THE MIDDLE VOICE

 

Besides the active and passive voices, Greek has a third voice, the middle. It represents the subject as acting either upon him/herself (reflexive) or in his/her own interest.

For example:
lou/w means "I wash" (the clothes), but lou/omai means "I wash myself," or "I bathe."
fe/rw means "I carry" (the prize vase), but fe/romai means "I carry off for myself," or, in a competitive context, "I win" (the prize vase).

The special meanings of the middle voice of many verbs must be learned by experience, but can often be inferred from the active meaning.

Some verbs (like e)/rxomai) rarely or never appear in active forms; these are known as deponent verbs.
Many deponent verbs (like
die/rxomai) are transitive and take objects.

The forms of the middle and passive voices are identical in the present, imperfect, and perfect tenses. In the aorist there are separate forms for the middle and passive.

The primary endings of the middle voice are:
I
-mai
we
-meqa
you (s)
-sai
you (pl)
-sqe
he, she
-tai
they
-ntai

imperative s
-ou
imperative pl
-sqe