Present Tense

Grammar questions which are not related to any specific text.
Post Reply
Jason Hare
Posts: 619
Joined: June 2nd, 2011, 5:28 pm
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Contact:

Present Tense

Post by Jason Hare » August 6th, 2011, 8:24 pm

sccarlson wrote:(1) The English progressive form "are saying" corresponds to the Greek present; there is no need to include ἐσμεν.
I just wanted to make sure that Stephen's first comment was understood here.

λέγομεν is used for all indicative present tense forms. In English, we have two regular present tense forms: simple ("I eat") and continuous/progressive ("I'm eating"). The former is used for habits and routines (as well as opinions and emotive verbs, even when in the immediate present), and the latter is used for specific instance statements, such as things that you're doing right now or intending to do at a specific instance in the future.

Greek only has one set of forms of the present tense (that is, within the indicative mood).

λέγω = "I speak, do speak, am speaking"
λέγεις = "you (sg.) speak, do speak, are speaking"
λέγει = "he/she/it speaks, does speak, is speaking"
λέγομεν = "we speak, do speak, are speaking"
λέγετε = "you (pl.) speak, do speak, are speaking"
λέγουσι(ν) = "they speak, do speak, are speaking"

So, again, make sure that you don't use ἐσμέν in the present tense, unless you just mean "we are" (as in, "We are friends" φιλοί ἐσμεν).

Just felt that needed some emphasis added to it, as we're keen to look at "emphasis" here on B-Greek (in the vague sense of the word, as if there were a not-so-vague sense). ;)

Regards,
Jason
0 x


Jason A. Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel

David Lim
Posts: 901
Joined: June 6th, 2011, 6:55 am

Re: Prepositions and Personal Pronouns

Post by David Lim » August 6th, 2011, 10:15 pm

Jason Hare wrote:
sccarlson wrote:(1) The English progressive form "are saying" corresponds to the Greek present; there is no need to include ἐσμεν.
I just wanted to make sure that Stephen's first comment was understood here.

λέγομεν is used for all indicative present tense forms. In English, we have two regular present tense forms: simple ("I eat") and continuous/progressive ("I'm eating"). The former is used for habits and routines (as well as opinions and emotive verbs, even when in the immediate present), and the latter is used for specific instance statements, such as things that you're doing right now or intending to do at a specific instance in the future.

Greek only has one set of forms of the present tense (that is, within the indicative mood).

λέγω = "I speak, do speak, am speaking"
λέγεις = "you (sg.) speak, do speak, are speaking"
λέγει = "he/she/it speaks, does speak, is speaking"
λέγομεν = "we speak, do speak, are speaking"
λέγετε = "you (pl.) speak, do speak, are speaking"
λέγουσι(ν) = "they speak, do speak, are speaking"

So, again, make sure that you don't use ἐσμέν in the present tense, unless you just mean "we are" (as in, "We are friends" φιλοί ἐσμεν).

Just felt that needed some emphasis added to it, as we're keen to look at "emphasis" here on B-Greek (in the vague sense of the word, as if there were a not-so-vague sense). ;)
Hmm but if we do indeed really want to emphasize something like what we call "present continuous" in English, can we use the present periphrastic?
0 x
δαυιδ λιμ

MAubrey
Posts: 986
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 8:52 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: Prepositions and Personal Pronouns

Post by MAubrey » August 6th, 2011, 11:31 pm

David Lim wrote:Hmm but if we do indeed really want to emphasize something like what we call "present continuous" in English, can we use the present periphrastic?
If you want to emphasize a particular part of a clause in Greek, you move it to the front of the clause and place more stress on it in your pronunciation.
0 x
Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

David Lim
Posts: 901
Joined: June 6th, 2011, 6:55 am

Re: Prepositions and Personal Pronouns

Post by David Lim » August 7th, 2011, 1:05 am

MAubrey wrote:
David Lim wrote:Hmm but if we do indeed really want to emphasize something like what we call "present continuous" in English, can we use the present periphrastic?
If you want to emphasize a particular part of a clause in Greek, you move it to the front of the clause and place more stress on it in your pronunciation.
No I meant, if we want to specify the present continuous, would the present periphrastic be more appropriate than the simple verb in the present tense?
0 x
δαυιδ λιμ

MAubrey
Posts: 986
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 8:52 pm
Location: Washington
Contact:

Re: Prepositions and Personal Pronouns

Post by MAubrey » August 7th, 2011, 1:47 am

David Lim wrote:
MAubrey wrote:
David Lim wrote:Hmm but if we do indeed really want to emphasize something like what we call "present continuous" in English, can we use the present periphrastic?
If you want to emphasize a particular part of a clause in Greek, you move it to the front of the clause and place more stress on it in your pronunciation.
No I meant, if we want to specify the present continuous, would the present periphrastic be more appropriate than the simple verb in the present tense?
The verb itself already is present continuous.
0 x
Mike Aubrey, Linguist
Koine-Greek.com

timothy_p_mcmahon
Posts: 250
Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:47 pm

Re: Prepositions and Personal Pronouns

Post by timothy_p_mcmahon » August 7th, 2011, 2:13 am

Are there any examples of a periphrastic present in the NT? I can't think of any.
0 x

David Ting
Posts: 24
Joined: July 9th, 2011, 9:32 am

Re: Present Tense

Post by David Ting » August 7th, 2011, 11:14 am

So, again, make sure that you don't use ἐσμέν in the present tense, unless you just mean "we are" (as in, "We are friends" φιλοί ἐσμεν).
I understand now. Thank you, Jason.
0 x

David Ting
Posts: 24
Joined: July 9th, 2011, 9:32 am

Re: Present Tense

Post by David Ting » August 15th, 2011, 6:36 pm

So, again, make sure that you don't use ἐσμέν in the present tense, unless you just mean "we are" (as in, "We are friends" φιλοί ἐσμεν).
Do we always place the present indicative of εἰμι at the end?

"I am good" καλος εἰμι instead of εἰμι λαλος

"I am a man" ἀνθρωπος εἰμι instead of εἰμι ἀνθρωπος
0 x

David Lim
Posts: 901
Joined: June 6th, 2011, 6:55 am

Re: Present Tense

Post by David Lim » August 15th, 2011, 8:38 pm

David Ting wrote:
So, again, make sure that you don't use ἐσμέν in the present tense, unless you just mean "we are" (as in, "We are friends" φιλοί ἐσμεν).
Do we always place the present indicative of εἰμι at the end?

"I am good" καλος εἰμι instead of εἰμι λαλος

"I am a man" ἀνθρωπος εἰμι instead of εἰμι ἀνθρωπος
The predicate is usually in front because it is the predicate rather than the verb itself that is usually the focus. However it is not a rule so exceptions are not uncommon, such as "το φρεαρ εστιν βαθυ" = "the well is deep" (John 4:11) and "η μαρτυρια μου ουκ εστιν αληθης" = "my testimony is not true" (John 5:31) and "εν τουτω ο λογος εστιν ο αληθινος" = "in this the word is the true [word]" (John 4:37). Notice that in the last example we cannot rearrange it into "εν τουτω ο λογος ο αληθινος εστιν" as it would be ambiguous because "ο λογος ο αληθινος" is usually understood as "the true word".
0 x
δαυιδ λιμ

David Ting
Posts: 24
Joined: July 9th, 2011, 9:32 am

Re: Present Tense

Post by David Ting » August 16th, 2011, 5:15 am

Thank you, David. I understand now. I like your examples very much :)
0 x

Post Reply

Return to “Grammar Questions”