Imperative greek verbs

Lesson 1. Lesson 2. Lesson 3. Lesson 4. Lesson 5. Lesson 6. Lesson 7. Lesson 8. Lesson 9. As noted in lesson 1 of this course, there has not been unanimity regarding the classification of the imperative as a mood.

But because we have been discussing mood in terms of contingency, it makes sense to think of the imperative as a mood. When you instruct or command someone to do something, the performance of the instructed action is contingent upon the person's compliance. But the contingency is of a more specific sort than that indicated by the subjunctive mood.

The subject of the imperative verb is the one who is commanded or instructed. In English, we will often leave the subject unstated. We say the subject is "you" understood. For example, a parent tells a child, "Clean your room. Its subject is not explicitly stated, but is understood to be you. In English, true imperatives are always 2nd person verbs. Of course, we wouldn't expect a 1st person imperative. It doesn't make much sense to go around commanding or instructing oneself.

Nor does English have 3rd person imperatives. But unlike English, Greek verbs are conjugated so that it is possible to give a command or instruction using a 3rd person imperative verb. So in Greek, we have 2nd person imperative forms and 3rd person imperative forms.

Translating 3rd person imperatives into English is a bit tricky. If we say "He clean his room," it doesn't sound like a command; it just sounds like bad grammar. If we say, "Him clean his room," we have an objective case pronoun used as a subject. Instead, we end up using a work-around in English. Where the Greek has a 3rd person imperative, a command or instruction to a 3rd personEnglish translations usually say "Let him Note carefully that although the English sentence might be diagrammed so that the word "let" would be considered a 2nd person imperative with "you" understood as the subject, the Greek phrase which is thus translated is a 3rd person imperative, a command or an instruction of which the subject is a third party.

Examples will be offered below in the section under Syntax. In many contexts, imperatives are more entreaties than commands.The Ancient Greek infinitive is a non-finite verb formsometimes called a verb moodwith no endings for person or numberbut it is unlike in Modern English inflected for tense and voice for a general introduction in the grammatical formation and the morphology of the Ancient Greek infinitive see here and for further information see these tables.

It is used mainly to express acts, situations and in general "states of affairs" [1] that are depended on another verb form, usually a finite one. It is a non declinable nominal verb form equivalent to a nounand expresses the verbal notion abstractly; used as a noun in its main uses, it has many properties of it, as it will be seen below, yet it differs from it in some respects: [2].

The articular infinitive [3] corresponds to a cognate verbal noun in singular number only. It can be used in any case nominative, genitive, dative, accusative and thus participate in a construction just like any other noun: it can be subject, object direct or indirectpredicative expression rarelyor it may also serve as an apposition ; it may have an adnominal e.

In all the preceding passages the articular infinitive is in the present tense stem; yet this is by no means a rule, since it can be used in any tense stem, denoting a variety of aspectual differences For more details see below the discussion about the present and aorist dynamic infinitive. The infinitive without the article is of two sorts and has two discrete uses: the dynamic infinitive and the declarative infinitive.

The difference between the present and the aorist infinitive of this sort is aspect or stage of action, not the tense —despite their tense stem, such infinitives always have a future reference, because of the volitive meaning of their governing verb.

More specifically, an infinitive in the present verb stem lays stress on "the process or course of the state of affairs", and in many cases has "an immediative" semantic force, while an infinitive in the aorist verb stem lays stress "on the completion of the state of affairs, expressing a well-defined or well-delineated state of affairs".

Analogous aspectual dinstinctions between the present and aorist verbal stem are present also in the use of finite moods as the imperative and the subjunctive [17] and even the optative of wishes [18] in independent clauses.

The latter means that it represents a corresponding finite verb form of the oratio recta of the direct speech or discourse[23] thus a declarative infinitive denotes both tense and aspect or stage of action.

But the present infinitive represents either a present indicative or an imperfect one, [24] and a perfect infinitive either a perfect indicative or a pluperfect one. For the difference between the present and aorist dynamic infinitive see the discussion in the above section. I swear that I gave the money back. In general, Greek is a pro drop language or a null-subject language : it does not have to express the always in nominative case subject of a finite verb form either pronoun or noununless it is communicatively or syntactically important e.

The construction where an accusative noun or pronoun functions as the subject of an infinitive is called accusative and infinitive See also the homonymous Latin construction accusativus cum infinitivo ACIwhich is the rule -in indirect speech- even in cases where verb and infinitive have co-referential subjects.

