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

More Nouns

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.

Masculine Nouns

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.

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


A noun has four roles or functions within a sentence, aka cases, (and a fifth rare type): the nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and vocative. Each has a particular ending which represents the noun’s function in a sentence. They come in declensions (patterns) – each declension has a different set of endings. Nouns also indicate gender. A noun is masculine, feminine or neuter. Inanimate objects can be masculine or feminine.

If it is the subject of a sentence (the thing doing stuff) it’s nominative. If it is the object (the thing stuff gets done to) – it’s the accusative. If it in someway related to possession (eg if it is something from the nominative, or belonging to the nominative) it is genitive. If it is an indirect object it’s dative. For example in the sentence: “I give the ball to you”, I am the nominative, the ball is the accusative, and you are the dative, give is the verb.

The genitive can be used as the “ablatival genitive” which indicates the source of the thing (“I take the ball from the cupboard”), the dative can be used as a locative dative (in), the instrumental dative (by) and the dative of personal advantage (for). These uses are likely to come up in exam questions because they’ll trip you up if you’re not careful.

The declensions come in tables that you have to try to learn by rote. I hate learning by rote.

Nouns have stems too. They have case-number suffixes (like the verbs have person-number suffixes) that stick on the end to tell you what the word does in the sentence.

Neuter plural nouns are a bit like collective nouns in English. They take singular verbs.

Some nouns try to trick you by being cross-dressers or having special patterns (aka declensions). You can always tell what gender a noun is by the article (the) that comes before it. Greek has 24 words for “the”, or more correctly, four cases, with three genders and singular and plural options – there is some duplication across the grid (eg all the genitive plural articles are the same).


Sometimes a nominative cased verb will actually be playing the part of the accusative. This happens in a “complement” where you’re basically throwing an equal sign into the statement. You’ve just got to think of ειμι (I am) as an equals sign. It’ll come with a nominative noun, but you’ll need to supply the pronoun to complete the complement.


Greek, like every other language known to man, has conjunctions. They bring two clauses together.

  • δε means “now” or “but” – it’s a strong statement, and it’s postpositive. It never starts a sentence. It tells you that something new has been introduced.
  • και means and, it used twice in a sentence it means “both…and”
  • αλλα is “but” it marks a stark contrast between sentences.

Word Order

Because nouns have cases and verbs have all sorts of bells and whistles syntax is of reduced importance in Greek. You can jumble up the order and the meaning will still be determined by the endings. Normal word order for English is “subject verb object”, normal word order for Greek is “verb subject object” – changing the word order is normally a marker of some sort of significant emphasis.

Vocab and Memory Hooks

  • αγγελος* = (angelos) = angel or messenger = self explanatory
  • αγρος = agros = field = like agriculture
  • αδελφος = (adelphos) = brother = like Philadelphia (brotherly love)
  • αλλα = (alla) = but = But alla the other guys get to watch TV.
  • αμαρτωλος = Sinner = (amartolos) Sinner = Amart-all-sports is actually where the rebels go.
  • ανθρωπος = (anthropos) man/person = anthropology
  • δε = but = but de other guy hit me first
  • διακονος = (diakonos) deacon = self explanatory
  • δουλος = (doulos) servant/slave = If I had a servant/slave they would δουλος for me.
  • δωρον = (doron) gift = Doron look a gift horse in the mouth.
  • εργον = (ergon) work = people who work at εργον don’t do any.
  • ερεμος = (eremos) wilderness = If your GPS takes you to the wilderness it’s made an ερεμος
  • ευαγγελιον = (euangelion) good news = like evangelism.
  • θανατος = (thanatos) death = Then Athos got stabbed, and he died.
  • ιερον = (eyeron) temple = the temple got i-roned out by the Romans
  • λαμβανω = (Lambano) I take = I take a lamb-an-o-pen up the oven.
  • λεγω = (lego) I speak = I would like to speak like the people on the Leggo’s ad
  • λιθος = (lithos) stone  =  lithographs are carved in stone.
  • λογος = (logos) word = Your logo is your business in a word.
  • νομος = (nomos) law = If you’re autonomous, you’re a law unto yourself.
  • οδος = (hodos) road/way = Hit the hodos Jack, and don’t you come back
  • οικος = (oikos) house = I had to write about οικος in an essay so I have not trouble with this one…
  • οχλος = (oxlos) crowd = There are big crowds at the bull fights to see the ox loss.
  • τεκνον = (teknon) child = Looking after children is tekn’on a big responsibility
  • υιος** = (wi-os) son = Your son ui-sed all over the floor
  • φερω = (phero) to bear = Apparently Christopher means “bearer of Christ”…

*γγ together is pronounced as ng.

