Lesson 12

12.1 Forms of the Verbs: Coptic verbs has two distinct types, the Infinitive and the Qualitative. The Infinitive is further divided into three different forms, the Absolute, the Construct, and the Pronominal. Some verbs have all these distinctive forms or types while others have one, two, or three. The following are some examples of common verbs used:

Infinitive Qualitative







To come n/ou To be coming



To bless cmarwout To be blessed
twoun ten- twn= To rise



,w ,a- ,a= To put ,/ To be put, be



To become sop To be, exist
[i [i- [it= To take [/ou To be taken
] ]- t/i= To give toi To be given

12.2 Meaning and Uses:

12.2.1 Meaning: The infinitive is the elementary form of the verb and it always expresses its action. The Qualitative, on the other hand, expresses the quality or the result of the veb action.

12.2.2 Uses: The Absolute and the Qualitative are used with Bipartite tenses such as Present, Simple Future, Imperfect, ..etc. The Absolute, the Construct, and the Pronominal are used with the Tripartite tenses, such as First Perfect, Present of Habitude, Future Energetic, ... etc.

a.f.,a nen.nobi nan ebol He has forgiven us our sins
f.,/ neman He is with us
saf.t/if sa pi.epickopoc He usually gives it to the bishop
a.f.sop qen tai.polic He is in this city


12.3 Numbers:

12.3.1 Simple Numbers:




1 a ouai   oui
2 b cnau b] cnou]
3 g somt g] som]
4 d ftwou ftou-    
5 e ]ou (tiou)    
6 6 coou    
7 z sasf z] sasfi
8 / sm/n /] sm/ni
9 y 'it y] 'i]
10 i m/t, met- i] m/]
20 k jwt k] jw]
30 l map, mab    
40 m hme    
50 n teoui, taiou    
60 x ce    
70 o sbe, sfe    
80 p qamne    
90 f picteoui    
100 r se    
200 c s/i    
1,000 a so    
10,000   yba    

12.3.2 Composite Numbers: Between 11 and 99, the numeral is formed by placing the tens before the ones. For hundreds and thousands, the single unit is placed before the hundred or the thousand unit and they joined by the particle 'n-', except for the numeral 'two'. For combination of ones, tens, and hundreds, they are arranged as in the same order the numeral is written. Examples:



Written Form

12 ib metcnau
24 kd jwt ftwou
300 t somt nse, somt se
400 u ftwou nse, ftwou se
500 v tiou nse, tiou se
900 r 'it nse, 'it se
101 ra se ouai
111 ria se metouai
163 rxg se ce somt
251 cna cnau se nem teoui ouai


12.4 Abbreviation (Sacra Nomina): Coptic uses an abbreviated form of certain sacred words. Such practice was adopted from the Jewish tradition. The most common ones are as follows:




all/louia al Halleluia
dauid dad David
eyouab eyu Holy
yeoc yc God
ieroucal/m il/m Jerusalem
i/couc i/c Jesus
iwann/c iwa John
kurie ke Lord
marturoc ` Martyr
p[oic p[c Lord
pi,rictoc p,c Christ
pneuma pna Spirit
cwt/r cwr Savior
ctauroc ~ Cross
uioc uc son
vnou] v] God