In the following examples the infinitival clause is put in square brackets [] :. Articulated substantive as subject of the finite verb would have been put in nominative case. Articulated substantive -subject of the finite verb- and predicate adjective both in nominative case.

This construction, accusative and infinitive, is also always in place when the main verb is an impersonal one or an impersonal verbal expression, and the infinitival clause functions as its subject here also there is no indirect speech.

Of course, in such cases the infinitive has a subject of its own. An example:. When the subject of the infinitive is identical coreferential with the subject of the governing verb, then normally it is omitted and understood in the nominative case. The phenomenon is traditionally understood to be some kind of case attraction [56] for a modern perspective and relevant modern terminology see also big PRO and little pro and control constructions.

In the following examples infinitival clauses are bracketed []; coreferent items are indexed by means of a subscripted "i". Note: there are certain cases where the subject of the infinitive, whether of the declarative or the dynamic type, is put in accusative case, eventhough it is co-referent with the subject of the main verb; in this mechanism emphasis or contrast is present.

When the infinitival subject is coreferent with a word constructed with the governing verb in a higher syntactic level, in other words, when the subject of the infinitive is itself a second argument of the governing verb, then it is normally omitted and understood either in the oblique case in which the second argument is put see also in the previous paragraph the reference to PRO and control structuresor in the accusative as if in an accusative and infinitive construction but with the accusative noun or pronoun obligatorily suppressed and implied.

In all the above examples the case of the subject of the infinitive is governed by the case requirements of the main verb and "the infinitive is appended as a third argument" [64] Concerning the second and third examples, in modern linguistic terms we have to do with an object control construction.

As far as the genitive is concerned, a predicate substantive or a participle normally stands in the accusative while an adjective may stand either in accusative or in genitive case. This construction is obligatory when the infinitive is governed by a participle in any oblique case, more usually an attributive one and in the nominative also. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Grammar of the Greek language for the use in high schools and colleges. Translated by B. Edwards and S. Braunsweigpp.

Infinitive (Ancient Greek)

The syntax and semantics of the verb in classical Greek. The University of Chicago Press,pp. A Greek grammar for colleges. Cambridge University Press, Third edition,p.The following imperatives are the most frequently encountered in Greek. As you read this section, it may be helpful to download and consult this handout: Chart of Common Imperatives.

This is the most common ending, in fact, for 2nd person singular active imperatives. For verbs of three or more syllables, however, the accent distinguishes between the two:. Remember that as a general rule of pronunciation in Greek, two consecutive syllables cannot each have aspiration S b. A Greek speaker uses the imperative mood in the third person to convey to the listener s a command for someone else to do something.

English has only a few phrases that preserve 3rd person commands, such as:. For each of the following imperatives, provide the person, number, tense, and voice. Ancient Greek for Everyone by Wilfred E. Skip to content Grave monument of a girl.

Athenian Agora Excavations. Common Imperatives The following imperatives are the most frequently encountered in Greek. Men of Athens, release the horses! Men of Athens, ransom the horses!

Men of Athens, get the horses! Men of Athens, take the horses! King, release your horse! King, hold on to your horse! King, leave your horse! King, ransom the horses! King, take the horse for yourself! King, release the horses! English has only a few phrases that preserve 3rd person commands, such as: S omeone help him! No one move! When translating the Greek, the helper verb let is one way to translate the idea: Let someone else do it!

Let it be done! He is to release the horses. He is to ransom the horses.

imperative greek verbs

They are to release the horses. They are to ransom the horses. The horse is to be released. The horses are to be released. Exercises 1. The imperative mood in Ancient Greek can be formed in what person s?The verb heading the predicate may also be in the imperative mood, as in English, but it is in the common use of the subjunctive that Greek differs most markedly from English.

The imperative and subjunctive are used both in independent sentences and main clauses of complex sentencesand in included sentences. In this section attention will be devoted primarily to the subjunctive and imperative as employed in independent sentences and main clauses. Commands and requests may, of course, be expressed in other ways i. Give him an inch might be said to be the equivalent of If you give him an inch. In sum, the imperative is the normal mood of commands, requests, and petitions, but it is not the only way of expressing these 'moods,' nor is it limited to them cf.

