The St. Eutychus Guide to First Year Greek – Part Six

Some unboring posts in the pipeline people. I promise.

Personal Pronouns

To recap some English grammar – a pronoun is a noun that stands in the place of a noun. Like “it” or “this.” A personal pronoun is a noun that stands in the place of a person.

The first person singular pronoun in English is “I,” in Greek it’s “εγω.” Fitting really.

Because we’re dealing with nouns we’re looking at the same four major cases (in fact, there are no vocatives in the first person, because you don’t talk to yourself in Greek land. That would be crazy.

So the first person pronouns look like this:

Singular

  • N εγω = I
  • G εμου or μου = my
  • D εμοι or μοι = to me
  • A εμε or με = me

Plural

  • N ημεις = we
  • G εμων = ours
  • D ημιν = to us
  • A ημας = us

εμου, εμοι and εμε are used to emphasise the pronoun.

The second person pronouns like this:

Singular

  • N συ = you
  • G σου or an accented σου = of you
  • D σοι or an accented σοι = to you
  • A σε or an accented σε = you

Plural

  • N υμεις = you
  • G υμνω = of you
  • D υμιν = to you
  • A υμας = you

The accented forms of the pronouns are used for emphasis. Accents are too hard to type consistently, so you’ll just have to imagine them all over the place here, and elsewhere.

A tip for differentiating the second person plural nominative and the first person plural nominative is to remember that “u” is the first letter of the second person, and the last letter of the English equivalent (you) while “e” is the first letter of the first person, and the last letter of the English equivalent (we). There has to be an easier way to express that…

And the third person like this (it has masculine, neuter and feminine versions, eg. he, she, and it):

Masculine

Singular

  • N αυτος = He
  • G αυτου = of him
  • D αυτῳ = to him
  • A αυτον = him

Plural

  • N αυτοι
  • G αυτων
  • D αυτοις
  • A αυτους

Feminine

Singular

  • N αυτη = she
  • G αυτης = of her
  • D αυτῃ= to her
  • A αυτην = her

Plural

  • N αυται
  • G αυτων
  • D αυταις
  • A αυτας

Neuter

Singular

  • N αυτο = it
  • G αυτου = of it
  • D αυτῳ = to it
  • A αυτο = it

Plural

  • N αυτα
  • G αυτων
  • D αυτοις
  • A αυτα

There are no vocatives in the third person, and the declension, across the genders, is exactly the same as αγαθος (the adjective), except for the neuter nominative and accusative, which follow the declension of the definite article instead.

Characteristics of Pronouns

  1. Pronouns are used instead of nouns to avoid repetition.
  2. The noun the pronoun replaces is called the antecedent, the pronoun agrees with the antecedent in gender and number, but case will obviously vary based on the role the pronoun plays in the sentence – if the antecedent is the accusative and the pronoun is dative (eg. I see the Lord and believe in Him) then the case ending has to change to show that.
  3. Because verbs already have a built in pronoun based on the person-number suffix a pronoun is only used with a verb for the sake of emphasis. εγω λυω translates the same as λυω but the “I” is more emphatic when the pronoun is used.
  4. Personal pronouns in the genetive indicate possession. ο λογοσ μου translates to “my word” (literally “the word of me”).
  5. The emphatic version of pronouns (eg εμου) are normally used after prepositions eg απ εμου = from me, is more likely than απο μου.

Special Uses of αυτος

αυτος has two special uses.

  1. When used with the article (in the attributive position) it translates as “same” this is called the adjectival αυτος eg ο αυτος αποστολος is “the same apostle”
  2. When used without the article, in the predicate position, it translates as “self” eg “himself” – this use is called the intensive αυτος eg ο αποστολοσ αυτος is “the apostle himself.” The intensive can also be used with other pronouns to intensify the pronoun – so αυτος εγω λεγω is “I myself say” – this also works with the verb’s internal subject. So αυτος λεγω is also “I myself say”…
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