The “Bottom Line” on μι-Verbs

Don’t be intimidated by these “irregular” New Testament Greek verbs.  If you pay attention, they too reveal structural “patterns” that you can find some comfort level in recognizing in context. The primary “bottom line” characteristics of μι-Verbs are presented in the image below, and also as part of a downloadable PDF that includes μιVerb Indicative Mode formation charts as well as a listing of the most frequently occurring μι-Verbs in the New Testament.

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I’ll Not Remain “Mute” About This!

I’ll not remain mute about this.  I’ll teach you something about “Mute Stem” changes (JPEG) within Greek verbs, so you won’t need to remain “mute” about the subject, either!  As a New Testament Greek student it can be helpful in the “short run” (or longer) if you can visualize in your “mind’s eye” certain critical pieces of information.  Some of that critical information is this: “What happens when certain Greek consonants collide with other Greek consonants, and why? Please read the following treatise on “Mute Stem” changes where, below the following chart, I will give you a fairly easy way to “set up this chart” in your mind.

The basic components (the “labials,” “gutterals” and “dentals”) of the above “Mute Stems Changes”chart can be fairly easily replicated in your mind if you remember this “set up” process.  While these three categories of Greek letters (“labials,” “gutterals” and “dentals”) are listed horizontally as they function within the chart, it’s easier to set them up vertically. Here’s how:

(1) Start reciting the Greek alphabet: αβγ...δthen start writing the letters (vertically) as soon as you get to β, γ, δYou now have the first letter of each of the three categories of letters.

(2) Next, vertically write (with Greek letters) the first letters of the acronym:preachers’ kids (are) terrific”…or…π, κ, τNow you have the second letters of each row.

(3) For the final vertical row, add the Greek equivalent of an“h” to the letters you just wrote (π, κ, τ), resulting in: φ, χ, θ. With this done, you can now more easily memorize the results of collisions with various consonants that occur.

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“Okay, I’ll Make a ‘Contract’ (Verb) with You”

Here’s a look at “Contract Verbs” made a lot easier. Remember, the only two tenses that are impacted by “contractions” of vowels are the Present and Imperfect, since these are the only two tenses that utilize a “Present” stem (1st Principal Part) with nothing added to the end before it encounters the thematic vowel(s) of the personal endings.

Notice that I’ve set up this chart in a “logical” fashion, where the contract verb vowels (α, ε, or ο ) and the potential vowels that they can collide with in forming tenses and moods (modes).  These are listed in a logical progression, either alphabetically (above) or in a similar progress from short ε, to ει, to η (long “e”), to , to οου, and ω.  Not only is this a logical way to set up a chart like this, it also reveals patterns of results of the collisions that make the entire chart more memorable in your head.

(1) Observe the collision of α with any “e-class” vowel: short (ε), diphthong (ει), and long “e” (η or) results consistently in α.  When colliding with “o-class” vowels:  short (ο) , diphthong (οι), or long (ω), the result is always as long as possible: ω.

(2) Moving on, the ε contract vowel when colliding with other vowels always gets longer, either a little longer:  to a diphthong (ει), or as long as possible (η or ω) within the category of vowel with which it’s colliding.

(3) The final contract vowel ο also gets longer through it’s collisions with other vowels— to an ου diphthong when meeting ε, an ο, or an ου; to an οι diphthong when colliding οι diphthong when colliding with anything that has an ι in it (ει, and ); and to ω when it encounters any long vowel (η or ω).

Click image below for to view in a separate window, or click here for a downloadable image (JPEG also available from the sidebar). Also, click to download this PDF for an extended look at all the results of all the collisions for each type of “Contract Verb” in every “Present” and “Imperfect” tense situation where they occur.

**REMEMBER, too, that the predominant indicator that a “contraction” (collision) of vowels has occurred is the Greek circumflex (~) accent that appears (most often) over the location of the contraction.
NOTE:  For you language “geeks,” the English word “contract” comes from two Latin root words (cum + tractus) which mean “to draw together.” A legal “contract” is a “drawing up/together” of certain conditions.  A housing “contractor” also “draws together” certain skilled workers to complete the construction project. Other English derivatives would be “tractor” and “traction.”

Go to: Wermuth’s

Wermuth’s GREEKBOOK Now Available for Purchase as a Watermarked PDF!