The imperative in Greek corresponds in most important respects to the imperative in English. It is distinguished formally from the indicative by the deletion of -s in the 3.

An alternative construction with the infinitive is more colloquial:. The only other verb in which the subjunctive is formally distinguished from the indicative, except in the present 3. Be is the present subjunctive and were is the past subjunctive:. These forms are also sometimes avoided in colloquial speech by using alternative constructions, e. In extemporaneous formulations, however, there is a tendency to substitute the indicative forms of be for the subjunctive in constructions comparable to xxiii :.

It is used in a great variety of ways, some of which are quite comparable to those illustrated above for English, others of which are alien to English. These generalizations, however, have little bearing on the common uses of the imperative and subjunctive in hellenistic Greek. The same principle applies to the subjunctive of prohibition which replaces the aorist in negative injunctions, 2.

What this means specifically can best be set out, and exceptions noted, in relation to particular types of expression.

In general, the present imperative is preferred for general injunctions precepts, attitudes, conductthe aorist for conduct in specific cases, e. In considering the force of tense as aspect in the imperative and subjunctivethis is a good first question to put to the text.

Nevertheless, there are notable exceptions to this generalization, e. For example, in the sequence of injunctions in Mt. In fact, it occurs only in the present and imperfect in any mood. It would therefore be a serious error to attach special significance to this present imperative occurring among a series of aorists in Mt ff.

The data for a study of individual verbs have not yet been collected from a significant body of texts the use of concordances is a cumbersome and time consuming method. For that matter, the data for an analysis of tense-aspect in general are not yet readily available. Traditional Greek grammar has operated largely on intuitions based on theory and a few random examples.

Prohibitions are expressed by the present imperative or the aorist subjunctive 2. It is the general pattern in Indo-European languages that negative commands are expressed by the present imperative not subjunctive and the aorist subjunctive not imperative.

imperative greek verbs

There are a few examples of the 3. Compare, for example, the parallel sentences in Mt. However, 10 cannot then mean continue laying upbut must be read as a general injunction, in which case it is indistinguishable from the categorical aorist command cf.

The Indicative and Imperative Moods

When positive and negative injunctions are not paired, the decision is more difficult: in the long list of injunctions in 1 Thess ff. The aorist imperative is characteristically used in other contexts, or may carry other nuances.

The present imperative is used in a specifically iterative or durative sense, sometimes without reference to past conduct.Ancient Greek verbs have four moods indicativeimperativesubjunctive and optativethree voices activemiddle and passiveas well as three persons first, second and third and three numbers singular, dual and plural. The distinction of the "tenses" in moods other than the indicative is predominantly one of aspect rather than time. There are three persons in the singular "I", "you singular ", "he, she, it"and three in the plural "we", "you plural ", "they".

In addition there are endings for the 2nd and 3rd persons dual "you two", "they both"but these are only very rarely used. The endings are classified into primary those used in the present, future, perfect and future perfect of the indicative, as well as in the subjunctive and secondary used in the aorist, imperfect, and pluperfect of the indicative, as well as in the optative. This augment is found only in the indicative, not in the other moods or in the infinitive or participle.

Unlike the augment of past tenses, this reduplication or augment is retained in all the moods of the perfect tense as well as in the perfect infinitive and participle. Ancient Greek also preserves the PIE middle voice and adds a passive voice, with separate forms only in the future and aorist elsewhere, the middle forms are used.

The endings of these tend to be regular:. The forms in brackets are the dual number, used for two people, and which exists only in the 2nd and 3rd person; it is rather rare, but still used sometimes by authors such as Aristophanes and Plato :. The endings of the present tense go as follows:. Passive verbs, in the present, imperfect, and perfect tenses, have exactly the same endings as middle verbs.

A special class of thematic verbs are the contracted verbs. Contracted verbs are also found in the middle and passive voices, e. These verbs present many irregularities in conjugation. Athematic verbs are also found in the middle voice, e. Its endings are those of an athematic perfect tense, and go as follows: [5]. The temporal distinctions only appear in the indicative mood as shown on the table below: [6].

In the subjunctive and imperative moodshowever, only three tenses are used, [8] and they distinguish aspect only, not time:. The optative mood likewise uses these three tenses, but there is also a future optative, used mainly to report indirectly what would be a future indicative in direct speech. Ancient Greek has no perfect progressive or past perfect progressive.

