Modern Greek/Lesson 04.4

Lesson 4.4: 1st Conjugation Passive VerbsEdit

Passive verbs are verbs in which the action is done to the subject, rather than in which the subject acts on an object.

NOTE: Many verbs therefore have both active and passive forms

Παντρεύω. I marry (i.e. perform a wedding in the capacity of a priest, mayor and/or best man/woman).
Παντρεύομαι. I am getting married.

Just as the first-person singular present-tense form, παντρεύω, is used to refer to the active verb in general, so the first-person singular present tense of the passive voice, παντρεύομαι, refers to the passive form in general.

Το κρασί με ζαλίζει. The wine makes me dizzy.
Ζαλίζομαι. I get dizzy.

In Greek the passive is used to express reflexive verbs, i.e. the idea of doing something to oneself, or to describe someone's own physical or mental state, or cases where the verb can't take an object (for example I sleep).

Κρύβω τα λεφτά. I hide the money.
Κρύβομαι. I hide (myself)
Η μητέρα χτενίζει το παιδί. The mother combs the child's hair.
Η μητέρα χτενίζεται. The mother combs her (own) hair.
Χτενίζω τα μαλλιά μου to comb one's own hair (a lyrical construction)
Πού χτενίζεσαι; Where do you get your hair done?

In many cases, the passive form has a meaning that can't be guessed simply by taking the same concept and making the subject of the verb the recipient of the action. The following are some passive verbs:

βρίσκομαι to be, to be located
γυμνάζομαι drill, train (sports)
διαλύομαι break apart
ετοιμάζομαι get ready
γεννιέμαι be born

Endings / FormationEdit

These verbs take the endings: -ομαι, -εσαι, -εται, -όμαστε, -εστε, -ονται.

Using the summary notation introduced in the previous lesson and the example verb έρχομαι - to come:

έρχομαι · to come
- Sing. Plu.
1st έρχομαι ερχόμαστε
2nd έρχεσαι έρχεστε
3rd έρχεται έρχονται

There are a number of useful verbs that are of this form, given here in the 1st person:

έρχομαι to come
σκέφτομαι to think
βρίσκομαι to be found
γίνομαι to become
λύνομαι to be solved
αυξάνομαι to be raised
φαίνομαι appear (~"phenomenon")
χρειάζομαι need, require
κάθομαι sit
δέχομαι receive, accept


  • We have TBC


Now try the exercise found here.