|ἄγω||I lead, bring, drive|
|ἀκούω||I hear||Cognate: acoustics|
|βάλλω||I throw, cast||Cognate: ballistics|
|βλέπω||I see, look at|
|γινώσκω||I know||Cognate: Gnostics, diagnosis|
|γράφω||I write||Cognate: telegraph, graphics|
|εὑρίσκω||I find||Cognate: eurika! Note the rough breathing|
|ἔχω||I have, hold||don't mix this up with echo (although they sound alike).|
We get our word echo (reflected sound) from ἤχω which means "I wail."
|θέλω||I wish, will||in classical Greek this word is ἐθέλω|
|λέγω||I say, speak||Cognate: "-ology"|
|λαμβάνω||I receive, take||not "take" as in "steal"; but responding to what is offered|
|λύω||I loose, break, destroy||Cognate: analysis means to break up into its component parts|
|παύω||I stop, cease||Cognate: pause|
|φεύγω||I flee||Cognate: fugitive|
|φυλάσσω||I guard||Cognate: prophylactic. In classical Greek, this word is φυλάττω.|
- Verbs are words which indicate an action or a state (e.g., jump, develop, climb, is, seems).
- When we looked at nouns we said the various forms of a particular noun are "declined" into case, gender, and number.
- Now we look at verbs which are "conjugated" or "parsed" into five characteristics: tense, mode, voice, person, and number.
- The tense of a verb in English indicates the time of action (present, past, future).
- Greek verbs indicate two things:
- time of action
- kind of action
- spot action
- continuous action
- spot action with continuing results
- The most important feature of Greek verbs is the kind of action, not its time.
- time of action
- Continuous action is shown in the Greek present tense and imperfect tense.
- You might think of these tenses as a video-camera view of the action. It is on-going.
- While the word γράφω may mean I write, it may also be translated: I am writing, I keep on writing. In some instances, it may be translated: I do write.
- The basic idea of the present tense is that of continuous or continual action.
- Thus "He is coughing all night" may mean that it was one steady, eight-hour cough (continuous), or it may mean the sessions of coughing were interspersed by periods of silence (continual).
- Spot action is shown in the aorist tense.
- You might think of this tense as a snapshot. "He hit me."
- In some instances, this tense may be used to describe something as a spot action, which may have taken quite a long time to do.
- For instance, "He built a house." It may have taken eight months to build the house, but that whole period of time is seen as one event.
- Further details on this tense will be indicated in future lessons.
- Another kind of action is found in the perfect tense. This tense indicates spot action with on-going results. "I have built a house with the on-going result that the house is still standing."
- When we talk about mode (some grammars call it mood), we usually indicate whether a particular verb action is actually happening or might happen.
- The indicative mode gives factual information from the perspective of the writer or speaker:
- "I ran to town."
- "I am breathing."
- "I will kiss you tonight."
- Other modes indicate the possibility of happening:
- "Run to town!"
- "I would be running if I knew the direction."
- "I might be able to finish my assignment."
- "I wish I could kiss you."
- When we talk about voice, we are indicating the relationship between the subject and the verb.
- Is the subject doing the action?
- Is the subject receiving the action?
- Active voice: We use the active voice if the subject is doing the action: "The dog bit the postman."
- Passive voice: We use the passive voice if the subject receives the action: "The dog was bitten by the postman."
- Note: in each of these two sentences, "the dog" is the subject.
- In the first sentence the subject (the dog) is doing the biting
- But in the second sentence, the subject (the dog) is receiving the biting.
- Unlike English, Greek has another voice which we will study later.
- Some students confuse passive voice with past tense.
- The expression past tense indicates action which happened in the past.
- The passive voice means that the subject is receiving the action of the verb.
- Bill found a ball in his yard. The subject is Bill and he is doing the action—thus the voice of the verb is Active.
- Bill was found by the police. The subject is Bill and the police are doing the action—thus the voice of the verb is Passive.
- When the police found Bill, he was returned to his mother.
- There are two clauses (thus two verbs) here.
- In the first clause, the subject "police" is doing the action—thus the voice of the first verb is Active.
- In the second clause, the subject "he" (referring back to Bill) is receiving the action—thus the voice of the second verb is Passive.
- Bill lost his ball glove. The subject is doing the action—thus the verb is Active.
