Greek Perfect Indicative Active

This post will cover the perfect indicative active and the perfect infinitive active. There are also perfect subjunctives and optatives, however they will have to be addressed in another post. The perfect tense has completed aspect and present time, equivalent to the English, ”I have done.”

The perfect indicative active is based on Principal Part 4, the 1st Person Singular Perfect Indicative Active. To form the perfect, take PP4 and remove the ending to form the perfect active tense stem. To this stem add the appropriate ending for the person and number (assuming tense, mood and voice for this post are fixed, of course). To form the infinitive, use the same stem and add the infinitive ending.

Indicative Translation
1st Person Singular (1ps) I have done
2nd Person Singular (2ps) -ας you (s.) have done
3rd Person Singular (3ps) -ε[ν] he/she/it has done
1st Person Plural (1pp) -αμεν we have done
2nd Person Plural (2pp) -ατε you (p.) have done
3rd Person Plural (3pp) σι[ν] they have done
N/A -έναι to have done

About George

I'm interested in theology, languages, translation and various sorts of fermentation.
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4 Responses to Greek Perfect Indicative Active

  1. Pingback: Greek Pluperfect Indicative Active « σφοδρα - exceedingly

  2. A. C. Baker says:

    Hello George,
    I am up late preparing for tomorrow morning (as we bi-vocational pastors sometimes have to do) and I have come across your blog. I am going to be discussing, in part Hebrews 10:14. What brought me to your blog was a search for “perfect active indicative.” Now, this didn’t help me much, honestly, but that’s ok. You have a lot of other stuff that was interesting.

    God bless your study,
    Anthony Baker
    The Recovering Legalist (.com)

  3. Paul Guay says:

    “Especially Poor in Spirit when it comes to Greek” writes: In distant recollections it seems I was taught the perfect active not only included actions completed in the past with results still present at the time of writing, BUT ongoing results expected to continue (similar to the present active indicative). Is this incorrect?
    #2 Could you also explain the distinction between pluperfect and perfect?

    • George says:

      As for #1, I believe that is correct. It is usually a feature of ordered action, wanting to stress that something will be complete before the next thing can occur. So using the perfect would still suggest some partial completion. Similarly with the pluperfect, where the actions are in the past. That is the difference between the perfect and pluperfect – roughly as in English “I have done X (now)” vs. “I had done X (at that time)”. The idea is usually sequenced events.

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