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

3.16 The First Declension

Make sure you read through Croy's discussion of the first declension of Greek nouns. Below you will also find some notes to help you understand the materials in this section.

The nouns in Greek are divided into groups called declensions (the verbs are divided into groups called conjugations). There are three different declensions of nouns in Greek, called first, second, and third. In this lesson, you will be learning about the first declension nouns.

In addition to being put into groups by declension, Greek nouns are also put into gender groups. There are three genders: feminine, masculine, and neuter. If you have studied another language besides English, you have probably encountered this idea of grammatical gender. In Spanish, for example, the nouns are either feminine or masculine in gender.

The nouns of the first declension which you will learn in THIS lesson are all feminine gender. There are a few nouns in the first declension which are masculine in gender; you will learn about those in Croy Lesson 6.35. In addition, there are also feminine nouns in the second declension (Croy Lesson 6.34) and in the third declension (Croy Lesson 17.116).

Whenever you learn a noun in Greek, you must learn both its gender and the declension that it belongs to.

The declension of a noun is what determines the endings that get attached to the noun. These endings give you information about the function of the noun in a particular sentence - e.g., whether the noun is the subject of the verb, whether it is singular or plural, etc.

In English, we use noun endings only to indicate whether a noun is singular or plural: the word "cat" is singular, but the ending -s in "cats" tells us that this form is plural. In Greek, there is a much more extensive set of endings that are used to indicate singular and plural, along with other grammatical features.

In the next part of this lesson, you will learn in more detail about the endings of Greek nouns and what information they provide.

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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