BBG 16: Present Indicative Active « Previous  • 

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Review and Addenda

Review of Present Indicative Active

  • Action usually occurs in present time, from the point of view of the speaker or writer (16.14)
  • Aspect is either Simple (Undefined) or Continuous (Imperfective) (16.13)
  • The Active voice indicates that the subject is performing the action of the verb
  • The Indicative mood states a fact or asks a question. The relationship of the verb to reality is that of actuality, as opposed to wish, desire, probability, command.
  • Components: Present Tense Stem, Connecting Vowel and Personal Ending (16.3)
    • Tense Stem (16.4) – the most basic form of the verb, like the stem of a noun.
      • It carries the basic, primitive meaning of the verb
      • It is usually the same in all tenses
      • You find the stem by removing the connecting vowel, and personal ending.
    • Connecting Vowel (16.5) (a.k.a “thematic vowel”) -
      • makes verbs more euphonious, i.e. easier to pronounce
      • when personal ending begins with μ or ν it is omicron
      • otherwise it is epsilon
      • when there is no ending, it can be either
    • Personal Ending (16.6,11)
      • designates Person and Number
      • personal endings indicate the agreement of the verb with its subject (in person and number)
      • when subject is expressed, you can confirm by checking verb’s personal ending
      • either Primary or Secondary – the Present Tense uses Primary endings
    • Active Voice (16.8) – subject does the action, as compared with Middle and Passive Voices
    • The Paradigm and the endings (16.10, 16.11)
  • Personal pronouns in the Nominative Case (16.15)
    • These are optional. When included, it is often for emphasis.
    • The pronoun lets you know the gender of the subject, which the personal ending by itself does not.
    • See Exegetical Insight ἐγώ εἰμι (subject is implicit in Greek verb, when stated explicitly, is is often for emphasis)
  • See Smyth on Present System of Verb

Master Verb Ending Chart (BBG p.352)

Voice Primary
  λύ ω (-)   ἔ λυ ο ν (ν)
  λύ εις (ς)   ἔ λυ ε ς (ς)
  λύ ει (ι)   ἔ λυ ε(ν) (-)
  λύ ο μεν (μεν)   ἐ λύ ο μεν (μεν)
  λύ ε τε (τε)   ἐ λύ ε τε (τε)
  λύ ουσι(ν) (νσι)   ἐ λυ ο ν (ν)
Middle & Passive
  λύ ο μαι (μαι)   ἐ λυ ό μην (μην)
  λύ ῃ (σαι)   ἐ λύ ου (σο)
  λύ ε ται (ται)   ἐ λύ ε το (το)
  λυ ό μεθα (μεθα)   ἐ λυ ό μεθα (μεθα)
  λύ ε σθε (σθε)   ἐ λύ ε σθε (σθε)
  λύ ο νται (νται)   ἐ λύ ο ντο (ντο)

Master Indicative Verb Chart (BBG p.354)

Verb Tense Augment/
1st Person
Present Active Present ο/ε Primary Active λύω
Present Middle/Passive Present ο/ε Primary Middle/Passive λύομαι
Imperfect Active ε Present ο/ε Secondary Active ἔλυον
Imperfect Middle/Passive ε Present ο/ε Secondary Middle/Passive ἐλυόμην
Future Active Future Active σ ο/ε Primary Active λύσω
Liquid Future Active Future Active εσ ο/ε Primary Active μενῶ
Future Middle Future Active σ ο/ε Primary Middle/Passive πορεύομαι
Liquid Future Middle Future Active εσ ο/ε Primary Middle/Passive μενοῦμαι
1st Future Passive Aorist Passive θησ ο/ε Primary Middle/Passive λυθήσομαι
2nd Future Passive Aorist Passive ησ ο/ε Primary Middle/Passive ἀποσταλήσομαι
1st Aorist Active ε Aorist Active σα Secondary Active ἔλυσα
1st Aorist Middle ε Aorist Active σα Secondary Middle/Passive ἐλυσάμην
1st Aorist Passive ε Aorist Passive θη Secondary Active ἐλύθην
Liquid Aorist Active ε Aorist Active α Secondary Active ἔμεινα
2nd Aorist Active ε Aorist Active ο/ε Secondary Active ἔλαβον
2nd Aorist Middle ε Aorist Active ο/ε Secondary Middle/Passive ἐγενόμην
2nd Aorist Passive ε Aorist Passive η Secondary Active ἐγράφην
1st Perfect Active λε Perfect Active κα Primary Active λέκυκα
2nd Perfect Active λε Perfect Active α Primary Active γέγονα
Perfect Middle/Passive λε Perfect Passive Primary Middle/Passive λέκυμαι
  • Exegetical Insight for chapter 17 – Example of the importance of the Continuous Aspect of the Present Tense

