• Ancient Greek I
  • First Declension Nouns in –η and -ᾱ and τίς, τί; τις, τι; ὅστις, ἥτις, ὅτι

Module 14

First Declension Nouns in –η and - and τίς, τί; τις, τι; ὅστις, ἥτις, ὅτι

© 2021 Philip S. Peek, CC BY 4.0 https://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0264.17

Nouns

Nouns in Greek are defined just like nouns are in English; but the way they create meaning is different. As in English, Greek nouns (ὀνόματα) refer to people, places, things, and ideas. Greek nouns have endings. English nouns can change form when they show possession, as in Jada’s book, where the ’s is added as a suffix and indicates that the book belongs to Jada. English nouns also change form when expressing the plural: two suns, three oxen, four mice. The endings on Greek nouns, as we have seen previously, create the same meanings that English does through form change, word order, and the use of prepositional phrases.

First Declension Nouns in and -ᾱ

All first declension nouns ending in -η or - are feminine in gender. Memorize both sets of endings, know how to obtain a noun’s stem, and know how to decline the nouns.

Dialect Note

Historically in the Ionic dialect there was a vowel shift where eta replaced long alpha. In the Attic dialect this shift occurred in the noun endings except after -ε, -ι, or -ρ: Attic χώρᾱ and Ionic χώρη.

Declining First Declension Nouns in and -

To decline first declension nouns ending in -η or -, first get the stem by removing the genitive singular ending -ης or -ᾱς. What remains is the stem, the base of the word to which the ending is joined. To the stem add the following endings:

Feminine

Set 1

S

Pl

Nominative

-η

-αι

Accusative

-ην

-ᾱς

Genitive

-ης

-ῶν

Dative

-

-αις

Vocative

-η

-αι

Feminine

Set 2 (stem ends in -ε, -ι, -ρ)

S

Pl

Nominative

-

-αι

Accusative

-ᾱν

-ᾱς

Genitive

-ᾱς

-ῶν

Dative

-ᾱͅ

-αις

Vocative

-

-αι

Feminine

Set 1

S

Pl

Nominative

-η

-αι

Genitive

-ης

-ῶν

Dative

-

-αις

Accusative

-ην

-ᾱς

Vocative

-η

-αι

Feminine

Set 2 (stem ends in -ε, -ι, -ρ)

S

Pl

Nominative

-

-αι

Genitive

-ᾱς

-ῶν

Dative

-ᾱͅ

-αις

Accusative

-ᾱν

-ᾱς

Vocative

-

-αι

τέχνη, τέχνης

To decline τέχνη, τέχνης skill, take the genitive singular τέχνης and remove the genitive singular ending -ης to get the stem, τέχν-. Then add the endings from Set 1 above.

Singular

Plural

N

τέχνη

τέχναι

A

τέχνην

τέχνᾱς

G

τέχνης

τεχνῶν

D

τέχνῃ

τέχναις

V

τέχνη

τέχναι

Singular

Plural

N

τέχνη

τέχναι

G

τέχνης

τεχνῶν

D

τέχνῃ

τέχναις

A

τέχνην

τέχνᾱς

V

τέχνη

τέχναι

χώρᾱ, χώρᾱς

To decline χώρᾱ, χώρᾱς land, country, take the genitive singular χώρᾱς, and remove the genitive singular ending -ᾱς to get the stem, χώρ-. Then add the endings from Set 2 above.

Singular

Plural

N

χώρᾱ

χῶραι

A

χώρᾱν

χώρᾱς

G

χώρᾱς

χωρῶν

D

χώρᾱͅ

χώραις

V

χώρᾱ

χῶραι

Singular

Plural

N

χώρᾱ

χῶραι

G

χώρᾱς

χωρῶν

D

χώρᾱͅ

χώραις

A

χώρᾱν

χώρᾱς

V

χώρᾱ

χῶραι

ἀρχή, ἀρχῆς

To decline ἀρχή, ἀρχῆς rule, command; beginning; province, take the genitive singular ἀρχῆς and remove the genitive singular ending -ης to get the stem, ρχ-. Then add the endings from Set 1 above.

