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New Testament Greek
Course II
 
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  Lesson 5 Middle & Passive Endings for Secondary Tenses, Imperfect Middle & Passive Indicative, Aorist Middle Indicative, Pluperfect Middle & Passive Indicative, Identifying a Verb  
  Middle & Passive Voice Endings for Secondary Tenses  
 

 

Remember that the secondary tenses are the Imperfect, the Aorist, and the Pluperfect.

In the Imperfect and Pluperfect tenses, the same personal endings are used for both middle and passive voices. The Aorist middle also uses these endings. However, the Aorist passive endings, which you have already learned, are distinct.

These personal endings for the secondary tenses, including Imperfect middle & passive, Aorist middle, and Pluperfect middle & passive, are the following:

  singular     plural  
1st person μην     μεθα  
2nd person σο     σθε  
3rd person το     ντο  

 

Compare these with the middle/passive personal endings for the primary tenses. Apart from the 1st person singular, the only difference is that here we have ο where there we had αι.

 
  Imperfect Middle & Passive Indicative  
 

In the Imperfect tense, the endings for the middle voice and passive voice are identical.

A vowel precedes the ending, connecting it to the stem. In the 2nd person singular, this connecting vowel combines with the ending in a contracted form.

The Imperfect Middle Indicative and Imperfect Passive Indicative are formed using the first principal part as follows:

augment + stem + connecting vowel + secondary (middle/passive) ending

Begin with the first principal part and then add the secondary middle/passive ending...

       
  λυ μην   λυ μεθα
  λυ σο   λυ σθε
  λυ το   λυ ντο

...insert the connecting vowel, ο before μ or ν, otherwise ε

       
  λυ ο μην   λυ ο μεθα
  λυ ε σο   λυ ε σθε
  λυ ε το   λυ ο ντο

...In the 2nd person singular, the σ drops out, the ε and ο combine to form ου...

       
  λυ ομην   λυ ομεθα
  λυ ου   λυ εσθε
  λυ ετο   λυ οντο

...and finally, we add the sign of the secondary tense, the augment...

       
  λυ όμην   λυ όμεθα
  λύ ου   ἐ λύ εσθε
  λύ ετο   λύ οντο

 

This then is the conjugation of the imperfect middle indicative and imperfect passive indicative of λύω, with English represented for the passive voice:

  singular   plural
1st person ἐλυόμην I was being loosed ἐλυόμεθα we were being loosed
2nd person ἐλύου you were being loosed ἐλύεσθε you (pl.) were being loosed
3rd person ἐλύετο he, she, it was being loosed ἐλύοντο they were being loosed
 
  Aorist Middle Indicative  
 

The Aorist middle is formed using the 3rd principal part, just as is the Aorist active. 1st Aorist verbs are those whose stems characteristically terminate in σα. 2nd Aorist verbs do not have the σα stem termination, but nonetheless have unique stems. The secondary endings identified above are used in the middle voice for Aorist verbs of either type.

1st Aorist middle indicative verbs are formed as follows:

augment + stem ending in σα + secondary (middle) tense ending

Begin with the 2nd principal part stem, which in 1st aorist verbs usually has a σα termination, and then add the secondary personal endings identified above...

       
  λυσα μην   λυσα μεθα
  λυσα σο   λυσα σθε
  λυσα το   λυσα ντο

No connecting vowel is needed because the stem terminates in a vowel. But just as in the Imperfect tense, the σ drops out of the 2nd person singular ending. However, the result here is that the α and ο combine to form ω...

       
  λυσα μην   λυσα μεθα
  λυσ ω   λυσα σθε
  λυσα το   λυσα ντο

...and finally, we add the sign of the secondary tense, the augment...

       
  λυσά μην   λυσά μεθα
  λύσ ω   λύσα σθε
  λύσα το   λύσα ντο

 

This then is the conjugation of the aorist middle indicative of  λύω, which happens to be 1st aorist...

  singular   plural
1st person ἐλυσάμην I loosed [for/to/etc.] myself ἐλυσάμεθα we loosed [for/to/etc.] ourselves
2nd person ἐλύσω you loosed [for/to/etc.] yourself ἐλύσασθε you (pl.) loosed [for/to/etc.] yourselves
3rd person ἐλύσατο he, she, it loosed [for/to/etc.] --self ἐλύσαντο they loosed [for/to/etc.] themselves

2nd Aorist middle indicative verbs are formed as follows:

augment + stem + connecting vowel + secondary (middle) tense ending

Consider the verb γίνομαι which has 2nd aorist stem  γεν -. Begin with the 2nd principal part stem, and then add the secondary personal endings identified above...

       
  γεν μην   γεν μεθα
  γεν σο   γεν σθε
  γεν το   γεν ντο

 

...insert the connecting vowel, ο before μ or ν, otherwise ε

       
  γεν ο μην   γεν ο μεθα
  γεν ε σο   γεν ε σθε
  γεν ε το   γεν ο ντο


...In the 2nd person singular, the σ drops out, the ε and ο combine to form ου...

       
  γεν ομην   γεν ομεθα
  γεν ου   γεν εσθε
  γεν ετο   γεν οντο

 

...and finally, we add the sign of the secondary tense, the augment...

