radagasty wrote:What are the principal parts of ἅπτω?
Why is it so hard to get a straightforward listing of the principal parts of Greek verbs?
Markos wrote:Probably because language is always a lot less straightforward than the dictionaries and grammar books lead you to believe. Give me, for example, a straightforward explanation of the principle parts of English "lie" and "lay."
NateD26 wrote:I recommend reading this blog post, which impeccably relayed my feelings about overly relying on Greek principal parts.
My impression is that Greek principal parts are exceptionally inaccessible, something particular to Greek, rather than simply attributable to the vagaries of language. For instance, it is much easier to find and work with the principal parts of Latin verbs.
That may be so, but a learner like me is in no position to judge which principal parts are more important. To be able to conjugate verbs, I need to know the principal parts, and I would like them all laid out for the sake of learning the system, even if some of them are infrequent. I find Mounce particularly frustrating, because he only lists a principal part if it occurs in the New Testament, but that results in random gaps that are themselves difficult to remember. Where a principal part is missing, I often find myself wondering if that is because it doesn't exist, or it is not listed simply because it doesn't occur in the NT.
radagasty wrote:Markos wrote:Probably because language is always a lot less straightforward than the dictionaries and grammar books lead you to believe. Give me, for example, a straightforward explanation of the principle parts of English "lie" and "lay."
To lay is transitive, having the principal parts lay, laid, laid [cf. German legen].
The are two different verbs with the infinitive to lie, both intransitive:
lie, lay, lain [cf. German liegen] and lie, lied, lied [cf. German lügen]
Yesterday, taking a nap, I laid down next to my cat.
Yesterday, taking a nap, I lay down next to my cat.
Yesterday, taking a nap, I lied down next to my cat.
Qimmik wrote:In addition, the bracketed form ἧφα doesn't seem to occur anywhere, either, and it's possible that the stem underlying ἧμμαι was ἧπα, but there's no way to tell--although a number of verbs with roots in -π form their perfect stems with -φ-, e.g. βλάπτω.
Qimmik wrote:This inexpensive book has a handy list of principal parts of a substantial number of verbs, stripped down to the forms that are really useful to know, as well as a lot of other useful information about Greek grammar.
After that, you learn the various forms as you encounter them, just as you learn individual items of vocabulary.
Qimmik wrote: Those defective forms probably account for nearly all of what you describe as "random gaps."
Also, notwithstanding my previous remarks, there are actually several large classes of quite common verbs that are essentially "regular" (in the sense that they follow predictable and easily recognizable patterns), for which you don't need to memorize principal parts -- thematic verbs with roots ending in a vowel (including most of the contract verbs) or a diphthong (e.g., -εύω), or in a suffix ending in zeta (e.g., -άζω -ίζω).
And don't expect to find the well-ordered regularities of Latin principal parts in the luxuriant jungle of Greek verbs.
radagasty wrote:It seems to me that verbs in -ίζω are not wholly regular: they form their future either in -iῶ or in -ίσω. Is there a rule determining which it is, or it is just a matter of remembering each verb?
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