Bible Review 9:1, February 1993

Greek for Bible Readers

Conjugations: Present and future active indicative

By David Alan Black

Bible Review

Related patterns of verbs are known as conjugations. The entire Greek verb system may be divided into two basic conjugations: the -w conjugation and the -mi conjugation. These terms refer to the ending of the first person singular suffix in the present active indicative. The older but much smaller of the two systems is the -mi conjugation. The most common -mi verb is eijmiv (I am), used about 2,500 times in the Greek New Testament. However, the great majority of New Testament verbs belong to the -w conjugation. Mastering this conjugation is therefore essential before attempting to read the Greek New Testament. This lesson introduces the conjugations of luvw (I loose) in the present and future active indicative and the conjugation of eijmiv (I am) in the present indicative.

Greek has separate sets of person-number suffixes for the Primary tenses, which deal with Present and future time, and for the secondary tenses, which are oriented to the Past. The Greek Primary tenses are the present, the future, the perfect and the future Perfect. In the active indicative, the Primary suffixes are:

In addition, Greek adds a vowel before the suffixes -mev and -Te. This vowel,



1st person

-w I
-men we

2nd person

-ei~ you
-te you
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