Singular

Plural

N

ἀρχή

ἀρχαί

A

ἀρχήν

ἀρχάς ()

G

ἀρχῆς

ἀρχῶν

D

ἀρχῇ

ἀρχαῖς

V

ἀρχή

ἀρχαί

Singular

Plural

N

ἀρχή

ἀρχαί

G

ἀρχῆς

ἀρχῶν

D

ἀρχῇ

ἀρχαῖς

A

ἀρχήν

ἀρχάς ()

V

ἀρχή

ἀρχαί

  1. The accent of nouns as a rule is persistent and is given by the nominative singular. The genitive plural is an exception to this rule. The genitive plural of all first declension nouns is -ῶν with a circumflex accent on the ultima.
  2. The vocative is the same as the nominative in the plural of all nouns and the same in the singular for nouns of this declension
  3. Note that χώρᾱς can be either genitive singular or accusative plural. χώρᾱς is a look-alike form. Use context to determine which case and number it is.
  4. First declension nouns differ only in the singular. All first declension nouns follow the same pattern in the plural.
  5. The diphthongs -αι and -οι when final (the last two letters at the end of a word) count as a short for purposes of accentuation except in the optative, a mood that you’ll learn in Part II of the 21st-Century series. Hence in χῶραι the accent (PLUS) is a circumflex.
  6. When a first declension noun has an acute accent on the ultima in the nominative, the accent is changed to a circumflex in the genitive and dative, singular and plural. Note a similar change occurs in the same forms of the article.

Practice Declining Nouns. Decline the two nouns below. When declining, list the five cases in the singular and in the plural. Include the article. Check your answers with those in the Answer Key.

ψυχή, ψυχῆς soul

ἀγορά, ἀγορᾶς marketplace

Writing out nouns with their endings assists in your memorization of endings.

Pronouns and Adjectives

Remember that pronouns take the place of nouns and function just as other Greek nouns do. Adjectives agree in gender, case, and number with the nouns they modify. If no noun is present, supply the appropriate noun based upon the adjective’s gender and number or upon context. Adjectives that function as nouns are substantive.

The Interrogative Pronoun and Adjective, τίς, τί

As a pronoun the interrogative τίς, τί means who? or what?; as an adjective the interrogative τίς, τί means which? or what?

Singular

M/F

N

N

τίς

τί

A

τίνα

τί

G

τίνος, το

τίνος, τοῦ

D

τίνι, τῷ

τίνι, τῷ

Plural

M/F

N

N

τίνες

τίνα

A

τίνας

τίνα

G

τίνων

τίνων

D

τίσι (ν)

τίσι (ν)

Singular

M/F

N

N

τίς

τί

G

τίνος, τοῦ

τίνος, τοῦ

D

τίνι, τῷ

τίνι, τῷ

A

τίνα

τί

Plural

M/F

N

N

τίνες

τίνα

G

τίνων

τίνων

D

τίσι (ν)

τίσι (ν)

A

τίνας

τίνα

  1. When followed by another word, the acute accent on τίς, τί never changes to a grave.

The Indefinite Pronoun and Adjective τις, τι

As a pronoun τις, τι means someone, something, anyone, anything; certain one, certain thing; as an adjective τις, τι means some, any; certain; a. Use certain when an author is making reference to something particular without making the identification precise.

