Greek Medio-Passive Voice Explained: Lesson 3
We know that we have the four golden endings (μαι for me, σαι for you, ται for he/she and στε for you guys/you formal) and we know how to use them. We also know the remaining two endings called silver endings which are as follows;
The two silver endings are these: όμαστε for we and ούνται for they.
We do not know how to use them so I tell you now. It’s very easy:
The silver endings have keys which are exactly one letter shorter than the golden keys
Think of it this way: all the golden keys, when they are used for silver endings, have to become shorter by one letter so they drop the last letter and have no keys. Since the B1 key ιἐ is the only one that is two letters long, it is the only one that still has a letter left.
So, what happens in practice is this:
Thus, in practice, the silver endings do not have keys and just go direct onto the root except the category B1 which has the key ι.
So let’s deal with conjugating some words using the silver keys. If needed, I will tell you which category they are and you do the rest.
Greek for I dress is ντὐνω.
Just look at the stress to determine the category. How would you say (just use the passive voice of this word to apply it):
?we dress ourselves|ντυνόμαστε
Did you get the accent right? The silver ending is όμαστε with this stressed ό so it always takes away the accent wherever else it would be in the word. Let’s try another word which you already know: βλέπω for I see:
?we are not seen|δεν βλεπόμαστε
The missing key is pretty useful, isn’t it? Let’s go B1 now (it is the only one that has a key left - remember). Remember that I love is αγαπώ and say:
?they are loved|αγαπιούνται
Awesome! It looked so hard in the beginning and now it’s a piece of cake, isn’t it. Say the same for we:
?we are loved|αγαπιόμαστε
Awesomeness. Now let’s use the already-passive B2 word φοβάμαι for I fear (or I am afraid) and say:
?we are not afraid|δεν φοβόμαστε
Did you get it correct? It is already in the passive and it already has the golden ending key ά but since we will be applying a silver ending we get rid of that key. It’s pretty simple. Try applying the same for the fourth B2 word that we have not used yet which is λυπάμαι for I am sorry. How would you say:
?they are sorry|λυπούνται
Awesome. We now know how to deal with the silver keys now too... well, except for another small exception just like with the golden keys. Here’s the exception:
The silver ending for A category changes from to ούνται to ονται.
The key (which is non-existent) remains the same but the ending changes which is not very nice but it is what happens. Important, notice how the ending has no accent anymore so it does not take away the accent from other parts of the word. You can think of this change simply as of ύ disappearing. That’s it, that’s all you need to remember to be able to get this right in all the cases.
Try it out with ντὐνω for I dress:
?they are getting dressed|ντύνονται
If not for the change, it should be ντυνούνται but because of the change it is ντύνονται instead. Try it again with another word - χάνω which means I lose. How would you say:
?they often get lost|χάνονται συχνά
And what about Βλέπω for I see:
?they are not seen|δεν βλέπονται
Good. Still remember, that otherwise, not for A verbs, the silver ending does not change and remains normal. That’s what you need to know. Let’s summarize the usage of the silver endings then:
The silver endings are όμαστε for we and ούνται for they (except for A category where ούνται becomes ονται).
It is important to notice how the silver endings have stress on themselves (except that A category exception) and thus steal stress from other parts of the word.
The silver keys are just like the golden keys for each of the three categories but one letter from the end shorter!
That’s all you need to be able to conjugate all the medio-passive verbs in all three conjugations in the present - these rules. We will move onto conjugating the past in the next lesson.Next lesson >