The Imperfect Tense

Report
Ancient Greek for Everyone:
A New Digital Resource for
Beginning Greek
as taught at
Louisiana State University
Spring 2013
Albert Watanabe
Unit 11: The Imperfect Tense
Intermediate Greek
This class (someday, Month ##, 2013)
AGE Unit 11: The Imperfect Tense
• So far, all verbs have been in primary tenses, meaning that
the tenses refer to action in the present or future.
• This unit introduces a secondary tense (a tense that refers to
past), the imperfect tense.
Intermediate Greek
Building a Greek verb
• The Master List of Endings
– Posted in Moodle is a “Master List of Greek Verb Endings”
where you can see the overall scheme of verb endings. Here
you can see that you have learned the three sets of primary
endings (-μι, -ω or -μαι).
– Here you can also see the full sets of secondary endings.
– On the second sheet (= back side) are the other moods, of
which you have already learned the infinitive.
Intermediate Greek
• A Greek verb by itself usually communicates FIVE
pieces of information:
–
–
–
–
Person: 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Number: singular, plural
Tense: present, future, imperfect
Mood: indicative, infinitive
• The imperfect tense does not occur in the infinitive mood.
– Voice: active, middle
• This unit covers only active verbs.
Intermediate Greek
• The imperfect tense of Greek verbs:
– Fundamentally, the imperfect tense is the present tense shifted
back into the past.
– Verbs in the imperfect tense always have exactly the same stem
as they do in the present tense.
– Two markers combine to indicate the imperfect tense:
• An augment (ἐ-) precedes the stem.
• Secondary tenses of Greek verbs use endings slightly different from
those of primary tenses. As a secondary tense, the imperfect uses these
secondary endings.
Intermediate Greek
Conjugating a Greek verb
• In Unit 7, you learned that Greek has two conjugations:
– -μι verbs
– -ω verbs
• In the active voice, these conjugations use somewhat
different endings to designate person and number.
• This is true of both primary and secondary endings.
• This unit introduces only the active endings of the
secondary tenses. The middle endings for both
conjugations will be the same (as they are in primary
tenses).
Intermediate Greek
Building a Greek verb
• The secondary endings of -μι verbs are as follows:
• -ν = I (1st sg)
-μεν = we (1st pl)
• -ς = you (2nd sg)
-τε = y’all (2nd pl)
• - = (s)he, it (3rd sg)
-σαν = they (3rd pl)
Notice that the 3rd person singular has no ending,
so this form simply stops
with the ending of the verb’s present stem.
Intermediate Greek
Building a Greek verb
• Remember that -ω verbs have a thematic vowel, so the
secondary endings appear as follows:
• -ον = I (1st sg)
-ομεν = we (1st pl)
• -ες = you (2nd sg)
-ετε = y’all (2nd pl)
• -ε = (s)he, it (3rd sg)
-ον = they (3rd pl)
Notice that the 1st person singular and 3rd person plural
are identical.
Intermediate Greek
Building a Greek verb
• Remember that -ω verbs have a thematic vowel, so the
secondary endings appear as follows:
• -ον = I (1st sg)
-ομεν = we (1st pl)
• -ες = you (2nd sg)
-ετε = y’all (2nd pl)
• -ε = (s)he, it (3rd sg)
-ον = they (3rd pl)
Notice that the 1st person singular and 3rd person plural
are identical.
Intermediate Greek
Building a Greek verb
• Remember that, to begin building a Greek verb,
start with the “stem.”
• The stem tells what action the verb describes:
δεικ = “show”
λυ = “loosen, destroy”
λαβ = “take”
Intermediate Greek
Building a Greek verb
• Recall that some verbs add a marker (often a ν) to the stem
that says the verb is in the present tense.
• A verb always uses the same marker in the imperfect tense
that is uses in the present:
– δεικνυ = “show” (in the present)
– λυ = “loosen” (no marker in the present)
– λαμβαν = “take” (in the present)
Intermediate Greek
Building a Greek verb
• In secondary tenses, however, a Greek verb adds an
augment to the beginning of the stem.
• This augment used to be a separate word (ἐ), which meant
that the verb was in the past, and gradually it became a
prefix to the verb stem:
– ἐδεικνυ = “show” (in the imperfect)
– ἐλυ = “loosen” (in the imperfect)
– ἐλαμβαν = “take” (in the imperfect)
Intermediate Greek
• ἐδείκνυν
• ἐδείκνυς
• ἐδείκνυ
• ἐδείκνυμεν
• ἐδείκνυτε
• ἐδείκνυσαν
Building a Greek Verb
The Imperfect Indicative Active of δείκνυμι (GPH p. 157)
Intermediate Greek
• ἔλυον
• ἔλυες
• ἔλυε
• ἐλύομεν
• ἐλύετε
• ἔλυον
Building a Greek Verb
The Imperfect Indicative Active of λύω (GPH p. 70)
Intermediate Greek
• ἐλάμβανον
• ἐλάμβανες
• ἐλάμβανε
• ἐλαμβάνομεν
• ἐλαμβάνετε
• ἐλάμβανον
Building a Greek Verb
The Imperfect Indicative Active of λαμβάνω
Intermediate Greek
From Unit 2: -μι Verbs
•
•
•
•
•
•
δίδωμι give
τίθημι put, make
ἵστημι stand
ἵημι throw
εἰμί be
φημί say
Intermediate Greek
• ἐδίδουν
• ἐδίδους
• ἐδίδου
• ἐδίδομεν
• ἐδίδοτε
• ἐδίδοσαν
Notice that δίδωμι uses -ου- here in
the singular rather than -ω-, as it does
in the present tense.
