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Croy Index: Vocabulary - Prosody - Verbs - Nouns - Adjectives - Nominals - Other Topics - Syntax List


2.14 Exercises: Practice Sentences

The following notes should help you in understanding the Practice Sentences provided by Croy:


1 γινώσκομεν ὅτι πιστεύετε καὶ θέλετε διδάσκειν.

Make sure you understand the role of the infinitive here. The verb θέλετε can take an infinitive and you will see several examples of this construction in the sentences for this chapter. Notice also that the sentence does not start with a capital letter. The distinction between upper- and lower-case letters is a much later innovation in the writing system. You will see that capital letters are used for proper names and the names of cities, etc., but do not be surprised that each sentence does not start with a capital letter.

2 ἀκούω καὶ βλέπω ὅτι ἀδελφὴ γράφει.

Note how ὅτι is used to introduce what is called a subordinate clause. A subordinate clause has a verb of its own, and this verb (γράφει) is "subordinated" to the main verb (or verbs) in the sentence. In this case, the main verbs are ἀκούω and βλέπω.

3 λέγεις ὅτι ἀδελφὸς λύει· οὐ πιστεύομεν.

Note how the Greek semicolon is used to coordinate two independent clauses, each with their own main verb. This is different from the way that ὅτι is used to combined clauses. With ὅτι, you are dealing with a subordinate clause, but the semicolon is used to connect two independent clauses, each of which can stand as a sentence on their own.

4 θέλει ἀδελφὴ ἀκούειν; οὐ γινώσκω.

In English, word order is incredibly important for question formation. Notice how the word order differs in these two English sentences:

In Greek, the word order is free, and there is no special word order used to indicate a question. There are two ways you can recognize a question in Greek. The question can open with a question word (you have not learned any of these question words yet, but you will see some examples in the Septuagint and New Testament sentences in this lesson), or the sentence will end with a Greek question mark (and yes, the Greek question mark is unfortunately the same symbol that we use in English as the semicolon!).

5 λύουσι καὶ οὐ θέλομεν βλέπειν.

Be careful to note the change in subjects for these verbs. The subject is implied for both of these verbs, but it is not the same implied subject! Make sure you understand the implied subject of λύουσι and the implied subject of θέλομεν. They are not the same!

6 ἀδελφὸς λέγει ὅτι θέλει γράφειν καὶ διδάσκειν.

Notice that the subject of the verb λέγει is expressed, while the subject of the verb θέλει is only implied. You can probably assume that the subject of both verbs is the same, but this is not a grammatical rule. The subject of the verb can only be determined from context. Can you think of a context where the subject of θέλει might have to be someone other than ἀδελφὸς?

7 πιστεύεις ὅτι ἀδελφὸς καὶ ἀδελφὴ βλέπουσιν;

In English, we use the word "can" very frequently, but this word is not frequently used in Greek. This is a basic difference in idiom (usage) between Greek and English. As a result, you can generally add the word "can" to your English translation if you think that this conveys the meaning of the Greek accurately. In this sentence, what is the best way to translate βλέπουσιν - "see" or "can see"? (The choice is yours: there is no right or wrong answer for this kind of translation choice).

8 γινώσκω ὅτι ἀδελφὸς λέγει και οὐκ ακούεις.

Notice that all three of the verbs in this sentence have different subjects!

9 ἀδελφὴ διδάσκει καὶ θέλομεν ἀκούειν.

It is very often the case that the same Greek word can be equivalent to several different English words. This is one of the many factors that makes translation an impossible art! In this sentence, do you think it is better to translate ἀκούειν as "to listen" or "to hear"?

10 οὐ θέλω λύειν· θέλω γινώσκειν ὅτι ἀδελφὸς πιστεύει.

You will often find that when clauses are combined with a semicolon, there is often some kind of strong parallel component between the two clauses. In this sentence, the parallel is clear:

οὐ θέλω ... · θέλω ... .

Back in sentence #3, the parallel structure was less obvious:

λέγεις ὅτι ἀδελφὸς λύει· οὐ πιστεύομεν [ ὅτι ἀδελφὸς λύει ].

You should get into the habit of trying to find the parallelism whenever you see a sentence that is made up of two clauses joined by a semicolon. If you can find a parallelism, either explcit or implicit, this can help you to better understand the meaning of the sentence.


Biblical Greek Online. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. Page last updated: April 9, 2005 8:06 PM


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