Friday, February 20, 2015

Grammar 1a: Noun

(the lesson follows this section)

Look up the word. Look up its context-specific meaning. Then consider:

Write the noun or pronoun, then the verb.
It’s the subject (unless it’s in a letter’s “from” or “greeting”).
If it’s singular, it needs a “he/she/it …” verb form.
If it’s plural, it needs a “they …” verb form.
If 2 nominatives and a “be/become” verb:
Write the 1st one, verb, 2nd one. (the 2nd one is called a “predicate nominative”)

Follows a preposition and completes its meaning?
Write the preposition, then the noun or pronoun, plus descriptive words (if any).
It’s the object of the preposition.



Write of, then the noun or pronoun.
It’s a description.

Write to/with/in/by (twib), then the noun or pronoun.
It’s “to or for whom an action is done” (indirect object).

Write the verb (or participle), then the noun or pronoun.
It’s “upon what an action is done” (direct object).
Check: did you end up with an extra helping word (of, twib)?

If so, the verb works with genitive or dative direct objects.The helping word is not needed.

Two side-by-side
The 2nd is in apposition: describes or identifies the 1st.

Pronoun notes
nominative - I you he/she/it we you they
genitive - my your his/hers/its our your their
dative/accusative - me you him/her/it us you them



A nominative personal pronoun may add emphasis or contrast. 
How much? Consider the context.

A pronoun agrees in gender and number with its antecedent.

One may also check:

Its case agrees with its function in a word group (or its case agrees with what it describes, if it’s a demonstrative functioning as an adjective).


noun: represents a person, place, thing, or idea

pronoun: stands in for a noun (more about the pronoun)

color coding: blue


initial examples

1 Thes 1:1
Παῦ¦λος  καὶ  Σι¦λου¦α¦νὸς  καὶ  Τι¦μό¦θε¦ος  τῇ  ἐκ¦κλη¦σί¦  Θεσ¦σα¦λο¦νι¦κέ¦ων  ἐν  θε¦ πα¦τρὶ  καὶ  κυ¦ρί¦  ¦η¦σοῦ  Χρι¦στῷ  χά¦ρις  ¦μῖν  καὶ  εἰ¦ρή¦νη.

A noun represents a:
- Person (for example: Παῦ¦λος)
- Place (for example, in verse 7: 
- Thing (for example: ἐκ¦κλη¦σί¦), or
- Idea (for example: 

Nouns are blue. Verbs are red.


1 Thes 1:2
Εὐ¦χα¦ρι¦στοῦ¦μεν  τῷ  θε¦...
We give thanks to God

The pronoun we is supplied by the verb form Εὐ¦χα¦ρι¦στοῦ¦μεν, which means we give thanks to or we thank.
The noun θε¦ means God.
We give thanks to God.

Nouns are blue. Verbs are red. Participles are verb forms (red) with noun endings (blue).


1 Thes 1:6 
...δεξ¦ά¦με¦νοι  τὸν  λό¦γον...
receiving the Word

The participle (a verb form with a noun ending) δεξ¦ά¦με¦νοι means receiving.
The article τὸν means the
The noun λό¦γον means word.


noun endings

Each noun ending expresses three vital pieces of information: number, gender, and case.


number: one (singular) or two or more (plural)

A noun and that which describes a noun agree in number. For example:
1 Thes 1: 5
...ἐν  πνεύ¦μα¦τι  ¦γί¦...
in holy spirit

πνεύ¦μα¦τι is a singular noun. ¦γί¦ is a singular adjective.
The noun and its adjective agree in number: both are singular.


gender: masculine, feminine, or neuter. No noun can be of more than one gender. Some masculine nouns (ἄν.θρω.πος) may be rendered in a way that is more inclusive (a person).

A noun and an adjective that describes it agree in gender. For example:
1 Thes 1: 5
...ἐν  πνεύ¦μα¦τι  ¦γί¦...
in holy spirit
πνεύ¦μα¦τι is a neuter noun. ¦γί¦ is a neuter adjective.
The noun and its adjective agree in gender: both are neuter.


case: indicates how a noun or pronoun functions within a sentence

There are four cases: nominative, genitive, dative, and accusative.
Words that function in the same way within a sentence agree in case. For example:

1 Thes 1:1
Παῦ¦λος  καὶ  Σι¦λου¦α¦νὸς  καὶ  Τι¦μό¦θε¦ος...
Paul and Silvanus and Timothy...

These three nouns function in the same way (as the subject) and agree in case (nominative).

The four cases occur a similar number of times within the NT text.



Translate 1 Thes 1:1, using the advanced section at Bible GT.

Translate parts of 1 Thes 1:6, using the advanced section at Bible GT.


noun endings: an example
ὁ  θε¦ός
nominative singular masculine
τοῦ  θε¦οῦ
genitive singular masculine
τῷ  θε¦
dative singular masculine
τὸν  θε¦όν
accusative singular masculine


noun endings: decoding them for yourself

Noun endings establish case, number, and gender.

Each noun ending is decoded for you, at Bible GT. For example:
nominative singular masculine you what the noun ending signals, so you can translate the noun properly.

Over time, you will pick up some frequently-occurring noun endings, such as the nominative, singular, masculine ending, by hearing and seeing similar endings:
nominative singular masculine

You might choose to commit such endings to memory, to help in your reading the text.
Or you might just want to check out an ending from time to time, to see how it came to be.
It's quite helpful to have a unified approach for decoding--and eventually, learning--the noun endings.

