Are there many passive verbs which lack an active counterpart?

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eno2

Senior Member
Dutch-Flemish
Hello,

To me the capacity of active Greek verbs for going passive seems unlimited, by using the traditional passive endings. But now I discovered a passive verb which does not have an active counterpart. βαριέμαι, be bored.


I try to pay attention, but algebra class bores me.
Προσπαθώ να παρακολουθώ, αλλά το μάθημα της άλγεβρας με κάνει να βαριέμαι.
Προσπαθώ να παρακολουθώ, αλλά το μάθημα της άλγεβρας μου προκαλεί βαρεμάρα.
Προσπαθώ να παρακολουθώ, αλλά βαριέμαι το μάθημα της άλγεβρας.
(To bore, WR)
One has to use a periphrasis with a passive verb. .< αλλά βαριέμαι το μάθημα της άλγεβρας.>;. I expected a 'by' here. I am bored by. But there is no 'by'. It's <βαριέμαι το μάθημα >

Are there many such passive verbs?
 
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  • dmtrs

    Senior Member
    Greek
    (This is a discussion that exists in a previous thread, but I do not remember where.)
    In Greek (let's stick to modern Greek here) there is a distinction between passive voice* and passive mode.**

    * a verb is in passive voice if it has a -μαι ending, while it is in active voice if it ends in -ω; no exceptions or difficulties here.
    ** a verb is in passive mode if it indicates the subject is affected by someone/something else; similar to this is medium mode, where the subject acts but the action returns to it (therefore it is affected by itself); there is active mode where the subject, naturally, acts; and there is neutral mode, where the subject just finds itself in a certain state (κοιμάμαι).

    Usually, there is a relevance between voice and mode: active mode verbs are in active voice and the others in passive voice.
    But this is not always the case. This is without exception only for passive mode verbs.
    A verb can be in active mode but in passive voice (ασχολούμαι, εργάζομαι...) or in neutral mode (ησυχάζω, ευτυχώ...).

    But there is no 'by'.
    Verbs in active voice + mode are used in 'active syntax'; when we want to use 'passive syntax' the transformations are identical to those in English: the object becomes the new subject, the former subject becomes an agent (by...) and the active voice verb is transferred to passive voice. But when a verb of active mode is in passive voice already, the transformation cannot be done, therefore there is no 'by' syntax available and we have to use a periphrasis.

    Are there many such passive verbs?
    Verbs that appear only in passive voice (usually of the sort I described above) are called αποθετικά.
    They are not rare.
    (απ)ασχολούμαι, (περι/συν/επεξ/απ)εργάζομαι... (active)
    κάθομαι, κοιμάμαι... (neutral)
    (some can be either active or medium, I believe: σκέφτομαι)

    The verb you mention (βαριέμαι), I think, belongs to the very last category -with the meaning you have here (to bore).
    But there is a verb in active voice (βαράω or βαρώ) from which it derives, with a different meaning though: to hit/bang/beat (χτυπάω / χτυπώ), which makes it difficult for me to decide if it can be called αποθετικό.
     
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    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    (This is a discussion that exists in a previous thread, but I do not remember where.)
    Title suggestions didn't generate anything similar existent..

    In Greek (let's stick to modern Greek here) there is a distinction between passive voice* and passive mode.**
    * a verb is in passive voice if it has a -μαι ending, while it is in active voice if it ends in -ω; no exceptions or difficulties here.
    ** a verb is in passive mode if it indicates the subject is affected by someone/something else; similar to this is medium mode, where the subject acts but the action returns to it (therefore it is affected by itself); there is active mode where the subject, naturally, acts; and there is neutral mode, where the subject just finds itself in a certain state (κοιμάμαι).
    I hesitated to use the Greek denominations as I haven't my Greek grammar book with me . I also didn't use the 'reflexive' denomination. To us, verbs have an active 'mode' and a passive 'form' and can be ''reflexive' .

    Usually, there is a relevance between voice and mode: active mode verbs are in active voice and the others in passive voice.
    But this is not always the case. This is without exception only for passive mode verbs.
    A verb can be in active mode but in passive voice (ασχολούμαι, εργάζομαι...) or in medium mode (ησυχάζω, ευτυχώ...).
    I will have to repeat Greek grammar for that, for the moment I can't understand truly. Especially not the medium mode.

