Miscellaneous Greek Items

Pronouns, Adjectives, Adverbs, Conjunctions, 
Prepositions, Interjections, and Articles

Greek Pronouns
Pronouns are words that take the place of a noun in order to avoid awkward repetitions. For example: "he", "she", "myself", "yours". Greek pronouns are used very much like English pronouns. There are many different kinds of pronouns that will be defined later. Greek pronouns are declined just like the corresponding noun that they replace. That is, they take on case, number, and gender depending on their role within the sentence. Note that every Greek verb implies an unexpressed subject, since the verb form includes grammatical "number" and "person". For example, if the verb "love" is used in the "first person, singular", then it implies "I love", whereas the "second person, singular" would imply "you love", and so on. If a subject is not explicitly expressed in Greek, then the appropriate pronoun should be used to translate the sentence into English, (corresponding to the correct "person" and "number").

Greek Adjectives
An adjective is a word that modifies or describes a noun or a pronoun (or any type of substantive). It may be describing the physical attributes of the noun (e.g. "the glorious church"), any kind of general attribute (e.g. "the contrite heart"), or a number of other descriptions. An adjective in Greek is used just like an English adjective. However it may also take the place of and function as a noun. Like pronouns, Greek adjectives are treated just as Greek nouns in the sense that they are declined. The form that the adjective is in will be determined by the noun being modified. That is, each adjective will have the form that matches the noun it is modifying in number, case, and gender.

An adverb is a word that modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb. It often limits or describes the verb by indicating time, place, manner, or degree. In English many adverbs end in "-ly". Some examples are: "very", "now", "faithfully", "worthily", etc.. The Greek adverb is used very much like an adverb in English and is usually not declined (i.e. it does not change case form).

A conjunction is a word that joins together two or more words, phrases, clauses, or sentences. They can be used to join together similar things or to contrast different items. For example: "and", "but", "also", "however". Greek conjunctions are used very much like English conjunctions and typically do not change forms (i.e. they are not declined).

Prepositions are words that are used to describe the relationship of a noun (substantive) to another word or words in a sentence. A preposition has been over-simply described as "anywhere a mouse can go", such as, "under", "in", "around", "through", and so forth. In Greek, as in English, prepositions are most often found in prepositional phrases which consist of a preposition and a noun. The noun is considered the object of the preposition. For instance, "in your heart" or "from the Lord." Prepositions are words that developed in order to help define a more precise and explicit relationship of a noun to other words in the sentence. For example, a noun in the genitive case may carry the sense of "from" (without an actual preposition being used in Greek). But if the writer wanted to make clear that it was "out from" something, he would include the preposition meaning "out from". In this situation the noun which was the object of the preposition would still be in the genitive case. In fact, every Greek preposition requires that its object be in a specific (pre-defined) grammatical case. Thus we can say that the preposition governs the particular case of the noun it is modifying.

Interjections and Particles
Interjections are words used in exclamations. They usually have no grammatical connection to the rest of the sentence.  They are often adverbs used for exclamation.  Examples of interjections are the words ‘O’ in Romans 11:33 and ‘Ah’ in Mark 15:29.  An interjection is often classified under the classification of a ‘particle’, which is a catch-all phrase used for little words that don’t really fit into any other category.

Articles (Definite and Indefinite)
In English the definite article is the word "the", which tends to point out one or more particular items of a group or class. It is like an adjective in that it always modifies a noun (substantive). In Greek, the definite article is declined (i.e. it changes form to match the case, number, and gender of the noun which it modifies). In many cases the definite article in Greek is used to draw attention to the noun it modifies in a way very much unlike the English definite article. However, without a thorough understanding and "feel" for the Greek definite article, it is probably best to include the English article when one is present in Greek (unless it creates an awkward result in the English translation) and to omit it in English if not present in the Greek.

    English also has what is called an indefinite article, which is the word "a" or "an". The indefinite article points out or denotes any one of the items in a group or class. Greek does not have a word exactly corresponding to the English indefinite article, therefore sometimes a noun without a definite article can be translated and treated in English as if it had an indefinite article (however, this is not always the case and should be applied cautiously since there are ways to indicate the same idea as the English indefinite article). (A more in-depth explanation will be included in subsequent lessons).

    A substantive that is being modified by a definite article is referred to as being ‘articular’, whereas a substantive without a definite article is termed ‘anarthrous’.

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