Just when you start to think the verbs can’t get any more complicated, along comes the second aorist. You might remember that greek has two ways of talking about past activity: the imperfect and the aorist.
Imperfect refers to a past action that was continuous (eg i was reading a book), and the aorist makes no comment about whether the activity was continuous or not: this could mean that something happened only once, but isn’t necessarily the case (eg last year I rode the bus to work).
So far, the way to recognise which is which has been to look at the verb in question, and to look for a sigma (s) towards the end of the word. Now, that luxury has been taken away.
This week introduces the 21 “second aorist” verbs: the ones where the main part of the word changes, and so do the endings.
Getting up to speed with these took about two thirds of the lecture: it certainly revealed to me that I need to do more work memorizing my verb conjugations, so that I can more easily recognise the tense of a word.
We had our first look at recognising verb forms using the acronym “tvmp3” – tense, voice (which we haven’t covered yet), mood, person and number. It was likened to the process of learning to change lanes when driving: the time when you have to combine all the things you’ve learned into a single process.
Finally, we looked at liquid verbs – where the stem (the part of the word tells you which word it is) ends in l,m,n or r (the consonants in “mineral”, as in mineral water) and how to conjugate them (make the 34 different forms that we know how to make.