verbs ending in -ώ

janecito

Senior Member
Slovene, Slovenia
I've just started learning Modern Greek recently, so pretty much still 'all Greek to me' and the questions I post here will probably be rather beginner type problems, but still ... I hope its complexity will grow with time. :). I'm learning it (Greek) on my own (using a textbook I found in a local book-store) so having a forum like this at hand will surely be very useful. :)

My first problem has got to do with verbs (as it so often does in Greek), more precisely, about verbs ending in -ώ in 1st person singular of present tense (that is, verbs with the stress on the last syllable). Now, I've noticed that a lot of these verbs have two different forms: one ending in and the other one in -άω (like αγαπώ/αφαπάω, μιλώ/μιλάω). With the followong differences in conjugation (that's how I understand what the book says :) ):

αγαπώ, αγαπάς, αγαπά, αγαπούμε, αγαπάτε, αγαπούν
αγαπάω, αγαπάς, αγαπάει, αγαπάμε, αγαπάτε, αγαπάν

Now, my questions are...

1. Is there any difference between the two forms? Is one more coloquial than the other and the other more formal than the first one? Does the usage depend on the region? etc. It would seem logical to believe that the shorter form is more in use today...

2. Is this how all of the 2nd type of the 2nd conjugation verbs work (those are the ones ending in -ώ with 2nd person sg. in -ώς)? Do they all have two possible forms?

I'm probably going too fast and I'd probably get to the answer in a later unit of the book, but it really confuses me if there are things left unexplained. :)
 
  • modus.irrealis

    Senior Member
    English, Canada
    Hi,

    janecito said:
    I've just started learning Modern Greek recently, so pretty much still 'all Greek to me' and the questions I post here will probably be rather beginner type problems, but still ... I hope its complexity will grow with time. :). I'm learning it (Greek) on my own (using a textbook I found in a local book-store) so having a forum like this at hand will surely be very useful. :)
    Good luck with Greek. It's a nice language (although the modern version doesn't seem to have as good a reputation as the ancient versions). But from the little I've seen of Slovene, I doubt you'll have that many problems.

    My first problem has got to do with verbs (as it so often does in Greek), more precisely, about verbs ending in -ώ in 1st person singular of present tense (that is, verbs with the stress on the last syllable). Now, I've noticed that a lot of these verbs have two different forms: one ending in and the other one in -άω (like αγαπώ/αφαπάω, μιλώ/μιλάω). With the followong differences in conjugation (that's how I understand what the book says :) ):

    αγαπώ, αγαπάς, αγαπά, αγαπούμε, αγαπάτε, αγαπούν
    αγαπάω, αγαπάς, αγαπάει, αγαπάμε, αγαπάτε, αγαπάν
    Your book should have mentioned this, but the 3rd person pl. forms can have an extra -ε at the end, which is less formal but more common in speech, so αγαπούνε or αγαπάνε.

    Now, my questions are...

    1. Is there any difference between the two forms? Is one more coloquial than the other and the other more formal than the first one? Does the usage depend on the region? etc. It would seem logical to believe that the shorter form is more in use today...
    I don't think logic gets you very far with all the odd variation in Greek verb forms :)

    Basically αγαπάω, αγαπάει, αγαπάμε, and αγαπάν(ε) are less formal and so more common in speech. Other than that, I don't know how to explain the variation.

    There are also some verbs that are inherently formal, like διαθλώ, which never take the less formal versions.

    2. Is this how all of the 2nd type of the 2nd conjugation verbs work (those are the ones ending in -ώ with 2nd person sg. in -ώς)? Do they all have two possible forms?
    I'm guessing you mean 2nd pers. sg. in -άς, because I can only think of one verb that has -ώς, τρώω. In that case, the answer is yes (except for those inherently formal verbs I mentioned above), but some have more possibilities as well. Verbs like τηλεφωνώ, for example, can also be conjugated as:

    τηλεφωνώ, τηλεφωνείς, τηλεφωνεί, τηλεφωνούμε, τηλεφωνείτε, τηλεφωνούν(ε).

    I'm probably going too fast and I'd probably get to the answer in a later unit of the book, but it really confuses me if there are things left unexplained. :)
    I know -- self-learning books can be very frustrating.
     

    parakseno

    Senior Member
    Romanian, Romania
    Actually, there are 2 groups of verbs ending in -ώ:
    *ending in -άς at 2nd person sg.
    *ending in -είς at 2nd person sg.

    μπορώ, μπορείς, μπορεί, μπορούμε, μπορείτε, μπορόυμε - as you see they use the endings of the first conjugation. Forgot to mention that these classes are clearly divided, verbs from one class can't be conjugated like verbs from the other. (ie you'll never see μποράς).
     

    janecito

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    Great! This is exactly the answer I was hoping for. :) I thought it had something to do with more and less formal, but I expected it to be the other way around. Well, looks like, as you said yourself, the things are sometimes exactly the opposite of what sounds logical (to me).

    modus.irrealis said:
    Good luck with Greek. It's a nice language (although the modern version doesn't seem to have as good a reputation as the ancient versions). But from the little I've seen of Slovene, I doubt you'll have that many problems.
    Really? Hasn't got a good reputation? Absolutely or just compared to Ancient Greek? I love this language. I like the way it sounds and it sounds like my kind of language. :) I actually reminds me a lot of Spanish (as far as the phonetics goes).

