Tenses - moods Active voice
Indicative mood Singular Plural
Aorist (simple past)
Future (continuous)
θα πρέπει
Future (simple)
Future Perfect
Subjunctive mood
Imperative mood
The characteristics of «πρέπει» are:
  • It's an impersonal verb.
  • It doesn't have perfect tenses.
  • It expresses a necessity or an obligation.
  • When used as an obligation it is followed by a «να-clause» plus a verb in the present tense, the aorist of the subjunctive mood or the imperfect and perfect tenses of the indicative mood.
  • The negative form of «πρέπει» expresses a prohibition or disapproval.
Examples with «πρέπει»:
ελληνικά αγγλικά
Οι νέοι πρέπει να σέβονται τους μεγαλυτέρους. Young people should respect the elderly.
Που πρέπει να to φερθώ; To where do I have to bring it?
Aυτά τα παπούτσια είναι ό,τι πρεπει για ορειβασία. These shoes are necessary for rock climbing.
Δεν ξέρω αν πρέπει να πάω. I do not know if I have to go.
Πρέπει να έχει αρχίσει η παράσταση. He must have started the performance.
Πρέπει να κόψεις το τσιγάρο You need to stop smoking.
Πρέπει να έρχομαι το τρένο. I have to catch the train.
When does «πρέπει» occur:
  • «πρέπει» is used in the present tense in general obligations or obligations which only apply to the current day.
  • «έπρεπε» is used in the imperfect tense used with an obligation in the past, whether accomplished or not. It may also be an allusion of the speaker whether something is real or probable.
  • «θα έπρεπε» is used in a hesitating obligation in the future, which has not been accomplished in the past.

Another few exaples with «πρέπει»:

ελληνικά αγγλικά
Θα ΄πρεπε να ντρέπεσαι γι΄αυτά που είπες. You should be embarrassed about what you said.
Πρέπει να τα ήξερε πάντα αλλά έκανε τον ανήξερο He must have known it forever but played the fool.
Έπρεπε να την έβλεπα αυτή την ταινία. I had to see that movie.
Aν ήθελες να την ευχαριστήσεις, θα έπρεπε να της κάνεις μια ζωγραφία. If you want to thank her, you should make a painting for her.
Εννοείς ότι δεν θα έπρεπε να έρχεσαι. You mean that you were not able to come.
Οι φίλοι του έπρεπε να τον είχαν βοηθήσει. His friends should have helped him.