Thrasymachus CHAPTERS I and II

 o( a0nece/tastoj bi/oj ou) biwto\j a)nqrw/pw|*

 The unexamined life is not worth living for a man.

Years ago you began learning your native language by listening and speaking, eventually reading and writing, and being corrected when you made grammatical mistakes. (Most of us at some time told our parents "Look what I brang home." Because they corrected us or because we usually heard others say "brought," we eventually learned the past tense of "bring").

You have now been reading and comprehending Greek even though you have not yet formally learned vocabulary, grammatical forms, and rules. We believe that you will acquire knowledge of grammar and vocabulary more easily after you have seen and understood the words and forms in their context.

As you continue reading Greek, keep in mind the main points in the introduction about approaching a Greek passage: always read through the passage several times -- a sentence or two at a time if that is easier -- before you begin to translate. Only when you see the overall structure of a sentence can you begin to make a translation. Never start by searching for the subject, verb, and direct object. While this method will work for short, simple sentences, you are likely to be confused when you are reading complex sentences. (As you recognize more and more vocabulary, you may find that you are able to comprehend some passages instantly, as you do in English, without analysis or translation).



A NOUN is a word which denotes a person, place, thing, or idea. The English word "noun" itself is derived from the Latin "nomen", meaning "name", and of course the essential function of a noun is to name something. The nouns of the following sentences are underlined:

The child sees the house.

to\ paidi&on ble/pei th\n oi)ki/an.

In both English and Greek, nouns change form to give slightly more information than simply the name of some entity in a phrase or sentence.

All nouns have NUMBER. In other words, they are in a form which shows that they are singular or plural: "house" and "houses", "oi)ki/a" and "oi)ki/ai". In addition to having the numbers "singular" and "plural", the Ancient Greek language included the "dual" as well, which indicates two. The dual is not terribly common and most often applies to eyes, hands, feet, etc.

[Why might the dual be appropriate for these nouns?]

Also, all nouns have CASE. This is slightly more complicated than number as it indicates the grammatical function of a noun: subject, direct object, etc., in its phrase or sentence [see Thrasymachus p. 254]. In other words, all nouns are in a form which indicates grammatical function. While these various forms of the noun originated in spoken language, we see them as variations in spelling. An English noun has four forms:











Note that the base of an English noun is equivalent to the "common" singular form; e.g. "god" and the "possessive" case indicates that something belongs to the noun in question, such as "the god’s plan." (The possessive case can often be replaced by a phrase beginning with "of", such as "the plan of the god".) The "common" case is used for the subject, direct object, or indirect object. It is word order -- or "position" -- that indicates which of these three functions the noun has. (In other words, in English one form of a noun can be used for the subject, the direct object, and the indirect object; word order clarifies which of the three it is. For example:

The gods dwell in the temple [subject].

Thrasymachus respected the gods [direct object].

He made a sacrifice to the gods [indirect object]).

A Greek noun has eight forms rather than four. (Note that the paradigms (examples) given in Thrasymachus list ten forms, the eight given below plus the singular and plural of the vocative, the case used in direct address. We have chosen to simplify and not include the vocative for you to memorize, since in context it is readily recognizable and often preceded by "w}". (See Thrasymachus p. 254.) Below are listed the eight forms.
















If you have learned Latin, you may have learned the forms in a different order: Nominative, Genitive, Dative, Accusative (and Ablative, which does not appear in Greek). The benefit of the order you are given in Thrasymachus and this Supplement is that nominatives and accusatives are encountered more often in Greek than the other two cases. The order of the forms reflects their incidence. The benefit of the alternative order is that by convention the Genitive singular is listed as part of the “dictionary entry”. (See below). You will be memorizing the basic endings. Keep in mind, however, that your most important task is to recognize each form in context and understand the function of each noun.

The Nominative case indicates that the noun is the subject of a sentence or clause.

The god sees the man. o( qeo\j ble/pei to\n a!nqrwpon.

The Accusative case often shows that the noun is used as a direct object or the object of a preposition. (You will learn about other uses of the Accusative later)

The man sees the god. o( a!nqrwpoj ble/pei ton\ qeo/n

into the house. ei)j th\n oi)ki/an.

