LESSON V: Verbs—Introductory.


In this chapter, you will learn the essential concepts related to the Ancient Greek verb: voice, mood, aspect, tense, person, number and the verb stem. You will also learn how to conjugate verbs in one tense: the present active indicative. You should become familiar with these essential concepts and learn the conjugation of the present active indicative before moving on to the next section.


48. The Greek verb has three VOICES, the active, middle, and passive.

The active voice is used when the subject of the sentence is the agent of the action described in the verb.

The middle voice denotes that the subject is both an agent of an action and somehow concerned with the action.

The passive voice is used to show that the subject of the verb is acted on.


49. There are four MOODS, the indicative, subjunctive, optative, and imperative. These are the finite moods. To them are added, in the conjugation of the verb, the infinitive and participles.

The indicative is the most common verb form you will encounter. It is used for simple statements and questions.

The subjunctive and optative are used in contexts to denote prohibitions, conditions, purpose, and suppositions. These will be covered in more detail beginning in lesson thirty-three.

The imperative is used to give orders and commands

The infinitive has voice and tense but not person and number. It is translated with the English word "to ...". i.e. ἔχειν is the infinitive form of the verb ἔχω and it is translated "to have."

The participle is a verbal noun that is translated with the English ending -ing. i.e. ἔχων is the participle of the verb and it is translated "having".


50. There are seven TENSES, the present, imperfect, future, aorist, perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect.

The present tense is used to describe an ongoing action in the present time.

The imperfect tense is used to describe an ongoing action in the past.

The future is used to describe a simple or ongoing action in the future.

The aorist tense is used to describe a simple action in the past.

The perfect tense is used to describe a completed action in the present time.

The pluperfect is used to describe a completed action in the past.

The future perfect is used to describe a completed action in the future.

The present, future, perfect, and future perfect indicative are called primary tenses; the imperfect, aorist, and pluperfect indicative are called secondary tenses.

Person and Number

51. There are three PERSONS, 1st person, 2nd person, and third person.

52. There are three NUMBERS, as in nouns (31), singular, plural and dual.

The English first person singular pronoun is 'I'.

The English second person singular pronoun is 'you'.

The English third person singular pronouns are 'he', 'she', and 'it'.

The English first person plural pronoun is 'we'.

The English second person plural pronoun is 'you (all)'.

The English third person plural pronoun is 'they'.

Accent of Verbs

53. The accent of verbs is recessive, i. e. it is thrown as far back as possible.

Verb Stems

54. The STEM of a verb is its fundamental part, from which its various tenses are formed. The stem of λύω, loose, is λῡ or λυ, of βουλεύω, plan, βουλευ, of πέμπω, send, πεμπ.

Present Indicative Active.


λύω (Present Active Indicative)
1st Person SingularλύωI loose
2nd Person Singularλύειςyou loose
3rd Person Singularλύειhe looses
2nd Person Dualλύετον
3rd Person Dualλύετον
1st Person Pluralλύομενwe loose
2nd Person Pluralλύετεyou loose
3rd Person Pluralλύουσιthey loose
βουλεύω (Present Active Indicative)
1st Person SingularβουλεύωI plan
2nd Person Singularβουλεύειςyou plan
3rd Person Singularβουλεύειhe/she/it plans
2nd Person Dualβουλεύετον
3rd Person Dualβουλεύετον
1st Person Pluralβουλεύομενwe plan
2nd Person Pluralβουλεύετεyou plan
3rd Person Pluralβουλεύουσιthey plan
πέμπω (Present Active Indicative)
1st Person SingularπέμπωI send
2nd Person Singularπέμπειςyou send
3rd Person Singularπέμπειhe/she/it sends
2nd Person Dualπέμπετον
3rd Person Dualπέμπετον
1st Person Pluralπέμπομενwe send
2nd Person Pluralπέμπετεyou send
3rd Person Pluralπέμπουσιthey send
ἁρπάζω (Present Active Indicative)
1st Person SingularἁρπάζωI rob
2nd Person Singularἁρπάζειςyou rob
3rd Person Singularἁρπάζειhe/she/it robs
2nd Person Dualἁρπάζετον
3rd Person Dualἁρπάζετον
1st Person Pluralἁρπάζομενwe rob
2nd Person Pluralἁρπάζετεyou rob
3rd Person Pluralἁρπάζουσιthey rob


ἄγωlead, carry, bring.
ἁρπάζωseize, rob, plunder.
βουλεύωplan, plot.
ἔχωhave, hold.
λύωloose, destroy, break.
Ἑλληνικήadj., Greek.
πύλη, ης, ἡgate.
φυλακή, ῆς, ἡguard, garrison.
ἐξ(before a vowel), ἐκ (before a consonant), prep. with gen., out of, from a proclitic).
οὐ(before a consonant), οὐκ (before the smooth breathing), οὐχ (before the rough breathing), adv., not (a proclitic).


1. βουλεύει.
2. λύουσι.
3. ἔχεις.
4. πέμπεις.
5. ἔχετε.
6. βουλεύομεν.
7. ἄγω.
8. ἁρπάζει.
9. ἁρπάζετε.
10. πέμπουσι.


1. τὰς καλὰς σκηνὰς λύουσι.
2. οὐχ ἁρπάζω τὰς κώμᾱς.
3. τὴν φυλακὴν ἄγουσιν1 ἐκ τῶν σκηνῶν.
4. ἔχουσιν οἰκίᾱς καλάς.
5. αἱ κῶμαι πύλᾱς οὐκ ἔχουσιν.1
6. οὐ πέμπομεν τὴν φυλακήν.
7. ἁρπάζετε τὴν χώρᾱν;
8. ἐκ τῶν κωμῶν πέμπει τὴν στρατιάν.
9. ἐκ τῆς ἀγορᾶς ἄγεις τὴν Ἑλληνικὴν φυλακήν;

NOTE.—1 For ν movable, see 17.