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Croy Index: Vocabulary - Prosody - Verbs - Nouns - Adjectives - Nominals - Other Topics - Syntax List

30.216 Principal Parts of ἵστημι

Make sure you read Croy section 216. The verb ἵστημι is another important -μι verb, but it has some features that make it more complicated than the verbs δίδωμι and τίθημι which you studied in the previous lessons:

Reduplication. The root of this verb is στα- (which is the same root for the verb "stand" throughout the Indo-European language family, including English). The process of reduplication for the initial consonant cluster στ- is unusual, and results in an aspirated iota! So the reduplicated present form of the στ- root is ἱστ-

Transitive-Intransitive. As in English, the Greek verb "stand" can be transitive or intransitive. You need to be aware of this difference as you learn the different forms of ἵστημι. A transitive verb can take a direct object (but does not have to), while an intransitive verb cannot take a direct object.

Transitive. The man is standing the vase on the table. [direct object of verb: vase]

Intransitive: Look - the man is standing on the table! [no direct object]

Being. In Greek, as in other Indo-European languages, the verb "stand" takes on a wide range of connotations having to do not so much with physical position as with physical existence. In effect, the verb ἵστημι sometimes means "to be" rather than simply "to stand." (If you have studied Latin or any of the Romance languages, you are aware of this way of expressing the idea of "being." For example, the question ¿Dónde estás? in Spanish means "Where are you?" - which is a metaphorical extension of the simple physical idea, "Where are you standing?")

So, as you can see, the verb ἵστημι has some special characteristics in terms of morphology, grammar and semantics which make it a bit more difficult than the other -μι verbs you have studied so far.

You should take a look at the 4th and 5th principal parts (notice how the perfect reduplication also has aspiration!), and then focus your attention on the present and aorist system parts:

1. ἵστημι: As explained above, the reduplicated present stem is aspirated. There is a special set of endings you will need to learn for the present active indicative forms.

2. στήσω: The future active form is exactly what you would expect, with a typical sigma. You use the same endings for this future as for any other future tense verb you have learned:

future active στήσω, στήσεις, στήσει, στήσομεν, στήσετε, στήσουσι

future middle στήσομαι, στήσῃ, στήσεται, στησόμεθα, στήσεσθε, στήσονται

3. ἔστησα and ἔστην: There are two aorist active stems for this verb. There is a complete first aorist (sigmatic aorist, with the typical sigma this time instead of a kappa) and there is also a complete second aorist. You will learn more about this in Croy section 217. Notice that the epsilon at the beginning of this verb is the usual aorist augment, and it is not aspirated.

6. ἐστάθην: The aorist passive stem is exactly what you would expect, with a typical theta. You use the same endings for this aorist passive and future passive tense verb you have learned:

aorist past passive ἐστάθην, ἐστάθης, ἐστάθη, ἐστάθημεν, ἐστάθητε, ἐστάθησαν

future passive ἐσταθήσομαι, ἐσταθήσῃ, ἐσταθήσεται, ἐσταθησόμεθα, ἐσταθήσεσθε, ἐσταθήσονται


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: November 28, 2005 9:35 PM

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