The Genitive case has several uses, but often functions as the equivalent of the English possessive case.

The god's voice. h( fwnh\ tou~ qeou~.

The Dative case shows most commonly that the noun is the indirect object of the sentence. In other words, it is the person or thing to which something is given, said, or shown. A good way of translating the word into itsEnglish equivalent is with “to” or “for”.

The man speaks to the god. o( a!nqrwpoj le/gei tw~| qew~|.

All nouns in Greek have gender. In English, most nouns are neither masculine or feminine. Exceptions, of course, occur when gender is inherent in a noun, such as "girl" or "boy." In Greek, however, each noun is masculine, feminine, or neuter. Often we cannot predict the gender of a particular noun from its meaning; oi)ki/a (house), for instance happens to be feminine and potamo/j (river) masculine.



Traditionally, nouns are listed in the dictionary in their nominative and genitive singular forms. If the genitive is the same as the nominative except in ending, only the ending is given: a!nqrwpoj, -ou. In addition, the nominative singular of the definite article (English "the") is given: a!nqrwpoj, -ou, o(.

The base of a Greek noun is equivalent to the genitive singular form, minus the genitive singular ending.

In Greek, the definite article (“the”) also has case, number, and gender: o( (nominative, singular, masculine), h( (nominative, singular, feminine), and to/ (nominative, singular, neuter). The appropriate definite article is included in the dictionary entry to indicate the gender of the noun.

Thus, the full dictionary entry is:

a!nqrwpoj, -ou, o( man, human being



You are asked to learn as thoroughly as possible the Nominative, Genitive, Dative, and Accusative forms, singular and plural, all three genders for each of the three categories of nouns, or “declensions.” (Later you will see variations of the regular patterns, many of which are determined by pronunciation. You will be encouraged to be able to recognize these forms rather than memorize all of them).




Greek nouns are placed into three categories, called “declensions”. Before we discuss them, consider the following. Many nouns in English follow the pattern that you have just seen in "god"; the common plural is formed by adding an "s". Thus: girl, girls; boy, boys; house, houses. Other nouns form the plural by changing the final "y" to "i" and adding "es". Thus: kitty, kitties; lady, ladies. Still other nouns form the plural with slight letter changes; thus, knife, knives; thief, thieves. And others have unpredictable changes (or no changes); thus mouse, mice; deer, deer.

In the same way, not all nouns in Greek follow the pattern of qeo/j . Another very common pattern is seen in fwnh/:


















By convention, nouns with endings as qeo/j are called "Second Declension" and those with endings as fwnh/ or qa/latta (see Thrasymachus p. 4)"First Declension". Note how similar they are: the genitive plural, for instance, is always wn; the accusative singular ends in a "n"; the dative singular is a long vowel with an iota subscript; and the dative plural a diphthong (two vowels sounded as one) and "j". Note also that the primary vowel of the first declension is "a" (long or short) and that of second declension is "o". Note the patterns of the endings as you review the basic first (mostly feminine) and second declension (mostly masculine or neuter) endings:

   First, Second  First, Second
 Nominative  h, oj  ai, oi
 Accusative  hn, on  aj, ouj
 Genitive  hj, ou  wn, wn
 Dative  h|, w|  aij, oij

You should memorize the basic endings listed above and be able to recognize them and their variations in context. It is much more important that you recognize a!nqrwpoi as nominative plural, and therefore the subject of a verb, than be able to list all the forms. For most of us, however, the better we know the endings and the more able we are to reproduce them, the more easily we recognize them.

Note that most first declension nouns are feminine and most second declension nouns are masculine or neuter. You will see exceptions to this later.

The terminology and division of "first declension" and "second declension," etc., is artificial. It represents a convenient way to organize the vaious endings in categories. The declension of a noun is not nearly so important as what case the noun is. Thus, when identifying a noun or adjective, the most important item of that identification is the case, which determines the function of the noun in the sentence. Number and gender are helpful, of course, but the declension is not crucial for comprehension or translating.

The two words that you have seen written out in each case, singular and plural (fwnh/ and qeo/j) are paradigms of basic first and second declension nouns, feminine and masculine.

