Greek Syntax

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Nominative (subjects)
  1. Subject
  2. Predicate Nominative
Genitive (descriptive [of]) Limitation of nouns (quality)
  1. Adjectival (modifies noun)
    1. Possessive [belonging to, possessed by]
    2. Partitive [which is a part of]
    3. Attributive (an attribute or quality of the noun)
    4. Apposition/Epexegetical [which is, who is]
    5. Kinship (related to)
  2. Ablatival (motion away)
    1. Separation [from, out of, away from, ε̉κ, ε̉ξ, α̉πό, χωρίς]
    2. Source/Origin [out of, derived from, ε̉κ, ε̉ξ, παρά, α̉πό]
    3. Comparison [than]
  3. Verbal (modifies a verbal noun)
    1. Subjective (subject of verbal noun)
    2. Objective (object of verbal noun)
  4. Adverbial (modifies verb, adjective)
    1. Time [during which]
    2. Place [within which]
    3. Means/Agency [by]
    4. Genitive Absolute (grammatically unconnected to main clause)

Dative (indirect object [to/for])Modify verbs – person, location, by which

  1. Personal interest (To/for whom?)
    1. Indirect object [to, for whom]
    2. Interest (Advantage [to/for the benefit] /Disadvantage [against])
    3. Reference/respect [with reference to, concerning, about]
    4. Possession [belonging to]
    5. Apposition [which is, who is]
  2. Instrumental (How?)
    1. Association [with]
    2. Instrument/Means [by means]
    3. Agency [by, through]
    4. Cause [because]
    5. Content [with] normally verb of filling takes a gen.
  3. Locative (Where?)
    1. Sphere/Place [in]
    2. Time [when]
Accusative (direct object) Limitation of verbs: extent & scope, (quantity)
  1. Substantival (noun/object of verb)
    1. Direct Object (object of verb)
    2. Double Accusative (two direct objects, object & complement)
    3. Subject of Infinitive
    4. Apposition [which is, who is]
  2. Adverbial (qualifies verbal action)
    1. Manner
    2. Measure of Time/Space [for the extent/duration of]
Vocative (direct address)
  1. Direct address (key word: )


  1. Attributive (article in front, may sandwich)
  2. Predicate (no article in front [to be])
  3. Substantival (replaces a noun, pronoun)

Uses of αὐτός

  1. Pronoun (independent)
    1. Intensive (nominative case)
      [pronoun + -self], e.g., “I myself said” (
      αὐτός εἶπεν)
    2. Non-reflexive (3rd person gen, dat, acc) e.g., “He said to them” (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς)
  2. Adjective
    1. Intensive (predicate) [-self] e.g., “God himself” (αὐτός ὁ θεὸς)
    2. Identical (attributive) [same] e.g., “The same God” (αὐτός θεὸς)

Finite Verbs (take a subject)

Indicative (statement) (negation: o indicative, μή everything else; time only significant in indicative)

  1. Make a Statement
  2. Ask a Question

Subjunctive (possibility) (long vowel [ω, η]) (present/continuous, aorist/undefined [unagmented])

  1. Hortatory (first person single/plural exhortation) [Let us]
  2. Deliberative (question wanting audience to think about the answer)
  3. Purpose (ἵνα + subjunctive)
  4. Conditional (if [άν/ ἄν + subjunctive]…then)
  5. Emphatic Future Negative (o + μή + subjunctive) [never])

Imperative (command)(present/continuous, aorist/undefined [unaugmented])

  1. Command (present [continuous; stop ongoing action]; aorist [begin; don’t start])
  2. Exhortation (servant to servant)
  3. Entreaty/Plea (servant to master)

Optative (wish)

  1. Strong wish (μὴ γένοιτο)
  2. Potential action/Imply a condition

Infinite Verbs

Participles (verbal adj)(ων, -ντ-/-ουσα, -μεν-) (present/continuous; aorist/undefined, perfect/completed)

  1. If an article, then one of these two
    1. Adjectival (article not required, either attributive or predicate)
    2. Substantival (noun, verbal component of an object clause) 
  2. Never an article for these two 
    1. *Adverbial 
      1. Related to main verb: 
        1. Purpose [in order that] 
        2. Causal [because] 
        3. Means/mode/manner [by] 
        4. Concession [although] 
        5. Conditional [if] 
        6. Time/temporal (contemporary[present] [while]; antecedent[aorist] [after]) 
        7. Attendant circumstance (same mood as main vb: eg answered saying = answered & said) 
        8. Introduces discourse (typically λέγω) 
        9. Imperative (command) 
      2. Finite verb:
        1. Genitive absolute 
          1. Identifying a Genitive Absolute (four keys)
            1. Participle in genitive case 
            2. Noun/pronoun in genitive case (usually, not always) 
            3. Anarthros (Never an article in front) 
            4. Often at the beginning of sentence
        2. Introduce discourse
        3. Imperative
    2. Predicate Adjective (must be in predicate position) typically completes a verb of being
      1. Present Participle +ειμι present/imperfect/future = same case
      2. Perfect Participle + ειμι present/imperfect/future = perfects case (perfect/pluperfect/future perfect)

Infinitives (verbal noun) (ειν, -αι)(present/continuous, aorist/undefined, perfect/perfected)

  1. Adverbial (often with article)
    1. Purpose [εἰς τό, τοῦ]/result [ὥστε] (in order/so that) (purpose only: πρὸς τό, ὥς)
    2. Causal (because) [διὰ τὸ]
    3. Time/temporal (antecedent [before, πρὸ τοῦ], contemporary [while, ἐν τῷ], subsequent [after, μετὰ τό])
  2. Verbal
    1. Complementary-complete meaning of verbs (e.g., δεῖ, δύναμαι, μέλλω, θέλω…)
    2. Imperative (e.g., χαίρειν, “rejoice!” [Rom 12:15])
    3. Absolute (e.g., χαίρειν, “greetings” [Jas 1:1])
  3. Substantival (acc.+verbal component of subject/object clause or indirect discourse, eg “To eat is good.”)
  4. Modifier a noun or adjective


General Principle: often (not always), the three cases can involve the following actions

  1. (a)ccusative: towards
  2. (d)ative: rest
  3. (g)enitive: away
Specific Uses (underline is most common use; gray highlight indicates use with infinitive; number indicates number of times in NT)
  1. ἀνά (13) a.up
  2. ντί (22) g.instead of/for
  3. ἀπό (646) g.(away)from
  4. διά (667) g.through;
    on account/ b/c
  5. ες (1767) a.into/in order that
  6. ἐκ (914) g.from, out of
  7. ἐν  (2752)
  8. ἐπί (890)g.& the basis of;
                 a. upon/to/against
  9. κατά (473) g.down/against/from;
                     a.according to/throughout/during/purpose
  10. μετά (469) g.with;
  11. παρά  (194) g.from;
    beside/in the presence of;
    alongside of
  12. περί (333) g.concerning;
  13. πρό (47) g.before
  14. πρός(700)a.towards/with/in order that
  15. σύν (128) d.with
  16. ὑπέρ (149) g.on behalf of;
  17. ὑπό  (220); a.under

Adapted from Daniel Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996).