Talk:Deponent verb

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I can think of verbs that are used far more commonly in their passive forms. You hear about being accustomed often, but how often do you hear about accustoming? Not very. If you try to make "I am pooped" active, you change its meaning; the same thing with "I am pissed", although you can say, "that pisses me off". LOL! Personally, I don't use "This tires me" at all, but very often I say, "I'm tired and I need to go to bed". You can say, "I am used to it", but not, "he uses me to it". English does some funny stuff with the passive voice, and no one has noticed. Also, we make up funny adjectives like "four-legged", which derives from an unused verb meaning to attach four legs to, lol; compare that with the Latin "togatus", toga-clad. --jasonc65

I think "tired and pooped" are past-participle adjectives. "Used to" seems to be a defective verb in that sense(?), only used in the past tense and as a past participle adjective. About -legged, -fabled etc, I think you are wrong in thinking there *must* be a verb, and that the adjective could be derived directly from a noun. (Gee, such bad explanation, I am such an amateur on this.)惑乱 分からん 13:55, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
Nugor. Sed pauca verba certe videtur deponentia, nonne consentis? There, I just used one. You're supposed to get used to it. Oops, there go two more. Never mind. Are we agreed? There we go again. Participle adjectives. Defective verbs that cannot be used in the active voice. Or should we just say, deponents? They say that looking at a language through the lens of another is dangerous. It is actually disputed that Greek contains deponents, being that they were really reflexive verbs misunderstood through Latin analogy. Actually, even Latin deponents are really left-overs from the middle voice. I do think it amusing to compare some of our verbs with Latin deponents, even if the similarity is misleading. The way we use passive-looking verbs like "to be tired" and defective verbs like "is supposed to" and idioms like "we are agreed" in ways that are quasi-reflexive, quasi-passive, quasi-middle, is in fact similar to Latin deponents like "irascor", "conor", "opinor", reflexive German verbs like "sich erinnern", the Greek middle voice, and our own indigenous middle voice with verbs like "move", "burn", "stretch", etc. in the senses which are intransitive and involve self-propulsion of some sort. Also, in French, the passive meaning is often expressed through the reflexive voice. Reflexive verbs in French, therefore, are deponents. LOL. --jasonc65
Excuse me? The Latin language, you say, has deponent verbs because they are "left over"??? Let's put our cart behind our pony here, and get this down on the straight and level: Latin and Greek existed at the same time even though Greek is attested at an earlier date. Try to get your facts straight in the future, okay? Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 03:05, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Dexter, Jason has his cart and pony in order, and his facts in the past were just fine, but not clear enough. Latin deponents (though I loathe to use the word deponent) are indeed a leftover from the middle voice - not the Greek middle voice - but the ProtoIndoEuropean one. PIE lacked a proper passive voice, the effects of which are seen in nearly every IndoEuropean daughter family.
Try not to be so sarcastic in the future, okay?
Btw, who actually spells out okay?
--Ioscius 16:23, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

No Deponency in Greek?[edit]

From (the current version of) the article:

Verbs which are assumed to be deponent might simply always be used in the middle voice with middle meanings. As an example, the verb ἔρχομαι (to come or go) could be understood to be in the middle voice, as one always brings oneself with when they come or go

I'd be very interested in reading how the scholars who make this claim deal with obviously transitive verb stems that are attested only in middle voice forms, like φαγομαι and οψομαι. --Jonadab the Unsightly One, 2008 July 14. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:11, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

SineBot is annoying, and so are expired sessions. Yes, that was me. --Jonadab
Well, for instance phagomai could be understood as "I feed myself", opsomai a little trickier, but compare intueri in Latin. Just because we programmed English speakers understand verbs as active and passive, doesn't mean that there doesn't exist a rationale that we just find hard to pin down. --Ioscius 16:29, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
After reading the above, I have taken the liberty of removing the following snippet of text:

Also, scholars have recently begun to debate whether deponency actually exists in Ancient Greek, or if it has been incorrectly assumed based on its existence in Latin. Verbs which are assumed to be deponent might simply always be used in the middle voice with middle meanings. As an example, the verb ἔρχομαι (to come or go) could be understood to be in the middle voice, as one always brings oneself with when they come or go.[1]

Shinobu (talk) 15:02, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
We should, though, have some discussion in here of current opinion on the subject, which varies a bit. A reasonable number of recent scholars argue that the traditional analysis is a misapplication of Latin grammatical concepts to Greek, and either propose modified conceptions of what deponency is for Greek, or argue for doing away with it as a category altogether. See, for example: Bernard A. Taylor (2004). "Deponency and Greek Lexicography". Biblical Greek Language and Lexicography. Wm. B. Eerdmans. pp. 167–176.  --Delirium (talk) 20:28, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

I have been trying to follow the discussion in the Biblical Greek scholarly internet community. Here are some good pointers (Conrad's articles and Rutgar Allan's thesis are especially important). (talk) 14:30, 5 July 2011 (UTC)


This article deserves a section on the history or etymology of deponents. Shinobu (talk) 19:49, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Deponent verbs in Sanskrit?[edit]

Most of us learn about deponent verbs when we study Latin, or at least I did. But what about the other languages in the Indo-European family of languages? Does Sanskrit have deponent verbs? Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 03:00, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes. People not knowing such basic facts probably shouldn't make fun of people who know what they are talking about, like you so rudely did above. --Ioscius 16:30, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Deponent verbs in Etruscan?[edit]

Has there been any progress lately in figuring out whether the Etruscan language had deponent verbs? Dexter Nextnumber (talk) 03:05, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Passive meaning for a deponent verb[edit]

It is not explained in the article how (if at all) a deponent verb forms a passive meaning. For example, utor, usus sum, uti is a Latin deponent verb which means "to use". So utitur means "he/she/it uses (is using)". How would one say "(it) is used/is being used" in Latin?-- (talk) 17:00, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Well, a fairly large number of deponent verbs seem to express intransitive meanings, but for the others that's a good question... AnonMoos (talk) 16:02, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
As far as my limited knowledge of Latin goes, most deponent verbs have no passive (except for their gerundive). Instead you would need a different verb, such as the passive of adhibeo in this case.
All the best. –Syncategoremata (talk) 21:24, 6 July 2010 (UTC)


Why are these Norwegian verbs on the list? The fact that their active voice form has a meaning as well seems to deny them deponency as verbs. (talk) 02:32, 12 August 2012 (UTC) REPLACE: en:BLEAKGH (got:ᚷᚲᛇᛚᛒ) 02:33, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

"a book sold copies" is a poor example[edit]

I'd imagine it's often an anglism. -- (talk) 05:53, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

It's not a deponent verb as such, but it's a good example of a verb having both "active" and "middle" meanings. In Romance languages, a verb is often converted into pseudo-reflexive form to mark such a shift in meaning: "vendre" vs. "se vendre" etc. AnonMoos (talk) 11:36, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

"Födas" as a deponent verb[edit]

In what way is the Swedish verb "födas" a deponent verb? It clearly has a passive meaning (be born) and the active "föda" (give birth to) exists. To me, it seems it fails every test for being deponent. (talk) 08:34, 15 October 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Long, Gary. Grammatical Concepts 101 for Biblical Greek. Hendrickson Publishers. 2006. ISBN 1-56563-406-3