εἰμί + present participle: infective aspect (state of affairs, later progressive)

The periphrasis with εἰμί and a present participle characterises the state of affairs:

  1. as a condition;

  2. (from Koine onwards) as continuous, and thus with a progressive aspect.

Translation tips

The translation differs depending on the meaning:

  1. {stative} present tense or 'to be...' (with an adjective or noun);
  2. {progressive} present continuous.

Syntactic behaviour

The participle tends to have the force of an adjective, particularly when this periphrasis indicates a condition. In such cases the periphrasis is usually intransitive.

Historical background


In Tsakonian, the present and imperfect indicative are regularly formed by means of έμι ‘I am’ + pres. part. (e.g. North-Tsakonic έμι γράφου ‘I write’