Are you learning Koine Greek, the Greek of the New Testament and most other post-classical Greek texts? Whatever your level, use this forum to discuss all things Koine, Biblical or otherwise, including grammar, textbook talk, difficult passages, and more.
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Post by joseph47parker » Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:05 pm


I'm green on the greek and I'm working alone. With that said, while I'm translating I keep running across prepositions that I KEEP forgetting which form goes with what. Did this prep go with the gen or the acc? I've tried to make a chart to keep all the gen words seperate ie απο and εκ from the acc words like εις and συν etc. I was just wondering if you guys have any tips on this. I know I just gotta memorize all of 'em, but do you guys have any tips.

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Post by spiphany » Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:28 pm

This won't help you with all the prepositions, particularly as some of them can take several cases, but as a general rule:

- the genitive is used to express separation or motion away from a point
- the dative is used to express location
- the accusative is used to express motion towards a point

The only other suggestion I can make is to find a good, clear example of the use of each preposition and memorize the entire phrase. If you can recognize the case endings on the noun, you know what case the preposition is being used in (this probably works a little better for languages you actually speak -- I still use the technique when I can't remember a gender in German -- but in theory it ought to work for Greek also).
IPHIGENIE: Kann uns zum Vaterland die Fremde werden?
ARKAS: Und dir ist fremd das Vaterland geworden.
IPHIGENIE: Das ist's, warum mein blutend Herz nicht heilt.
(Goethe, Iphigenie auf Tauris)

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Post by Bert » Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:59 pm

That's good advice.

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Post by joseph47parker » Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:04 pm


Thanks for the info. I did notice those patterns emerging in my table. Granted I only have learned about 12 or so. I will try what you have suggested. Thanks a bunch.

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