Important Rules to Remember When Learning Ancient Greek Part 4

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Welcome to part 4! This post looks at the basic demonstrative pronouns, which I may address again later when I have more time, and the present and middle voices in Classical and Koine Greek. Hope you find this interesting and/or useful.

Paradigms of the Demonstrative Pronouns

  • Not to be confused with the paradigms of αὐτός and the definite articles – can tell by context, breathing and accenting. Demonstrative pronouns have a rough breathing
  • Demonstratives indicate ‘this’ or ‘that’
  • The declension of ‘THIS’ = οὗτος = ‘near demonstrative’
    • Rough breathing occurs in the nominative masculine and feminine in both the singular and plural
    • The diphthong of the stem of the ‘near demonstrative’, OU or AU, varies with vowel of the ending O (W) or A (H)

Demonstrative Pronoun: “THIS”

masculine feminine neuter
sing. plur. sing. plur. sing. plur.
nom. οὗτος οὗτοι αὕτη αὗται τοῦτο ταῦτα
gen. τούτου τούτων ταύτης τούτων τούτου τούτων
dat. τούτῳ τούτοις ταύτῃ ταύταις τούτῳ τούτοις
acc. τοῦτον τούτους ταύτην ταύτας τοῦτο ταῦτα
  • The declensions of ‘THAT’ = ἐκεῖνος = ‘far demonstrative’
    • Identical endings to that of οὗτος

Demonstrative Pronoun: “THAT”

masculine feminine neuter
sing. plur. sing. plur. sing. plur.
nom. ἐκεῖνος ἐκεῖνοι ἐκείνη ἐκεῖναι ἐκεῖνο ἐκεῖνα
gen. ἐκείνου ἐκείνων ἐκείνης ἐκείνων ἐκείνου ἐκείνων
dat. ἐκείνῳ ἐκείνοις ἐκείνῃ ἐκείναις ἐκείνῳ ἐκείνοις
acc. ἐκεῖνον ἐκείνους ἐκείνην ἐκείνας ἐκεῖνο ἐκεῖνα

Uses of the Demonstratives

  • Three main uses

    P.Duk.inv.98r – Private Letter
  • Mostly used to modify nouns – so agree with the noun in gender, number and case
    • Stands in the predicate position
    • Never immediately preceded by the definite article
    • Greek demonstrative pronouns always modify arthrous nouns
    • Both THIS and THAT may be used by themselves with the force of a substantive
      • This one, or that one
      • When demonstrative pronouns occur with anarthrous nouns they are NOT modifiers of these nouns but pronouns
      • May be used to refer to persons mentioned in the immediately preceding context
        • Translated simply as he, she, or they
ἐκεῖνος ὁ ἄνθρωπος = than man
ὁ ἄνθρωπος ἐκεῖνος = than man
ὁ ἄνθρωπός ἐστιν οὗτος = the man is this one

The Present Middle and Passive Indicative of λύω

  • The passive voice – subject is receiving the action of the verb
  • The middle voice – represents the subject as acting in its own interest or to participate
  • Just how the action is related to the subject is not indicated by the middle voice itself but by the context or the verbal idea
  • I am being loosed = λύομαι
  • Connecting vowel o/e are clearly observable in all forms, except in the second person singular
  • Forms of the middle voice are identical with those of the passive, the context alone will indicate whether the construction is middle or passive in function
  • Eg, p.87
  • Negative is immediately before the verb – OU

Uses of the Middle Voice

  • Is involved in the action of the verb
  • Manner of the involvement must be inferred from the context
  • I am releasing myself; I am releasing for myself; I myself am releasing
  • REFLEXIVE MIDDLE = result of the action of the verb directly to the subject, eg. ‘Judas handed himself’
  • INTENSIVE MIDDLE = emphasizes the agent as producing the action rather than participating in its results, eg. ‘he himself secured eternal redemption’
  • RECIPROCAL MIDDLE = use of the plural subject engaged in an interchange of action, eg. ‘The Jews were agreeing with on another’
    • This idea is expressed usually by an active verb plus the pronoun ἀλλήλους (one another)

Deponent Verbs

  • Verbs with middle or passive forms without any corresponding active forms = DEPONENT verbs
  • Eg. ERXOMAI ‘I go’ = middle in form but active in meaning
  • TRUE MIDDLES = in which the subject is being emphasized in some manner; Following categories:
  • RECIPROCITY = describe situations in which two parties are involved
  • REFLEXIVITY = verbal idea turns back upon the subject
  • SELF-INVOLVEMENT = processes that the subject alone can experience
  • With some verbs the active form has one meaning and the middle another
  • A number of deponent verbs occur with a prepositional prefix
  • Several NT verbs take their direct objects in a case other than the accusative


  • Passive verb will often by followed by the identification of an agent
  • THE DIRECT AGENT = by whom an action is performed = UNO + GENITIVE
  • INTERMEDIATE AGENT = through whom the original agent acts = DIA + GENITIVE
  • IMPERSONAL AGENCY = in dative case with or without EN
  • The passive voice frequently occurs when no agent is expressed. This usage occurs frequently in the sayings of Jesus

Resources that may help you further:

Perseus Vocabulary Tools

New Testament Greek Grammar Books

Learn to Read New Testament Greek, Third Edition, By: David Alan Black

Little Greek 101

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2 thoughts on “Important Rules to Remember When Learning Ancient Greek Part 4

    GraecoMuse Turns One « GraecoMuse said:
    October 13, 2012 at 12:52 am

    […] Important Rules to Remember When Learning Ancient Greek Part 4 – 09/07/12 […]

    Learning Ancient Greek Resources « GraecoMuse said:
    January 9, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    […] Important Rules to Remember When Learning Ancient Greek Park 4 […]

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