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Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin
Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin

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9.3 Agreement

So far, we have concentrated on verbs with personal pronouns as subjects (‘I’, ‘you’, ‘we’, etc.). A more common scenario, especially in the descriptive prose of historians such as Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon, is for the subject to be a person or a thing, such as ‘Themistocles’, ‘Pericles’ or ‘the army’. In this situation, the third person forms of the verb are used. If the noun is singular, the verb form is the third person singular. If the noun is plural, the third person plural form of the verb is used.

3rd person verbs

singular

  • μένει (menei) – he/she/it waits
  • Δαρεῖος μένει (Dareios menei) – Darius waits

plural

  • μένουσι (menousi) – they wait
  • οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι μένουσι (hoi Athēnaioi menousi) – the Athenians wait

This is the grammatical concept of agreement. A singular noun is accompanied by a third person singular verb; a plural noun by a third person plural verb.

Activity 46

a) Which form of the verb σπεύδω ( speudō, ‘hurry’) could be combined with the plural noun οἱ Λακεδαιμόνιοι (hoi Lakedaimonioi, ‘the Spartans’) to give the Greek equivalent of ‘the Spartans hurry’?

a. 

σπεύδω ( speudō)


b. 

σπεύδει (speudei)


c. 

σπεύδομεν (speudomen)


d. 

σπεύδουσι (speudousi)


The correct answer is d.

b) Which form of the verb σπεύδω (speudō, ‘hurry’) could be combined with the singular noun Δαρεῖος (Dareios, ‘Darius’) to give the Greek equivalent of ‘Darius hurries’?

a. 

σπεύδω ( speudō)


b. 

σπεύδει (speudei)


c. 

σπεύδομεν (speudomen)


d. 

σπεύδουσι (speudousi)


The correct answer is b.