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Review and Addenda

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)

  1. ου <- εο οε οο
  2. ει <- εε
  3. ω <- ο_ ω_ _ο _ ω (almost any combination of ο or ω with any other vowel(s) )
  4. α <- αε ( ᾳ <- αει )
  5. η <- εα (ῃ <- εαι)
  6. οι <- οει
  7. Contraction of Diphthongs (17.5.7)
    • Double letters simplify, i.e. one of the two drops out ει <- ε ει
    • Final iotas subscript, if possible
    • Final upsilons drop off
  8. Contract verbs contract based on the visible endings, not the actual ones


(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 Indicatative 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)

Video Lectures


  • Continue your life habit of reading Greek aloud
  • 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 passage: Matthew 5.3 - Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.

The Lord's Prayer

ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑθθΑΙΟΝ 6.9-13
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.

χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη,
Διδάσκαλος Ἀνδρέας