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New Testament Greek
Course III
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  Lesson 4  Perfect Participles: Morphology, Syntax, Periphrastic Constructions  

Perfect Active Participle

The perfect active participle is built on the 4th principal part. 1st perfect participle stems will end in κ, though not in κα as in the indicative mood.

2nd perfect participle stems do not have the κ.

Reduplication is seen in perfect participles just as in the indicative mood.

1st Perfect reduplicated stem illustrated for λύω

reduplication + stem w/ stem suffix

    λε      +      λυκ-

2nd perfect reduplicated stem illustrated for γίνομαι

reduplication + stem

    γε      +      γον-

The perfect participle endings are basically those with which you are already familiar, but without the initial ν throughout (for example, masculine genitive singular -τος rather than -ντος) and with final ς in the masculine nominative singular where you are accustomed to seeing ν (thus ς rather than -ων when attached to the lengthened connecting vowel).

In the masculine and neuter forms, the connecting vowel is ο (lengthened to ω in the masculine nominative singular). The accent is always on the connecting vowel, never going back to the antepenult.

In the feminine forms, the stem is connected with the 1st declension case ending by υι, e.g., λελυκυία. The case endings have α throughout, rather than changing the α to η in the genitive and dative singular forms. The accent never goes back to the antepenult. The penult is always accented except in the feminine genitive plural where the first declension accent rule takes over and the ultima has a circumflex accent.

Perfect Active Participle of λύω

reduplicated perfect tense stem + connecting vowel(s) + case ending

    masculine    feminine   neuter
N/V   λελυκώς    λελυκυῖα   λελυκός
G   λελυκότος   λελυκυίας   λελυκότος
D   λελυκότι   λελυκυί   λελυκότι
A   λελυκότα   λελυκυῖαν   λελυκός
N/V   λελυκότες   λελυκυῖαι   λελυκότα
G   λελυκότων   λελυκυιῶν   λελυκότων
D   λελυκόσι(ν)   λελυκυίαις   λελυκόσι(ν)
A   λελυκότας   λελυκυίας   λελυκότα


2nd Perfect Active Participle of γίνομαι

reduplicated perfect tense stem + connecting vowel(s) + case ending

    masculine    feminine   neuter
N/V   γεγονς   γεγονυῖα   γεγονός
G   γεγονότος   γεγονυίας   γεγονότος
D   γεγονότι   γεγονυίᾳ   γεγονότι
A   γεγονότα   γεγονυῖαν   γεγονός
N/V   γεγονότες   γεγονυῖαι   γεγονότα
G   γεγονότων   γεγονυιῶν   γεγονότων
D   γεγονόσι(ν)   γεγονυίαις   γεγονόσι(ν)
A   γεγονότας   γεγονυίας   γεγονότα

More on Reduplication

Attic Reduplication

In lesson 3 of course 2, we discussed two kinds of reduplication. We noted that for verbs with stems having an initial consonant, the reduplication consists of the same letter as the initial stem consonant followed by the letter epsilon. And we also considered verbs beginning with vowels, for which reduplication often looks like the augment of the secondary tenses, i.e., the initial vowel is lengthened.

Some verbs whose stems begin with α, ε, ο, followed by a single vowel (as opposed to two consecutive vowels) exhibit double reduplication (sometimes called "Attic reduplication"). The initial vowel and consonant are doubled and then what was the initial vowel in the un-reduplicated stem, now in the second syllable, is lengthened. For example, the perfect tense of ἀκούω is ἀκκοα, and the perfect participle, masculine nominative singular, is ἀκηκος.

The perfect active indicative of ἀκούω is ἀκκοα
Reduplication consists of doubling the first syllable:

ἀκ + ακο-

...as well as lengthening the vowel of what was the first syllable prior to the doubling of the first syllable:

ἀκ + ηκο-

This double reduplication is sometimes called Attic reduplication.

Another example of this "Attic reduplication" is seen in the perfect tense of ἔρχομαι. Consider the perfect active participle ἔρχομαι...

Perfect Active Participle of ἔρχομαι

    masculine    feminine   neuter
N/V   ληλυθώς   ληλυθυῖα   ληλυθός
G   ληλυθότος   ληλυθυίας   ληλυθότος
D   ληλυθότι   ληλυθυί   ληλυθότι
A   ληλυθότα   ληλυθυῖαν   ληλυθός
N/V   ληλυθότες   ληλυθυῖαι   ληλυθότα
G   ληλυθότων   ληλυθυιῶν   ληλυθότων
D   ληλυθόσι(ν)   ληλυθυίαις   ληλυθόσι(ν)
A   ληλυθότας   ληλυθυίας   ληλυθότα

Reduplication in Compound verbs

Reduplication in compound verbs is similar to the augment of secondary tense verbs in that it usually occurs at the beginning of the basic verb stem, after the preposition. Consider the highlighted reduplication in each of the following perfect participles...

προημαρτηκόσιν  perfect active participle masculine/neuter dative plural
προαμαρτάνω = πρό + ἁμαρτάνω

προγεγονότων  perfect active participle masculine/neuter genitive plural
προγίνομαι = πρό
+ γίνομαι

παραδεδωκόσι  perfect active participle masculine/neuter dative plural
      of παραδίδωμι = παρά
+ δίδωμι

(The root of this verb is δο-. Remember that as a μι verb, it has a reduplication in the indicative mood in the present system using ι. This is not the reduplication of the perfect tense. Perfect tense verbs beginning with consonants reduplicate the consonant and add ε. So for example, the perfect active indicative of δίδωμι is δέδωκα, δέδωκας, δέδωκε, δεδκαμεν, δεδώκατε, δέδωκαν.)

