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12.76 Forms of the Future Active Indicative

The verb tense you will be learning in this lesson is the future tense. Make sure you read Croy section 12.76 carefully.

You should not be surprised by the endings on the future tense verbs, since they look exactly like the present tense endings that you learned. That is because both the future tense and the present tense are primary tenses, or non-past tenses (the secondary tenses are the past tenses).

Here is the verb λύω (second principal part: λύσω), with the present and future tenses shown side by side:

I loosen λύω λύσω I will loosen
you loosen λύεις λύσεις you will loosen
she loosens λύει λύσει she will loosen
we loosen λύομεν λύσομεν we will loosen
you loosen λύετε λύσετε you will loosen
they loosen λύουσι λύσουσι they will loosen

So, if the endings are the same for the present and the future, how can you tell the difference between a present tense verb and a future tense verb? You can only tell the difference by looking at the stem. If the stem is the first principal part, the present active stem, then it is a present tense verb. If the stem is the second principal part, the future active stem, then it is a future tense verb.

In section 78 you will learn about how the future tense stem is formed - it generally involves adding a sigma to the stem. But you should also consult this Chart of Principal Parts so that you can quickly see at a glance what the future stem looks like for the verbs you have learned so far.

Remember that the present tense in Greek, as in English, can sometimes refer to future time. Consider the English statement, "My plane arrives at 3 p.m. this afternoon." The same is also true for the Greek present tense. So the future tense verb form is not the only way to express an idea that will take place in the future.

Also, remember that English has a "continuous" verb form for both the present ("I am talking") and also for the future ("I will be talking"). So when you translate from Greek into English, you have to choose which English translation best suits the context. Sometimes you might translate the Greek verb λύσετε as "you will loosen," but in a specific context you might translate it as "you will be loosening." Either translation is correct.

Biblical Greek Online. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. Page last updated: April 9, 2005 8:06 PM

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