Biblical Greek - Lesson 16

Present Active Indicative

In this lesson, you will learn about the present active indicative in Biblical Greek, which is crucial for understanding the language's structure and meaning. You will gain insights on how to form the present active indicative for both regular and irregular verbs, along with the various usage patterns and translation strategies. Through practice exercises and examples, you will develop a deeper understanding of this fundamental aspect of Biblical Greek, enabling you to translate and interpret the text more accurately.

Bill Mounce
Biblical Greek
Lesson 16
Watching Now
Present Active Indicative

I. Introduction to the Present Active Indicative

A. Importance in Biblical Greek

B. Defining the Present Active Indicative

II. Forming the Present Active Indicative

A. Regular Verbs

1. Stem and Ending

2. Conjugation Patterns

B. Irregular Verbs

1. Common Irregularities

2. Examples and Exceptions

III. Usage and Translation of the Present Active Indicative

A. Continuous Present

B. Iterative Present

C. Gnomic Present

D. Historical Present

IV. Practice and Application

A. Exercises and Examples

B. Tips for Memorization and Mastery

  • Bill Mounce invites you to join this course on Biblical Greek and learn the language that he believes is not as hard as people make it out to be, and assures that his lectures will hit just the high points of Greek and that there are resources available on his website for deeper understanding.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the fundamentals of biblical Greek, including the alphabet and pronunciation, nouns and adjectives, pronouns and verbs, and the importance of further study. You will learn about the declension of nouns and the conjugation of verbs in different tenses, such as the present, imperfect, future, and aorist. This lesson provides a comprehensive overview of the basics of biblical Greek, making it accessible to beginners who are just starting to learn.
  • In the Learning Greek lesson, you will tackle memorization, learn about tools to assist you, understand the importance of exercises, and discover the significance of time, consistency, and discipline to enhance your Greek language skills and develop a closer connection with Jesus.
  • In this lesson, you learn the Greek alphabet and its pronunciation, discovering similarities to the English alphabet and mastering special pronunciation rules like gamma nasal, vowels, diphthongs, iota subscript, diuresis, and breathing marks, crucial for Greek language study.
  • You will gain insight into the importance of punctuation and syllabification in Greek, which will help you better understand the meaning and pronunciation of Greek texts.
  • Through this lesson, you will develop a solid foundation in English nouns, their types, functions in sentences, and practical tips for mastery.
  • In this lesson, you grasp the significance of nominative and accusative definite articles in Biblical Greek, exploring their roles in identifying subjects and direct objects, and applying the definite article in context.
  • This lesson equips you with the knowledge to identify and translate the genitive and dative cases in biblical Greek, enhancing your understanding and interpretation of biblical texts.
  • Gain insight into the importance of prepositions in Biblical Greek, explore their different categories and meanings, and learn how they modify verbs, nouns, and adjectives to enhance your understanding of the New Testament's original language.
  • In this lesson, you will learn about adjectives in Biblical Greek, their declension, comparison, and their crucial role in syntax, semantics, interpretation, and translation of Biblical texts.
  • By studying the third declension in Biblical Greek, you gain insight into noun and adjective formations, enhancing your ability to analyze and interpret New Testament texts.
  • You gain knowledge of first and second person personal pronouns in Biblical Greek, learning their forms, usage, and application in translating and interpreting New Testament texts.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of Greek pronouns, focusing on forms and genders, and learn to apply this knowledge to accurately interpret biblical texts.
  • By studying this lesson, you acquire a thorough understanding of demonstrative pronouns and adjectives in Biblical Greek, their forms, syntax, and proper application in New Testament passages.
  • This lesson equips you to comprehend relative pronouns in Biblical Greek and their role in connecting ideas and forming dependent clauses.
  • In this lesson, you gain an in-depth understanding of verbs in Biblical Greek, learning about tenses, voices, and moods, and how to apply this knowledge in biblical exegesis.