    Verbs in active voice + mode are used in 'active syntax'; when we want to use 'passive syntax' the transformations are identical to those in English: the object becomes the new subject, the former subject becomes an agent (by...) and the active voice verb is transferred to passive voice.
    Yes, that's the passive voice proper to me. (In Dutch).
    But when a verb of active mode is in passive voice already, the transformation cannot be done, therefore there is no 'by' syntax available and we have to use a periphrasis.
    Yes. OK.

    Verbs that appear only in passive voice (usually of the sort I described above) are called αποθετικά.
    They are not rare.
    (απ)ασχολούμαι, (περι/συν/επεξ/απ)εργάζομαι... (active)
    κάθομαι, κοιμάμαι... (medium)
    (some can be either active or medium, I believe: σκέφτομαι)
    <αποθετικά. > doesn't translate by WR but wikileksikó says
    <αποθετικά ρήματα λέγονται όσα έχουν μόνο μέση φωνή, όπως δέχομαι. έρχομαι>

    The verb you mention (βαριέμαι), I think, belongs to the very last category -with the meaning you have here (to bore).
    But there is a verb in active voice (βαράω or βαρώ) from which it derives, with a different meaning though: to hit/bang/beat (χτυπάω / χτυπώ), which makes it difficult for me to decide if it can be called αποθετικό.
    So the place is taken by βαράω or βαρώ.
    It's weird that I had looked it up and had got no results and now yes. Must have done something wrong.
     

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Αγαπητέ dmtrs,
    Ανάμεσα σε τόσες επιτυχημένες αναρτήσεις και σχόλια είναι λογικό να έχει παρεισφρύσει και κάποια αβλεψία, όπως στο #2 παραπάνω "in medium mode (ησυχάζω, ευτυχώ...) αντί "in neutral..." ή "κάθομαι, κοιμάμαι... (medium)" αντί "neutral".
     

    dmtrs

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Αγαπητέ dmtrs,
    Ανάμεσα σε τόσες επιτυχημένες αναρτήσεις και σχόλια είναι λογικό να έχει παρεισφρύσει και κάποια αβλεψία, όπως στο #2 παραπάνω "in medium mode (ησυχάζω, ευτυχώ...) αντί "in neutral..." ή "κάθομαι, κοιμάμαι... (medium)" αντί "neutral".
    You are absolutely right, Ioanell. Thank you for the correction and your polite words. I'm going to edit my post so our foreign friends are not confused - I hope they notice your remark and excuse my mistake.
     

    ioanell

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Can you please show us a typical example of such a periphrasis?
    1. Δέχτηκαν τον νικητή με ζητωκραυγές=They received/welcomed the winner with loud hurrahs. > Ο νικητής έγινε δεκτός με ζητωκραυγές = The winner was received/welcomed with loud hurrahs. The construction “Ο νικητής δέχτηκε με ζητωκραυγές” is absolutely mistaken.

    2. Πολύ συχνά οι εργοδότες εκμεταλλεύονται τους εργαζόμενούς τους = Employers very often exploit their employees > Οι εργαζόμενοι πολύ συχνά γίνονται αντικείμενο εκμετάλλευσης* από τους εργοδότες = Employees are very often exploited by their employers. The construction “Οι εργαζόμενοι πολύ συχνά εκμεταλλεύονται από τους εργοδότες” is absolutely mistaken.
    *γίνονται αντικείμενο εκμετάλλευσης

    3. Σ’ αυτήν την επιχείρηση επεξεργάζονται τα προϊόντα τους με πολύ ποιοτικό τρόπο = In this business they are processing their products in a very qualitative way > Σ’ αυτήν την επιχείρηση τα προϊόντα υφίστανται επεξεργασία με πολύ ποιοτικό τρόπο = In this business the products are being processed in a very qualitative way. The construction “Σ’ αυτήν την επιχείρηση τα προϊόντα επεξεργάζονται in a very qualitative way” is absolutely mistaken.
     