You will encounter the next two examples in the homework for lesson 5:

συμβεβηκότων  perfect active participle masculine/neuter genitive plural
συμβαίνω = συν
+ βαίνω

συνεληλυθυῖαι  perfect active participle feminine nominative plural
συνἔρχομαι = συν
+ ἔρχομαι


Perfect Middle/Passive Participle

The perfect middle and passive participles share the same forms, and are built on the 5th principal part. The stem does not have the κ that is associated with the 4th principal part.

Reduplication is seen in perfect participles just as in the indicative mood. Also as in the indicative mood, there is no connecting vowel. Instead, the case endings are attached directly to the stem. Again, as in the present indicative participles, μεν is seen throughout the middle/passive forms, and the case endings are attached thereafter. In fact, with the exception that in the perfect middle/passive participles the penult is always accented, the endings are identical to those of the present middle/passive participles.

Every present middle/passive participle is formed as follows:

perfect middle/passive stem + μεν + 2nd or 1st declension ending

Consider λελυμνος:

perfect middle/passive stem + μεν + 2nd declension ending

   λελυ       +     μεν    +      ος               


These then are the Perfect Middle/Passive Participles formed on the perfect middle/passive stem λελυ-:

    masculine   feminine   neuter
N/V   λελυμνος   λελυμένη   λελυμένον
G   λελυμένου   λελυμένης   λελυμένου
D   λελυμένῳ   λελυμένῃ   λελυμένῳ
A   λελυμένον   λελυμένην   λελυμένον
N/V   λελυμένοι   λελυμέναι   λελυμένα
G   λελυμένων   λελυμένων   λελυμένων
D   λελυμένοις   λελυμέναις   λελυμένοις
A   λελυμένους   λελυμένας   λελυμένα

The perfect participle functions pretty much as one would expect. It is used to describe a state that exists at the time coincident with that of the leading verb as a result of action completed prior to the time of the main verb.


καὶ ἐν αὐτῇ καταρώμεθα τοὺς ἀνθρώπους τοὺς καθ� ὁμοίωσιν θεοῦ γεγονότας  Ja. 3:9
And with it we curse the men who have been made according to the likeness of God.

The leading verb is καταρώμεθα, we curse. The words "have been made" sets the time of the making at a time prior to that of the leading verb. However, we could perhaps do better by emphasizing the present result and translate,

And with it we curse the men who are made according to the likeness of God.


ἐξανέστησαν δέ τινες τῶν ἀπὸ τῆς αἱρέσεως τῶν Φαρισαίων πεπιστευκότες  Ac. 15:5
But certain one of those from the Pharisees, who had believed, rose up.

The leading verb is the aorist ἐξανέστησαν (they rose up). At the time these men rose up, they were reckoned as believers as a result of having come to believe at some prior time. The words "had believed" set the completed action prior to the time of the leading verb ἐξανέστησαν.


ἐξῆλθεν ὁ τεθνηκώς  Jn. 11:44
The one who had died came out

Again, the leading verb is a past tense verb, the aorist ἐξῆλθεν (came out). At a time prior to his coming out, he had died. The words "had died" set the completed action prior to the time of the leading verb ἐξῆλθεν. This is an interesting example because it illustrates the problems that arise if the rules of grammar are pressed too pedantically. Suppose someone notes that the perfect tense indicates present result of completed actionHe might reason that if the past action was dying, then the present result is being dead. And yet Jn. 11:44 is talking about Lazarus, who was now alive, though he had died. The perfect tense does indeed emphasize continuing result. But in Lazarus' case, the continuing result was that he would forevermore be someone who had experienced death. Someone could speak of him in the present tense and say, "He is a man who has died."

  Periphrastic Constructions  

Periphrastic Constructions were introduced in lesson 2, but let's review in particular periphrastic constructions involving a perfect tense participle here.

Perfect Periphrastic Tense

This consists of a present tense form of εἰμί and a perfect participle, as in Jn. 6:45:

ἔστιν γεγραμμένον ἐν τοῖς προφήταις
It is having been written in the prophets
or more simply in English,
It is written in the prophets

Future Perfect Periphrastic Tense

There are two occurrences in Mt. 16:19. A future form of εἰμί and a perfect participle combine to express the idea "will be having been..." i.e., in the future, something will already have been an accomplished fact.

καὶ ὃ ἐὰν δήσῃς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἔσται δεδεμένον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς
and whatever you bind on the earth will be having been bound in heaven
or more simply in English,
and whatever you bind on the earth will have been bound in heaven

καὶ ὃ ἐὰν λύσῃς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς ἔσται λελυμένον ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς
and whatever you loose on the earth will be having been loosed in heaven
or more simply in English,
and whatever you loose on the earth will have been loosed in heaven

As noted in lesson 2, there are other periphrastic constructions, but you will be able to understand them as you encounter them because they usually mean what you would expect them to mean simply by considering the component parts.

  Assignment for Lesson 4