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5.31 Cases with Special Verbs

Make sure you read Croy's comments about idiomatic cases with verbs, paying careful attention to the examples he provides.

Getting to learn the idiom of another language is one of the most difficult tasks you will face as a student. Unlike spelling and grammar, which follow certain rules, idiom does not follow any rules at all. Idiomatic means a "peculiar or particular way" of doing something. (Yes, the word idiom is from the same root as the word "idiot" - who is a person who does something in a peculiar or particular way!) When something is idiomatic, you simply have to memorize it.

In English, we use thousands and thousands and thousands of idiomatic expressions. Think about the way we use the word "up" in these idiomatic expressions:

Sometimes you can make sense of an idiom - but that is usually after you know what it means! You can interpret an idiom after the fact, in order to understand its logic. Yet this is not the same as being able to predict the meaning of an idiom if it is something you have never seen before. You can rarely predict the meaning of a particular idiom unless it is something you have been taught.

In Greek, the use of the prepositions is profoundly idiomatic, as you will learn in Lesson 6 of Croy. Here in Lesson 5, Croy is calling to your attention some Greek verbs that use the genitive or the dative where you might expect them to use the accusative case. This is the kind of thing you should pay attention to when you read Greek, learning the commonly used idioms as you see them used repeatedly in Greek writing.

Just for fun. One of the most amazing examples of idiom is Cockney rhyming slang. Did you ever wonder how the word "bread" come to mean "money"? Take a look at why "bread" means "money" in Cockney rhyme.


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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