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6.39 Neuter Plural Subjects with Singular Verbs

You already know one unusual and important thing about neuter nouns in Greek, which is that the nominative and accusative forms are identical. This is actually true for neuter nouns in all of the Indo-European languages. You can actually see this even in English, which still has gender and case in its pronoun system:

nominative   accusative
She is standing over there.   Do you see her?
He is waiting outside.   Do you see him?
It is in the cupboard. = Do you see it?
They are in the yard.   Do you see them?

In addition to the "nominative=accusative" rule for neuter nouns in Greek, there is a very peculiar rule about plural neuter nouns. Sometimes a plural neuter noun will take a singular verb! This is not always the case in Biblical Greek, but you should not be surprised if you see sentences like this:

τὰ τέκνα λεγει.

The children are speaking.

When you write in Greek for this class, you are free to choose either the singular or the plural form of the verb when the subject is a neuter plural 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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