Monday, March 2, 2015

Grammar 4a: Verb

HOW TO TRANSLATE A VERB (ACTION OR BEING)

Look up the word. Look for its context-specific meaning.
Using Bible GT's helps for tense, voice, and mood, write it.

tense: when does action occur?
(adverbial participle: when does it occur relative to the main verb— 
before, at the same time, or after?)
Aorist: action usually in the past. We thanked God.
Present: action usually in the present. We thank God (or "we are thanking God," expressing a continuing action; only rarely is this expressed in translation).
Future: action usually in the future. We will thank God.
Imperfect: continual action usually in the past. We were thanking God.
Perfect: completed action in the past, with effects in the present. We have thanked God.
Pluperfect (rarely occurs; think of it as "past perfect"): completed action in the past, with effects that continued for some time in the past. We had thanked God.

voice: who does the action?
Active: the subject does the action. We thank God.
Middle: the subject does the action. The action may in some way affect the subject, yet not so much as to be expressed in English. Modern versions nearly always translate Greek middle by using active voice. We thank God.
Passive: the action is done to the subject. God was thanked by us.
Middle-passive: if a verb is identified as middle-passive, what that indicates is the same verb form is used for both middle and passive (that is to say: there is no way to look at the verb form and know whether it is middle or passive). Let the context help you with this.
Deponent: it's middle or passive in form, yet active in meaning. Such forms are called deponent forms. The advanced section of Bible GT indicates deponents (dep) and automatically supplies an active-voice translation tip.

mood: relationship with reality?
Indicative: It is.
Subjunctive: It may be. It's probable or possible.
Optative: It perhaps may be. It's wishful.
Imperative: It's a command, or respectful request (when addressing a superior).
Infinitive: It's an action, without person or number. It may have an accusative subject.

verb form
= start + verb body (root or stem) + code + ending

root: the most basic form of the verb; not always the same as the present-tense stem
ἀγαπα        βαλ             ἐρ               
love, throw, say

stem: the basic form of the verb in a given tense
ἀγαπα        βαλλ           λεγ             
present-tense stems

lexical form: 1st singular present active indicative
ἀγαπάω      βάλλω         λέγω          
I love (written ἀγαπ). I throw. I say.---


LESSON

Lessons 1-3 introduced the actors and descriptions, setting the stage. Now it's time for action!

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verb: a word that shows action or being


How to translate

1. Look up the word. Look for its context-specific meaning.
2. Using Bible GT's helps for tense, voice, and mood, translate the verb form.
3, Take into account the verse, its context, and other passages.

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color coding: red


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action or being


1 Thes 1:2
Εὐ¦χα¦ρι¦στοῦ¦μεν  τῷ  θε¦...
We give thanks to God.

Εὐ¦χα¦ρι¦στοῦ¦μεν is an action verb.

1 John 3:1
...τέκ¦να  θε¦οῦ  κλη¦θῶ¦μεν·  καὶ  ἐσ¦μέν.
we are called children of God--and we are

κλη
¦θῶ¦μεν is an action verb.
ἐσ¦μέν is a being verb.

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verb form


Bible GT presents this information for every verb form:


person, number, tense, voice, mood

For example,


Εὐ¦χα¦ρι¦στοῦ¦μεν
1st plural present active indicative

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four basic parts


A specific verb may have up to four parts:

- Verb start
- Verb body
- Verb code
- Ending (a verb ending for most verbs; a noun ending for most participles; and occasionally no ending at all)

Here are some examples of verb forms and their parts.


1 Thes 1:2
Εὐχαριστ + οῦμεν
Verb start: none
Verb body: Εὐχαριστ, give thanks
Verb code: none
Ending: οῦμεν, we
Form: 1st plural present active indicative
Tip: we ...
Translation: we give thanks

1 Thes 1:2
ποιού + μεν + οι

Verb start: none

Verb body: ποιού, making

Verb code: μεν, present middle-passive

Ending: οι, nominative plural masculine

Form: participle present middle-passive / nominative plural masculine

Tip: ...g

Translation: making


1 Thes 1:5
+ γενή + θη + μεν

Verb start: , aorist (in this situation)

Verb body: γενή, become

Verb code: θη, aorist passive indicative

Verb ending: μεν, we

Form: 1st plural aorist passive (deponent) indicative

Tip: we ...d

Translation: we became


The advanced section at Bible GT presents translation tips that reflect:
- Verb start
- Verb code
- Ending
...automatically, saving time and effort when reading or translating.