       
  γεν όμην   γεν όμεθα
  γέν ου   γέν εσθε
  γέν ετο   γέν οντο

 

This then is the conjugation of the aorist middle indicative of γίνομαι...

  singular   plural
1st person ἐγενόμην I became ἐγενόμεθα we became
2nd person ἐγένου you became ἐγένεσθε you (pl.) became
3rd person ἐγένετο he, she, it became ἐγένοντο they became
 
  Pluperfect Middle & Passive Indicative  
 

In the Pluperfect tense, the endings for the middle voice and passive voice are identical. But these endings are attached to the 5th principal part stem without a connecting vowel, and there is no contraction of the 2nd person singular ending.

The Pluperfect Middle Indicative and Pluperfect Passive Indicative are formed using the fifth principal part as follows:

augment + reduplicated stem + secondary (middle/passive) ending

Begin with the reduplicated fifth principal part stem and then add the secondary middle/passive ending...

       
  λελυ μην   λελυ μεθα
  λελυ σο   λελυ σθε
  λελυ το   λελυ ντο

...the augment was often omitted, but don't be surprised to see it...

       
  λελύ μην   λελύ μεθα
  λέλυ σο   λέλυ σθε
  λέλυ το   λέλυ ντο

 

This then is the conjugation of the pluperfect middle indicative & pluperfect passive indicative of λύω, with English represented for the passive voice:

  singular   plural
1st person ἐλελύμην I had been loosed ἐλελύμεθα we had been loosed
2nd person ἐλέλυσο you had been loosed ἐλέλυσθε you (pl.) had been loosed
3rd person ἐλέλυτο he, she, it had been loosed ἐλέλυντο they had been loosed
 
  Overview of Indicative Mood  
 

We have now considered all tense & voice combinations for the indicative mood. Review all the forms of λύω in the indicative mood. You should learn all these forms so that you are able to reproduce this table from memory. A good way to do this is to print out several copies of the blank table and practice writing out the conjugation by hand. Before you print the blank table, you should set the paper size to "Legal" (8 1/2 x 14) and orientation to "Landscape."

 
  Identifying a Verb by Identifying Morphemes  
 

When you don't know a word, you should look it up, right? But in Greek, there is a difficulty: The conjugated form of a verb you encounter in some passage may not look very similar to the lexical form you would find in a lexicon. For this reason, and others, it is necessary to learn to think backwards, to recognize the various parts (morphemes) of a word and mentally strip them away until you arrive at the stem of a principal part.

Consider the word προσηύξαντο. At first glance, it may not look familiar at all. But let's begin identifying the various parts and strip them away until we arrive at something we can find in a lexicon.

We might first notice the last 3 letters in προσηύξαντο. That combination is one of the secondary tense endings we just learned in this lesson. Specifically, it's the 3rd person plural ending for middle or passive forms in the secondary tenses.

Remembering that the secondary tenses include the Imperfect, Aorist, and Pluperfect, we might look for indications as to which tense we have here. Reduplication would suggest Pluperfect. But we don't see reduplication. The letters σα would suggest 1st Aorist. Examining προσηύξα + ντο, we don't see σα, but we do see ξα. What if that ξα is the result of a combination of a stem's final consonant and σα? Three possibilities come to mind:

προσηύγ + σα + ντο
προσηύκ + σα + ντο
προσηύχ + σα + ντο

Before we start searching through the lexicon, there is one more important clue to consider. If this is an indicative mood verb (and we have no reason to assume otherwise) and if it is a secondary tense verb, we would expect to see an augment. This is especially true if it is aorist or imperfect, and we are suspecting that it is aorist.

There doesn't appear to be an augment at the beginning of the word, but as we search for the augment we notice that the first four letters look like a familiar preposition,

προσηύξαντο

Then we remember that an augment typically comes between a preposition and a verb stem in compound verbs. Could that η be an augment? If so, it most likely would have been lengthened from ε or α. So now we have 6 possibilities:

προσ + αύγ + σα + ντο
προσ + αύκ + σα + ντο
προσ + αύχ + σα + ντο
προσ + εύγ + σα + ντο
προσ + εύκ + σα + ντο
προσ + εύχ + σα + ντο

Now we consult a lexicon in search of a compound verb that looks like one of the following:

προσαύγ-
προσαύκ-
προσαύχ-
προσεύγ-
προσεύκ-
προσεύχ-

Only one of these is found, that being in the form of προσεύχομαι. (Wouldn't you know it would be the last one!) And looking at the entry for προσεύχομαι, we see the lexicon confirms that it has first aorist προσηυξάμην. (If you don't yet have a lexicon, see the vocabulary list on pages 81-82 in your text book.)

Besides being able to find the word in a lexicon, there is another reason for developing this skill. Being aware of the significance of each part of a word will help you to reliably distinguish between indicative and subjunctive, aorist and future, passive and active. You will find that you will often recognize the verb in terms of its lexical form, but may have trouble identifying the form in front of you. And if you can't identify the form, you don't know whether to translate, "we should..." or "we have been..." Therefore, learn to think about the individual parts of a verb that make it what it is.

 
  Assignment for Lesson 5  
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