  • Master the present active indicative in Biblical Greek to understand the language's structure, form regular and irregular verbs, and accurately translate and interpret the text.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into contract verbs in Biblical Greek, learning to identify and parse them, enabling accurate translation and interpretation of the New Testament texts.
  • This lesson provides a deep understanding of the present middle-passive indicative verb forms in Biblical Greek, including their formation, usage, and tips for accurate translation.
  • This lesson provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the future active and middle indicative verb forms in Biblical Greek, equipping you with translation techniques and practice exercises to enhance your skillset.
  • Through this lesson, you acquire knowledge of verbal roots and future forms in Biblical Greek, enabling better interpretation of the New Testament by recognizing regular and irregular patterns.
  • This lesson teaches you how to understand and use the imperfect indicative in biblical Greek, offering insights into verb conjugations, context, and translation accuracy.
  • You will gain expertise in Second Aorist Active and Middle Indicative forms in Biblical Greek, their formation, usage, and importance in biblical interpretation.
  • This lesson equips you with knowledge of the First Aorist Active and Middle Indicative in Biblical Greek, covering formation, parsing, and translation techniques while providing examples from the New Testament.
  • By studying this lesson, you learn to identify and translate Aorist and Future Passive Indicative verb forms in Biblical Greek, enabling accurate exegesis and interpretation of the New Testament.
  • In this lesson, you acquire knowledge on forming, conjugating, and translating perfect indicative verbs in biblical Greek, with a focus on understanding context and handling irregular verb forms.
  • Through this lesson, you learn about Greek participles, their types, and translation techniques, enhancing your ability to analyze and understand the New Testament texts.
  • This lesson teaches you to identify, translate, and interpret present continuous adverbial participles in Biblical Greek, enhancing your understanding of New Testament exegesis.
  • Gain insights into aorist undefined adverbial participles, their types, and translation techniques to improve your understanding of the Greek text and biblical exegesis.
  • Through this lesson, you master the intricacies of adjectival participles in biblical Greek, including their forms, translation, and syntax, ultimately enhancing your ability to analyze and translate biblical texts.
  • This lesson teaches you the intricacies of perfect participles and genitive absolutes in biblical Greek, enabling you to accurately translate and understand complex grammatical structures.
  • Gain insight into the subjunctive mood in Biblical Greek, understanding its formation, functions, and importance for interpreting the New Testament's nuanced meanings.
  • Through this lesson, you learn to recognize and understand the various roles and functions of infinitives in Biblical Greek, ultimately enhancing your ability to study the biblical text.
  • In this lesson, you learn about the imperative mood in Biblical Greek, its forms and uses, negation, and the subjunctive as an alternative for expressing commands and requests.
  • In this lesson, you learn to understand and apply the imperative mood in Biblical Greek, including its formation, nuances, and its use in exegesis.
  • In this lesson, you gain a deeper understanding of non-indicative forms and conditional sentences, learning to differentiate between subjunctive, imperative, infinitive, and participle forms, as well as first, second, and third class conditional sentences, while expanding your vocabulary.
  • Gain insights into Biblical Greek constructs, conditional sentences, Greek particles, and techniques for parsing and translating complex passages, enhancing your ability to interpret the New Testament.

These lectures will take you through the main points of each chapter in Bill Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek (3rd edition). These Summary Lectures are also available at billmounce.com, along with other free resources for learning biblical Greek. [The first lecture was originally given in the course Dr. Mounce was teaching at Gordon-Conwell seminary. The syllabus he mentions was for that group of students and is not available.]


BillMounce.com also sells video lectures by Bill Mounce that cover every point in the grammar.

