Present Active Indicative

MONDAYThe verbs of Koine  Greek (New Testament Greek) express the following grammatical features:

• tense (e.g., past, present, future),
• voice (e.g., active, passive),
• mood (e.g., indicative, imperative),
• person (e.g., 1st person [“I/we”], 2nd person [“you”]), and
• number (singular or plural),

When one lists these features one is said to be “parsing” the verb. For example, when parsing the verb λύω, one would say, “present, active, indicative, 1st person, singular.”

The present tense  is used to denote either simple or continuous (also called linear) action in the present. The kind of action that a verb describes (e.g., continuous) is called the verb’s “aspect.” The various forms of the present tense are built with:

• a stem,
• suffixed with an ο/ε connecting (or “theme”) vowel,
• followed by an personal ending.



1st Person

λύω I loose, or I am loosing λύομεν We loose, or we are loosing

2nd Person

λύεις You loose, or you are loosing λύετε you were loosing

3rd Person

λύει he/she was loosing λύουσι(ν) they were loosing

Technically, the theme vowel for the 1st person singular, λύω, is ο (omicron), but in the absence of a personal ending the vowel lengthens to ω (omega).

As indicated in the above chart, the 3rd person plural form, λύουσι, sometimes takes a ν ending. This occurs when the following word begins with a vowel, much the same way that the letter “n” is attached to the indefinite article “a” when we say things like “that’s an exception.”

For purposes of memorization, it is simplest to practice the following as the basic endings attached to the λύ- stem:

  • -εις
  • -ει
  • -ομεν
  • -ετε
  • -ουσι

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