There are also second declension nouns which are neuter; look at the paradigm of paidi/on:












[If you see paidi/on without a context, can you tell whether it is a nominative or accusative? If you see it in a sentence, can you tell? o( Qrasu/maxoj ble/pei to\ paidi/on.

Review the 2nd declension basic endings that you have learned and note the pattern. The pattern for the second declension neuter nouns such as paidi/on is similar, but you will notice some variations (on for nominative singular and a for nominative and accusative plural). It is helpful to remember that whatever the neuter nominative form is, the accusative is the same. And all neuter plural nominatives and accusatives end in a.

Here are the case endings for the first declension and the second declension (including the neuter) for you to compare:

   First, Second M, N  First, Second M, N

 h, oj, on  ai, oi, a

 hn, on, on  aj, ouj, a

 hj, ou, ou  wn, wn, wn

 h|, w|, w|  aij, oij, oij



Now look at the declension pattern of the definite article (Thrasymachus p. 4) and compare this with the pattern of the noun endings.



I-II, A) Read the Plutarch passage (Thrasymachus p. 106) for pronunciation, and find five noun / article combinations to identify as to case, number, and gender.

I-II, B) Identify the following forms and add the appropriate article. Example: a!nqrwpoi "Nominative, plural, masculine of a!nqrwpoj, oi(.

 1. oi)ki/an  6. qeoi/
 2. a)nqrw/pwn  7. fwnai/
 3. qew|~  8. paidi/oij
 4. paidi/on  9. nekrou~
 5. fwnh/n  10. qeai/


I-II, C) Change the following forms to the opposite number. It will be helpful to identify them first, then change them to the opposite number. Example: a)nqrw/pou, a)nqrw/pwn

1. a!nqrwpoi  6. oi)ki/an
2. paidi/wn  7. nekrw~|
3. a)nqrw/poij  8. fwnh/
4. a)nqrw/pwn  9. paidi/a
5. paidi/ou  10. qeo/n

Answer Key

Memorize the forms of the definite article so that you can easily recognize the case, number, and gender of any form (Thrasymachus p 4). The article, just as any adjective, agrees with its noun in case, number, and gender. Of course, there are times when the ending of the article will not have the same spelling as that of the noun. This happens when the noun does not belong to the same declension as the article. For example, o(do/j (road) is a second delension noun, but it is feminine. It will appear only with the feminine article, which happens to have the first declension endings. (Thus: h( o((do/j, th\n o(do/n)


An adjective is a word that describes a noun:

the good child, to\ kalo\n paidi/on

See Thrasymachus pp. 4 and 255 for discussion and the paradigms of the first-second declension adjectives kalo/j, kalh/, kalo/n. Note that first-second declension adjectives have the same basic endings as the nouns : kalo/j as qeo/j; kalh/ as fwnh/; kalo/n as paidi/on. It would make more sense if the dictionary entry of the adjective were "kalh/, kalo/j, kalo/n but by convention we list adjectives with the nominative singular forms in the order of masculine, feminine, neuter.


I-II, D Identify completely the following noun-adjective combinations and change them to the opposite number. (Example: oi( kaloi\ a!nqrwpoi, nominative, plural, masculine; o( kalo\j a!nqrwpoj)


1. tw~n kalw~n a)nqrw/pwn

2. tou~ i(mati/ou kalou~

3. h( kalh\ qea/

4. ta\j deina\j qala/ttaj

5. to\n kalo\n a!nqrwpon

6. tw~| kalw~| a)nqrw/pw|

7. tai~j kalai~j fwnai~j

8. toi~j deinoi~j potamoi~j

Answer Key




In the Introduction you learned that Greek differs from English in that it is a highly inflected language. Now that you have been reading Greek, you have seen nouns in different forms, such as qa/lattaj and qala/ttaj, potamo/j and potamo/n, and you see that their usage in the sentence dictates the form. The major difference between English and Greek is in this difference of forms. In Greek, (as in many ancient and modern languages) the function of a noun in its clause is determined by changes in its sound (and spelling), usually at the very end of a word, whereas in English the function of a noun in its clause is usually determined by word order. In other words, whereas our brains are “programmed” by our early childhood experience to listen and read for word order, those of the ancient Greeks were “programmed” to be attuned to word endings. For example, note the English structure evident in these two sentences:

Thrasymachus sees the man.