As you read, over time, you'll become more and more familiar with verb start, verb code, and endings.


Here are several summary charts: verb start, verb code, and verb endings. Many verbs fit these patterns (yet some verbs, such as ones with lexical forms end in -μι, fit other patterns, which are outside the context of this lesson).

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verb ending: indicates person and number


Person identifies a speaker (1st person), to whom he is speaking (2nd person), and about whom he is speaking (3rd person).

Number is singular (just one) or plural (more than one).

So a verb ending expresses a combination of person and number.
- Singular: I (1st), you (2nd), he/she/it (3rd)
- Plural: we (1st), you (2nd), they (3rd)


Both person and number are built into the verb form itself, in its ending.

For example, by taking a verb stem, then adding a 1st person plural verb ending to it:


Εὐχαριστε + ομεν
...we end up with this result:


Εὐ¦χα¦ρι¦στοῦ¦μεν
We give thanks

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verb code: indicates tense, voice, and mood


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tense: when does an action occur? (carefully consider context)


- Aorist: action usually in the past. We thanked God.

- Present: action usually in the present. We thank God (or "we are thanking God," expressing  a continuing action; only rarely is this expressed in translation).
1 Thes 4:10
καὶ  γὰρ  ποι¦ε¦τε  αὐ¦τὸ...
for indeed you do practice it [NASB]
for that indeed is what you are doing [ESV] 

- Future: action usually in the future. We will thank God.

Imperfect: continual action usually in the past. We were thanking God.

Perfect: completed action in the past, with effects in the present. We have thanked God.

- Pluperfect (rarely occurs; think of it as "past perfect"): completed action in the past, with effects that continued for some time in the past. We had thanked God.


In moods other than the indicative, tense conveys type of action, rather than time:
Aorist: point-in-time action
Present: continuing action
Perfect: completed action

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voice: who is the doer of the action?


- Active: the subject does the action. We thank God.


- Middle: the subject does the action. The action may in some way affect the subject, too; consider context to see such subtlety; modern versions nearly always translate it using active voice. We thank God.

Mark 7:4
... ¦ὰν  μὴ  ῥαν¦τί¦σων¦ται ...
unless they cleanse themselves [NASB]
unless they wash [ESV] [NIV]

- Passive: the action is done to the subject. God was thanked by us.

Sometimes one ending is used for both middle and passive forms.


- Middle-passive: if a verb is identified as middle-passive, what that indicates is the same verb form is used for both middle and passive (that is to say: there is no way to look at the verb form and know whether it is middle or passive). Let the context help you with this.

Sometimes the middle or passive form is to be understood as active in meaning.

- Deponent: it's middle or passive in form, yet active in meaning. Such forms are called deponent forms. The advanced section of Bible GT indicates deponents (dep) and automatically supplies an active-voice translation tip. (In lexicons, the convention is: any lexical verb that ends with -ομαι is deponent.)
1 Thes 1:5
 ...¦γε¦νή¦θη...
he/she/it ...d
3d singular aorist passive (dep) indicative
it came

The words "passive (dep)" indicate that this verb is passive in form, yet active in meaning.


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mood: indicates a relationship with reality

- Indicative: It is.


1 Thes 1:2
Εὐ¦χα¦ρι¦στοῦ¦μεν  τῷ  θε¦...
1st plural present active indicative
We give thanks to God

- Subjunctive: It may be. It's probable or possible.

