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Do all Greek verbs have aorists?

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Do all Greek verbs have aorists?

Postby daivid » Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:08 pm

Dictionaries do not give the aorist form of a verb if regular.
For a beginner like me this is definately a problem
- among other things is verb even used in the aorist?

For example καθεύδω lie down to sleep, sleep.

I can argue it two ways.

Sleeping is open ended - the verb does not imply I have woken up
- hence it cannot be a completed action so no aorist.

Alternatively the aorist will refer to the act of going to sleep which
initiates a state of sleeping. The sleep may continue but the
act of going to sleep has been completed.

So I would expect to encounter εκαθεύσα - asuming I have grasped the way
ancient Greek forms a regular aorist


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Re: Do all Greek verbs have aorists?

Postby pster » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:24 pm

About 5% of the 300 most common Greek verbs don't have aorists. As a beginner, I would definitely not put too much time into trying to think from the semantics of the English translation of the verb to the syntax of the Greek verb (ie what principal parts it should have). It is a natural thing for you to want to do, but unfortunately, it is a fairly advanced topic that you will need more experience to undertake.

καθεύδω does have an aorist: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... ek#lexicon Learn how to enter words into the Perseus dictionary. You DO NOT have to enter the accents, though many evidently refrain from using the dictionary because they are under the mistaken impression that you do have to enter them. Often times the aorist form will be listed at the outset of the entry or appear in one of the examples.
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Re: Do all Greek verbs have aorists?

Postby daivid » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:16 pm

pster wrote:About 5% of the 300 most common Greek verbs don't have aorists. As a beginner, I would definitely not put too much time into trying to think from the semantics of the English translation of the verb to the syntax of the Greek verb (ie what principal parts it should have). It is a natural thing for you to want to do, but unfortunately, it is a fairly advanced topic that you will need more experience to undertake.

I have reached a point that I need to cosolidate what I have superficially covered so far. The exercises in the text book I find tedious or unfoccused or both so I am practicing by creating Greek sentences with the words I know. My experiance in learning serbo-croat has also convinced me that the best time to lean the aorist form (or to be precise perfective) is when you learn the verb.

I don't need to learn the theory behind why some greek verbs don't have aorists -
a dictionary that lists the aorist form even if regular would give me what I need.
Or for that matter, a list of verbs without aorists.

pster wrote:καθεύδω does have an aorist: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/mor ... ek#lexicon Learn how to enter words into the Perseus dictionary. You DO NOT have to enter the accents, though many evidently refrain from using the dictionary because they are under the mistaken impression that you do have to enter them. Often times the aorist form will be listed at the outset of the entry or appear in one of the examples.


I do use Perseus. It is not set up to give you the aorist even though there are ways of using it to find
the it. Mostly I have to guess the aorist and use it to confirm my guess.
However, this does not always work. I started this thread because when I typed in
ekaqeusa I got:
Sorry, no information was found for εκαθευσα.

But does this mean I have guessed wrong or is it because there is no correct form to find?

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Re: Do all Greek verbs have aorists?

Postby annis » Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:35 pm

daivid wrote:I do use Perseus. It is not set up to give you the aorist even though there are ways of using it to find
the it. Mostly I have to guess the aorist and use it to confirm my guess.
However, this does not always work. I started this thread because when I typed in
ekaqeusa I got:
Sorry, no information was found for εκαθευσα.


This verb is a compound: κατά + εὕδω. So, you wouldn't expect the augment to go out before the preposition (a very, very small number of verbs have that happen, but you can ignore those for now).

But does this mean I have guessed wrong or is it because there is no correct form to find?


No way to know without checking the LSJ for the full article on the word. There's also the small chance that the parsing tool you're using (Perseus, Diogenes, whatever), is making an error about a correct form.
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Re: Do all Greek verbs have aorists?

Postby daivid » Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:03 am

annis wrote:
This verb is a compound: κατά + εὕδω. So, you wouldn't expect the augment to go out before the preposition (a very, very small number of verbs have that happen, but you can ignore those for now).


I didn't recognise καθ as a form of κατά - from now on I will. Thanks

The Oxford grammar of Classical Greek lists εὕδω with the imperfect instead of an aorist -
does that indicate it has no aorist?
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Re: Do all Greek verbs have aorists?

Postby annis » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:26 am

daivid wrote:The Oxford grammar of Classical Greek lists εὕδω with the imperfect instead of an aorist -
does that indicate it has no aorist?


Oooh, I don't like that book. In this case, it is incomplete. The LJS on εὕδω shows εὕδησα, though it seems uncommon.
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Re: Do all Greek verbs have aorists?

Postby daivid » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:52 pm

annis wrote: The LJS on εὕδω shows εὕδησα, though it seems uncommon.


Thanks for answering the question and more than that for the link. I had assumed that tufts was
Perseus and other sites with Perseus would be clones. This site may have the same back end
but has significantly different data and the much better coverage of the forms of verbs has been what
I'v been looking for.

Thank you to both of you who replied for setting me in the right direction
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