The man sees Thrasymachus.

We know automatically that in the first sentence it is Thrasymachus who is doing the seeing because “Thrasymachus” precedes the verb “sees”, while the direct object, “man”, follows that verb. Now note the following two pairs of sentences in Greek:

o( Qrasu/maxoj ble/pei to\n a!nqrwpon.

to\n a!nqrwpon ble/pei o( Qrasu/maxoj.

o( a!nqrwpoj ble/pei to\n Qrasu/maxon.

to\n Qrasu/maxon ble/pei o( a!nqrwpoj

The first two sentences mean the same thing (“Thrasymachus sees the man”) despite the fact that the word order is different. Qrasu/maxoj (“Thrasymachus”) is the subject because of the nominative ending. Similarly, the third and fourth sentences mean the same thing (“The man sees Thrasymachus”).

Since word order in Greek is not crucial for meaning as it is in English, it can be used for more subtle expression. In the first sentence above, the emphasis is on the subject: Thrasymachus sees the man. In the second, the emphasis is on the direct object: Thrasymachus sees the man (or “It is the man whom Thrasymachus sees).

This does not, however, mean that Greek word order is random. There are some conventions of order which are followed regularly.




In English and Greek thoughts are conveyed in sentences, which are formed of clauses and phrases.

A phrase is a group of words which are understood together but do not have a subject or verb. A prepositional phrase, for instance, consists of a preposition and its object (in the house; e)n oi)ki/a|). A participial phrase consists of a participle and its related words (seeing the child; blepw/n to\n paidi/on).

A clause is a group of words which are understood together that has a subject and a verb. There are two kinds: an independent clause can stand by itself (I see the child; ble/pw to\n paidi/on); a dependent clause cannot stand by itself (whom I see; o#n ble/pw).

There are three basic types of sentences in English and Greek:

1) Simple, which consists of an independent clause (I see the child; ble/pw to\n paidi/on).

2) Compound, which consists of at least two independent clauses (I see the child and I hear the voice; ble/pw to\n paidi/on kai\ a)kou/w th\n fwnh/n).

3) Complex, which consists of at least one independent and one dependent clause (I see the child who is good; ble/pw to\n paidi/on o# e)sti kalo/n.).

It should become clearer now why the process of reading is so crucial. If you are reading a lengthy complex sentence, you simply cannot begin by searching for the subject and verb. There may be several of each. If you read the sentence several times in Greek, even if you don’t comprehend it and have to look up some vocabulary, at least you will know if you are dealing with a simple, compound, or complex sentence.


Verbs are the words that express action or state of being:

The man sees the child. o( a!nqrwpoj ble/pei to\ paidi/on.

The sea is beautiful. h( qa/latta/ e)sti kalh/.

Verb usage in English and Greek is similar in many respects. Verb formation, as you might expect, is different.



Present Indicative Active

“Present” refers to action or state of being at the present time. “Indicative” indicates a statement of fact (as opposed to a command or a wish). “Active” indicates that the subject is the one acting.

Study the following sentences:

e)gw ble/pw to\n a!nqrwpon.

[What is the subject here? the verb? and the direct object?

su\ ble/peij to\n a!nqrwpon.

[What has changed in this sentence? What is the subject now? What is different about the verb?]

to\ paidi/on ble/pei to\n a!nqrwpon.

[What is the subject now? the verb?]

to\ paidi/on kai\ e)gw\ ble/pomen to\n a!nqrwpon.

[What is the subject? What is different about the verb?]

su\ kai\ to\ paidi/on ble/pete to\n a!nqrwpon.

[What is the subject? Is it singular or plural?

to\ paidi/on kai\ o( qeo\j ble/pousin to\n a!nqrwpon.

[What is the subject? Is the subject singular or plural?]


Compare the following Greek and English:

I see the man. e)gw ble/pw to\n a!nqrwpon.

