In Koiné Greek, the base form of the verb communicates the basic meaning of that term. However, this base form never stands alone. The base form of a verb is usually accompanied by a connecting vowel and a word ending. For example, consider the Greek verb αγαπαω (“I love”). This is the form of the verb that appears in any standard lexicon. The base form of the verb is αγαπ-. This expresses the basic meaning of the verb (“love”). The connecting vowel of this verb is the letter -α-. This connecting vowel can change form depending on the number of syllables in the word and well as the specific word ending used in any given instance. The word ending of this verb is the letter -ω. This word ending indicates the tense, voice, and mood of the verb as well as the person and number of the verb’s subject. If the verb is a participle, the word ending can also indicate gender and case. For the verb above, the word ending -ω indicates that the verb is in present tense, active voice, and indicative mood. The word ending also indicates that the subject of the verb is 1st person singular (“I”).

In Koiné Greek, sometimes extra letters will be added at the beginning of the base form. This is called an augment. Letters in a verbal augment are NOT considered part of the base form. They are added in certain circumstances depending on the form of the verb used in any given instance.


Koiné Greek contains many irregular verbs that do not follow strictly the patterns of form described above. If you are ever uncertain about the form of any particular verb, consult a lexicon.

Finite verbs

The finite verb forms in Koiné Greek are marked for tense, whether that be present, aorist, future, imperfect, perfect, or pluperfect.

Non-finite verbs

The non-finite verb forms in Koiné Greek include the infinitive and the participle. Non-finite verbs can sometimes describe an action or an event in such a way that the word functions like a noun.


Dynamic (or action) verbs

Stative (or non-action) verbs

Transitive verbs

Intransitive verbs

Linking verbs

Helping verbs

Helping verbs are extra verbs that “help” express the meaning of the main verb. As a general rule, Koiné Greek does not use helping verbs. However, English uses many different kinds of helping verbs. Often, it is necessary to supply a helping verb in English to express the meaning of a Greek verb.

helping verbs in questions and negations

The following example in English adds the helping verb “have” (not present in the Hebrew text):

helping verbs to express possibility or desirability

English uses helping verbs to express varying degrees of possiblity or desirability of verbs. This includes a vast range from strong possibility (He **can* do this* or He **would* do this*) to weak possibility (He **might* do this* or He **could* do this*) or from strong desirability (He **should* do this* or *Let him do this*) to weak desirability (*May he do this* or He **wants* to do this*).