Ancient Greek/Glossary of Grammatical Terms

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Glossary of Grammatical Terms[edit]

As some of you may not have a solid grounding in English grammar, either due to the fault of your educational system or because English is not your first language, it is important to have a solid set of definitions to reference while learning Ancient Greek. I am hoping, ultimately, to link grammatical terms (at least the first time that they appear) to the glossary for your convenience. Alternatively, you can read this section first to make sure you are familiar with the basic structure.

Please note: at the moment, this is an evolving piece of work. Hopefully, it will soon be full of references, but if not please add the necessary entries (or comment asking someone else to add them).

Noun[edit]

  • Basic Definition: a noun is a person, place, or thing. e.g. man, room, and table are all nouns.
  • Subcatagories
    • Proper noun: a proper noun refers to a specific person, place, or organization and is indicated by the capitalization of its initial letter; e.g. Socrates, Athens, or the Lyceum.
    • Abstract Noun: an abstract noun refers to a concept rather than an actual physical person place, or thing; e.g. justice.

Adjective[edit]

  • Basic Definition: a descriptor that modifies or is grammatically linked to a noun, e.g. red.
    • Adjectives can modify nouns directly (e.g. the red ball rolls). This is called an attributive adjective. Alternatively, adjectives can be linked to the noun by a linking verb[1], e.g. Socrates is smart. In the latter case, smart is a predicate adjective (also known as a predicate nominative).
      • In English, adjectives modify nouns based upon word order. Attributive adjectives modify then noun that they directly precede while predicate adjectives follow a linking verb. In Ancient Greek, the word order does matter, but it is more flexible because Greek is inflected language. As such, the endings of the words (case endings) establish the relationship between noun and adjective as well as word order. There is still, however, a marked word order difference between attributive adjectives and predicated adjectives:
        • Attributive adjectives may
          • come between the article and the noun:
          • come after the article when the article follows the noun:
          • come after the article when the article is repeated both before and after the noun:
        • Predicate adjectives may
        • come in any other position in the sentence beside one of these three. One common predicate adjective position is as follows:

Article[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

Verb[edit]

Adverb[edit]

Conjunction[edit]

References[edit]

  1. See linking verb below