For most Greek verbs, the principle of RECESSIVE ACCENTUATION determines which syllable will receive the accent. In other words, the accent on a Greek verb form will fall as far back from the ULTIMA as the rules allow. There are three rules.

Rule 1:

If a verb form has THREE or more syllables, and the ULTIMA of the word contains a SINGLE SHORT VOWEL, the accent “recedes” to the ANTEPENULT. Whether the penult is long or short is irrelevant:

δίδοτε

κατενόησε

In this situation, the accent can recede only to the last short vowel sound of the antepenult, so the accent on an antepenult always appears as an acute (“/”), regardless of the length of vowel in this syllable. In other words, if an antepenult receives an accent, it must be an acute:

δώσετε (= δοόσετε)

Rule 2:

If a verb form has THREE or more syllables, and the ULTIMA of the word contains a LONG VOWEL sound, the accent “recedes” to the PENULT:

διδότω

λαμβάνει

In this situation, the accent can recede only to the last short vowel sound of the penult, so the accent always appears as an acute (“/”), regardless of the length of vowel in this syllable:

παραδώσω (= παραδοόσοο)

Rule 3:

If a verb form has only TWO syllables, the PENULT always receives the accent. This accent may be an ACUTE (“/”) or CIRCUMFLEX (^), depending upon the following three situations:

1. If the penult vowel is short, it always receives an acute accent (“/”), regardless of the length of the ultima:

δότε

δότω (= δότοο)

2. If both the penult and ultima vowels are long, the penult receives an acute accent (“/”):

δώσω (= δοόσοο)

δώσεις  (= δοόσεις)

3. If the penult vowel is long and the ultima is short, the penult receives a circumflex accent (^):

σῶσε (= σόοσε)

σῶσον (= σόοσον)

You can also read: The Ancient Greek Alphabet

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