LGG 09 - Vocabulary: Verbal Aspect


Life Group Greek: Lesson 9 – Verbal Aspect

The main Greek tenses are: ‘aorist’, ‘present’ and ‘imperfect’ and the ‘perfect’ tense. The ‘aorist’ tense occurs where the writer wants to show action as complete within itself, with no particular emphasis on the events spoken of. It is the “default” tense. When the ‘present’ and ‘imperfect tenses are used, attention is commanded. The action of these verbs is focused on it being in progress. The ‘perfect’ tense references a state of affairs. Greek grammarian Stanley Porter uses the bookcase analogy to show the differences in these three types of tenses. He teaches that we can think of the three categories of thought as “background” (the bookcase), “foreground” (one book shelf), and “frontground” (one selected book)

Key Words

Emphasis, ‘aorist’ tense, ‘present’ tense, ‘imperfect’ tense, ‘perfect’ tense, the bookcase, the bookshelf, the book, ‘forest verb’, narrative events, the ‘default’ tense, action in progress, state of affairs, foreground, ‘frontground’, relief map, verbs, viewpoint


Speaker: W. Mark Lanier