- Dad bought Bill a new glove. Again the verb is Active.
- Bill's old glove was found in the dog house. The subject glove is not doing the action—thus the verb is Passive.
- The glove was retrieved by Dad. Passive.
- The old glove will never be used again. Passive.
- In English, we must add a pronoun or noun to a verb in order to clarify who is doing the action.
- The verb "are running" may mean "we are running," "you are running," or "they are running."
- In Greek, the designation of who is the subject is indicated by attaching a personal ending (suffix) to the end of the stem of a verb.
- For example, γραφ- is the stem of the verb for the action of writing.
- By adding the appropriate personal endings, we discover who is writing.
- Thus γράφω means I write.
- The stem (or root) of the word is γραφ-.
- When we add the personal ending -ω, we discover that the subject, "I", is doing the writing.
- You will never find the stem by itself in any sentence—it will always have a personal ending.
- For instance, γράφει means he writes.
- Thus, the personal ending -ει indicates that the subject is the personal pronoun he, she, or it.
- You will learn the endings a little later in this lesson.
- Sometimes, the subject is already identified: ἄνθρωπος γράφει means a man writes.
- Don't translate it a man he writes.
- The word "he" is not necessary this time, because you have already identified who the personal ending refers to (a man) and you don't need the pronoun.
- Remember that a pronoun is a substitute for a noun.
- If we know the noun, we don't need the substitute.
- But we will still need the personal ending -ει.
- Number indicates singular or plural.
- In Classical Greek, there is a form for dual referring to a pair of people or things; but it does not appear in the New Testament.
|γράφω I write|
|1st||γράφω||I write||γράφομεν||we write|
|2nd||γράφεις||yous write||γράφετε||youp write|
|3rd||γράφει||he/she/it writes||γράφουσι||they write|
- Notice that each Greek verb is made up of three elements:
- the stem (γραφ-)
- the thematic vowel ο/ε (sometimes called the connecting vowel)
- the ending
- Examples of the thematic vowel:
- In some instances, the thematic vowel is hidden in the ending: γράφω
- The stem (or root) is always the same: γράφ-
- The thematic vowel is either ο or ε.
- It follows this rule:
- ο always comes before the letters μ or ν
- while ε comes before the others.
- This rule will make more sense later.
- You will note that there are apparent exceptions to this rule in the first and last words: γράφω and γράφουσι.
- This discrepancy came about because the original pattern was:
γράφομι γράφομεν here the rule works γράφεσι γράφετε γράφετι γράφοντσι
- In the process of time, some of these words experienced contraction.
- Similarly, in English, "do not" became "don't."
- In Greek,
- -ομι became -ω
- -εσι became -εις
- -ετι became -ει
- -οντσι became -ουσι.
- Some of the rules of contraction will be explored in later lessons.
- You don't have to learn the original pattern. Instead, concentrate on the contracted pattern.
- Learn the endings -ω, -εις, -ει, -ομεν, -ετε, -ουσι.
- They sound like "Oh, ice, eye, ah-men, et-uh, oo-see"
- The endings indicate both person and number.
- The first person is the one closest at hand: e.g., I or we.
- The second person is the next nearest one: e.g., you. In Old English, the word thou was used for the second person singular and ye for plural.
- The third person is the furthest one away: e.g., he, she, it, they.
- Number indicates singular or plural.
- To parse a verb means to indicate its characteristics of tense, mode, voice, person, and number.
- Thus γράφεις is parsed by saying it is present, indicative, active, second person, singular.
- The stem of each one of these verbs is found by removing the final ω from the Greek vocabulary word.
- Add the appropriate personal endings to form the meaning you want.
- You should memorize the endings
-ω, -εις, -ει, -ομεν, -ετε, -ουσι.
- When a sentence has no subject indicated, use the pronoun found within the personal ending of the verb.
- Thus βλέπει ἄνθρωπον means he sees a man.
- You will notice that the word ἄνθρωπον is in the ACC case, so it cannot be the subject of the sentence.
- Thus you must not translate it: A man sees.
- If the subject (a word in the NOM case) is identified, you do not need to repeat the pronoun.
- Thus ἀπόστολος βλέπει ἄνθρωπον means An apostle sees a man.
- Do not translate it An apostle he sees a man.
- The word he is not necessary because you already know the subject.
- Pronouns are substitutes for missing subjects.
