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#1 Answers

Postby Jeff Tirey » Tue Dec 16, 2003 8:44 pm

Here’s a bit of discussion taken from various composition books:

The article gives a good deal of trouble to the learner before its use is fully mastered, and it is best therefore to explain the main points about it at the very first. There is no word in Greek for a, an: it is simply omitted: or the Indefinite Pronoun [face=SPIonic]tij[/face] “a certain one,” is used. The Greek article means the, and it is used broadly speaking where we use the, but also on some places where we do not. It is these latter which constitute the difficulty to the beginner.


In English we say ‘the bad man;’ and if we wish to translate this into Greek, the point to observe is that the adjective must have the article.

The order of the Adjectives and Substantives may be inverted if we please. Thus we may say either [face=SPIonic]o( kako/j a)nh/r[/face] or [face=SPIonic]o( a)nh\r o( kako/j[/face]; but in either case the Adjective must have the Article.

If this rule is broken and it is often by beginners, and if we write [face=SPIonic]o( a(nh\r kako/j[/face] or [face=SPIonic]kako\j o( a)nh/r[/face], the phrase is still good Greek, but the meaning is quite altered; it is no longer ‘the bad man’, but ‘the man is bad.’ The adjective, by being deprived of the article, had ceased to be an attribute, and has become a predicate.

Attributive Position:
[face=SPIonic]o( sofo/j a)nh/r[/face] - ‘The wise man.’
[face=SPIonic]o( a)nh/r o( sofo\j[/face] - ‘The wise man.’
[face=SPIonic]a)nh\r o( sofo/j[/face] – ‘The wise man’

Predicate Position:
[face=SPIonic]o( a)nh\r sofo/j[/face] – ‘The man is wise.’
[face=SPIonic]sofo\j o( a)nh/r[/face] – ‘The man is wise.’

The order of the three attributive positions reveals their frequency. Often the second attributive position shown above is more natural with an explanatory phrase.

[face=SPIonic]oi( o)pli=tai oi( e)/ndoqen[/face] - ‘The ones who are within.’
Unlike
[face=SPIonic]Oi( e)/ndoqen o(pli=tai[/face] – ‘The hoplites within.’

The article is sometimes used in English with only an Adjective, the Substantive being understood. This is also a Greek idiom, but is a great deal more frequent than in English, especially in the neuter:

[face=SPIonic]to\ a)sta/qmhton[/face] – uncertainty
[face=SPIonic]o( du/skoloj[/face] – the bad-tempered person.
[face=SPIonic]ta\ a)niara/[/face] – Troublesome things.
[face=SPIonic]h( a)llotpri/a[/face] - Other people’s country


And here are the answers:

1.1 The man is bad. [face=SPIonic]o( a(nh\r kako/j[/face] or [face=SPIonic]kako\j o( a)nh/r[/face]
1.2 Beautiful things. [face=SPIonic]ta\ kala/[/face]
1.3 The beautiful. [face=SPIonic]to\ kalo/n[/face]
1.4 The wise (men). [face=SPIonic]oi( sw/fronej[/face] or [face=SPIonic]oi( sofoi/[/face]
1.5 The good men. [face=SPIonic]oi( a)gaqoi\ a)/ndrej[/face]
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Postby benissimus » Wed Dec 17, 2003 12:21 am

I wish Athenaze explained it so well... time for a new book :D
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Postby Bert » Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:23 am

I was not very confident about 1.2 -beautiful things. I wrote [face=SPIonic]kala/[/face] without the article to make it indefinite.
There is a difference between "the beautiful things" and "beautiful things".
Any comments?
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Postby annis » Thu Dec 18, 2003 2:29 am

Bert wrote:I was not very confident about 1.2 -beautiful things. I wrote [face=SPIonic]kala/[/face] without the article to make it indefinite.
There is a difference between "the beautiful things" and "beautiful things".
Any comments?


That's a subtle one, and often confusing to me.

In Attic the article can also be used to speak of things in general, like "the cat is a lazy animal" speaking of all cats, not one in particular. "Beautiful things" as a general class (or perhaps a Platonic Form?) probably need the article.

As always, without context, confusion reigns...
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Postby chad » Thu Dec 18, 2003 3:41 am

if you don't put the article on, it doesn't become indefinite, it just becomes/stays an adjective... you need the article to make it "things". i could be wrong on this but i get the general impression that in greek, like latin, there isn't really a word for "the" at all, just an article which we sometimes translate as "the" and sometimes ignore because our languages differ on this point... cheers, chad. :)
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Postby Jeff Tirey » Thu Dec 18, 2003 3:56 pm

It can go either way and in this case there's no definite answer. This is one of those questions designed to get people thinking in their minds about what exactly does beautiful things mean and to start thinking about the rules of the article when used with abstract nouns and adjectives.

Is it beautiful things in general or is it beatiful things as in those beautiful things right over there. The context of the situation is the clue and since there's no context given it can go either way, thus getting different responses and the wheels turning.

[face=SPIonic]to\ kalo/n[/face] in the abstract sense means 'the beautiful' because the nueter adjective and article often form abstract nouns.

But another example given from Sidgwick is:

[face=SPIonic]ta\ a)niara/[/face] - troublesome things

So I suppose, and I am FAR from an expert, that 'things' is the clue.

Can anyone else chime in with further insight or clarification?
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Postby bingley » Sat Dec 20, 2003 2:04 am

I would say 'beautiful things' must refer to a general class or a previously unmentioned or non-specific group. If you say 'the beautiful things' it must refer to a specific group.

Perhaps it's more obvious if we give a less abstract noun as an example.

lions are dangerous animals (lions = general class)

there are lions here (lions = non-specific/previously unmentioned group)

the lions are dangerous (a specific group of lions)
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Postby chad » Sun Mar 21, 2004 11:50 pm

How many people are using/want to use a greek composition book, e.g. north + hillard or sidgwick?

Maybe we could e.g. work through the north + hillard sentences (for which there's a textbook and a key here on textkit) lesson by lesson (like the latin composition forum), then discuss our answers. i sometimes wonder if my answer's wrong, or just different, when it differs from the key answers.

cheers, chad. :)
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Postby Bert » Tue Mar 23, 2004 10:47 pm

chad wrote:How many people are using/want to use a greek composition book, e.g. north + hillard or sidgwick?

Maybe we could e.g. work through the north + hillard sentences (for which there's a textbook and a key here on textkit) lesson by lesson (like the latin composition forum), then discuss our answers. i sometimes wonder if my answer's wrong, or just different, when it differs from the key answers.

cheers, chad. :)

I like the idea but I'm not sure if I can swing it along with the Pharr reading group.
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