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36 More Middle Voice; Middle Futures

2010.08.0067 (Leica I 4804)

Fragment of an altar to Zeus Ombrios, the top of which was cut away for later re-use. Julio-Claudian period. Athenian Agora Excavations.


More Middle Voice

μι Verbs

Recall that among –μι verbs, there is a group of four particularly common verbs:

δίδωμι give (verb stem: δω-/δο-)

τίθημι put, make (verb stem: θη-/θε-)

ἵστημι stand (verb stem: στη-/στα-)

ἵημι throw (verb stem: -/-)

Observe that the inflection of these verbs in the present middle share the following characteristics:

  • In the ACTIVE VOICE, these verbs end their present tense stems  in a LONG VOWEL in the singular and a SHORT VOWEL in the plural forms. In the MIDDLE VOICE, these verbs end their stems in a SHORT VOWEL in both singular and plural.
  • To this stem is added the ATHEMATIC MIDDLE VOICE personal endings.
  • The INTERVOCALIC SIGMA found in the 2nd person singular does NOT drop (S 744).

 

The Present, Indicative, Middle of δίδωμι (S 416; GPH p. 123)

δίδομαι

διδόμεθα

δίδοσαι

δίδοσθε

δίδοται

δίδονται

Present Indicative Middle Infinitive: δίδοσθαι

 

The Present, Indicative, Middle of τίθημι (S 416; GPH p. 145)

τίθεμαι

τιθέμεθα

τίθεσαι

τίθεσθε

τίθεται

τίθενται

Present Indicative Middle Infinitive: τίθεσθαι

 

The Present, Indicative, Middle of ἵστημι (S 416; GPH p. 134)

ἵσταμαι

ἱστάμεθα

ἵστασαι

ἵστασθε

ἵσταται

ἵστανται

Present Indicative Middle Infinitive: ἵστασθαι

 

The Present, Indicative, Middle of ἵημι (S 777)

ἵεμαι

ἱέμεθα

ἵεσαι

ἵεσθε

ἵεται

ἵενται

Present Indicative Middle Infinitive: ἵεσθαι

 

Middle Future Verbs

Some verbs that are regularly ACTIVE in the PRESENT TENSE are regularly MIDDLE in the FUTURE TENSE. The challenge of conveying middle meaning in the future of these verbs is complex, and a topic reserved for advanced study. A few tendencies, however, may be noted (S 805-806):

  1. They often form their present tense stem with –αν– or –σκ-.
  2. They often denote the activities of the physical organs or senses (voice, sight, hearing, smell, touch…)

Note the following verbs from previous vocabulary that have MIDDLE FUTURES.

ἀκούω, ἀκούσομαι hear

ἁμαρτάνω, ἁμαρτήσομαι (ἁμαρτ-) miss, make a mistake

ἀποθνῄσκω, ἀποθανοῦμαι (θαν-) die

βαίνω, βήσομαι (βη-) walk, come, go

βλέπω, βλέψομαι see, look (at)

γιγνώσκω, γνώσομαι (γνω-) know, learn, judge, think

εἰμί, ἔσομαι (ἐσ-) be

λαμβάνω, λήψομαι (λαβ-/ληβ-) take, grab; receive, get

μανθάνω, μαθήσομαι (μαθ-) learn, ascertain

πίνω, πίομαι (πι-) drink

φεύγω, φεύξομαι flee, run away, avoid, shun

 

Putting it all together, the Future, Indicative, Middle of λαμβάνω take (verb stem: λαβ-/ληβ-) would appear as follows:

λήψομαι

ληψόμεθα

λήψει/ῃ

λήψεσθε

λήψεται

λήψονται

Future Indicative Middle Infinitive: λήψεσθαι

 

Another important verb, εἰμί to be, forms its future in the middle voice. Recall that the verb stem for εἰμί is ἐσ-. To this stem is added a thematic vowel and the middle personal endings. The result is a Future Indicative that inflects as follows (S 768; GPH p. 181):

ἔσομαι

ἐσόμεθα

ἔσει/

ἔσεσθε

ἔσεται or ἔσται

ἔσονται

Future Indicative Middle Infinitive: ἔσεσθαι

 

 

 

Unorthodox Futures

The following verbs all have futures, mostly in the middle voice, with variations or stem changes that are unpredictable or more complex than the patterns presented so far. These are all common and important verbs, however, and recognizing these unusual forms is essential to reading Greek.

ἔρχομαι, ἐλεύσομαι come, go

ἐσθίω, φάγομαι eat

ἔχω, ἕξω or σχήσω have, hold, be

παρέχω, παρέξω provide

ὁράω, ὄψομαι see

πάσχω, πείσομαι suffer, experience

πίπτω, πεσοῦμαι fall

πλέω, πλεύσομαι and πλευσοῦμαι sail

πυνθάνομαι, πεύσομαι learn, hear, inquire

τίκτω, τέξομαι give birth

τυγχάνω, τεύξομαι happen, meet

φέρω, οἴσω carry, bear, endure

διαφέρω, διοίσω spread, differ

συμφέρω, συνοίσω benefit, profit

 

– τὸ τέλος –


Key Terms and Concepts

  • MIDDLE VOICE OF δίδωμι, τίθημι, ἵστημιἵημι
  • MIDDLE FUTURE VERBS
  • UNORTHODOX FUTURES

Vocabulary

Middle Futures:

ἀκούω, ἀκούσομαι hear

ἁμαρτάνω, ἁμαρτήσομαι (ἁμαρτ-) miss, make a mistake

ἀποθνῄσκω, ἀποθανοῦμαι (θαν-) die

βαίνω, βήσομαι (βη-) walk, come, go

βλέπω, βλέψομαι see, look (at)

γιγνώσκω, γνώσομαι (γνω-) know, learn, judge, think

εἰμί, ἔσομαι (ἐσ-) be

λαμβάνω, λήψομαι (λαβ-/ληβ-) take, grab; receive, get

μανθάνω, μαθήσομαι (μαθ-) learn, ascertain

πίνω, πίομαι (πι-) drink

φεύγω, φεύξομαι flee, run away, avoid, shun

 

Unorthodox Futures:

ἔρχομαι, ἐλεύσομαι come, go

ἐσθίω, φάγομαι eat

ἔχω, ἕξω or σχήσω have, hold, be

παρέχω, παρέξω provide

ὁράω, ὄψομαι see

πάσχω, πείσομαι suffer, experience

πίπτω, πεσοῦμαι fall

πλέω, πλεύσομαι and πλευσοῦμαι sail

πυνθάνομαι, πεύσομαι learn, hear, inquire

τίκτω, τέξομαι give birth

τυγχάνω, τεύξομαι happen, meet

φέρω, οἴσω carry, bear, endure

διαφέρω, διοίσω spread, differ

συμφέρω, συνοίσω benefit, profit

Exercises

I. Memorize the vocabulary.

II. Translate into the appropriate inflected Greek verb the following:

  1. he will be
  2. you will experience
  3. we will carry/bear
  4. you all will walk
  5. they will know
  6. you (sg.) will learn
  7. it will differ
  8. we will give
  9. they will hear
  10. you all will eat

 

License

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More Middle Voice; Middle Futures by Wilfred E. Major and Michael Laughy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.