Module 12

Substantive Adjectives and the Article

© 2021 Philip S. Peek, CC BY 4.0 https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0264.13

Substantive Adjectives

A Substantive Adjective is created by using an adjective as a substitute for a noun or pronoun. Greek often uses the article and other adjectives to create substantive nouns. English uses it also but not as frequently. Some well-known examples are these:

The meek shall inherit the earth.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.

Only the good die young.

If feces were gold, the poor would not have any anuses.

The Article may be used in conjunction with an adverb, another noun, or a prepositional phrase to create a substantive adjective.

(1) Article with Adverb: the feminine plural article αἱ joins with the article τότε to create the noun αἱ τότε the women of the past.

(2) Article with Noun: the neuter plural article τά joins the genitive plural noun τῶν ἀνθρώπων to create the noun τὰ τῶν ἀνθρώπων the possessions of people.

(3) Article with Prepositional Phrase: the masculine singular article joins with the prepositional phrase ἐπ τῷ ἵππῳ to create the noun ἐπὶ τῷ ἵππῳ the man on the horse.

Practice Translating Substantive Adjectives. Translate the phrases below. After translating each as best as you can, check your answers and be sure to understand why each translates as it does. Once you understand why each phrase translates as it does, read through the exercises at least two more times. Doing so helps your brain process the information as part of your working knowledge of Greek. Check your answers with those in the Answer Key.

  1. αἱ νῦν
  2. οἱ τότε
  3. οἱ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ
  4. αἱ μάλιστα
  5. τὰ νῦν
  6. τὰ τότε
  7. αἱ ἐκ τῆς γῆς
  8. ἀνὰ τῷ ἵππῳ
  9. οἱ κάτω
  10. τὰ περὶ τοῦ πολέμου
  11. εἰς τοὺς ἐν τῇ θαλάττῃ
  12. παρὰ τὰ τῆς ἀρετῆς
  13. διὰ τῆς ἀνάγκης τῶν τοῦ πολέμου
  14. κατὰ τοὺς ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ
  15. πρὸς τὰ ἐν τῇ ἀρχῇ τοῦ χρόνου
  16. ὑπὸ τῷ νόμῳ τῶν ἐν ἀρχῇ
  17. μέν . . .  δέ
  18. οἱ μέν . . . οἱ δέ

Vocabulary

*ἀνάγκη, ἀνάγκης force, necessity, fate

κάτω below

*ἀρετή, ἀρετῆς virtue, excellence

*νόμος, νόμου law, custom

*ἀρχή, ἀρχῆς rule, command; beginning; province

ὁδός, ὁδοῦ road

*γῆ, γῆς land, earth

*πόλεμος, πολέμου war

*θάλασσα (θάλαττα), θαλάσσης sea

*χρόνος, χρόνου time

*ἵππος, ἵππου horse; (fem.) cavalry

Practice Making Up Your Own Phrases. Using the vocabulary above, create your own substantives. Be creative and don’t worry about making mistakes, which are necessary for you to have success in any activity you pursue. Own the ancient Greek language and your learning of it. Make it yours.

Practice Translating. Translate the sentences below, adapted from Euripides’ Iphigeneia at Tauris (Ἰφιγένεια ἐν Ταύροις). Remember the meanings and functions of the cases presented in Module 7. Nominative case endings are bolded; genitive endings are italicized; dative endings are highlighted; and accusative endings are underlined. Check your understanding with the translations in the Answer Key. Now go back and read each sentence two or three times, noticing with each rereading how much better your understanding of the sentence becomes. Make this a habit and you will improve quickly.

