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16 The Future Tense: Consonant Stems

2009.04.0242

Base for a statue made by the renowned 4th c. B.C. sculptor Praxiteles. The inscription dates to ca. 50 B.C.-50 A.D. The base was later incorporated into the Post-Herulian Wall, a late Roman wall that was hastily built to fend off invaders. The base remains in this wall today. Athenian Agora Excavations.


The Future Tense: Consonant Stems

In the previous lesson, we learned the formula to form the future tense: verb stem + σ + –ω personal endings. If the verb stem ends in a CONSONANT, the addition of σ results in a number of predictable sound changes:

  • If the verb stem ends in a labial (-π, –β, –φ), the addition of the σ results in ψ.
  • If the verb stem ends in a dental (-δ, –θ and –ζ), the dental drops, leaving only the tense marker σ.
  • If the verb stem ends in a palatal (-κ, –γ, –χ), the addition of the σ results in ξ.

These combinations affect only the pronunciation, not the meaning of the verb, but they do yield distinctive spellings. This lesson introduces new verbs, organized by the type of consonant that ends the stem.

 

Verb stems ending in a labial (-π, –β, –φ)

ἅπτω ἅψω touch
γράφω -ψω write, draw
λείπω -ψω leave
πέμπω -ψω send
τρέπω -ψω turn
τρέφω θρέψω nourish (note the change in aspiration of the initial consonant!)

 

Verb stems ending in a dental (-δ, –θ and –ζ)

θαυμάζω -σω be amazed
κατασκευάζω -σω equip, supply
ὀνομάζω -σω call by name
πείθω -σω persuade
σῴζω, σώσω save (note the change in the use of the iota subscript in the penult!)
φράζω -σω tell

 

Verb stems ending in a palatal (-κ, –γ, –χ)

ἄγω -ξω lead, bring, pass (time)
ὑπάγω -ξω go away
ἄρχω -ξω begin, lead, rule (+ gen.)
ὑπάρχω -ξω exist, be, belong to
διδάσκω, διδάξω teach
διώκω -ξω pursue
ἥκω -ξω have come, be present
λέγω -ξω say, tell

 

Verb stems ending in –ττ/-σσ

A number of verbs with stems ending in –ττ– in Classical Athenian Greek were treated as though they were palatals: i.e., –ττ + σ = ξ (S 513-514). These Athenian –ττ– verbs were spelled instead with –σσ– in most other Greek dialects, including Koine (Biblical) Greek (S 78). These words are the same with either spelling, as are their futures: both result in ξ.

πράττω -ξω do  (= πράσσω -ξω)

τάττω -ξω arrange  (= τάσσω -ξω)

ὑποτάττω -ξω subordinate, subject  (= ὑποτάσσω -ξω)

φυλάττω -ξω watch, guard, defend  (= φυλάσσω -ξω)

 

 

 

– τὸ τέλος –


Key Terms and Concepts

  • FUTURE TENSE OF LABIAL VERB STEMS
  • FUTURE TENSE OF DENTAL VERB STEMS
  • FUTURE TENSE OF PALATAL VERB STEMS
  • FUTURE TENSE OF –ττ/-σσ VERB STEMS

Vocabulary

Verb stems ending in a labial (-π, -β, -φ)

ἅπτω ἅψω touch
γράφω -ψω write, draw
λείπω -ψω leave
πέμπω -ψω send
τρέπω -ψω turn
τρέφω θρέψω nourish

Verb stems ending in a dental (-δ, -θ and -ζ)

θαυμάζω -σω be amazed
κατασκευάζω -σω equip, supply
ὀνομάζω -σω call by name
πείθω -σω persuade
σῴζω, σώσω save
φράζω -σω tell

Verb stems ending in a palatal (-κ, -γ, -χ)

ἄγω -ξω lead, bring, pass (time)
ὑπάγω -ξω go away
ἄρχω -ξω begin, lead, rule (+ gen.)
ὑπάρχω exist, be, belong to
διδάσκω, διδάξω teach
διώκω -ξω pursue
ἥκω -ξω have come, be present
λέγω -ξω say, tell

Verb stems ending in -ττ/-σσ

πράττω -ξω do  (= πράσσω -ξω)

τάττω -ξω arrange  (= τάσσω -ξω)

ὑποτάττω -ξω subordinate, subject  (= ὑποτάσσω -ξω)

φυλάττω -ξω watch, guard, defend  (= φυλάσσω -ξω)

Exercises

Ι. Conjugate the following verbs in the FUTURE, active, indicative in all persons and numbers, as well as in the infinitive:

  1. ἄγω
  2. γράφω
  3. πράττω
  4. πείθω

ΙΙ. For the following verbs and infinitives, 1) Translate the form in English; and 2) Change the form to the present tense.

  1. λείψετε
  2. λέξουσιν
  3. φράσομεν
  4. ὑποτάξει
  5. ὀνομάσειν
  6. παύσομεν
  7. ἥξεις
  8. θαυμάσει
  9. πέμψειν
  10. τρέψω

Readings

Euripides Iphigenia in Tauris 737-92: AGE Readings 8.

Biblical readings: AGE Readings 8b.

 

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

The Future Tense: Consonant Stems by Wilfred E. Major and Michael Laughy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.