Before even trying to attempt this lesson we had better become acquainted with a few basic facts about Greek verbs.
- Time: Greek verbs, like practically all verbs in all languages change their forms to indicate time.
- Aspect: But in ancient Greek, like in modern Russian, the way we envisage the action is of prime importance: Are we talking about something specific or are we generalizing?
Simple, specific, straightforward action versus generalization, repetition, action in progress or result.
That is what is called aspect
Even if after wading through time and aspect you are still not 100% sure of what Aorist stands for, you should be sort of prepared to tackle the next few lessons and come to grips with the concept.
The next problem is still one of terminology: 1st aorist? 2nd aorist?
Some verbs have 1st aorist forms, the others (not so many, the irregular ones) have 2nd aorist forms, and, to make matters more interesting, some have both.
The function however is always the same: simple, specific, once-and-for-all fact.
- 1st aorist, like 1st declension, or 1st conjugation (in Latin, Spanish, Italian...) means endings based on the letter A, logical since a is the 1st letter of the alphabet
- 2nd aorist then does NOT have endings in a. Lesson 11 is all about 2nd aorist, so you should soon know all about that.