Modern Greek/Lesson 09.2

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The aorist is the simple past in English. It is used for:

  • Narrating past events (those that lie entirely in the past)

Note that the aorist stem is not just associated with the past, it is also used:

  • In subordinating constructions such as "θα" and "θέλω/μπορώ να".

1st Conjugation[edit]

The past tense is used to indicate an action that occurred at one time in the past, or that has been completed. It is formed in the same was as the imperfect, but from the aorist stem.


διάβασα διαβάσαμε
διάβασες διαβάσατε
διάβασε διάβασαν


Χτες, διάβασε την εφημερίδα. Yesterday, he read the newspaper.

Formation of the aorist stem in the first conjugation[edit]

We have already seen that aorist stems are often formed by adding an "s" sound. The following list shows more of the common patterns:

Ο Ευκλείδης
λύνω λύσω έλυσα loosen
θέτω θέσω έθεσα put, place
ακούω ακούσω άκουσα hear
νιώθω νιώσω ένιωσα feel
διαβάζω διαβάσω διάβασα read
αλλάζω αλλάξω άλλαξα change
υπάρχω υπάρξω υπήρξα exist
ανοίγω ανοίξω open
επιδιώκω επιδιώξω aim
σπρώχνω σπρώξω push
διδάσκω διδάξω teach
γράφω γράψω write
λείπω λείψω lack
σκύβω σκύψω lean, bend over


Έλυσαν τις ζώνες τους. They loosened their belts.
Μπορούμε να ακούσουμε τους σκύλους. We can hear the dogs.
Ο Ευκλείδης ήταν Έλληνας μαθηματικός, που δίδαξε στην Αλεξάνδρεια της Αιγύπτου. Στις μέρες μας είναι γνωστός ως ο πατέρας της γεωμετρίας.[1] Euclid was a greek mathematician who taught in Alexandria, Egypt. Today (lit. "in our days") he is known as the father of geometry.

2nd Conjugation[edit]

Verbs use one of the suffixes -ασ-, -ησ, -εσ-. The accent also goes to the previous syllable:

The verb αγαπώ (to love) becomes αγάπησα

αγάπησα αγαπήσαμε
αγάπησες αγαπήσατε
αγάπησε αγάπησαν

The verb διψώ (to go thirsty) becomes δίψασα

δίψασα διψάσαμε
δίψασες διψάσατε
δίψασε δίψασαν

The verb καλώ (to call, to invite) becomes κάλεσα

κάλεσα καλέσαμε
κάλεσες καλέσατε
κάλεσε κάλεσαν


Η μητέρα κάλεσε το παιδί της. The mother called her child.
Τα παιδιά δίψασαν. The children went thirsty.