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Articles And Case Endings

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Articles And Case Endings

Postby ChristHaunted » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:41 pm

Mounce mentions that memorizing the articles helps determine the case endings. So why memorize the endings for all three declensions? Is it only for anarthrous nouns?
καὶ ἔχων ἐν τῇ δεξιᾷ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ ἀστέρας ἑπτά
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Re: Articles And Case Endings

Postby jswilkmd » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:35 am

It's because the case endings for the first and second declensions are the same as the endings of the articles--learn one and you learn the others.

You DO need to know the case endings for all three genders in all three declensions, singular and plural. It's a matter of memorization and repetition. Pay attention to the similarities between the case endings for the various declensions in each case. They'll become second nature before too long.
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Re: Articles And Case Endings

Postby jaihare » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:51 pm

Besides, you just need to know the article! Many times it will distinguish between ambiguous forms. Even the name of Jesus is ambiguous in the Koine:

Ἰησοῦς
Ἰησοῦ
Ἰησοῦ
Ἰησοῦν

Should we see Ἰησοῦ as genitive or dative? Because of Greek's normal use of the article with proper names, the article clarifies in most cases. τοῦ Ἰησοῦ is genitive; τῷ Ἰησοῦ is dative.

Look also at the word ναῦς, which can be either ἡ ναῦς (the ship - nominative) or τὰς ναῦς (the ships - accusative). The same with βοῦς. There are some situations where knowing the article is very helpful.

You need to know the case endings, because there are many times where nouns appear without articles, and how will know the function (the case) without knowing the endings of the nouns (and adjectives) themselves?
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Re: Articles And Case Endings

Postby ChristHaunted » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:52 pm

I am beginning to see this now. I also came across a word that I had no idea if it was neuter or masculine until I looked at the article.

το εργον

Neuter Singular Nominative/Accusative

Although the stem ending in omicron should have told me right?
καὶ ἔχων ἐν τῇ δεξιᾷ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ ἀστέρας ἑπτά
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Re: Articles And Case Endings

Postby jaihare » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:25 pm

ChristHaunted wrote:I am beginning to see this now. I also came across a word that I had no idea if it was neuter or masculine until I looked at the article.


It also happens a lot that a third-declension noun might be masculine or feminine (they have the same endings), and the article will tell you the gender very clearly.

Good that you're seeing this. :)
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Re: Articles And Case Endings

Postby calvinist » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:52 am

Yeah, you want to know both: the article, and the case endings. There are case/genders where the article is ambiguous but the case ending isnt, and vice versa. So theres not really one silver bullet that works in all cases (no pun!). By looking at all the clues you can know with more certainty the case/gender/number. Same thing when it comes to verbs. Reduplication is a dead give away for the perfect tense, but vocalic reduplication looks identical to the augment for past tense (imperfect/aorist), so then you look for the kappa tense formative. As you read more and more this process becomes more and more automatic.
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