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    dmtrs

    Senior Member
    Greek
    <αποθετικά ρήματα λέγονται όσα έχουν μόνο μέση φωνή, όπως δέχομαι. έρχομαι>
    This is a mix-up of terms. In Greek there is no such thing as 'μέση φωνή'; only mode (διάθεση) can be 'μέση' (medium) - φωνή (voice) is either ενεργητική (active) or παθητική (passive). Terms from ancient Greek get in the way and cause this mix-up, but it's not a discussion we should go into right now.

    To us, verbs have an active 'mode' and a passive 'form' and can be ''reflexive' .
    These are the 'medium' mode verbs in Greek.

    Can you please show us a typical example of such a periphrasis?
    Ο γιατρός περιποιείται τον άρρωστο. > Ο άρρωστος δέχεται την περιποίηση του γιατρού. (not a 'pretty' sentence, though; we would say that only if we really must use a passive expression.)
    Ο Νίκος ασχολείται με την κηπουρική. > Η κηπουρική είναι η αγαπημένη απασχόληση του Νίκου.
    Το εργοστάσιο επεξεργάζεται απορρίμματα. > Στο εργοστάσιο γίνεται επεξεργασία απορριμμάτων. / Τα απορρίμματα υφίστανται επεξεργασία στο εγοστάσιο.
    (I cannot claim that these are 'typical' examples, though. There are plenty of ways to move around the "impossible' passive expression.)

    P.S. You might hear or even read such an "impossible" passive expression (like: Ο κήπος περιποιείται από τον κηπουρό) but that's just bad Greek - not unlike 'I didn't done that' or 'you is my woman'.

    Been cross-posting with Ioanell -his examples are really good!
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    1. Δέχτηκαν τον νικητή με ζητωκραυγές=They received/welcomed the winner with loud hurrahs. > Ο νικητής έγινε δεκτός με ζητωκραυγές = The winner was received/welcomed with loud hurrahs. The construction “Ο νικητής δέχτηκε με ζητωκραυγές” is absolutely mistaken.

    2. Πολύ συχνά οι εργοδότες εκμεταλλεύονται τους εργαζόμενούς τους = Employers very often exploit their employees > Οι εργαζόμενοι πολύ συχνά γίνονται αντικείμενο εκμετάλλευσης* από τους εργοδότες = Employees are very often exploited by their employers. The construction “Οι εργαζόμενοι πολύ συχνά εκμεταλλεύονται από τους εργοδότες” is absolutely mistaken.
    *γίνονται αντικείμενο εκμετάλλευσης

    3. Σ’ αυτήν την επιχείρηση επεξεργάζονται τα προϊόντα τους με πολύ ποιοτικό τρόπο = In this business they are processing their products in a very qualitative way > Σ’ αυτήν την επιχείρηση τα προϊόντα υφίστανται επεξεργασία με πολύ ποιοτικό τρόπο = In this business the products are being processed in a very qualitative way. The construction “Σ’ αυτήν την επιχείρηση τα προϊόντα επεξεργάζονται in a very qualitative way” is absolutely mistaken.
    Could you give me the Ενεστώτας of υφίστανται please and it's meaning, if possible?

    I have no problem with the forming of the passive voice with 'γίνομαι, as we do that also that way in Dutch. But we do it always with γίνομαι. In Greek, Greek verbs have their own passive voice form, the medio passive, something we don't have.
    How can I know that using that own passive voice form instead of using Γίνομαι is 'absolutely mistaken? :confused:
    Perhaps I missed something....


    This is a mix-up of terms. In Greek there is no such thing as 'μέση φωνή'; only mode (διάθεση) can be 'μέση' (medium) - φωνή (voice) is either ενεργητική (active) or παθητική (passive). Terms from ancient Greek get in the way and cause this mix-up, but it's not a discussion we should go into right now.
    I think I've got it clear now - the English terminology at least.

    These are the 'medium' mode verbs in Greek.
    Yes. Medium is the English term. What's the Greek term?
     

    dmtrs

    Senior Member
    Greek
    forming of the passive voice with 'γίνομαι'
    The use of 'γίνομαι' in two of Ioanell's examples is coincidental; it is not a way of expressing passive, as you say happens in Dutch. (Note that with 'εκμεταλλεύομαι' the 'passivation' had to use the noun 'αντικείμενο' in order to be formed; word by word translation: become the objects of exploitation.)

