What verb is


A verb is that which additionally signifies time, no part of it is separately significant. And it is a sign of things said of something else. I say that it additionally signifies time. For example, ‘health’ is a name, but ‘recover’ is a verb. For it additionally signifies that which is holding now. And it is always a sign of things that are in something else, i.e. those which are predicated of a subject.

Indefinite-case of a verb

‘Does not recover’ and ‘does not ail’ I do not call verbs. For though they additionally signify time and are in something, yet there is a difference: there is no name for this. Let us call them indefinite verbs, because they are similarly (predicated of) both in whatever does, and does not exist. So also ‘recovered’ or ‘will be well’ are not verbs but cases of a verb. They differ from the verb, because the latter signifies the present time, the others the time outside the present.

Verbs in and by themselves are names and signify something. For the speaker arrests his thought and the hearer pauses. But they do not yet signify whether it is or not (what is significant by the verb). For neither is ‘to be’ or ‘not to be’ a sign of the actual thing, nor if you say merely ‘that which is’. For by itself it signifies nothing, but it additionally signifies a certain composition, which it is impossible to understand without its components.

Bibliography: Aristotle, De Interpretatione (16b.6 to 16b.25) 
Translation: George Kotsalis

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