Singular

M/F

N

N

τις

τι

A

τινα

τι

G

τινός, του

τινός, του

D

τινί, τῳ

τινί, τῳ

Plural

M/F

N

N

τινές

τινά

A

τινάς

τινά

G

τινῶν

τινῶν

D

τισί (ν)

τισί (ν)

Singular

M/F

N

N

τις

τι

G

τινός, του

τινός, του

D

τινί, τῳ

τινί, τῳ

A

τινα

τι

Plural

M/F

N

N

τινές

τινά

G

τινῶν

τινῶν

D

τισί (ν)

τισί (ν)

A

τινάς

τινά

  1. The indefinite pronoun and adjective differ from the interrogative pronoun and adjective in accent only and are enclitics. Enclitics are pronounced closely with the word that precedes them. Some common ones are the adverbs γε, ποθέν, ποι, ποτέ, που, πως, and τοι; the conjunction τε; the pronouns με, μοι, μου, σε, σοι σου, τι, and τις; and the verbs εἰμί, φημί. Enclitics sometimes have an accent and sometimes do not. They can also affect the accent of the word that precedes them. How they do is covered in Part II of the 21st-Century series.

The Indefinite ὅστις, ἥτι, ὅτι

ὅτι. ὅστις, ἥτις, ὅτι as an indefinite relative pronoun means whoever, whatever. As an indefinite interrogative pronoun and adjective it means who, what. It is formed by combining the relative pronoun, ὅς, , with τις, τι.

Singular

M

F

N

N

ὅστις

ἥτις

ὅτι

A

ὅντινα

ἥντινα

ὅτι

G

οὗτινος, ὅτου

ἧστινος

οὗτινος, ὅτου

D

ᾧτινι, ὅτῳ

ᾗτινι

ὧτινι, ὅτῳ

Plural

M

F

N

N

οἵτινες

αἵτινες

ἅτινα

A

οὕστινας

ἅστινας

ἅτινα

G

ὧντινων, ὅτων

ὧντινων

ὧντινων, ὅτων

D

οἷστισι (ν), ὅτοις

αἷστισι (ν)

οἷστισι (ν), ὅτοις

Singular

M

F

N

N

ὅστις

ἥτις

ὅτι

G

οὗτινος, ὅτου

ἧστινος

οὗτινος, ὅτου

D

ᾧτινι, ὅτῳ

ᾗτινι

ὧτινι, ὅτῳ

A

ὅντινα

ἥντινα

ὅτι

Plural

M

F

N

N

οἵτινες

αἵτινες

ἅτινα

G

ὧντινων, ὅτων

ὧντινων

ὧντινων, ὅτων

D

οἷστισι (ν), ὅτοις

αἷστισι (ν)

οἷστισι (ν), ὅτοις

A

οὕστινας

ἅστινας

ἅτινα

Practice Translating the Interrogative Pronoun and Adjective. Check your understanding with the translations in the Answer Key.

  1. τίς ρχει στρατιᾶς;
  2. τί δεῖ αὐτὴν πράττειν;
  3. τίνι πέμπετε τὰ δῶρα;
  4. τίνος βιβλίον ἔχομεν;
  5. τίνας δεῖ ἐλθεῖν;
  6. τίς βασιλεὺς ἄρχει χώρας;
  7. τί ἔργον δεῖ αὐτοὺς πράττειν;
  8. τίνος ποιητοῦ βιβλίον ἔχουσιν;
  9. τίνας στρατιώτας δεῖ ἐλθεῖν;
  10. εἰς τίνας στρατιώτας δεῖ ἐλθεῖν;

Practice Translating the Indefinite Pronoun and Adjective. Check your understanding with the translations in the Answer Key.

  1. ἄρχει τις στρατιᾶς.
  2. δεῖ τι αὐτὴν πράττειν.
  3. πέμπετέ τινι τὰ δῶρα;
  4. βιβλίον τινὸς ἔχομεν;
  5. δεῖ τινας ἐλθεῖν;
  6. βασιλεύς τις ἄρχει χώρας;
  7. ἔργον τι δεῖ αὐτοὺς πράττειν;
  8. ποιητοῦ τινος βιβλίον ἔχουσιν;
  9. στρατιώτας τινὰς δεῖ ἐλθεῖν;
  10. εἰς τινας στρατιώτας δεῖ ἐλθεῖν;

Practice Translating the Indefinite Relative Pronoun and Indefinite Interrogative Pronoun and Adjective. Check your understanding with the translations in the Answer Key.

