Lesson 14: Greek verbs, Active voice, Revision

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In order to close the chapter on the Active voice of Greek verbs, today we shall examine

  • the Auxiliary verbs ‘to be’ (είμαι) and ‘to have’ (έχω) in the remaining tenses and modes,
  • the Impersonal verbs, and
  • some Irregular verbs.
Then, we shall proceed to a brief recapitulation (revision) of what we have learnt up to now regarding the conjugation of verbs, so that we’ll be ready to get into the Passive voice in our next lessons.

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I. Auxiliary verbs

In Greek, auxiliary verbs are what we call ‘defective’, meaning that they cannot be conjugated in all tenses.

a) είμαι

We have already seen how the verb is conjugated in the Present tense. Let’s see some more of it.

Imperfect

Singular Plural
εγώ ήμουν εμείς ήμασταν
εσύ ήσουν εσείς ήσασταν
αυτός ήταν αυτοί ήταν


Future

Singular Plural
θα είμαι θα είμαστε
θα είσαι θα είστε
θα είναι θα είναι

Imperative: No Imperative in modern Greek for verb ‘to be’

Participle (Present): όντας

 

b) έχω

 Imperfect

Singular  Plural
εγώ είχα εμείς είχαμε
εσύ είχες εσείς είχατε
αυτός είχε αυτοί είχαν

Future

Singular Plural
θα έχω θα έχουμε
θα έχεις θα έχετε
θα έχει θα έχουν


Imperative

Singular Plural
(εσύ) έχε (εσείς) έχετε

 Participle (Present):  έχοντας

 

ΙΙ. Impersonal verbs

These are verbs that are formed only in the 3rd person, singular, having no person or thing as subject. They usually are:

  • πρέπει (=must), πρόκειται (~about to), συμφέρει (=be in one’s interest), etc
  • verbs referring to meteorological phenomena: βρέχει (=it’s raining), χιονίζει (=it’s snowing), φυσά (=it’s windy), etc. In other circumstances, these verbs are personal (e.g. Εγώ φυσώ το κερί = I’m blowing the candle).
III. Irregular verbs
These verbs form the various moods of Simple Past in their own, unique way. Let’s see some of them:
Present Simple Past, Indicative SP, Subjunctive SP, Imperative
ανεβαίνω
(ascend)
ανέβηκα να ανεβώ ανέβα, ανεβείτε
βγαίνω
(exit)
βγήκα να βγω βγες, βγείτε
βλέπω
(see)
είδα να δω δες, δείτε
βρίσκω
(find)
βρήκα να βρω βρες, βρείτε
βάζω
(put)
έβαλα να βάλω βάλε, βάλ(ε)τε
έρχομαι
(come)
ήρθα (ήλθα) να έρθω (να έλθω) έλα, ελάτε
δίνω
(give)
έδωσα να δώσω δώσε, δώσ(ε)τε
λέω
(say)
είπα να πω πες, πείτε
μαθαίνω
(learn)
έμαθα να μάθω μάθε, μάθετε
μπορώ
(can)
μπόρεσα να μπορέσω
πηγαίνω
(go)
πήγα να πάω πήγαινε, πηγαίνετε
πίνω
(drink)
ήπια να πιω πιες, πιείτε
παίρνω
(take)
πήρα να πάρω πάρε, πάρ(ε)τε
φεύγω
(leave)
έφυγα να φύγω φύγε, φύγετε
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Revision

Let’s sum up what we’ve learnt so far regarding Greek verbs:

First of all, the auxiliary verbs to be and to have (Present, Indicative); the rest of the tenses can be found in today’s post.

Then, we studied the Active voice of verbs.
Starting with the Indicative mode, we examined the following tenses:

After the Indicative, we examined the
We also learned about the 
that will help us form Subordinate phrases and have a better understanding of the Subjunctive mode.
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Exercise

Put the verbs in brackets in the correct form (mode, tense, person):

Η Μαρία (είμαι) ____________ πολύ κουρασμένη για να (ανεβαίνω) ________ τα σκαλιά.
Maria is too tired to climb the stairs.

Ο Νίκος (θέλω) ________ να (ξαπλώνω) ____________ , αλλά η μικρή του αδελφή (φωνάζω) ________ στον κήπο.
Nikos wanted to lie down, but his little sister was yelling at the garden.

Αύριο (πηγαίνω) _________________ στη θάλασσα, τι (λέω) _________ , (έρχομαι) _____________ μαζί μας;
Tomorrow we’ll go to the beach, what do you say, are you coming with us?

Πού (είμαι) _____________ ο αδελφός σου; Πρέπει να (δίνω) ______________ εξετάσεις την άλλη βδομάδα και δεν (διαβάζω) ________________ τίποτα ακόμα.
Where is your brother? He must pass his exams next week, and he hasn’t studied anything yet.

Key to the exercise

– είναι / ανεβεί

– ήθελε / ξαπλώσει / φώναζε

– θα πάμε / λες / θα έλθεις (έρχεσαι)

– είναι / δώσει / έχει διαβάσει

 

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