For those who are "show me a picture, so I can get it" learners, you'll see four colorful characters:
- Nerd, representing the nominative case
- Girl, representing the genitive case
- Dog, representing the dative case
- Anteater, representing the accusative case

For those who are "give me the facts in a table, so I can get it" learners, you'll see a single table, ready for you to analyze and commit to memory.

For those who are "sing it to me so I can get it" learners, you'll hear the song for these endings, too.

For the one-page visual aid, along with audio, visit the library and look for the grammar folder: click here.

4 cases: an example
Consider the nouns and pronouns in the following:

1 Thes 4:2-3
οἴ¦δα¦τε  γὰρ  τί¦νας  πα¦ραγ¦γε¦λί¦ας  ¦δώ¦κα¦μεν  ¦μῖν  δι¦  τοῦ  κυ¦ρί¦ου  ¦η¦σοῦ
 τοῦ¦το  γάρ  ἐσ¦τιν  θέ¦λη¦μα  τοῦ  θε¦οῦ...

τί¦νας  πα¦ραγ¦γε¦λί¦ας
- Translation: what commandments
- What it is: noun word group (specifically, a pronoun and a noun)
- Form: accusative plural feminine
- Functions as: direct object
- Describing: upon what the action is done | to whom the action is done

- Translation: to you
- What it is: personal pronoun
- Form: dative 2nd person plural --

- Functions as: indirect object

- Describing: upon what the action is done | to whom the action is done

¦ὰ τοῦ  κυ¦ρί¦ου  ¦η¦σοῦ
- Translation: through the Lord Jesus
- What it is: prepositional phrase
- Form: genitive

- Translation: this
- What it is: demonstrative pronoun
- Form: nominative singular neuter

- Functions as: subject

- Translation: will
- What it is: noun
- Form: nominative singular neuter
- Functions as: predicate nominative, a description of the subject

τοῦ θε¦οῦ
- Translation: of God
- What it is: article + noun

- Form: genitive singular masculine
- Functions as: adject
ive, a description

οἴ¦δα¦τε  γὰρ  τί¦νας  πα¦ραγ¦γε¦λί¦ας  ¦δώ¦κα¦μεν  ¦μῖν  δι¦  τοῦ  κυ¦ρί¦ου  ¦η¦σοῦ.  τοῦ¦το γάρ  ἐσ¦τιν  θέ¦λη¦μα  τοῦ  θε¦οῦ...

For you know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God...


Little Notes

Transitive, intransitive
Transitive verbs usually need a direct object ("I found ____").
Intransitive verbs usually don't need a direct object ("I walk").

Direct-object exceptions
Some verbs insist upon working with a genitive or dative direct object, rather than with an accusative one. When you encounter one, let the context be your guide. You can cross-check what you are observing with a detailed lexical entry, for example, the "long definitions" in Bible GT.

Noun-ending exceptions
Proper names often do not strictly follow the usual ending patterns. See the forms any time, by selecting a proper name and "Show NT forms" (or check a lexicon).

Sometimes gender does not strictly follow the usual ending patterns. The two most common exceptions are these masculine nouns that appear to have feminine endings: 
μαθητής disciple and προφήτης prophet.

Genitive (more...)
This case adds a description. Most of the time, using "of + noun" is a good translation of the relationship between the genitive noun and the verb it is describing. As part of your study, you may consider context to better understand the relationship between the genitive noun and the word it is describing. For example:
- of [owned by]
- of [related to]
- of [pertaining to]
- of [characterized by]- at [time]
- at [location]

Here are some examples of how one might apply the question of "what kind of genitive is it" when considering the Scriptures.
Gal 3:22
...ἡ  ¦παγ¦γε¦λί¦α  ἐκ  πί¦στε¦ως  ¦η¦σοῦ  Χρι¦στοῦ...
The promise of faith of [pertaining to] Jesus Christ...

Rom 1:1
Παῦ¦λος  δοῦ¦λος  Χρι¦στοῦ  ¦η¦σοῦ...
Paul, bond servant of [owned by] Jesus Christ

Heb 3:12
...καρ¦δία  πο¦νη¦ρὰ  ¦πι¦στί¦ας...
Evil heart of [characterized by] sin

Vocative (a fifth case)
This case is the one used in direct address. It occurs only rarely. It's easy to detect: first you notice the noun endings are somewhat different; the you remember vocative, notice that it's direct address, and keep reading.
Here is an example, the word κύριε:
Rom 10:16
...κύ¦ριε,  τίς  ¦πί¦στευ¦σεν  τῇ  ¦κοῇ  ¦μῶν;
..."Lord, who believed the report of us?"
..."Lord, who believed our report?"

Vocative plural forms are the same as nominative plural forms.

Ablout (ahb-lout)
a vowel that is short in some form, long in others.

a category spanning nouns and pronouns, plus other things acting as nouns or pronouns; those things that add substance to a sentence.


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David said...

On the very helpful "Nerd and Company" color chart, should the last line of notes read: "a declension is one OF three observed noun-ending patterns"? David

Peter Coad said...

Thanks David for the edit. I made the change and posted an update. Pete

praveen said...

Thanks for tis wonderful site. It makes my study on N.T. Greek a little easier. Excellent!

Nitz said...

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Nitz said...

I am very willing and eager to use your site but i can't really follow. anybody who can teach me?

Peter Coad ("kohd") said...

For help on using the Great Treasures site, featuring online demos:
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- Follow the step-by-step instructions

For additional help, contact "support @ great treasures dot org"