    Ενεστώτας of υφίστανται
    υφίσταμαι - υφίστασαι - υφίσταται - (υφιστάμεθα) - (υφίστασθε) - υφίστανται
    - I use parentheses for what is considered archaic and is used either in very old fashioned speech or if there is no alternative at hand.

    Medium is the English term. What's the Greek term?
    Μέση (διάθεση) / Μέσα (ρήματα)
     

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    Can you please show us a typical example of such a periphrasis?
    I gave one
    algebra class bores me [...] βαριέμαι το μάθημα της άλγεβρας
    I am sorry, I had overlooked that. But it seems that it is a special case, not a typical one: βαριέμαι can be used as a transitive verb and in this case it has a different meaning (different from the English "to bore").

    Ο νικητής έγινε δεκτός με ζητωκραυγές
    Οι εργαζόμενοι πολύ συχνά γίνονται αντικείμενο εκμετάλλευσης από τους εργοδότες
    Σ’ αυτήν την επιχείρηση τα προϊόντα υφίστανται επεξεργασία με πολύ ποιοτικό τρόπο
    Ο άρρωστος δέχεται την περιποίηση του γιατρού.
    Η κηπουρική είναι η αγαπημένη απασχόληση του Νίκου.
    Τα απορρίμματα υφίστανται επεξεργασία στο εγοστάσιο.
    Many thanks!
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    I am sorry, I had overlooked that. But it seems that it is a special case, not a typical one: βαριέμαι can be used as a transitive verb and in this case it has a different meaning (different from the English "to bore").
    But WR gives it as a translation of

    I try to pay attention, but algebra class bores me.
    Which I found very weird.....
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    But WR gives it as a translation of

    I try to pay attention, but algebra class bores me.
    Which I found very weird.....
    Yes, "βαριέμαι το μάθημα της άλγεβρας" is a kind of a free rendering, which doesn't render precisely the structure of the English verb. However, the meaning of "βαριέμαι το μάθημα της άλγεβρας" is similar with that of the other Greek translations ("με κάνει να βαριέμαι/μου προκαλεί βαρεμάρα").
    Those translations render precisely the verb "to bore sb", as far as the structure of the verbs is concerned.

    to bore somebody =κάνω κάποιον να βαριέται/προκαλώ βαρεμάρα σε κάποιον
    to be bored = βαριέμαι : He is bored of his wife- Βαριέται τη γυναίκα του. (Βαριέται is transitive here).
     
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    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    Yes, those periphrasis were which drew my attention.
    And also the pure transitive way of handling βαριέμαι and all the verbs who are only passive.

    Is I said, our passive voice is normally <is he is bored BY his wife.>
    But I'm getting my head around the Greek way of using simply direct object with this class of verbs. The problem is: you have to know them to know you have to apply that structure. And there are some 170 of them...

    And look, we are (or in any case I am) running into ambiguities here.

    <He is bored of his wife> means: he has had enough of her (presence). Yep. He wants another one...or is looking for one... That's a bit worse than
    <To be bored BY someone> which means they bore you. They're boring.

    Sorry but my question is then:

    Βαριέται τη γυναίκα του: does that mean <he is bored BY his wife>,
    or does that mean: <He is bored of his wife>
    Or both?
     
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    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Sorry but my question is then:

    Βαριέται τη γυναίκα του: does that mean <he is bored BY his wife>,
    or does that mean: <He is bored of his wife>
    Or both?
    I guess it's rather "of his wife", which reminds me "with his wife". We can also say "Βαριέται με τη γυναίκα του".
    In my opinion, by using BY you want to stress on the person who bores someone (the woman here), so in Greek you can communicate this by using this structure: Η γυναίκα του του προκαλεί πλήξη/τον κάνει να βαριέται.

    If you want to emphasize on the person who gets bored, then "αυτός βαριέται τη γυναίκα του".

    But as I wrote in the previous post, the result is the same. Here: his boredom.
     
