Biblical Greek Verb System

How can I best learn the paradigms of nouns and verbs and the other inflected parts of speech?

Biblical Greek Verb System

Postby TheBard » March 23rd, 2014, 8:25 am

Hi,
I would just like some clarification on a few things before I press forward. Essentially I am looking to understand the verbal system of Koine Greek, but have found it very difficult finding clear information about it's complete forms et al. As I understand it there are basically two main types of verbs; omega verbs and -mi verbs. The other type being irregular. Of the verbs forms, there are three voices, six tenses (present, imperfect, aorist, future, perfect, pluperfect) and four moods (indicative, subjunctive, optative, imperative) with two non-finite verbs in the participle and infinitive. So these forms when listed out are as follows:

Present Indicative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)
Present Subjunctive (Active, middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)
Present Imperative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S2-3/P2-3)
Present Optative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)

Imperfect Indicative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)

Aorist Indicative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)
Aorist Subjunctive (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)
Aorist Imperative (Active, Middle, Passive)
Aorist Optative (Active, Middle, Passive)

Pluperfect Indicative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)

Future Indicative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)

Present Participle
Aorist Participle
Future Participle
Perfect Participle

Alot of information there, so any input will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Regards
TheBard
 
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Re: Biblical Greek Verb System

Postby cwconrad » March 23rd, 2014, 11:53 am

TheBard wrote:Hi,
I would just like some clarification on a few things before I press forward.

Actually, if you're going to press forward in this forum, you'll have to identify yourself properly, in accordance with Forum policies.

TheBard wrote:Essentially I am looking to understand the verbal system of Koine Greek, but have found it very difficult finding clear information about it's complete forms et al. As I understand it there are basically two main types of verbs; omega verbs and -mi verbs. The other type being irregular.

Mastering the ancient Greek verb is well over half of the process of mastering ancient Greek. Verb forms are in fact considerably more complex than that threefold categorization might suggest. There are irregular -ω verbs and many of the -μι verbs are irregular. In fact, the distinction between -ω and -μι verbs is fundamentally a matter of present and imperfect paradigms. Traditional pedagogy sets forth six standard "principal parts" needed to discern verb roots and the stems proper to these paradigms: present, future, aorist, perfect active, perfect middle, and aorist passive Several irregular verbs lack one or more of these forms (εἰμί, for instance, only has forms in the present, imperfect, and future).

TheBard wrote:Of the verbs forms, there are three voices, six tenses (present, imperfect, aorist, future, perfect, pluperfect) and four moods (indicative, subjunctive, optative, imperative) with two non-finite verbs in the participle and infinitive.

In fact, you can't simply multiply the numbers of each category by those of others to get the total of distinct paradigms for each verb. Middle and passive voice forms are a single paradigm in all tenses except the aorist and future; only these two have distinct passive forms in -θη. Some people would add a future perfect tense to those you've mentioned, although that's rare even in older Greek and is always periphrastic (formed with a participle and an auxiliary form of εἰμί) in Koine. You might take a look at the charts in Smyth's grammar online beginning at §355 (http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... =paradigms).

TheBard wrote:So these forms when listed out are as follows:

Present Indicative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)
Present Subjunctive (Active, middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)
Present Imperative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S2-3/P2-3)
Present Optative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)

Imperfect Indicative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)

Aorist Indicative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)
Aorist Subjunctive (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)
Aorist Imperative (Active, Middle, Passive)
Aorist Optative (Active, Middle, Passive)

Pluperfect Indicative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)

Future Indicative (Active, Middle, Passive) (S1-2-3/P1-2-3)

Present Participle
Aorist Participle
Future Participle
Perfect Participle

A lot of information there, so any input will be greatly appreciated.

As I noted above, some of this needs to be qualified: there is no distinct passive form for the present, imperfect, aorist, perfect, and pluperfect, but only for the aorist and future tenses. So too there is no separate passive participle except for the aorist and future; in the other five tenses the middle participle may convey either middle or passive meaning.

Perhaps this doesn't need saying, but I'll say it anyhow: the Greek verb has to be mastered piecemeal; I don't think there's any way of grasping the array of all the inflected forms that any particular verb may display in an unabridged paradigm chart.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)
… ἐπειδὴ καὶ τὸν οἶνον ἠξίους
πίνειν, συνεκποτέ’ ἐστί σοι καὶ τὴν τρύγα Aristophanes, Plutus 1085
cwconrad
 
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Re: Biblical Greek Verb System

Postby TheBard » March 24th, 2014, 7:11 am

Thankyou for your detailed response, I will bare those things in mind. I was basically just looking for affirmation that I had the gist of the verbal system from the overview that I posted. I like to work with a definite framework in mind and build on that, but all of the information I have found to date is either simplified, assumes knowledge of too many things, is poorly worded or contradictory, so I just thought I would run this by everyone here and see if I could find something with more clarity. Are there any resources - particularly books - that would you would recommend? Anything with a strong emphasis on the verbal system would be very greatly appreciated.
TheBard
 
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Re: Biblical Greek Verb System

Postby Jonathan Robie » March 24th, 2014, 7:53 am

Moderator Interrupt

I will delete this note and unlock this thread after you deal with the following.

In order to post to B-Greek, your user name needs to be changed, in accordance with this policy:

Policy: User Names and Profiles

TheBard is not allowed as a user name.

We normally deal with this privately, but at least four moderators have sent you email saying this, including me, and you have not responded. Your posts are good, we want you here, but to continue, you need to respond to one of the moderators and tell us your name so that we can change your user name.

You can reach me at jonathan dot robie at ibiblio dot org.
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