- In order to translate effectively, here is some help
- Learn all the words given in the vocabulary.
- Learn all the forms as they are presented in each lesson.
- Note the significance of the various nouns in the translation sentences—are they singular or plural? What case are they?
- Note the tense, mode, voice, person, and number of each verb.
- Read the Greek sentence aloud.
- Note familiar and cognate words. Cognate words are words that are similar in both Greek and English.
- Group words together by their endings (i.e., keep a group of words in the GEN case together).
- Do not jump around in the sentence, follow the logical order.
- The most emphatic word is at the beginning of a sentence or clause; the next most important is at the end of that sentence or clause.
- Consult a dictionary or lexicon as a last resort.
- Put your English translation above each Greek word. If you are not sure of a particular word, leave it and do the others. Then come back and try the ones you left blank.
- Locate the noun in the NOM case—that is probably your subject. If there is no NOM noun, maybe the verb contains the pronoun idea.
- For other nouns, check the case.
- If it is in the GEN case, put either of/from in front of your English word.
- Later you can consider which of your options (e.g., of a river or from a river) works best.
- If it is in the DAT case, write in/by/to in front of your English word (most often it will be to).
- If the noun is in the ACC case, it will probably be the direct object.
- If it is still unclear, copy out the parts of the sentence which are clear.
- Then leave the sentence to work on another one.
- When you are done, come back to the sentences which were incomplete.
- Reread the sentence in Greek until it becomes clear.
- Translate into clear and accurate English.
- If the exercise has an English word in brackets, it means that the Greek word to the left was not included in the vocabulary, so its meaning is given to you.
- ἄνθρωπος γράφει.
- A man writes.
- Not: The man writes.
- If there is no article "the" in the Greek sentence, then translate it "a" in the singular.
- Note also, it is not A man he writes.
- If you know the subject, drop the "he."
- ἄνθρωποι γράφουσι ἀποστόλῳ.
- Men write to an apostle.
- "Men" is the subject, not "apostle," because "men" is in the NOM case.
- γράφουσι is the third person plural "they write" -- that's another clue.
- "Apostle" is in the DAT case, note the iota-subscript.
- Technically this word could be translated "for an apostle," "at an apostle," "with an apostle," "in an apostle."
- The context will make the sense clear.
- Probably "to" or "for" makes the most sense.
- δοῦλος ἀνθρώπου λέγει λόγον.
- A slave of a man speaks a word.
- "Slave" must be the subject because it is the only noun in the NOM case.
- "Man" is in the GEN case and thus the need for "of," "from," or even "off of."
- Probably "of" is best.
- Be sure not to put a "the" in front of "man."
- "Speaks" is in the third person singular form.
- "Word" is in the ACC case.
- It receives the action.
- It is the direct object.
- ἀνθρώπου δούλος λόγον λέγει.
- A slave of a man speaks a word.
- This is translated just like the previous sentence.
- The emphasis is different, but the literal translation is exactly the same no matter what the word order is like.
- So, to translate a sentence like this, find the NOM case and verb.
- Admittedly man is at the front of the sentence, but only slave is in the NOM case.
- In the translation exercise below, the little words (ὁ, οἱ, τοῦ, τοῦς, τὸν, τῷ, τῶν, τοῖς) all mean the. We will study them in the next lesson.
Translate the following:
- ὁ ἀδελφὸς τοῦ ἀγγέλου βλέπει τοῦς ἀποστόλους.
- γινώσκετε τὸν γάμον τοῦ δούλου.
- ἄνθρωποι λύουσι τὸν θρόνον λίθοις.
- εὑρίσκομεν ἄρτον καὶ οἶνον τῷ οἶκῳ.
- ἔχω υἱόν.
- λέγω λόγους τοῖς ὄχλοις καὶ βάλλεις λίθους ἐν [in] τῷ ποταμῷ.
- λαμβάνομεν νόμους τῶν ἀποστόλων.
- ὁ υἱος παύει χρόνον καὶ ὁ ὄχλος παύει τὸν γάμον.
- πέμπoμεν ἀρτον, καρπὸν, καὶ οἶνον τοῖς δούλοις.
- οἱ ὄχλοι φεύγουσι καὶ οἱ φίλοι τοῦ ἀγγέλου ἄγει τοὺς δούλους τῷ τόπῳ τοῦ θρόνου.