1 Thes 4:1
...¦να  πε¦ρισ¦σεύ¦η¦τε   μᾶλ¦λον.
2nd plural present active subjunctive
that you may abound even more
(in English: use may with a present or future verb; use might with a past verb)

- Optative: It perhaps may be. It's wishful.
1 Thes 3:11
...κα
¦τευ¦θύ¦ναι  τὴν  ¦δὸν  ¦μῶν  πρὸς  ¦μᾶς·
3d singular aorist active optative
he may perhaps direct our path to you

- Imperative: It's a command, or respectful request (when addressing a superior).

1 Thes 4:18

¦στε  πα¦ρα¦κα¦λεῖ¦τε  ἀλ¦λή¦λους  ἐν  τοῖς  λό¦γοις  τού¦τοις.
verb: 2nd plural present active imperative

Therefore, encourage one another with these words.

- Infinitive: It's an action, without person or number. It may have an accusative subject.

1 Thes 1:8
λα
¦λεῖν  τι        to say anything
¦χειν  ¦μᾶς   to have us / we have

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Try out translating the 4 verbs in 1 Thes 1:9.

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imperative mood:

a command or respectful request

Let's consider 1 Thes 4:17b-18.


1 Thes 4:17-18

...καὶ   οὕ
¦τως   πάν¦το¦τε  σὺν  κυ¦ρί¦ῳ  ¦σό¦με¦θα.

¦στε  πα¦ρα¦κα¦λεῖ¦τε  ἀλ¦λή¦λους  ἐν  τοῖς  λό¦γοις  τού¦τοις.

¦σό¦με¦θα
- Form: 1st person plural future middle indicative
- Tip: we will ...
- Translation: we will be

πα¦ρα¦κα¦λεῖ¦τε
- Form: 2nd plural present active imperative
- Tip: 2: You... | 3: He/she/it must...
- Translation: you encourage

...and so always with the Lord we will be. Therefore encourage one another with these words.


An imperative is a command (or it is a respectful request, when addressing a superior). Bible GT shows imperatives in bold, automatically, to assist a reader in recognizing imperatives. Historically, the first church epistle to be written was this book. So this was the first imperative-mood command, written to the Church:

1 Thes 4:18
¦στε  πα¦ρα¦κα¦λεῖ¦τε  ἀλ¦λή¦λους  ἐν  τοῖς  λό¦γοις  τού¦τοις.
Therefore encourage one another with these words.

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In Greek, imperatives may be 2nd person or 3rd person. Here is an example of a 3rd person imperative:


1 Cor 14:26

...πάν
¦τα  πρὸς  οἰ¦κο¦δο¦μὴν  γι¦νέσ¦θω.
Form: 3d person singular present middle-passive (dep) imperative
Tip: 2: You... | 3: Let him/her/it/them...
Translation:
- all for building up it must come
- Let all things be done for building up.

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Some additional imperative-mood commands:


Psa 118:1

αλ
¦λη¦λου¦ι¦α  ἐξ¦ο¦μο¦λο¦γεῖσ¦θε  τῷ  κυ¦ρί¦  ¦τι  ¦γα¦θὸς...
Speak out the same "Hallelujah" to the Lord, because He is good...

Matt 1:29

  δὲ  εἶ
¦πεν·  ἐλ¦θέ...
And he said, "Come!"

Mat 1:30

...κύ
¦ρι¦ε σῶ¦σόν  με.
"Lord, save me!"

Luke 11:9

...αἰ
¦τεῖ¦τε... ζη¦τεῖ¦τε... κρού¦ε¦τε...
Ask...seek...knock...

Phil 4:4

Χαί
¦ρε¦τε  ἐν  κυ¦ρί¦ῳ  πάν¦το¦τε·  πά¦λιν  ¦ρῶ χαί¦ρε¦τε.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.

See also Matt 6:33; Eph 4-6; 1 Thes 5:13-26.