Case

Ending

Function

Nominative

-α, -ας, -η, -ηρ, -ης, -ξ, -ο, -ος, -ς, -ων

subject of the verb

Genitive

-ας, -εως -ης, -ος, -ου, -ους, -ων

dependence; possession; object of preposition or verb; separation

Dative

-, -αις, -, -ι, -οις -

indirect object of the verb; means or instrument; object of preposition

Accusative

-α, -αν, -ας, -ε, -ην, -ν, -ο, -ον, -ος, -ους

object of the verb or preposition

Ἰφιγένεια: ὁ Ταντάλειος εἰς Πῖσαν ἔρχεται καὶ θοαῖς ἵπποις Οἰνομάου γαμέει κόρην. δὲ τίκτει Ἀτρέα. Ἀτρέως δὲ παῖς Μενέλαος Ἀγαμέμνων τε. καὶ ἐκ αὐτοῦ καὶ τῆς Τυνδαρείας γίγνομαι Ἰφιγένεια. ἐμ δὲ σφάζει Ἑλένης ἕνεχʼ πατὴρ Ἀρτέμιδι κλειναῖς ἐν πτυχαῖς Αὐλίδος. ἐνταῦθα γὰρ δὴ χιλίων νηῶν στόλον Ἑλληνικὸν συνάγει Ἀγαμέμνων ἄναξ καὶ τὸν στέφανον Ἰλίου ἐθέλει λαβεῖν. Ἀτρείδης τοὺς γάμους Ἑλένης ἐθέλει μετελθεῖν καὶ Μενελά χάριν φέρειν. τῆς ἄναξ στρατηγίας, Ἀγαμέμνων, καίπερ ἐθέλει νῆας ἀφορμίζεσθαι χθονός, οὐκ ἔχει. δεινῆς δʼ ἀπλοίας τυγχάνει ὥστε εἰς ἔμπυρα ἔρχεται καὶ αὐτ λέγει Κάλχας ταῦτα. Κάλχας λέγει ὅτι τ πατρ μὲν δεῖ ἐμέ, κόρην τὴν Ἰφιγένειαν, σφάζειν Ἀρτέμιδι καὶ αὐτ δὲ λαβεῖν ἄποινα. καὶ Κάλχας λέγει αὐτ ὅτι κάλλιστον εὔχεται παῖδα φωσφόρ θύειν θε. τὴν παῖδʼ οὖν Ἰφιγένειαν Κλυταιμήστρα τίκτει. Κάλχας τ κάλλιστον εἰς ἐμὲ ἀναφέρει ὥστε χρὴ τὸν πατέρα θύειν. δὲ ἐμὲ Ὀδυσσέως τέχναις μητρὸς παραλαμβάνει ἐπὶ γάμοις Ἀχιλλέως.

Adverbs and Verbs

ἀναφέρω bring up, bring back, refer

*λαμβάνω take, receive, capture

ἀφορμίζομαι loose, set loose

*λέγω say, tell, speak

γαμέω marry

μετελθεῖν to send for, chase after, go after

*γίγνομαι be, be born

παραλαμβάνω take, take ‘x’ in acc. from ‘y’ in gen.

*δεῖ it is necessary + ‘x’ in gen. or dat. or acc. + inf., δεῖ ἐλθεῖν it is necessary to come

συνάγω gather, collect; convene

*ἐθέλω (θέλω) wish, be willing

σφάζω slay, slaughter

ἐνταῦθα here, there, then

τίκτω bear, give birth

*ἔρχομαι come, go

*τυγχάνω obtain, meet + gen.

εὔχομαι pray, vow, promise + inf.

*φέρω bring, bear, carry; endure bring, bear, carry; endure

*ἔχω have, hold; be able + inf.; καλῶς χειν to be well

*χρή it is necessary + inf.