Thus, the meaning "he has been doing" is typically expressed with the present tense, and "he had been doing earlier " is expressed with the imperfect tense: [10].

For further information on the endings, see Ancient Greek grammar tables. Dictionaries of Ancient Greek usually give six principal parts for any verb. Other tenses can be formed on the basis of these. However, it differs from the imperfect in that the stem of the verb is different. Many verbs have an aorist without the sigma markers and characteristic endings of the regular aorist.

Typically these verbs have present progressive markers added to the stem in the present system, so that the basic stem is used in the aorist and in the other aspects. This verb has only four principal parts, since there is no passive:. This past-tense augment is found only in the indicative mood, not in the subjunctive, infinitive, participle, or other parts of the verb.

When a verb starts with a vowel, the augment usually merges with the vowel to make a long vowel.Just like Greek nouns, the Greek verb also changes form the Greek 'spelling', so to speak.

The form changes based upon the subject of the verb and the kind of action indicated. As was mentioned earlier, Greek is a fully "inflected language. The prefix, suffix, and verbal stem all combine together to define a certain form of a verb. Each verb form indicates a specific meaning.

Ancient Greek verbs

There are five basic parts or aspects that are clearly defined or indicated by every Greek verb form. See below for details of these five aspects of Greek verbs. There are three main classes of grammatical person in both English and Greek. Person indicates the form of the verb and also pronouns which refer to: 1 the person s speaking First Person 2 the person s being spoken to Second Person and 3 the person s being spoken of or about Third Person.

For example: "Because I liveyou shall live also. Second Person: 'you live' - the person being spoken to i. Third Person: 'He lives' - the person being spoken about i. The concept of grammatical number is quite straightforward in both English and Koine Greek. It is the property of a verb and nouns and pronouns also which indicates whether the reference is to one singular or to more than one plural.

Classical Greek at one time had a 'dual' number which made a distinction for 'two', besides the customary singular and plural.

Each grammatical person First, Second, and Third can be either singular or plural in number. For example: Singular Number: "For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, Plural Number: "For we are His workmanship," Eph. Active Voice Grammatical voice indicates whether the subject is the performer of the action of the verb active voiceor the subject is the recipient of the action passive voice.

If the subject of the sentence is executing the action, then the verb is referred to as being in the active voice. For example: "Jesus was baptizing the people" paraphrase of John ; ,2. Passive Voice Grammatical voice indicates whether the subject is the performer of the action of the verb active voiceor the subject is the recipient of the action passive voice. If the subject of the sentence is being acted upon, then the verb is referred to as being in the passive voice.

For example: "Jesus He is the recipient of the actiontherefore the verb is said to be in the "Passive Voice". Middle Voice The Greek middle voice shows the subject acting in his own interest or on his own behalf, or participating in the results of the verbal action. In overly simplistic terms, sometimes the middle form of the verb could be translated as "the performer of the action actually acting upon himself" reflexive action.

For example: "I am washing myself. This is said to be in the "Middle Voice".In general, mood is the feature of the verb that presents the verbal action or state with reference to its actuality or potentiality. Voice indicates how the subject relates to the action or state of the verb; tense is used primarily to portray the kind of action. There are four moods in Greek: indicative, subjunctive, optative, and imperative. See further qualifications in Wallace.

The indicative mood is, in general, the mood of assertion, or presentation of certainty. It is not correct to say that it is the mood of certainty or reality.

Greek Imperatives

This belongs to the presentation i. The indicative is routinely used to present an assertion as a non-contingent or unqualified statement. This is by far the most common use. The indicative can be used in a question. The question expects an assertion to be made; it expects a declarative indicative in the answer.

This contrasts with the subjunctive, which asks a question of moral "oughtness" or obligation, or asks whether something is possible. John He said to them, "What do you seek? This is the use of the indicative in the protasis of the conditional sentences. The conditional element is made explicit with the particle ei.

The indicative is used with verbs of obligation, wish, or desire, followed by an infinitive.

imperative greek verbs

The nature of the verb root, rather than the indicative, is what makes it look like a potential mood in its semantic force. The future indicative is sometimes used for a command, almost always in the OT quotations because of a literal translation of the Hebrew.

However, it was used even in classical Greek, though infrequently. Matt You shall not murder, you shall not commit adulteryyou shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness. The subjunctive is the most common of the oblique moods in the N.


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