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17.116 The Third Declension

Make sure you read Croy section 116. This is where Croy introduces the third declension. This is the last of the declensions you will have to learn. All Greek nouns belong either to the first or the second or the third declension.

Remember that a declension is a specific set of endings that get added to a noun in order to indicate its number (singular or plural) and its case (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative or vocative).

Review of First and Second Declension

You have already learned the first declension, where the distinctive vowel is eta or alpha. Most of the nouns in the first declension are feminine, but there are also some masculine nouns as well.

The second declension has omicron and omega as its distinctive vowels. Most of the words in the second declension are either masculine or neuter, although there are a few feminine nouns that belong to the second declension.

If you look at the first and second declension endings side by side, you can see that they are basically variations on the same pattern, but with different vowels.

1st Declension
2nd Declension

The Third Declension

The third declension is based on a rather different pattern, as you will learn in this lesson.

In addition, unlike the first declension (predominantly feminine nouns) and second declension (predominantly masculine and neuter), the third declension contains feminine and masculine and neuter nouns. Whenever you learn a noun, you must memorize the gender of that noun. With the first and second declensions you can at least guess (most of the time) what gender the noun must be, but with the third declension there is no way to predict the gender. You absolutely must memorize the gender when you memorize a third declension noun.

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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