You see the man. su\ ble/peij to\n a!nqrwpon.

The child sees the man. to\ paidi/on ble/pei to\n a!nqrwpon..

The child and I (we) see the man. to\ paidi/on kai\ e)gw\ ble/pomen to\n a!nqrwpon.

You and the child see the man. su\ kai\ to\ paidi/on ble/pete to\n a!nqrwpon.

The child and the god see the man. to\ paidi/on kai\ o( qeo\j ble/pousi to\n a!nqrwpon.

In English, you must express the subject in the sentence. “Sees the child,” for instance, makes no sense. In Greek, however, the ending of the verb tells you whether the subject is FIRST, SECOND, or THIRD PERSON, SINGULAR or PLURAL.











 He, She, It*


*or a named subject

You have seen that in Greek, the subject need not be expressed, since the ending indicates whether the subject is first, second, or third person singular or plural. The subject may be expressed to clarify or specify:

ble/pei to\n a!nqrwpon. She (or he) sees the man.

to\ paidi/on ble/pei to\n a!nqrwpon. The child sees the man.

The subject can be expressed also to emphasize:

ble/pw to\n a!nqrwpon. I see the man.

e)gw\ ble/pw to\n a!nqrwpon. I see the man.

You will need to memorize the following so you can easily identify the person and number of the Present, Indicative, Active verb forms:

 ble/pw  w first, singular
 ble/peij  eij  second, singular
 ble/pei  ei  third, singular
 ble/pomen  omen  first, plural
 ble/pete  ete  second, plural
 ble/pousi  ousi  third, plural


The Present Indicative Active is formed by adding the “primary active endings” to the “continuous action stem”: ble/p- plus w, eij, ei, omen, ete, ousi. ble/pw represents present time, indicative mood, active voice, 1st person singular.



You have seen that an accent appears only on the one of the last three syllables of a word, that there are three accents (acute, circumflex, grave), and that the grave replaces the acute on the final syllable when the word is followed by an accented word.

The accent on a noun is persistent, which means that it stays as close as possible to its original placement in the nominative form (a!nqrwpoj, a!nqrwpon). The accent on a verb is recessive, which means that it stays on the third syllable from the end when possible (ble/pw, ble/pomen). The accent cannot stay on the third to the last syllable if the last syllable is long, such as the sound of w or h. It will move to the next to the last syllable (a!nqrwpoj, a)nqrw/pw|). See Thrasymachus, pp. 275-6).


I-II, E. Read the Plutarch passage (Thrasymachus, p.106) aloud for pronunciation. Find three present active indicative verbs, and identify them as to person and number.

I-II, F. Change the forms below to the opposite number and translate. (Example: ble/pw, ble/pomen, we watch)

 1. a)kou/ete  
 2. ei)sbai/nomen  
 3. keleu/ei  
 4. ble/pousi  
 5. dida/skw  
 6. kaqeu/deij  
 7. ei)sbai/nete  
 8. keleu/ousi  
 9. a)kouomen  
 10. dida/skei  


I-II, G. Translate the following sentences and identify completely each verb.

1. o( a!nqrwpoj kaqeu/dei.

2. oi( qeoi\ kai\ ai( qeai\ a)kou/ousi tw~n paidi/wn.

3. kaqeu/dei e)n th~| oi)ki/a| to\ paidi/on.

4. o( Qrasu/maxoj ble/pei th\n kalh\n qa/lattan.

5. oi( a!nqrwpoi ble/pousi to\n potamo/n.

6. e)ndu/ei ta\ i(ma/tia to\ kalo\n paidi/on.

7. dida/skw ta\ paidi/a dio/ti o( qeo\j keleu/ei.

8. a)kou/omen th\n tou~ qeou~ fwnh/n .

Answer Key



Just as in English, Latin, and many other languages, the verb “to be” is the most highly irregular of the verbs. Learn the forms of the present indicative of this verb. Compare it with English and with a regular Greek verb.