Building a Greek Verb
The Imperfect Indicative Active of δίδωμι (GPH p. 124)
Intermediate Greek
• ἐτίθην
• ἐτίθεις
• ἐτίθει
• ἐτίθεμεν
• ἐτίθετε
• ἐτίθεσαν
Notice that τίθημι uses -ει- here in
the singular rather than -η-, as it does
in the present tense.
Building a Greek Verb
The Imperfect Indicative Active of τίθημι (GPH p. 146)
Intermediate Greek
Vowel contractions in the Imperfect Tense
• If the verb stem begins with a vowel, instead of adding
the augment -ε, the initial vowel lengthens (α and ε  η,
ο  ω).
• Verbs that have vowel contraction in the present tense
(Contract verbs, Unit 7) follow the same rules of vowel
contraction in the imperfect tense.
Intermediate Greek
• ἵστην
• ἵστης
• ἵστη
• ἵσταμεν
• ἵστατε
• ἵστασαν
This verb has a long vowel augment,
but it does not affect the way it the
vowel is written (since long and short
ι are written the same).
Building a Greek Verb
The Imperfect Indicative Active of ἵστημι (GPH p. 135)
Intermediate Greek
• ἵην
• ἵεις
• ἵει
• ἵεμεν
• ἵετε
• ἵεσαν
Notice that ἵημι uses -ει- here in the
singular rather than -η-, as it does in
the present tense
This verb has a long vowel augment,
but it does not affect the way it the
vowel is written (since long and short
ι are written the same).
Building a Greek Verb
The Imperfect Indicative Active of ἵημι
Intermediate Greek
• ἦ or ἦν
• ἦσθα
• ἦν
• ἦμεν
• ἦτε
• ἦσαν
Notice that εἰμί has irregularities in
the singular.
Building a Greek Verb
The Imperfect Indicative Active of εἰμί (GPH p. 178)
Intermediate Greek
• ἔφην
• ἔφης or ἔφησθα
• ἔφη
• ἔφαμεν
• ἔφατε
• ἔφασαν
Building a Greek Verb
The Imperfect Indicative Active of φημί (GPH p. 169)
Intermediate Greek
From Unit 7: Contract Verbs
• The rules of vowel contraction operate in verbs
when the stem ends in one of the vowels α, ε or ο.
• In these cases, this final vowel of the stem contracts
with the thematic vowel of “-ω verbs.”
Intermediate Greek
• (ἐ-αἵρεον ) ᾕρουν
• (ἐ-αἱρέομεν ) ᾑροῦμεν
• (ἐ-αἵρεες ) ᾕρεις
• (ἐ-αἱρέετε ) ᾑρεῖτε
• (ἐ-αἵρεε ) ᾕρει
• (ἐ-αἵρεον ) ᾕρουν
This verb has a long vowel augment.
Building a Greek Verb
The Imperfect Indicative Active of αἱρέω
Intermediate Greek
• (ἐ-ερώταον ) ἠρώτων
• (ἐ-ερωτάομεν ) ἠρωτῶμεν
• (ἐ-ερώταες ) ἠρώτας
• (ἐ-ερωτάετε ) ἠρωτᾶτε
• (ἐ-ερώταε ) ἠρώτα
• (ἐ-ερώταον ) ἠρώτων
This verb has a long vowel augment.
Building a Greek Verb
The Imperfect Indicative Active of ἐρωτάω
Intermediate Greek
• (ἐδήλοον ) ἐδήλουν
• (ἐδηλόομεν ) ἐδηλοῦμεν
• (ἐδήλοες ) ἐδήλους
• (ἐδηλόετε ) ἐδηλοῦτε
• (ἐδήλοε ) ἐδήλου
• (ἐδήλοον ) ἐδήλουν
Building a Greek Verb
The Imperfect Indicative Active of δηλόω GPH p. 119)
Intermediate Greek
Understanding the Imperfect Tense
• Fundamentally, the imperfect tense is the present tense
shifted back into the past.
• The present tense indicates that an action is currently
taking place.
• The imperfect tense indicates that an action was taking
place.
• Think of it as a bit of video of an action from the past.
Intermediate Greek
Translating the Imperfect Tense
• Traditionally, therefore, the imperfect is translated using
was/were + -ing forms. For example:
– ἐδίδουν = “I was giving”
– ἐδίδοσαν = “they were giving”
• In some contexts, a simple past in English sounds better,
even if the traditional translation also works (“they gave
every day” rather than “they were giving every day”).
• Sometimes other translations will make better sense in a
particular context (for example, “they used to give,” “they
kept giving”).
Intermediate Greek
• VOCABULARY: Although a Greek verb can morph into
many different forms, it is listed in a dictionary (Greek
“lexicon”) under just one form.
• As you have seen, verbs are listed in their 1st person, singular,
present, indicative, active form, with a -μι or -ω ending,
depending on the conjugation of the verb.
• Nothing about the imperfect tense affects how a Greek verb is
listed. The imperfect forms are not normally listed (even as a
principal part), so you need to be able to recognize the present
tense of a verb when you see it in the imperfect tense.
Intermediate Greek
• VOCABULARY
• Verbs with prefixes in the imperfect tense.
– Keep in mind that the augment attaches to the beginning of
the verb’s stem.
– Even if the verb is a compound with a prefix, the augment
is normally added directly to the stem:
ἐδίδοσαν = “they were giving”
παρα + ἐδίδοσαν = παρεδίδοσαν = “they were delivering”
Intermediate Greek
• Next class (someday, Month ##, 2013)
– Classical reading
– Biblical reading

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