Greek Language Blog

Common Greek passive verbs Posted by on Oct 22, 2018 in Grammar

Γεια σας! It is time for a grammar post related to the passive voice, as it gives students a hard time. This post is not about the conjugation of verbs in the passive voice but it has a list eleven common verbs with examples on how we use them.


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Greek verbs ending in -μαι are considered as passive verbs. However, these verbs are passive only in their morphology. This means that a verb ending in -μαι can be an active or a linking verb. Note that an active verb does not necessarily denote movement, for example κοιμάμαι which means to sleep. There are verbs that have two voices: πλένω (to wash), πλένομαι (to be washed). The verbs listed in this post do not have an active form in , for example, we say έρχομαι and not έρχω, σκέφτομαι and not σκέφτω.


  1. έρχομαι: to come. Αόριστος: ήρθα.

Το λεωφορείο έρχεται. The bus is coming.

  1. σκέφτομαι: to think. Αόριστος: σκέφτηκα.

Η Βασιλική σκέφτεται την ιστορία που μόλις άκουσε. Vasiliki is thinking about the story she just heard.

  1. ονειρεύομαι: to dream. Αόριστος: ονειρεύτηκα.

Χθες το βράδυ ονειρεύτηκα ότι πετούσα με ένα αερόστατο.

Last night I dreamed I was flying with a hot-air balloon.

  1. εργάζομαι: to work. Αόριστος: εργάστηκα.

Η γιαγιά μας εργάστηκε πολύ σκληρά στη ζωή της. Our grandmother worked very hard in her life.

  1. χρειάζομαι: to need. Αόριστος: χρειάστηκα.

Χρειάζομαι μία χτένα και μία βούρτσα. I need a comb and a brush.

  1. μεταχειρίζομαι: to use. Αόριστος: μεταχειρίστηκα.

Μην μεταχειρίζεστε τέτοιες εκφράσεις, σας παρακαλώ! Don’t use such language, please!

  1. κοιμάμαι: to sleep. Αόριστος: κοιμήθηκα.

Η Άντζελα είναι κουρασμένη γιατί κοιμάται μόνο πέντε ώρες τη μέρα. Angela is tired because she sleeps only five hours per day.

  1. λυπάμαι: to regret, to be sorry. Αόριστος: λυπήθηκα.

Λυπάμαι πολύ για ό,τι έγινε. I am very sorry about what happened.

  1. θυμάμαι: to remember. Αόριστος: θυμήθηκα.

Όταν ξύπνησε, δεν θυμόταν τίποτα. When he woke up he could not remember anything.

  1. φοβάμαι: to be afraid, to be scared. Αόριστος: φοβήθηκα.

Όταν είδαν τον μεθυσμένο, τα παιδιά φοβήθηκαν. When the children saw the drunk man they got scared.

  1. γίνομαι: to become. Αόριστος: έγινα. It is a linking verb.

Ο γιος τους γίνεται όλο και πιο έξυπνος όσο μεγαλώνει. Their son becomes more and more clever as he grows up.

The third singular person γίνεται can be also used to mean it happens.

Example: Άκουσες τι έγινε χθες το βράδυ; Did you hear what happened last night?

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About the Author: Ourania

Ourania lives in Athens. She holds a degree in French Literature and a Master’s degree in Special Education for Children. Since 2008, she has been teaching Greek to foreigners.