?
Is there an augment on the sixth principal part? Why or why not?
How do the aorist passive indicative forms differ from the future passive indicatives?
XV, A. Review the reading in Chapter XV and isolate each aorist or future passive form. Identify each and rewrite it in the present equivalent. Translate all forms.
XV, B. Translate the following sentences, then rewrite in Greek using the passive voice. Check the sixth principal parts of the verbs for the aorist passive forms (Thrasymachus, page 244 ff.).
1. ou}toj o( a)gaqo/j filo/sofoj e)di/daca tou\j pai~daj e)n oi)ki/a|.
2. h( au)th\ gunh\ e!pemye ta\ dw~ra e)kei/noij toi~j a)ndra/si.
3. to\ paidi/on o(ra~| to\n basile/a e)n po/lei.
4. e)gw\ hu[ron tou\j qeou/j e)n ou)ranw~|.
5. e)kale/samen ta\ a)gaqa\ paidi/a ei)j th\n oi)ki/an.
XV, C. Thrasymachus, page 135, Exercises 2, 3, and 4. For Exercise 4, translate each sentence, then write just the verbs in the aorist and the future.
INFORMATION ON CHARACTERS IN CHAPTERS XIV and XV
Forward to Chapter XVI Back to Contents