Present Active Indicative

16. Vocabulary

(The vocabularies should be learned after the paradigms and explanatory parts of the lessons, but before the exercises.)

bl™pw, I see.
ginðskw, I know.
gr€fw, I write.
did€skw, I teach.
lamb€nw, I take.
l™gw, I say.
lÀw, I loose, I destroy.
žcw, I have.

17. The Greek verb has tense, voice, and mood, like the verb in other languages. The present tense (in the indicative) refers to present time; the active voice represents the subject as acting instead of being acted upon; the indicative mood makes an assertion, in distinction, for example, from a command or a wish.

18. The present active indicative of the verb lÀw, I loose, is as follows:


1. lÀw, I loose or I am loosing.
2. lÀeiv, thou loosest, or thou art loosing.
3. lÀei, he looses or he is loosing


1. lÀomen, we loose or we are loosing
2. lÀete, ye loose or ye are loosing.
3. lÀousi, they loose or they are loosing.

19. It will be observed that the distinctions between first person (person speaking), second person (person spoken to), third person (person spoken of), and between singular and plural numbers, which in English are indicated for the


most part by subject-pronouns, are indicated in Greek by the endings. Thus no pronoun is necessary to translate we loose into Greek; the we is sufficiently indicated by the ending -omen.

20. The part of the verb which remains constant throughout the conjugation and has the various endings added to it is called the stem. Thus the present stem of lÀw is lu-. The present stem of a verb can be,obtained by removing the final w from the form given in the vocabulary. Thus the present stem of l™gw, I say, is l™g-. The conjugation of the present active indicative of any verb in the vocabulary can be obtained by substituting the present stem of that verb for lu- and then adding the endings -w, -eiv, -ei, -omen, -ete, -ousi, as they are given above.

The primary personal endings, which would naturally stand in the tenses called primary tenses, 1 were, it seems, originally as follows:

1. -mi
2. -si
3. -ti

1. -men
2. -te
3. -nti

Between the stem and these personal endings was placed a variable vowel which before m and n was o and before other letters e. But in the present active, at least in the singular, this scheme is not carried out, and the beginner is advised for the present simply to regard -w, -eiv, -ei, -omen, -ete, -ousi as the endings which by their addition to the stem indicate the various persons and numbers.

21. In the present tense there is in Greek no distinction between I loose, which - simply represents the action as taking place in present time, and I am loosing, which calls


attention to the continuance of the action. Both of these ideas, therefore, should be connected with the Greek form lÀw. The distinction between the two will become exceedingly important when we paw over to past time; for there Greek makes the distinction even, more sharply than English.

22. The second person, you loose or you are loosing, in English may of course be either singular or plural, and may be translated by the student either by lÀeiv or by lÀete except where the context makes plain which is meant. Where it is desired, in the exercises, to indicate whether singular or plural is meant, the archaic forms thou loosest, etc., and ye loose, etc., will be used.

23. Exercises
(All English-Greek exercises should be written.)

1. bl™peiv, ginðskeiv, lamb€neiv. 2. gr€fei, žcei, l™gei. 3. lÀei, did€skei, bl™pei. 4. lamb€nonmen, žcomen, ginðskomen. 5. bl™pete, l™gete, gr€fete. 6. did€skousi, lamb€nousi, lÀousi. 7. ginðskete, ginðskeiv, ginðskomen. 8. bl™pomen, did€skousi, l™gei. 9. žceiv, bl™pousi, lamb€nomen.

II. 1. We are knowing, we see, we are seeing. 2. They are loosing, they loose, he looses. 3. He is loosing, ye have, thou knowest. 4. I am taking, we know, they say. 5. He has, we are writing, they see.

[The teacher should continue such drill orally, until the student can recognize the Greek words rapidly both by sight and by sound, and translate the English sentences rapidly into Greek.]


1 The primary tenses are the present, the future, and the perfect; the secondary tenses are the imperfect, the aorist, and the pluperfect.