The First Declension (which textbooks tend to deal with second) has a nice rule that helps with the tables. Or a couple of rules.
Feminine Nouns of the First Declension
It splits nouns into categories based on the final letter of the root (which is the noun’s stem). If the root of a word ends with ε, ι, or ρ then the endings go:
- N: α
- G: ας
- D: ᾳ
- A: αν
- V: α
If it ends with a sibilant (ζ, σ, ψ, or ξ) then the α becomes an η in the genitive and dative cases – so:
- N: α
- G ης
- D: ῃ
- A: αν
- V: α.
If the root ends with anything else then it gets an η and the same pattern, so:
- N: η
- G: ης
- D: ῃ
- A: ην
- V: η.
The masculine nouns are different.
They either end with an α or an η and follow the feminine pattern (except in the genitive). But they add an ς to the end of the last So:
- N: ης, ας
- G: ου
- D: ῃ, ᾳ
- V: ην, αν
All the first Declension nouns have the same plural endings.
- N/V: αι
- G: ων
- D: αις
- A: ας
Prepositions in Greek always come before the noun they describe. Prepositions in Greek have a semantic range, and depending on the case of the noun they work with have different meanings. Some prepositions only have one case though… These are:
- απο: Genitive. From/of/away from
- εις: Accusative. Into/to/for/in
- εκ: Genitive. Out of/from/by
- εν: Dative. In/within/by/with/among
When these prepositions are used with a noun of the same case they work together to form a prepositional phrase. So crowd in the dative case (“τῳ οχλῳ”) would normally be translated as “for the crowd”, when you chuck the preposition “εν” in front of “τῳ οχλῳ” it becomes “in the crowd”
Vocab and Memory Hooks
- αληθεια = (aletheia) Truth = Aletheia will set you free
- αμαρτια = (amartia) Sin = When children do bad things the other kids go “amar…tia”
- βασιλεια = (basileia) Kingdom, reign = Basil Fawlty reigns over his kingdom
- διακονια = (diakonia) Ministry, service =
- εκκλησια = (ekklesia) Church = Ecclesiastes is an odd name because it doesn’t talk about church
- εξουσια = (exsousia) authority/right = Obama is the president because he had the best exsousia.
- επιθυμια = (epithumia) desire/lust = When you go to romantic lookouts in winter without jumpers you get epithumia (like hypothermia)
- ημερα = (hemera) day = If you sit on the toilet for a day you’ll get hemera.
- καρδια = (kardia) heart = Cardiac.
- μαρτυρια = (marturia) testimony = You have to be maturia to give your testimony in a Baptist church
- οικια = (oikia) house = Even the Greeks by homewares at Oikia.
- παρρησια = (parresia) boldness = People from Paris are unfortunately not very bold, they are cheese eating surrender monkeys.
- σοφια = (sophia) wisdom = You won’t get wise unless you get up off the sophia
- σωτηρια = (soteria) salvation =
- χαρα = (xara) joy = I’ve got that xara, xara, xara, down in my heart. Where?
- ωρα = (hora) hour = Hours spent doing Greek vocab are horas of my life that I won’t get back
- γλωσσα = (glossa) = I had to look up speaking in tongues in the Bible’s glossary.
- δοξα = (doxa) glory = doxology. Again.
- θαλασσα = (thallasa) sea = Trying to remember the sea with this hook is a thallasea
- αγαπη = (agape) love = everyone knows this one.
- αρχη = (arxe) beginning = Just after the beginning Noah went for a ride in the arxe
- γη = (ge) earth = geology is the study of ge.
- γραφη = (graphe) Scripture/writings = If you show me a graphe, I’ll take it as scripture.
- διαθηκη = (diatheke) covenant = When my twoth ekes I make a covenant with my dentist.
- διδαχη = (didaxe) teaching = didactic
- δικαιοσυνη = (dikaiosune) righteousness = I’m just going to have to remember this one.
- ειρηνη = (eirene) peace = Apparently irenic means peaceful, that’s ironic when you think about Ireland, and Iran.
- εντολη = (entole) commandment = When you drive on new roads you are commanded to pay the entole.
- επιστολη = (epistole) epistle/letter = Easy.
- ζωη = (zoe) life = I go to the zoo to see lots of life.
- κεφαλη = (kephale) head = kephale, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
- ογρη = (Ogre) Anger = Shrek is angry.
- παραβολη = (parabole) parable = Speaks for itself.
- περιτομη = (peritome) circumcision = a cut around the perimeter.
- προσευχη = (proseuxe) prayer = Daniel didn’t pray so he got proseuxeted.
- συναγογη = (sunagoge) synagogue = Speaks for itself.
- υπομονη = (upomone) endurance = When Lance Armstrong took upomone he got more endurance.
- φωνη = (phone) sound = You’re making too much sound on that phone.
- ψυχη = (psuxe) soul/life = Greek psuxe the life out of you
- ματητης = The disciples were mathletes.
- προφητης = (prophetes) prophets = Umm. I don’t know.
- στρατιωτης = (stratiotes) Soldier = Soldiers are told to do strategic things.
- τελωνης = (telones) Tax collector = The tax collectors want to get their telones into you.
- υποκριτης = (hupokrites) hypocrites = Again. What’s with the English words.
- Μεσσιας = (Messias) Messiah
- νεανιας = (neanias) young man = When I play soccer against a young I want to kick him in the neanias.
- απο = (apo) from/away from = apostasy is going away from the faith.
- εις = (eis) into = I throw my ace into the mix.
- εκ = (ek) out of = get me the ‘eck out of ‘ere
- εν = (en) in = Enter in.