How to build a verb

Suppose you want to find the Greek verb for “we believe”.  Here’s the process you would follow:


Figure out what tense of verb you need. In the case of “we believe”, we want a present tense, first person, plural verb.


Go to BBG to find out what elements make up such a verb. If you go to BBG 16.3, you can see that the building blocks of a present tense verb are stem + connecting vowel + verb ending.


We need to find the stem. To do this, look up πιστευω in the back of MBG. There you will see that the code for πιστευω is v-1a(6). (p. 350 middle column). Now you need to find that code. In the outside upper corners of each page of MBG, you’ll see the list of codes. v-1a(6) is on page 253. Notice, the definition given for these verbs “roots ending in ευ…” Now we know that the stem is πιστευ-.


Now add the connecting vowel which leaves you with πιστευο.


Now add the appropriate verb endings (BBG 16.10). In this case, we want first plural. So we add –μεν which leaves us with πιστευομεν.

Following this process, you’ll be able to build any Greek verb. If you get stuck, don’t hesitate to ask.

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