See also these respectful requests, made when addressing a superior:

- Matt 6:9-13
- Matt 26:29
- Luke 11:1, 2-4

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to be


Here are the most common "to be" forms. You'll pick up these and others, as you encounter them in your reading.


present active indicative

εἰ
¦μί  I am
εἶ  you are
¦στί(ν)  he/she/it is

¦σμέν  we are
¦στέ  you (all) are
εἰ
¦σί(ν)  they are

imperfect active indicative

¦μην  I was
ἦς  you were
ἦν  he/she/it was


¦με¦θα / ¦μεν  we were
¦τε  you (all) were
¦σαν  they were

future middle indicative

¦σο¦μαι  we will be
¦σῃ  you will
¦σται  he/she/it will

¦σό¦με¦θα  we will
¦σεσ¦θε  you (all) will
¦σον¦ται  they will

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the verbs of 1 Thes 1



Now let's consider the verbs of 1 Thes 1, verse by verse.



1 Thes 1:2


Εὐ¦χα¦ρι¦στοῦ¦μεν
- Form: 1st plural present active indicative
- Tip: we...
- Translation: We give thanks

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1 Thes 1:5

¦γε¦νή¦θη
- Form: 3rd singular aorist passive indicative (deponent)
- Tip: he/she/it ...d
- Translation: it came

οἴ
¦δα¦τε
- Form: 2nd plural perfect active indicative
- Tip: you (all) have ...d
- Translation: you have known

¦γε¦νή¦θη¦μεν
- Form: 1st person plural aorist passive indicative (deponent)
- Tip: we ...d
- Translation: we became

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1 Thes 1:6

¦γε¦νή¦θη¦τε
- Form: 2nd plural aorist passive indicative (deponent)
- Tip: you (all) ...d
- Translation: you became

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1 Thes 1:7

γε¦νέσ¦θαι
- Form: aorist middle infinitive (deponent)
- Tip: ...d
- Translation: became

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1 Thes 1:8

ἐξ¦ή¦χη¦ται
- Form: 3rd singular perfect passive indicative
- Tip: he/she/it has been ...d
- Translation: it has been sounded out

ἐξ¦ε¦λή¦λυ¦θεν
- Form: 3rd singular perfect active indicative
- Tip: he/she/it has ...d
- Translation: it has gone forth

¦χειν
- Form: present active infinitive
- Tip: to ... | ...
- Translation: we have

λα¦λεῖν
- Form: present active infinitive
- Tip: to ... | ...
- Translation: to say

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1 Thes 1:9

¦παγ¦γέλ¦λου¦σιν
- Form: 3rd plural present active indicative
- Tip: they ...
- Translation: they proclaim

¦σχο¦μεν
- Form: 1st plural aorist active indicative
- Tip: we ...d
- Translation: we had

¦πε¦στρέψ¦α¦τε
- Form: 2nd plural aorist active indicative
- Tip: you (all) ...d
- Translation: you turned

δου¦λεύ¦ειν
- Form: present active infinitive
- Tip: to ... | ...
- Translation: to serve

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1 Thes 1:10

¦να¦μέ¦νειν
- Form: present active infinitive
- Tip: to ... | ...
- Translation: to wait for

¦γει¦ρεν
- Form: 3rd singular aorist active indicative
- Tip: he/she/it ...d
Translation: He raised

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advanced topics: aspect; action type

Aspect and action type are advanced topics about the viewpoint from which an action is viewed and the "ongoingness" of an action being described. Considering aspect and action type when considering an action verb is very helpful and sometimes quite illuminating.Scholars are beginning to develop some consensus on these concepts, although there may be many more decades of discussion on these subjects. For further reading, in addition to considering the Mounce and Wallace grammars, you might also find it helpful to read one or more chapters of Campbell's new book, Basics of Verbal Aspect in Biblical Greek.


And so for now, here is a practical guide to aspect and action type, presented as an introduction to these subjects.


aspect: the view of an action; the perspective from which an action is seen

There are two basic aspects:

- Events: the view is each small action being taken, a detailed view of what is occurring, up close (also known as continual aspect or imperfected aspect).


- Process: the view is the big picture, an overall view of what was occurring, wide screen, outcome (also known as perfected aspect, completed aspect, or summary aspect).


