Lexical form

You need to learn two important terms. I will use them often in our discussions.

The first is "lexical form." For verbs, the first person singular form of the verb is its lexical form.

In English we normally use the term "dictionary." But in Greek (and other languages) we call them "lexicons." Just another term for the same thing.

The "lexical form" is the form of the verb as it is listed in the lexicon. It is also the form of the word that you will be memorizing.

If you think about it, you can see why we do this. ἀκούω and ἀκούεις have the same meaning, except that one is "I" and the other is "you." But both mean "hear." Can you imagine how complicated it would be if the lexicon had to list a word's meaning for each of its forms? Instead, lexicons discuss the meaning of a word in one place, and that one place is the lexical form of a word. Again, for verbs, that means the first person singular form. If you try to find ἀκούεις in a lexicon you wouldn't find it. But you will find the word defined under the form ἀκούω.

Think about it from a translator's point of view. You are reading along in the Greek and you come across a word you don't know. You have to be able to look at it, figure out its lexical form so that you can then look the word up in the lexicon and discover its meaning.

So, the lexical form of a verb is the first person singular form of the verb.