** ui as in suite – which I sort of render as “wee”

Tanner’s hide

Finance and Deregulation Minister Lindsay Tanner is Web 2.0 enabled with a blog over at the SMH. Today’s post is all about the government’s new Web 2.0 based thinking – they’re probably going to use blogs in some upcoming community consultation. Ironic really, given that the same government is advocating restrictions to the internet that would put us on par with China. Perhaps comments they don’t agree with in the consultative process will be blocked? Or the IP address taken down and the perpetraitor (sic) silently removed from their homes and literally excommunicated (possibly a removal of Internet privileges).

Here’s Tanner’s rather convoluted description of what he thinks about Web 2.0…

“This new mode of production is known in the academic literature as peer production, but is more commonly referred to as Web 2.0. It is a trend that applies to much more than the creation of cultural goods, although these goods, such as the innumerable YouTube video mashups which poke fun at politicians, are acting as the harbingers of change.”

“Peer production empowers every citizen to be creator and critic, as well as consumer, of information. It is a mode of production that is enabled by two key factors. The first is the collapse of cost barriers to producing information – computers are now widely accessible in western society. The second is the removal of logistical and functional barriers to collaboration through new internet based networks.”

“The glue that binds peer production together is the ethic of collaboration it inculcates among groups. People contribute their time to peer production because they find communities with a passion for making their adopted content niche the best it can be.”

“This environment also creates efficiencies by allowing skilled amateurs to allocate their intellectual capital to the content niche about which they are most passionate. This is significant when you consider the quality and value of work done by people for love and not money.”

All in all, his article is a pretty garbled way of saying the Government is down with the Internets and all that.

“These changes are not easy for government to process. Our Westminster bureaucracy has optimised its policy production processes over centuries. Adaptation to the new information environment will be neither quick nor easy.”

I guess that’s something Obama can relate to.
Here’s his obligatory dig at the Howard Government:

“The Australian Government should be leading the way in adapting our old processes of consultation, policy making and regulation to the connected world. Yet we lag behind other nations in both the scale and pace of reform, a situation largely attributable to the culture of secrecy, spin and apathy of the Howard years.”

“I am taking steps to reinvigorate the Commonwealth’s efforts in this area. For example, early in the new year the Government will run a number of trial online consultations using blogs and other Web 2.0 tools”

You know what would be brilliantly ironic – if all this consultation got blocked by the Government’s proposed clean feed (a very bad idea – putting us on par with China in terms of restrictions) with it’s invisible blacklist of sites. My disdain for the Australian Christian Lobby is growing – I think they miss the point on so many issues when dealing with a secular government and trying to impose Christian values on the general public – who generally aren’t Christians. I acknowledge that as Christians we believe our way of life is better – and more in line with God’s expectations – but it’s not for us to impose our code of conduct on the rest of society. I also acknowledge that increased consumption of pornography has some links to increases in sexual violence and is socially undesirable. But I don’t think this is the way to tackle it – and I don’t think – as Jim Wallace so tactlessly put it that opposing this plan is tantamount to supporting the evils that lurk in the dark corners of the internet. Here’s the quote from the ACL Media Release.

“Obviously the Internet industry is going to continue to fight this important initiative

but the interests of children must be placed first.”

“The need to prevent access to illegal hard-core material and child pornography must

be placed above the industry’s desire for unfettered access.”

Censorship is bad. Particularly for the church. Once you start advocating censorship what happens if a militant anti-Christian or Islamic party gets in and adds all the Christian sites to the black list? Have you thought about that ACL? Have you? Christians who are serious about Christianity’s real agenda – which is the proclamation of the gospel can not be supportive of Government intervention into the minds and beliefs of the general public.
By all means, if you’re a Christian then take part in the political process – but don’t pretend to speak for all of us – and do so to raise your opinion on a matter – not to demand legislation be based on a Christian world view. That is not in the spirit of democracy – that’s a theocracy.
Oh, and if you want to voice your opinion on this matter through the press (or the Government’s upcoming Web 2.0 consultancy process) – the ACL has a handy letters to the editor writing guide.
I’m going to do some work now.
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