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Showing posts from May 17, 2019

The verb to be - Classical Greek

As in most languages, this is irregular, but will quickly be familiar:
εἰμί
εἶ
ἐστί(ν)*
ἐσμέν
ἐστέ
εἰσί(ν)*

* again the "movable nu" is added (to make pronunciation easier) if the next word starts with a vowel, or if this is the last word in the sentence: notice that here this applies to the third person singular as well as the third person plural.


Notice the slight similarity to the Latin equivalent (sum, es, est, sumus, estis, sunt). Notice also that the -μεν and -τε endings resemble the equivalent parts of παύω.The verb to be takes not an object (in the accusative) but a complement (another nominative): distinguish betweenὁ ξένος δοῦλον διώκει   the stranger chases a slave
and
ὁ ξένος δοῦλοs ἐστίν the stranger is a slave
In the second sentence the stranger is not doing something to a slave; we are just being told that he is a slave.