The Ω-Conjugation: Vowel Verbs, Contracting in the Present

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316. Verbs in -άω, -έω, -όω contract the stem vowel -α-, -ε-, -ο- in the present system with the succeeding vowel, in accordance with §§ 29 and 30. (For paradigms see, §§ 313 – 315.)

a. Note also that -ι- in the second syllable is retained (on the line or subscript), and that -ο- with an ι-diphthong (-ει, -οι, -ῃ) gives -οι.

b. But, in the infinitive, -ειν (from -ε-εν, § 274) was no true diphthong (§ 27.a); hence -ά-ειν gives -ᾶν and ό-ειν gives -οῦν, without -ι-.

317. Outside of the present system the stem vowel -α-, -ε-, -ο- is lengthened (§ 28.a); -α- becomes -ᾱ- after -ε-, -ι-, or -ρ-, otherwise -η-.

θηράω (hunt), future θηρᾱ́σω, etc.
ῑ̓άομαι (heal), future ῑ̓ᾱ́σομαι, etc.
τῑμάω, (honor), future τιμήσω, etc.

a.χράομαι (use) and ἀκροάομαι (listen) are irregular.

χράομαι χρήσομαι ἐχρησάμην κέχρημαι
ἀκροάομαι ἀκροᾱ́σομαι ἠκροᾱσάμην ἠκρόᾱμαι

318. In the paradigms (§§ 313 – 315) the uncontracted vowels are in parenthesis, the contract syllable follows next; for the uncontracted form read the parenthesis and omit the contract syllable, for the contract form omit the parenthesis.

319. In the present optative active the mode suffix -ιη- is more common in the singular, but rare elsewhere.

320. Seven verbs in -άω contract to instead of -ᾱ. The most frequent are ζάω (live), χράομαι (use), διψάω (thirst), πεινάω (hunger).

ζῶ, ζῇς, ζῇ,     ἔζης, ἔζη, ἐζῆτε, ζῆν
χρῶμαι, χρῇ, χρῆται,       ἐχρῆτο, ἐχρῆσθε, χρῆσθαι

321. Monosyllabic stems in contract only in the forms that give -ει. Thus πλε- (see § 257.b) (sail) makes πλεῖς, πλεῖ, ἔπλεις, ἔπλει, πλεῖν, but πλέω, πλέομεν, πλέῃς, πλέοιμι, etc.

a. δέω (bind) sometimes contracts throughout, but δέω (lack) and δέομαι (ask) follow the rule.

322. A few verb-stems in and , with still fewer in -ο, do not lengthen that vowel in any system; some of these assume -σ- in the perfect middle or in the passive system or both.








Present γελάω σπάω τελέω
Future γελάσω σπάσω τελέσω
Aorist ἐγέλασα ἔσπασα ἐτέλεσα
Perf. Act. --- ἔσπακα τετέλεκα
Perf. Mid. --- ἔσπασμαι τετέλεσμαι
Aor. Pass. ἐγελάσθην ἐσπάσθην ἐτελέσθην

The stem αἰνε- (approve) neither lengthens -ε- in Attic nor takes -σ-; two compounds, ἐπ-αινέω (praise) and παρ-αινέω (advise), are frequent. (But ᾔνημαι is found.)

a. In some verbs (as τελε-, end, cp. τὸ τέλος) the -σ- clearly belonged to the original stem, and has been lost except before -μ- and -τ-; others appear to have imitated these by inserting -σ- before -μ- and -τ-.

b. The perfect and pluperfect indicative middle have in the 3rd plural a compound form; the whole inflection (showing also the form of the participle) is as follows.

  Middle Voice
Perfect Indicative Pluperfect Indicative
Sing. 1. τετέλεσ-μαι ἐτετελέσ-μην
2. τετέλε-σαι ἐτετέλε-σο
3. τετέλεσ-ται ἐτετέλεσ-το
Plur. 1. τετελέσ-μεθα ἐτετελέσ-μεθα
2. τετέλε-σθε ἐτετέλε-σθε
3. τετελεσ-μένοι εἰσί τελεσ-μένοι ἦσαν
Dual 2. τετέλε-σθον ἐτετέλε-σθον
3. τετέλε-σθον ἐτετελέ-σθην

c. The future of τελέω (finish) and of καλέω (call) commonly drops -σ- and contracts, thus becoming like the present.

τελῶ, τελεῖς, τελεῖ, etc.

So also μαχοῦμαι for μαχέσομαι, from μάχομαι (μαχ-, μαχε-) fight, and ἐλῶ for ἐλάσω, from ἐλαύνω (ἐλα-) drive.

Suggested Citation

Meagan Ayer, ed. Goodell’s School Grammar of Attic Greek. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-947822-10-8.