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  Lesson 11 Index      printable pages

 

11.2:  Aorist Imperative and Infinitive (Active and Middle voices)

 

Let us complete the charts of the Aorist Imperative and Infinitive, both in the Active and the Middle voice.  The Aorist has past meaning only in the Indicative (where it has augment). 1  In the other moods and forms it does not denote past but it still retains its punctiliar aspect.  An exception to be considered later is the Aorist Infinitive, which in particular contexts may represent a past action.  We will ignore that possibility at this time. The following charts will compare Imperative and Infinitive Present and Aorist forms of   θεραπεύω= to cure, giving the same translation for both.  Notice the tense suffix of the Aorist:   -σα-, except in the 2nd person singular, where the ending is  -σον

IMPERATIVE, ACTIVE VOICE: Present and Aorist compared

person

number

Present

Aorist

The translation of

both is the same:

2nd sg

   θεράπευ-ε

   θεράπευ-σον

Cure! (you sg)

3rd sg

   θεραπευ-έ-τω

   θεραπευ-σά-τω

Let him cure!

2nd pl

   θεραπεύ-ε-τε

   θεραπεύ-σα-τε

Cure! (you pl)

3rd pl

   θεραπευ-ό-ντων

   θεραπευ-σά-ντων

Let them cure!

 

IMPERATIVE, MIDDLE VOICE

person

number

Present

Aorist

The translation of

both is the same:

2nd sg

  θεραπεύ-ου2

   θεράπευ-σαι3

Heal yourself! (you sg)

3rd sg

  θεραπευ-έ-σθω

   θεραπευ-σά-σθω

Let him/her heal him/herself!

2nd pl

  θεράπευ-ε-σθε

   θεραπεύ-σα-σθε

Heal yourselves! (you pl)

3rd pl

  θεραπευ-έ-σθων

   θεραπευ-σά-σθων

Let them heal themselves!

INFINITIVES

Present Active

Aorist Active

The translation is the same:

   θεραπεύ-ειν

    θεραπεῦ-σαι 3

to cure (someone)

Present Middle

Aorist Middle

 

  θεραπεύ-εσθαι

    θεραπεύ-σα-σθαι4

to heal oneself

 

Notes:

1)  Sometimes it is necessary to translate the Greek aorist with our perfect, e.g. in a given context “He has come, worked, done, etc.” may be  more idiomatic than ““He came, worked, did, etc."

2)  This ending underwent the same transformations as that of the 2nd person sg Imperfect:  ε-σο > ε + ο > ου

3)  Sadly, these two forms differ only in their accent, and that only under certain conditions... Consider the context to decide which is which.

4)  In an indirect statement the aorist infinitive may represent an action prior to that of the main verb, and then it may be translated with a  past tense of the indicative.  This will be studied later.