[Why might this verb be so irregular? What are the differences and similarities between this verb and a "regular" Greek verb?]
 I am  ei)mi/  I hear  a)kou/w
 You are  ei}  You hear  a)kou/eij
 He, she it is  e)sti/  He, she, it hears  a)kouei/
 We are  e)sme/n  We hear  a)kou/omen
 You are  e)ste/  You hear  a)kou/ete
 They are  ei)si/  They hear  a)kou/ousi


After some forms that end with a vowel, the letter n may be added to smooth pronunciation. This is called the “moveable n”. Note the following examples:

oi( a!nqrwpoi ble/pousi to\n potamo/n.

oi( a!nqrwpoi to\n potamo\n ble/pousin.

ble/pousin oi( a!nqrwpoi to\n potamo/n.

When a form has the option of a moveable n, it is used before a vowel or at the end of a sentence.




I-II, H. Translate and change the subject (when expressed) and verb to the opposite number.

1. o( qeo/j e)sti kalo/j .

2. ei)si\n deinoi\ oi( kaloi\ a!nqrwpoi.

3. ei)mi\ e)n oi)ki/a|.

4. to\ me\n paidi/on e!xei to\n o!bolon h$\ de\ qea\ th\n a)straph/n.

5. ou/)k e)smen kaloi/;

Answer Key



Note the difference between the following sentences:

ble/peij to\n potamo/n. You look at (are looking at) the river.

ble/pe to\n potamo/n. (You), look at the river!

The first sentence is a statement of fact, an indicative in the present tense. You are looking at the river. The second sentence is a command in the second person form (you singular).

An imperative is a verb form that expresses a command. It is formed in Greek by adding the appropriate ending (e for singular and ete for plural) to the "continuous action stem". a!koue, a)kou/ete


I-II, I. For each indicative form, give the imperative equivalent. Translate both. (Example: ble/peij: you are watching; ble/pe, (you), watch!)

 1. a)kou/eij
 2. xai/rete
 3. e)ndu/eij
 4. keleu/ete
 5. keleu/eij
 6. dida/skeij

I-II, J. Translate the following sentences:

1. w} paidi/on, e!ndue to\ i(ma/tion.

2. w} a!nqrwpoi, dida/skete ta\ paidi/a.

(Note the difference between sentence 2. and the following: oi( a!nqrwpoi dida/skete ta\ paidi/a. This sentence is a statement of fact: “you men are teaching the children.” Although the forms are the same for the indicative and imperative second person plural, the context tells us which one is which. “w}” signifies a vocative, even though in this instance the nominative and vocative plurals look the same.

3. w} kale\ a!nqrwpe, le/ge.

4. ei!sbaine th\n kalh\n oi)ki/an.

5. w} qea\, a!koue.

Answer Key


See Thrasymachus p. 257, then translate the following prepositional phrases, noting which case follows the preposition.

1. ei)j th\n kalh\n oi)ki/an

2. dia\ a)straph/n

3. peri\ tw~n qew~n.



Before you continue your study of Greek nouns, be sure that you understand the following:

As of now you have learned the basic forms of the first (mostly feminine) and second (mostly masculine and neuter) declension nouns and can recognize them and their variations within a context. And, by extension, you have learned the "first-second declension" adjectives, such as kalo/j, h, on as well as the article o(, h(, to/.

You have seen that endings of the "first" and "second declension" are fairly similar. Although there is greater difference between the endings of the first and third or second and third declensions than between the first and second, we still see some of the pattern that we saw in Chapter Two..

Read the following sentences:

 ti/j e)stin o( ku/wn;
  a)kou/w to\n ku/na.
 a)kou/w th\n tou~ kuno\j fwnh/n
 pare/xw to\n o)bolo\n kuni/;
 ti/nej ei)si\n oi( ku/nej;
  a)kou/w touj ku/naj.
 a)kou/w ta/j tw~n kunw~n fwna/j.
 pare/xw tou/j o)bolou\j kusi/;


[What is the base of ku/wn? What are the endings of the third declension? What has happened to the dative plural stem? What endings follow the pattern you have seen for the first two declensions?]

You see here some endings that could be confusing without a context. For instance, although kuno/j looks like a nominative, masculine, singular second declension noun, it happens to be a genitive, masculine, singular third declension noun here.

