A few things.<br /><br />First, chiron2b, you have intuited a rule of Greek syntax it took modern linguistics (discourse theory) to figure out, namely the focus role of the position right before the verb. <br /><br />A note for those curious, everything I'm about to say does not apply to Greek poetry, which retained a hostility to the definite article for some time.<br /><br />Next, the secret here has to do with what Greek Grammars call "attributive position." Whenever a noun has an article, like here, any adjective that modifies it (as in "the small houses") must come after an article. So, ai( mikrai oikiai - "the small houses." You can also phrase this as ai( oikiai ai( mikrai with the same meaning.<br /><br />For your sentence here, since the noun has the article, but the adjective does not, the adjective is in the predicate position. Since you don't have to use the verb "to be" in these cases, both of these mean "the house is small": ai( oikiai mikrai, mikrai ai( oikiai.<br /><br />Non-homeric Greek adores to put long modifying phrases after an article to modify a noun:<br /><br />[face=SPIonic]oi( e)n th=| kw/mh| a)/nqrwpoi[/face]<br /><br />"The in-the-village people." Once again, you can throw the modifying (attributive) phrase after another article:<br /><br />[face=SPIonic]oi( a)/nqrwpoi oi( e)n th=| kw/mh[/face]<br /><br />"The people, the in-the-village (ones)"<br /><br />If there is no article involved, then there is potential confusion. Rarely will you encounter Greek in the wild where confusion exists, though, but textbooks love to boggle our brains with these.<br /><br />Have I made this more clear or more murky?