    You think Slovene might be able to help me? Well, we'll see... I certainly wouldn't mind. ;)

    modus.irrealis said:
    Your book should have mentioned this, but the 3rd person pl. forms can have an extra -ε at the end, which is less formal but more common in speech, so αγαπούνε or αγαπάνε.
    You might not believe this, but it actually does mention this and, as a matter of fact, my next question was going to be what was the difference between the 3rd person plural with and without -ε (the book only mentions it without really explaining it). It's like you were reading my mind. :)

    modus.irrealis said:
    Basically αγαπάω, αγαπάει, αγαπάμε, and αγαπάν(ε) are less formal and so more common in speech. Other than that, I don't know how to explain the variation.
    That's all the explanation I needed. :)

    parakseno said:
    Actually, there are 2 groups of verbs ending in -ώ:
    *ending in -άς at 2nd person sg.
    *ending in -είς at 2nd person sg.
    Yes, I was just going to say that. So τηλεφωνώ is probably just one of the 2nd group verbs.

    As I see it, there is the 1st conjugation (verbs ending in -ω) and the 2nd conjugation (verbs ending in -ω) that has two subtypes depending on the ending in the 2nd person singular:
    1st subtype: αγαπώ, αγαπάς (and this is, I guess, the only group with these double forms -ώ/-άω etc.)
    2nd subtype: μπορώ, μπορείς

    modus.irrealis said:
    I know -- self-learning books can be very frustrating.
    I think self-learning per se can be frustrating for not having a teacher to ask all the questions that rise as you learn. That's why I'm thankful for the WR forum. :)
     

    modus.irrealis

    Senior Member
    English, Canada
    Hi,

    Really? Hasn't got a good reputation? Absolutely or just compared to Ancient Greek? I love this language. I like the way it sounds and it sounds like my kind of language. :) I actually reminds me a lot of Spanish (as far as the phonetics goes).
    Just compared to Ancient Greek :D, which has a lot more prestige it seems to me. I've been learning both (probably improving my Modern Greek is more accurate since I've spoken it since birth), but I can't really decide which one I like more.

    You think Slovene might be able to help me? Well, we'll see... I certainly wouldn't mind. ;)
    I'm just thinking of Greek-English comparisons, where two of the biggest differences are the cases and the aspect of verbs, neither of which should be a problem for you (I think :confused: ).

    Yes, I was just going to say that. So τηλεφωνώ is probably just one of the 2nd group verbs.
    Actually, τηλεφωνώ is one of a few verbs that belongs to both subtypes and can take either set of endings, although my reference grammar suggests that the 2nd subtype endings are more formal, but Google seems to find more of them as well so maybe the verb is shifting completely into the 2nd subtype.

    I think self-learning per se can be frustrating for not having a teacher to ask all the questions that rise as you learn. That's why I'm thankful for the WR forum. :)
    That's true too. The whole unanswered questions thing is one of the reasons why I now prefer learning a language from a reference grammar rather than a lesson based book, since they're more detailed although it's hard to know where to jump in.

    Thymio
     

    Zanos

    Senior Member
    I'm sorry but I will not agree that one form is more in use than the other.Actually there is a small nuance in the meaning of each one of them.I would say,for example "Σ'αγαπώ" to the girl that I love but I would rather say "Σ'αγαπάω" to my best friend.They are both very common.It also depends on the speaker,on the context and sometimes on the region.A piece of advice.Learn the form you prefer!And good luck...

    P.S. You have 4(!) options in the 3d person pl.: Αγαπάνε ή αγαπούνε ή αγαπάν ή αγαπούν
     

    janecito

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    modus.irrealis said:
    I'm just thinking of Greek-English comparisons, where two of the biggest differences are the cases and the aspect of verbs, neither of which should be a problem for you (I think).
    You're right, those are grammatical categories that Slavic languages are quite familiar with.
    modus.irrealis said:
    That's true too. The whole unanswered questions thing is one of the reasons why I now prefer learning a language from a reference grammar rather than a lesson based book, since they're more detailed although it's hard to know where to jump in.
    That's true. I always need a grammar book as well. I specially don't like the 'Greek (or whichever the language) in 30 days' kind of courses.
    Zanos said:
    I would say,for example "Σ'αγαπώ" to the girl that I love but I would rather say "Σ'αγαπάω" to my best friend.They are both very common.It also depends on the speaker,on the context and sometimes on the region.A piece of advice.Learn the form you prefer!And good luck...
    OK, so basically both are valid and OK and still in use and no one is going to look at me strange for using either of them. :)
    Zanos said:
    P.S. You have 4(!) options in the 3d person pl.: Αγαπάνε ή αγαπούνε ή αγαπάν ή αγαπούν
    Yes. But that only happens with this type of verbs, right? Most of them will only have 2 possible 3rd plural forms (like βλέπω > βλέπουν or βλέπουνε).
     

    Zanos

    Senior Member
    janecito said:
    Yes. But that only happens with this type of verbs, right? Most of them will only have 2 possible 3rd plural forms (like βλέπω > βλέπουν or βλέπουνε).
    That 's right.But,anyway,you don 't have to worry about it.It ' s not that important.It 's good to know that they exist but you can use the one you like more.
     

    janecito

    Senior Member
    Slovene, Slovenia
    Wow, maybe next time I should check my grammar book befor posting my question here. :) It even has two separate chapters for feminine nouns in -η:
    α) nouns in -η with plural -ες and
    β) nouns in -η with plural -εις

    :)

    And the group with plural in -εις includes (as you have already mentioned):
    α) δύναμη, πίστη, πόλη and
    β) all nouns ending in -ση, -ξη or -ψη
     
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