Recommended Books

Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar 3rd (third) Edition

Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar 3rd (third) Edition

William D. Mounce's "Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar" and its companion tool "Basics of Biblical Greek Workbook" are the best-selling and most widely accepted textbooks for learning New Testament Greek.
Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar 3rd (third) Edition

Dr. Bill Mounce
Biblical Greek
Present Active Indicative
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] Well, welcome to chapter 16. And now that we've got our basic verbal grammar summarized and learned, what we're going to start doing is looking at how Greek forms different tense voice combinations. And in chapter 16, we're going to see how Greek forms the present active indicative. In other words, we're going to see how to form the present tense. And what we all see is that a verb that's in the present tense. Describes an action that usually not always, but usually occurs in the present time. And as far as the aspect of a president active, indicative verb is concerned, guess what? You have a choice. The verb can be either translated as a continuous. I am studying. Or as the simple I study. Now, how do you know which one is right? Well, there's always the key. And after Jesus's context. And when you're translating some of these sentence fragments, you may not know enough context to make a really good choice. But when you're translating the Bible, you'll be able to look at it and say, Well, this is the present tense, and therefore it can either be the simple, undefined aspect or it can be continuous, which fits the context. Now, in the textbook, I've used the continuous in my translation, but that's just to help get the present into your mind. So if you have a verb that's in the present active, indicative of a verb that's present tense in its form is probably describing an action that occurs in the present. And as far as this aspect is concerned, you have to look at context and say, Do I want to use a simple form of the English verb or the continuous form of the English verb? In translating, we're also going to be learning the active.

[00:02:00] In other words, we're going to be learning the form of the verb that is used when the subject does the action of the verb in order to get into the passive of Greek uses, among other things, a different personal ending. So we're going to be learning in the present active, and we're also going to be learning the indicative. In fact, all the verbs up through quite a few chapters are all going to be in the indicative mood. And it's much easier for me to define the indicative mood when we're into some of the other moods. And so just for the time being in your passing, you're always just going to say it's indicative. Don't worry about what that means. We'll define it more precisely later on. For you anxious types. The indicative mood is the form of the verb. When it makes an assertion or asks a question, is the difference between saying. I am happy. And if I were happy or if I may or might be happy. Those are different moods in English. And the indicative is the statement of fact or the assertion of fact or asking a question Will I be happy? Those are all indicative. So basically everything we're going to learn for a while is indicative. Okay. How then does Greek form the present active indicative? What's very simple is form from three parts. And this kind of chart, by the way, is key to understanding every chapter. And every chapter has at least one of these charts. Sometimes they have more than one. But in the chart I'm showing you how Greek puts that particular verbal construction together. And in order to form the present active indicative, you start with the present tense stem. You add a connecting vowel and then you add primary active personal endings.

[00:03:57] Now, let's go through that. What's the present tense stem? It's really easy. It's the form you memorize. The form that's in the vocabulary is your lexical form, which is the first person singular present indicative. So if you memorize the verb as lool, I loose. All you have to do is drop the ending off. You get the loo. That is the present tense stem. So the present tense stem is easy. It's just what you have in your lexical form. What's the connecting vowel? Well, the connecting vowel is a vowel was added to help in pronunciation. And the rule is this is the personal ending begins with a mu or nu. The connecting vowel is an American is a personal ending, begins with anything else, the connecting vowels and epsilon. Now, that's the basic rule. The one kind of extra part to it is if no personal ending is used. Then the connecting vowel can be either a macron or epsilon. In this chart, Luo Min the personal lending begins with Amu and so the connecting vowels. And I'm Akron and finally the present active uses primary active personal lending. So what's primary? Don't worry about it. Just know that it's a set of endings that the present active uses. And when we get to the other option, it's easier to define what the primary endings are. But the present active indicative uses the primary active personal index. And so, for example, Lou, is the stem arm across connecting for men is a personal lending. And so Lululemon is first person plural present, active, indicative from lool, meaning we loose. Do you see how the present active indicative is put together? Okay, good. Now here is a full paradigm of LOOL in the present active indicative. A tremendously important chart and one that you will say over and over and over again.