Contract Verbs

  • DEFINITION: Contract verbs are verbs which have stems ending in α, ε, or ο (alpha, epsilon and omicron), e.g. ἀγαπάω
  • The final vowel of the verb stem (α, ε, or ο) is called the Contract Vowel and combines with with the connecting vowel and contracts to from a vowel or diphthong
  • Contract verbs are categorized by the three stem vowels (α, ε, or ο), and in each category the forms are consistent
  • Contraction occurs only in 2 tenses: The Present and the Imperfect (chapter 21), both of which are built on the Present Tense Stem
  • RULES OF CONTRACTION generalized (17.5)
  • ου <- εο οε οο
  • ει <- εε
  • ω <- ο_ ω_ _ο _ ω (almost any combination of ο or ω with any other vowel(s) )
  • α <- αε ( ᾳ <- αει )
  • η <- εα (ῃ <- εαι)
  • οι <- οει
  • Contraction of Diphthongs (17.5.7)
    1. Double letters simplify, i.e. one of the two drops out ει <- ε ει
    2. Final iotas subscript, if possible
    3. Final upsilons drop off
  • Contract verbs contract based on the visible endings, not the actual ones
  • RULES OF CONTRACTION by stem (see Mounce General Appendix, for full table)
    • Alpha Contracts (α) – ἀγαπάω
      • α + ε = α
      • α + ει = ᾳ
      • α + ο = ω
      • α + ου = ω
    • Epsilon Contracts (ε) – ποιέω (by far the most common)
      • ε + ε = ει
      • ε + ει = ει
      • ε + ο = ου
      • ε + ου = ου
    • Omicron Contracts (ο) – πληρόω
      • ο + ε = ου
      • ο + ει = οι
      • ο + (anything else) = ω
  • The paradigm for Present Active Indicate contract verbs (17.6)
    • Work through the paradigms, applying the rules to actual verb forms (ἀγαπάω, ποιέω, πληρόω) explaining all the contractions
    • There is almost always a circumflex over contracted vowels. Since the accent of verbs is recessive the circumflex helps you recognize that a particular verb form is a contract, because the circumflex accent is on the ultima, i.e. two syllable have been combined into one
    • The Contracted Endings are recognizable, and almost the same as with non-contract verbs
    • Remember the rules for connecting vowels, as it will help you determine which kind of contract stem (α, ε, or ο) you are dealing with. (17.8)
  • See Smyth on Contract Verbs

Review New Vocabulary

  • Lexical form of contract verb shows the uncontracted form
  • Note the ϝ in the Present Tense Stem of καλέω (see 17.12)
  • οἶδα – actually the perfect form of obsolete verb εἴδω, (root ϝιδ [‘wid’] “I see”, cognate of Latin video), hence perfect “I have seen” = “I know”
  • ὅταν is a crasis of ὅτε (when) + ἄν (makes indefinite), hence “whenever”
  • ποιέω – several noun forms (ποιητής, ποιήμα) See Lexical Aids, pp. 42-43
  • Praying in Greek (sidenote)


  • Continue your life habit of reading Greek aloud from the Greek New Testament
  • Study chapters 17, and complete workbook exercise 17
  • Quiz next week on chapter 17
    • What a contract verb is, and the 3 possible contract vowels
    • The major rules of contraction, and be able to apply them
    • All vocabulary to date
    • Parsing of anything we have had to date, especially contract verbs
    • Translation
  • Read chapter 18 on the Present Indicative Middle/Passive
  • Lexical Aids: Study Part I pp.8-10 and review pp.1-8 to know all words with NT occurrences > 150. Pay special attentive to the derivatives
  • Continue taking your Greek NT to church with you, and follow along
  • Memory passages: Matthew 5.3

Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.

The Lord’s Prayer (Listen)

Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς·
ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου· ἐλθέτω ἡ βασιλεία σου· γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου, ὡς ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς·
τὸν ἄρτον ἡμῶν τὸν ἐπιούσιον δὸς ἡμῖν σήμερον· καὶ ἄφες ἡμῖν τὰ ὀφειλήματα ἡμῶν, ὡς καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀφήκαμεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν·
καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν, ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ.
ὅτι σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία καὶ ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. ἀμήν.