[How from the context of the sentence above might you guess that it is genitive and not nominative?]

Nouns of the "third declension" can be masculine, feminine, or neuter. See the paradigms in Thrasymachus page 8. Note that the same rule applies to third declension neuter nouns that applies to second declension neuter nouns: whatever the nominative singular or plural is, the accusative is the same. in addition, all neuter nominative and accusative plurals end in a.

Compare the first, second, and third declension noun / adjective endings:


Second M, N   Third, M or F, N


 oj, on

 ?, ?*


 on, on

 a, ?


 ou, ou

oj, oj 


 w|, w|

i, i 
 Nominative Plur.


 oi, a

ej, a
 Accusative Plur.


 ouj, a

 aj, a
 Genitive Plur.


 wn, wn

wn, wn 
 Dative Plur.


 oij,  oij

si, si 

*The nominative singular of a third declension noun often differs from the base.


As you learn each new concept or grammatical form in Greek, you will be reinforcing what you have learned previously. Your learning the third declension should reinforce your knowledge of the first two declensions. You can see, for example, that all genitive plurals are alike, that dative singulars contain an iota (in subscript form for the first two declensions), and dative plurals are iota - sigma or sigma -iota.


I-II, K. Identify the case of each word and change it to the opposite number.

 1. a)na/ktwn  6. a!nakti
 2. ku/na  7. sto/mata
 3. a!nakta  8. swma/twn
 4. sw~ma  9. sw/matoj
 5. sto/masi  10. a!nac

I-II, L. For each of the above words, add the correct form of the article and the adjective kalo/j, h/ o/n.

I-II, M. Translate the following sentences and identify completely the underlined words.

1. . . . a)ll' e)ne/graye to\ o!noma tw~| o)strakw~|. (Plutarch, Aristides VII). (e)ne/graye = "he wrote")

2. o( a!nqrwpoj le/gei tw~| a!llw| a!nakti.

3. to\ o)/noma kalo/n e)sti/n. e!stin o( Plou/twn qeo/j; e!sti kalo/j;

4. oi( ku/nej fula/ttousi th\n oi)ki/an.

5. to\ tou~ kuno\j sw~ma/ e)sti kalo/n.

6. o( a!nqrwpoj fula/ttei to\ tou~ a!naktoj sw~ma.

Answer Key




1. Most important in your identification of a noun is its case. Gender and number are next, and finally the declension.

2. The article and the adjective agree with the noun in case, gender, and number, but not necessarily declension. In other words, the endings of the article, adjective, and noun do not have to look alike. o( kalo\j a!nqrwpoj but o( kalo\j ku/wn.

3. You have already seen the interrogative adjective, ti/j, ti/ (who? what?). The endings are third declension and the masculine and feminine endings are the same.

Be familiar with this interrogative and with tij, ti (meaning "a certain"). These two words should clarify for you how important accents are. See Thrasymachus p. 8 for an explanation of the differences between the two words.




I-II, N. Translate the following sentences. Change the underlined words to the opposite numbers and make all other necessary changes:

 1. ti/j e)stin o( qeo/j;
 2. ble/pome/n tinaj a)nqrw/pouj e)n tai~j tw~n o)lbi/wn nh/soij.
 3. ti/ paidi/on e)sti\n e)n oiki/a|;
 4. ti/j qea\ a)na/ssei e)n th~| kalh~| xwra~|;
 5. ti/nej a!nqrwpoi dida/skousi ta\ tou~ a!naktoj paidi/a;

Answer Key

I-II, O. Compose five Greek sentences of your own using ti/j and tij.



Some adjectives follow the pattern of ei{j, mi/a, e#n. (one). See Thrasymachus p. 9.

[given the endings of this adjective, what can you say about declension? And where are the plural forms?]

The nominative masculine and neuter are slightly different than you would expect, but the other cases follow the patterns you have seen before. Note that the feminine is first declension and the masculine and neuter are third. You should learn this adjective so that you understand this pattern.

Note that du/o (two) is different from anything you have seen previously; the forms are dual. You should recognize these and the forms of trei~j, tri/a (three) and te/ttarej (four). You can understand why, just as "one" appears only in the singular, "three" and "four" appear only in the plural.