θύω sacrifice

Adjectives, Nouns, Pronouns

Νοminative

Genitive

Dative

Accusative

English Equivalent

Ἀγαμέμνων

Ἀγαμέμνονος

Ἀγαμέμνονι

Ἀγαμέμνονα

Agamemnon

ἄναξ

ἄνακτος

ἄνακτι

ἄνακτα

prince, lord, king

ἀπλοία

ἀπλοίας

ἀπλοίᾳ

ἀπλοίαν

failure to sail

ἄποινα

ἀποίνων

ἀποίνοις

ἄποινα

ransom, payment

Ἄρτεμις

Ἀρτέμιδος

Ἀρτέμιδι

Ἀρτέμιδα

Artemis

Ἀτρεύς

Ἀτρέως

Ἀτρεῖ

Ἀτρέα

Atreus

Ἀτρείδης

Ἀτρείδου

Ἀτρείδῃ

Ἀτρείδην

son of Atreus

Αὐλίς

Αὐλίδος

Αὐλίδος

Αὐλίδα

Aulis

*αὐτή

αὐτῆς

αὐτῇ

αὐτήν

she, her, hers

*αὐτός

αὐτοῦ

αὐτῷ

αὐτόν

he, him, his

Ἀχιλλεύς

Ἀχιλλέως

Ἀχιλλεῖ

Ἀχιλλέα

Akhilleus

γάμοι

γάμων

γάμοις

γάμους

wedding, marriage

*δεινή

δεινῆς

δεινῇ

δεινήν

awesome; terrible

*ἐγώ

ἐμοῦ

ἐμοί

ἐμέ

I, me, mine

Ἑλένη

Ἑλένης

Ἑλένῃ

Ἑλένην

Helen

Ἑλληνικός

Ἑλληνικοῦ

Ἑλληνικῷ

Ἑλληνικόν

Greek

ἔμπυρα

ἐμπύρων

ἐμπύροις

ἔμπυρα

burnt sacrifice

*θεά

θεᾶς

θεᾷ

θεάν

goddess

θοαί

θοῶν

θοαῖς

θοάς

swift

Ἴλιον

Ἰλίου

Ἰλίῳ

Ἴλιον

Troy

*ἵπποι

ἵππων

ἵπποις

ἵππους

horses

Ἰφιγένεια

Ἰφιγενείας

Ἰφιγενείᾳ

Ἰφιγένειαν

Iphigeneia

κάλλιστος

καλλίστου

καλλίστῳ

κάλλιστον

most beautiful

Κάλχας

Κάλχαντος

Κάλχαντι

Κάλχαντα

Kalkhas

κλειναί

κλεινῶν

κλειναῖς

κλεινάς

famous

κόρη

κόρης

κόρῃ

κόρην

maiden, girl

Μενέλαος

Μενελάου

Μενελάῳ

Μενέλαον

Menelaos

*μήτηρ

μητρός

μητρί

μητέρα

mother

*νῆες

νεῶν

ναυσί (ν)

ναῦς or νῆας

ships

Ὀδυσσεύς

Ὀδυσσέως

Ὀδυσσεῖ

Ὀδυσσέα

Odysseus

Οἰνόμαος

Οἰνομάου

Οἰνομάῳ

Οἰνόμαον

Oinomaos

*παῖς

παιδός

παιδί

παῖδα

child

*πατήρ

πατρός

πατρί

πατέρα

father

Πῖσα

Πίσης

Πίσῃ

Πῖσαν

Pisa

πτυχαί

πτυχῶν

πτυχαῖς

πτυχάς

folds, glens

στέφανος

στεφάνου

στεφάνῳ

στέφανον

crown, wreath, prize

στόλος

στόλου

στόλῳ

στόλον

expedition

στρατηγία

στρατηγίας

στρατηγίᾳ

στρατηγίαν

office; campaign

Ταντάλειος

Τανταλείου

Τανταλείῳ

Ταντάλειον

Tantalean, here Pelops

*ταῦτα

τούτων

τούτοις

ταῦτα

these things

τέχναι

τεχνῶν

τέχναις

τέχνᾱς

skill, craft

Τυνδαρεία

Τυνδαρείας

Τυνδαρείᾳ

Τυνδαρείαν

Tyndarean, here Klytaimnestra

φωσφόρος

φωσφόρου

φωσφόρῳ

φωσφόρον

light-bringing

χάρις

χάριτος

χάριτι

χάριν

grace, favor, thanks

χθών

χθονός

χθονί

χθόνα

earth, ground

χίλιαι

χιλίων

χιλίαις

χιλίᾱς

thousand

  1. The asterisk indicates the top 250 most frequently occurring vocabulary, which you are to memorize.

Practice Parsing Greek Sentences. Parse each word of the sentence found below. For nouns and pronouns, give case and function. For verbs give person, number, tense, mood, and voice. For adverbs and conjunctions, identify them. For prepositional phrases, give the preposition and the preposition’s object. For adjectives, tell what noun they agree with in gender, number, and case.

δεινῆς δʼ ἀπλοίας τυγχάνει ὥστε εἰς ἔμπυρʼ ἔρχεται κα αὐτῷ λέγει Κάλχας ταῦτα.

Check your answers with those in the Answer Key.

Classics and Our Modern World: the Aquila Theatre and Theater of War Productions

Presenting classics from throughout time, the Aquila Theatre puts flesh and blood on the great works of the past. Past performances from the ancient world include, Herakles, the Iliad and Odyssey, and Philoktetes. Aquila seeks to reinterpret the Classics for contemporary audiences and to bring diversity to them. Aquila expands the canon and attempts to change our perceptions. It also provides extensive educational offerings and is an award-winning leader in the field of public humanities programming. For more information, follow this link:

Aquila Theatre.1

Theater of War Productions presents dramatic readings of classical Greek tragedies and modern and contemporary works. After the performance, it holds town-hall-style discussions designed to confront social issues by discussing the themes highlighted in the plays. The open discussions invite audience members to share their perspectives and experiences and seek to break down stigmas, foster empathy, compassion, and a deeper understanding of complex issues. In an effort to reach communities directly, Theater of War Productions partners with a range of organizations and government agencies. For more information, follow this link:

Theater of War Productions.2

Module 12 Top 250 Vocabulary to be Memorized. Like learning the alphabet and endings, memorizing vocabulary is essential to acquiring language. The better you memorize the top 250 most frequently occurring vocabulary words, the greater mastery of the language you will have.

Verbs

ἐθέλω (θέλω) wish, be willing

πείθω persuade + inf.; (mid. or pass.) listen to, obey + dat. or gen.

τυγχάνω happen; meet + gen.; obtain + gen.; hit the mark, strike + gen.

φαίνω show, reveal; (pass.) appear

χράομαι use, employ, experience + dat.


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