[00:06:07] I mean, you shut your eyes. You're going to see it written on the backs of your eyelids and you just have to be able to say. Lou Always. Louie, Lou, I mean Lou utter Lou See how over and over and over again. But you notice you have your stem, Lou. You notice that you have connecting vowels in most cases, and then you have personal endings. Which are in the red. Lou Always the way. Lou. I'm ET tu, Lucy. Now most people teach you to memorize or is a at the U.S.. In other words, most people teach you to memorize the connecting vowel as part of the personal ending, and certainly up front, it's a lot easier to do that. The problem is as we get into other tenses. If you know what the real personal endings are, it gets a lot easier. So I've come to a compromise on this issue. And what I want you to do is memorize both. And you're going to have this on quizzes over and over again. I want you to be able to say, here are the primary active personal endings with connecting vowel. All is a at U.S.. But you also must know that the true personal endings are nothing sigma iota men to see. Now you can see from the two personal endings that they have been significantly modified in some of the specifics. Epsilon Sigma has gone to a new ace Epsilon zero. I'm acronym PLUS and C has gone to Lucy. There's been changes, but that's why I want you to memorize both. Always a common at to U.S. because this is common and you need to know it. But for the sake of the other tenses, you have to know what the real endings are.

[00:08:08] And they are nothing. Sigma. Yoda meant to see. And the textbook has quite a few discussions explaining what happened. If you're interested. Okay. Two charts we're going to memorize. The first is the master personal lending chart. It has four parts, and in the upper left hand corner, we're going to learn the first of the four parts. And these are the endings that we call the primary active. In other words, these are the endings that we're going to learn with primary tenses when they want to make the verb active. Okay, so all aiming at oozy. These are the primary active endings. The second chart we're going to learn is the master verb chart. If you want to get depressed, you can look in the appendix and see the entire master verb chart. It takes up a full page. I say that because there's always somebody who wants to see the whole thing. But what we're going to do in each chapter is learn just one or two more rows. Oh, the master verb chart. And so as we go from chapter to chapter, the master verb charge is going to get longer and longer. But the important thing is that you recognize that we're only learning one or two rows each chapter. Now, there's a couple of columns in this chart that you don't know anything about yet, and that's okay. The column org we do doesn't apply to the present active indicative. Tense form doesn't apply. But you can see what the rest means, can't you? How do you form the present active? You form with the present tense stem. You use the connecting vowel, al-Muqrin epsilon, and you use primary active endings. And so if we had a paradigm of the first singular, it would be Luo.

[00:10:04] Okay. I cannot stress how important this master verb chart is. Because you have two options at this point. You can memorize this huge chart of all the paradigms and repeat it for the rest of your life, or you can learn the triggers. The same kind of thing we did with nouns. You can learn the triggers. You can look at the verbs that, Oh, there's a connecting file, Oh, there's a primary active person. Oh, well, this is the present active indicative. And the latter, in my mind, is much, much better. So you've got to learn the present act of indicative and you have to learn it. Exactly. Precisely. Perfectly. Okay. Well, good. Can I let's look just briefly at the verbs we're going to learn in this chapter. And what I want to do is to say the verb and then go through the paradigm with each verb. Okay. Now, let me show you how easy this is. Here's some of the new verbs that we're going to learn. A cool means I hear, you know, acoustic blips is I see. Echo is. I have an echo. Echo, echo. Echo means to have Lego. No charge for that Lego means. I say you already know that one and still is, I believe. So what would be the six forms for a cool. Same with me. A cool. A cool face. A cool. A cool woman of color. Tear A cool sea with blue apple. Blackpool. BLEEP, ace, bleep, bleep them and bleep it. BLEEP Bossy with echo, echo case. Okay. Ackerman, Eckert, echo C with Lego Lego legs leg a leg amend legged to legacy Lego my ego. And pustule pustule pustules per stewie posthuman per stuart PC do you see? Just as one final note it's armor not omega, it's not PC to all men is PC you Ahman PC you all men is something totally different. In other words, be precise.