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passive verb
by Guest User - Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 03:09 PM
  can someone please tell me what a passive verb is? thanks
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Re: passive verb
by Andreas Leitgeb - Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 03:40 PM
active: I tell you what active is.
passive: You are told what passive is.

Does that make it clear, or has it been made clear now by that? smile
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Re: passive verb
by Guest User - Friday, 4 May 2007, 09:28 PM
  Passive verbs in Greek are kinda complicated. I am telling you what I know, based on growing up speaking Greek (I never really studied it formally).

Andreas' examples are good. Usually there are two ways to express something where there is a subject and an object. Either the subjects does it to the object, OR the object has it done to it by the subject. So, in English we say:

I see the cat. (active)
The cat is seen by me. (passive)

Other examples:

Yo veo al gato. (active)
El gato esta visto por mi. (passive)

Wo kan dao yi zhi mao. (active)
Yi zhi mao bei wo kan dao. (passive)

In Greek, it's not that different than English because the endings to passive verbs are in effect, just forms of the verb "to be." Deno, "I tie", because denomai (or deno plus eimai), "I am tied". This may not be the best way to think about it, but it might be helpful.

Greek adds an extra layer of complexity: the passive verbs double as reflexive verbs!!! Thus, "denomai" means both "I am tied" (by someone) and "I tie myself"....kinda confusing, but you get it by context. Almost every verb has a passive form, but not all do. The type of ending depends on the class of verb (there are three).

Here are some examples of how it works:

Pleno thn gata. (I wash the cat)
H gata plenetai apo'mena. (The cat is washed by me)
H gata plenetai. (The cat washes itself)

Also, there are verbs that ONLY have passive forms; these verbs end in "amai". For, e.g.:

koimamai (to sleep)
thymamai (to remember)
lypamai (to be sorry/regret)

Though they are called "passive", I think they are best thought of as "reflexive", as in the Spanish: "dormirse" and "acordarse".

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Re: passive verb
by Guest User - Saturday, 5 May 2007, 12:38 AM
  Also, you recently asked what is the verb "to rent." This is a good example of another (well, kinda the same) usage.

To rent is: evoikiazw.

BUT, all over Greece when flats are "for rent" you will see these red and yellow signs (is that right?) that say "enoikiazetai" and then what is for rent. The meaning is passive voice, it is saying that this place "is rented." YOu see, it doesn't focus on the subject, but rather on the object. You don't care that it is Maria who is renting the place, you care that the place is rented.

The sign could say "H Maria enoikiazei X" (Maria rents X), but instead, it says "enoikiazetai X" (X is for rent/being rented). The rented thing (X) is a passive subject, that is, it controls the verb and is thus a subject, but it feels like the object of the verb because it "gets rented."

Again, this is like the Spanish equivalent "se renta" or "se alquila." Or the French "on."

Anyway, hope this helps and is not just more confusing....

[NOTE: This is more of a follow up on your earlier "rent" question. The way I have heard the verbs used, and someone might help me on this (Irene/Theodore/Greg/etc.), "enoikiazw" implies "to rent out" (meaning you own the thing and you rent it to someone else) and "noikiazw" (without "e") implies "to rent" (meaning you need the thing and you rent it from someone). Eg: prepei na noikiasw autokinhto (I have to rent a car), BUT H Maria mou enoikiazei to autokinhto ths (Maria rents me her car). I might be making this up...]
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Re: passive verb
by Guest User - Saturday, 5 May 2007, 09:50 PM
  a) M.Nerses you are good!

b) http://z13.invisionfree.com/greek_learner_forum/index.php?showtopic=164. It may help. Too long to copy/paste, too lazy to summarise.

c) (E)noikiazw is one of the more confusing verbs really. "Rent", the english equivalent is not but it's the one that suffers more in signs in Greece :D (Note: "LenT" is also used on signs I'm afraid and the "rooms to let" goes through moments of agony too)

Now: The epsilon in enoikiazw is almost exclusively used in writing. As a consequence "noikiazw" can mean either that you are the owner or the lodger (renter, tenant you choose smile ). When the context is not such that will make it clear whether you own or rent a place other expressions are used.
So, in colloquial speech (writen or oral) the last example of Nerses would be "H Maria mou noikiazei to authokinhto ths). Nerses is not making it up smile butas I mentioned, "enoikiazw" tends to become obsolete.