Professor Of Ancient Greek At Harvard University
This Revision Copyright ©2012 by Shawn Irwin

Lesson XLIX - The Infinitive

S453. The tenses occurring in the infinitive are the present, future, aorist, perfect, and future perfect. The middle and passive differ from one another, in form, only in the future and aorist.

S454. Learn the eleven forms of the infinitive active, middle, and passive of λύω in 765-770.

S455. The endings are in the active εν and ναι; in the middle and passive σθαι.

S456. The ending εν contracts with a preceding ε to ειν (λῡε-εν, λύειν). The perfect active and aorist passive add ναι, but the perfect changes α of the stem to ε (λελύκα, λελυκέ-ναι), and the aorist lengthens the tense suffix as in the indicative (λυθε, λυθῆ-ναι). The aorist active (λῦσαι) is irregular in form.

S457. The accent of verbs is recessive (53), but all infinitives in ναι (as λελεκέναι, λυθῆναι), the aorist active infinitive (λῡσαι, βουλεῦσαι), and the perfect middle and passive infinitive (λελύσθαι) accent the penult.

S458. The present infinitive of εἰμί is εἶναι (798).

S459. Learn the present infinitive active, middle, and passive of τιμαω, ποιεω, and δηλοω in 781-783.

S460. Observe that
(1) α + ει or ε = ᾱ;
(2) ε + ει or ε = ει ;
(3) ο + ει or ε = ου.

S461. Many of the uses of the infinitive are identical in Greek and English. e.g.:

1. Κῦρος κελεύει τὸν στρατηγὸν ἡγεὶσθαι,
Cyrus commands the general to lead.

2. βουλόμεθα ἀποχωπεῖν,
We wish to withdraw.

3. συνεβουλεύον τοῖς στπατιώταις μὴ ταῦτα ποιῆσαι,
I advised the soldiers not to do this.

4. ἀδύνατον ἐστι ταῦτα ποιῆσαι,
It is impossible to do this.

5. δεῖ τοὺς λοχᾱγοῦς σπεύδειν,
The captains must make haste.

6. οὗτοι ἱκανοὶ ἦσαν τὰς κώμᾱς φυλάττειν,
these were sufficient to guard the villages.

7. τὴν χώρᾱν ἐπέτρεψε διαρπάσαι τοῖς Ἕλλησι,
He turned the country over to the Greeks to plunder.

Thus, the subject of the infinitive is in the accusative (compare 1, 5), but it is generally omitted if it is the same as the subject or the object (direct or indirect) of the leading verb (compare 2, 3, 6, 7). The infinitive may be the subject nominative of a finite verb, especially of an impersonal verb or ἐστί (compare 4, 5). it may be the object of a verb whose action naturally implies another action as its object, especially of verbs expressing wish, command, advice, attempt, and the like (compare 1, 2, 3). it may depend on adjec­tives, especially those expressing ability, fitness, willingness, and the like (compare 6). Finally, it may express purpose (compare 7). The negative with the infinitive in these cases is μή (compare 3).

ἀδύνατος, ον, unable, impossible.
ἀμφότερος, ᾱ, ον, both.
ἀνάγκη, ης, ἡ, force, necessity.
ἀφικνέομαι, (ἰκ), ἀφίξομαι, ἀφῑκόμην, ἀφῖγμαι, come from, arrive, reach.
διασῴζω, bring through safely, save.
ἐπιτρέπω, turn over to, entrust, allow.
λόχος, ου, ὁ, (compare λοχᾱγός), company.
τρέπω, τρέψω, ἔτρεψα and ἔτραπον, τέτροφα, τέτραμμαι, ἐτράπην and ἐτρέφθην, turn, direct, tout. φυγή, ῆς, ἡ, (compare φεύγω), flight, rout.

1. τὰ γὰρ επιτήδεια οὐκ ἔστιν ἔχειν.

2. ἥκομεν γὰρ ὑμᾶς σῴζειν.

3. ἀλλ᾽ οὔπω ἀνάγκη ἐστὶ φεύγειν.

4. ἀδύνατον ἔσται τῆς νυκτὸς ἀφικνεῖςθαι.

5. αμφοτέροις παρεκελευσάμεθα τῆς ὀργῆς παύσασθαι.
A genitive of separation. compare 336, 1.

6. αὐτοῖς ἐπέ­τρεψε τοὺς παῖδας διδάσκειν.

7. ἡμεῖς χρῄζομεν διασωθῆναι πρὸς τὴν Ἑλλάδα.

8. τῶν ὁπλῑτῶν δύο λόχους ἐκέλευσε ἕπεσθαι αὐτῷ.

9. πολεμεῖν ἱκανοὶ ἦσαν καὶ εὐνοικῶς εἶχον Κύρῳ.

10. ἐβόων αλλήλοις ταὺς καθ᾽ ἑαυτοὺς πολεμίους εἰσ φυγὴν τρέψαι.

1. They were trying to rout my troops.
2. We, fellow-soldiers, must march on.
3. I advise you not to allow this man to do harm.
4. Why need we destroy the bridge?
5. He forced the guards to withdraw.

S465. Proxenus interferes, and Cyrus comes riding up.
ὁ δὲ Πρόξενος . . .ὔστερος γὰρ προσήλαυνε καὶ λόχος αὐτῷ
εἵπετο τῶν ὁπλῑτῶν . . . εὐθὺς οὖν εἰς τὸ μέσον ἀμφοτέρων
ἄγων ἐδεῖτο τοῦ Κλεάρχου μὴ ποιεῖν ταῦτα. ὁ δὲ χαλεπαίνει
ὅτι πρᾴως λέγει τὸ αὑτοῦ πάθος, ἐκέλευσέ τε αὐτὸν ἐκ τοῦ
μέσου ἰέναι. ἐν τούτῳ δὲ αφκνεῖται καὶ Κῦρας καὶ ἀκούει τὸ
πρᾶγμα. εὐθὺς δʼ ἔλαβε τὰ παλτὰ εἰς τὰς χεῖρας καὶ μετὰ τῶν
πιστῶν ἧκεν ἐλαύνων εἰς τὸ μέσον, καὶ λέγει τάδε.

οὖν: the narrative has been interrupted and is resumed with οὖν.
ἐδειτο τοῦ Κλέαρχου κτλ.: besought Clearchus not to do this.
ὅτι πρᾳως λέγει κτλ.: because he spoke lightly of his trouble.
ἰεναι: to go, to get, present infinitive of εἰμι, go.


See the route on the map.

End Of Chapter


Chapter 50


This Revision Copyright ©2012 by Shawn Irwin