an epsilon would (e.g.
, I lead, becomes
). Finally, when a verb stem begins with a diphthongending in an iota (
), the first vowel of the diphthong will lengthen and the second
will becomean iota subscript (or occasionally, the diphthong will simply remain unchanged). Thus
, I take up, becomes
, I build up, becomes
(in a minute, we will see why theending is -
instead of -
Now that we are discussing our first paradigm that makes use of a prefix, it would be a good time tomention compound verbs. Compound verbs are very common in Greek, and usually consist of a preposition prefixed to a verb stem (e.g.
, the preposition meaning “out of,” or “from,” plus
,the verb meaning “I throw,” combine to form the compound verb
, “I throw out” (sometimes,though, the meaning of a compound verb is not so easily discernible, and must simply be learned). It iscommon to include the same preposition after the compound verb. For example,
– lit., “Jesus is throwing
of the temple”.One important point to remember about compound verbs is that they usually take the augments of the past tenses
the prefixed preposition. Sometimes this will cause the preposition to change slightly(e.g.
; and the final vowel of other prepositions drops off). Thus,
(I die) becomes
Just as the addition of an epsilon augment to stems that
with vowels can cause certain changes, aswe've been discussing; so, too, the addition of tense endings to verb stems that
with certain vowelswill cause some changes. Verbs that end with the short vowels
are called contract verbs, because the last vowel of their stems will contract with the first vowel of any tense ending that beginswith a vowel (including connecting vowels). These contracts are more complex than the changeswrought by the augment, so we will have to discuss them in a little more detail. Below is a chartshowing all the possible contractions that can occur:
Rules for Contracting
Suffix begins withVerbstemendswith
ε ει η ῃ ο ου οι ωα
α ᾳ α ᾳ ω ω ῳ ω
ει ει η ῃ ου ου οι ω
ου οι ω οι ου ου οι ω
Some things to note about these contraction:1.When two verbs contract, one of them will prevail
in its long form
.2.“o”-type vowels will usually prevail over other vowels.3.If there is no “o”-type vowel, the contract vowel (the vowel that the verb stem ends with) willusually prevail.4.When a verb is contracting with a diphthong ending in
will drop out and the remainingvowel will contract according to the previous rules.