I-II, P. Translate the following sentences and identify the underlined words.

 1. te/ttarej ku/nej ei)si\n e)n th~| tw~n a)na/ktwn oi)ki/a|.
 2. ti/j e!xei e#na ku/na;
 3. e/(c a)gaqoi\ a)ndre\j e)pitre/xousin e)pi\ th\n qa/llatan.
 4. e)n mia~| xw/ra| ble/pomen te/ttara paidi/a.
 5. ti/j a)nh\r ble/pei e#n paidi/on e)n th~| tw~n triw~n a)na/ktwn oi)ki/a|;

Answer Key

I-II, Q. Compose five sentences of your own using the adjectives discussed above.




A pronoun takes the place of a noun. Our language would be boring without pronouns, as you can see from the following English example: "My friend lives next door to me. My friend's name is Diana, and my friend is my classmate."

Pronouns are similar in English and Greek. English pronouns have case, as you have seen in Greek. For instance, the "nominative" form of the first person singular pronoun in English is "I" and the "accusative" is "me". You don't think about which to use in English. You do not say "Me enjoy learning Greek" or "She sees I".



You have already seen the Greek personal pronoun many times. "First person" refers to the speaker; "second person" to the person spoken to; and "third person" to the person spoken about. I (first) saw you (second) talking with her (third person). See Thrasymachus pp. 9 and 200 for the forms of the first and second person pronouns in Greek.

[Do these follow the paradigms of first, second, or third declension endings you have seen before? If not, what is different? Is there a pattern to these differences?]

These forms appear frequently. You will need to learn them well enough to reproduce them.



I-II, R. Identify each of the following forms, change it to the form indicated, and translate each.

 1. e)gw/ (genitive)  4. e)moi/ (accusative)
 2. soi/ (genitive)  5. h(mw~n (dative)
 3. u(mei~j (accusative)  6. u(mi~n (genitive)

I-II, S. Translate the following sentences and identify completely the underlined words.

 1. e)gw\ ble/pw se. su/ me ble/peij;
 2. pe/mpomen u(mi~n tina\ paidi/a.
 3. te/ttarej a)gaqoi\ a)ndre\j h(ma~j ble/pousin
 4. u(mei~j a)kou/ete to\n kalo\n qeo/n;
 5. mh\ a)po/kteine/ me.

Answer Key



See Thrasymachus p. 9 for the numerals which are not declined. Practice counting out loud several times.




(see Thrasymachus pp. 163-4)

Note particularly the men . . . . . .de construction, which indicates a contrast or balanced situation. oi( me\n qeoi\ dida/skousi tou\j a)nqrw/pouj, oi( de a!nqrwpoi ta\ paidi/a. Translation of such a balanced statement is a bit difficult, for the common translation ‘on the one hand . . . on the other hand” may seem too strong. “The gods teach the men; the men (teach) the children.” The gods are being contrasted with the men.

In the following sentence, the verbs are contrasted:

le/gei me\n o( a!nqrwpoj, a)kou/ei de\ to\ paidi/on. “The man speaks; the child listens.”

ti/j, ti/ (who?, whom? what?).These will be discussed in the next chapter.

We highly recommend that you make your own flash cards for self study and quizzing and so that you do not memorize the vocabulary in the order it is given to you. Be sure that you include cognates and English derivatives on your cards. You can readily surmise which vocabulary is more important and should be memorized rather than just learned for recognition; “thunder”, “lightning”, and “himation” will not appear in texts nearly so often as “man”, “god”, and “always”.

Clearly, a large working vocabulary is of great benefit and will allow you to read Greek texts more rapidly. No one wants to spend hours looking up words in a lexicon. Yet we emphasize that a large vocabulary without a good understanding of grammar or the knowledge of how to approach a Greek text is of little help. It is almost never helpful to approach a passage based on vocabulary alone.



Red figure Athena by the Berlin Painter, Ciba Collection

o (( (Hrmh~j

 o( Ke/rberoj

 o( Xa/rwn

o( Aiako/j

 o( Zeu/j

 o( (/Aidhj


Forward to Chapter III

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