Here are the relationships between tense and aspect:


tense: aorist

aspect: process

tense: present

aspect: events

tense: imperfect
aspect: events

tense: perfect

aspect: events or process (check context)

tense: pluperfect

aspect: events or process (check context)

action type: the "ongoingness" of action, determined by context
- Iterative: action repeated again and again
- Punctiliar: action done once (in a moment or over an interval of time)
- Progressive: action occurring at the time of writing

Here are some examples:


1 Thes 1:2

Εὐ
¦χα¦ρισ¦τοῦ¦μεν  τῷ  θε¦ῷ  πάν¦το¦τε...

Εὐ
¦χα¦ρισ¦τοῦ¦μεν
- Tense: present
- Aspect: events

- Action type: iterative (context: always)
- Translation: We give thanks


Εὐ
¦χα¦ρισ¦τοῦ¦μεν  τῷ  θε¦ῷ  πάν¦το¦τε
We give thanks to God always

1 Thes 1:5

...τὸ  εὐ
¦αγ¦γέ¦λι¦ον  ¦μῶν... ¦γε¦νή¦θη... ¦γε¦νή¦θη
- Tense: past
- Aspect: process
- Action type: punctiliar (context: how it came, when it came)
- Translation: it came


τὸ  εὐ
¦αγ¦γέ¦λι¦ον  ¦μῶν... ¦γε¦νή¦θη
for our gospel came

1 Thes 1:8

...ἐξ
¦ή¦χη¦ται  ὁ  λό¦γος  τοῦ  κυ¦ρί¦ου...

ἐξ
¦ή¦χη¦ται
- Tense: aorist
- Aspect: process
- Action type: iterative (context: not only in..., but also in...)
- Translation: has been sounded forth

ἐξ
¦ή¦χη¦ται  ὁ  λό¦γος  τοῦ  κυ¦ρί.ου
the Word of the Lord has been sounded forth


And so, it's worth considering aspect and action type, as doing so may bring added understanding.


Such added understanding may not be, and often is not, reflected in translation for publication.


However, it can prove helpful to indicate such added understanding in translation for personal study--to build deeper personal understanding--and to have added ways of expressing what the Scriptures are saying, when sharing the Scriptures with others.


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Little Notes


infinitive, functioning as a noun
Sometimes, an infinitive acts as a noun. Here is an example:

Phil 1:21

Ἐ¦μοὶ  γὰρ  τὸ  ζῆν  Χρισ¦τὸς  καὶ  τὸ  ¦πο¦θα¦νεῖν  κέρ¦δος...
For to me, to live, Christ; and to die, gain.
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.


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article + infinitive combos
article + infinitive
Sometimes an article appears along with an infinitive.
Understand it in context as a unit.

Rom 7:18
...τὸ  γὰρ  θέ¦λειν  πα¦ρά¦κει¦ταί  μοι...
for the will is present in me


preposition + article + infinitive
This occurs twice as often as a simple article + infinitive.
It's a Greek way of saying something that has no direct rendering into English.
Here are the combinations and how to understand them.


- διά + τό + infinitive = because he...

- εἰς + τό + infinitive = that he...
- ἐν + τῷ + infinitive = when he...
- μετά +
τό + infinitive = after he...

- πρός + τό + infinitive = that he...

Eph 1:12

εἰς  τὸ  εἶ¦ναι  ¦μᾶς...
that we may be


Eph 1:18

...εἰς  τὸ  εἰ¦δέ¦ναι  ¦μᾶς...
that you may know 
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expressing future tense in English

In modern usage, native English speakers and writers nearly always use will to express future tense. The older convention of "shall for 1st person; will for 2nd, 3rd person" is only rarely used.

1 Thes 4:17
...καὶ  
οὕ¦τως  πάν¦το¦τε  σὺν  κυ¦ρί¦ῳ  ¦σό¦με¦θα
and so always with the Lord we will be
and so we will always be with the Lord


In the NASB (1995), the translators apparently chose this convention: will for future tense; shall for future tense of the verb "to be." Hence, the NASB renders it this way: and so we shall always be with the Lord.


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3 comments:

Ideal Ideas to invest said...

thanks your blog has enable me to understand the love of my Father Yahweh

Mike Egerdahl said...

But what about μι ???

Peter Coad said...

Hi Mike, Good suggestion, would be good to include a couple examples. Thanks. Pete