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    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    Βικιλεξικό distinguishes two uses (and meanings) of βαριέμαι: the transitive (μεταβατικό) and the intransitive (αμετάβατο) case:
    βαριέμαι - Βικιλεξικό
    1. intransitive: to be (or feel) bored
    2. transitive: to be angry about something or somebody (the object, in accusative) which / who bores me
     

    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    1. intransitive: to be (or feel) bored
    This is the case from the first post of this thread. I think that an intransitive verb is rather in neutral mode than in active mode. Therefore, it is not possible to transform it to passive mode directly. (Even if the verb was in active voice, such as υπάρχω / "exist", it would be impossible: You can say "something made it exist", but not "it was existed by something".)
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Βικιλεξικό distinguishes two uses (and meanings) of βαριέμαι: the transitive (μεταβατικό) and the intransitive (αμετάβατο) case:
    βαριέμαι - Βικιλεξικό
    1. intransitive: to be (or feel) bored
    2. transitive: to be angry about something or somebody (the object, in accusative) which / who bores me
    As a transitive, it does not only mean "to be angry about", also to "get bored of". "ανία", which is mentioned in 2., means "boredom".
     
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    διαφορετικός

    Senior Member
    Swiss German - Switzerland
    As transitive, it does not only means "to be angry about", also to "get bored of".
    Well, I understood the Βικιλεξικό text for the transitive case as a combination of anger and boredom. You mean that the anger component need not be present?

    PS: I understood it as if there were the brackets "()" in the text, building a unit for the relative pronoun που:
    δυσανασχετώ για κάτι ή κάποιον που (δεν μου προκαλεί το ενδιαφέρον, μου προξενεί ανία)
     

    eno2

    Senior Member
    Dutch-Flemish
    Βικιλεξικό distinguishes two uses (and meanings) of βαριέμαι: the transitive (μεταβατικό) and the intransitive (αμετάβατο) case:
    βαριέμαι - Βικιλεξικό
    1. intransitive: to be (or feel) bored
    2. transitive: to be angry about something or somebody (the object, in accusative) which / who bores me
    :confused:

    That's ALL be bored. No 'be angry' ( Under Μεταφράσεις)

    It's surprising and even funny that βαρεμένος means (WR)
    addicted adj(compulsively interested)

    Compulsively interested: that's a contronym meaning of βαριέμαι.(Η παθητική μετοχή βαρεμένος έχει άλλη σημασία, says Wikileksiko . => and that meaning turns out to be even an antonym of βαριέμαι.)
     

    Perseas

    Senior Member
    Well, I understood the Βικιλεξικό text for the transitive case as a combination of anger and boredom. You mean that the anger component need not be present?

    PS: I understood it as if there were the brackets "()" in the text, building a unit for the relative pronoun που:
    δυσανασχετώ για κάτι ή κάποιον που (δεν μου προκαλεί το ενδιαφέρον, μου προξενεί ανία)
    In my opinion “anger” is «θυμός». I understand «δυσανασχετώ» more like “to be annoyed/disturbed or to to feel displeasure with sb or sth“
    But of course there can be some traits of anger there.
     

    Αγγελος

    Senior Member
    Greek
    βαριέμαι by itself (without an object) means "I am bored" (because I have nothing to do), but it can also mean "I don't feel like doing what I ought to be doing" (cf. βαριέμαι να below). The initials OEΔΒ (Οργανισμός Εκδόσεως Διδακτικών Βιβλίων, the official Greek publishing house for schoolbooks) used to be explained by schoolboys as όταν έχω διάβασμα, βαριέμαι (=when I have to study, I feel lazy).
    βαριέμαι with an object means "I find it/him boring" (and therefore would rather not do it or not be with him).
    βαριέμαι να + subjunctive means "I really don't feel like doing this".

    The aorist βαρέθηκα, and even more so the perfect έχω βαρεθεί, can mean "I have had enough", "I am sick and tired of...". Thus, βαριέται τη γυναίκα του just means "he doesn't enjoy his wife's company (and, presumably, chatter)", but βαρέθηκε τη γυναίκα του means he will soon be looking for another companion. Of course, it can also simply mean "he was too lazy to...": βαρέθηκε να πλύνει τα πιάτα και τα άφησε άπλυτα.
     
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