  1. ὅστις ἄρχει τῆς στρατιᾶς καλὰ πράττει.
  2. ὅτι δεῖ αὐτὴν πράττειν εὖ πράττει.
  3. κακὰ πέμπω ᾧτινι πέμπετε τὰ δῶρα.
  4. βασιλεὺς ὅστις ἄρχει χώρας κακὰ πάσχει.

Vocabulary

*ἄρχω rule, command; begin + gen.

*κακός, κακή, κακόν bad, evil, cowardly

*βασιλεύς, βασιλῆος (βασιλέως) king, chief

*πάσχω suffer

βιβλίον, βιβλίον τό book

*πέμπω send

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

ποιητής, ποιητοῦ poet

δῶρον, δώρου τό gift

*πράσσω (πράττω) do, make; fare; + κακῶς suffer

*ἐλθεῖν to come, to go

στρατιά, στρατιᾶς army

*ἔργον, ἔργου τό deed, task, work; ἔργον in truth, in deed

στρατιώτης, στρατιώτου soldier

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

*χώρᾱ, χώρᾱς land, country

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

Practice Translating. Translate the sentences below, adapted from Euripides’ Herakles or Herakles Mainomenos (ρακλῆς μαινόμενος). 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. Note that the third declension increases the number of possible endings for the nominative singular. Check your understanding with the translations in the Answer Key and then go back and reread the sentences a couple of times more, trying to read rather than translate.

Case

Ending

Function

Nominative

-α, -η, -ηρ, -ης, -ξ, -ο, -οι, -ος, -ς, -υς, -ω, -ων

subject of the verb

Genitive

-ας, -εως -ης, -ος, -ου, -ους, -ων

possession; dependence; object of preposition or verb; separation

Dative

-αις, -, -ι, -οις, -σιν, -

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

Accusative

-α, -αν, -ας, -η, -ην, -ν, -ο, -ον, -ος, -ους, -ς

object of the verb or preposition

ὄνομα ἐμο Ἀμφιτρύων, Διὸς σύλλεκτρος καὶ πατὴρ Ἡρακλέους. ἐγὼ τὰς Θήβας ἔχω ἔνθα γηγενὴς στάχυς Σπαρτῶν βλάστει. τοὺς μὲν αὐτῶν Ἄρης σῴζει, ἀριθμὸν ὀλίγον· οἱ δὲ θνῄσκουσιν. οἱ Σπαρτοὶ Κάδμου πόλιν τεκνόουσι παίδων παισί. ἔνθεν ἐκ αὐτῶν γίγνεται Κρέων Μενοικέως παῖς, ἄναξ τῆς χθονός. Κρέων δὲ τῆς Μεγάρας γίγνεται πατήρ· αὐτὴν ὑμεναίοις Καδμεῖοί ποτε λωτ συναλαλάζουσιν. τότε εἰς τοὺς δόμους, Θήβας, οὗ κατοικίζω ἐγώ, κλεινὸς Ἡρακλῆς αὐτὴν ἄγει. δ λείπει Θήβας Μεγάραν τε πενθερούς τε. παῖς Κυκλωπίαν πόλιν ὀρέγεται οἰκέειν, Τίρυνθα. Ἀργεῖα τείχη φεύγω ἐπεὶ κτείνω Ἠλεκτρύωνα. τὰς δὲ συμφορὰς ἐξευμαρίζει. καὶ πάτραν οἰκέειν θέλει ὥστε καθόδου δίδωσι μισθὸν Εὐρυσθε μέγανἐξημερόειν γαῖαν. εἴτε Ἥρα αὐτὸν δαμάζει κέντροις εἴτε αὐτὸν μοῖρα ἀναγκάζει παθεῖν. καὶ τοὺς μὲν ἄλλους ἐκμοχθέει πόνους καὶ τ δὲ λοίσθιον μετὰ ταῦτα ἔρχεται ἐς Ἅιδου τὸν τρισώματον κύνα ἀνάγειν.

Adverbs and Verbs

*ἄγω do, drive, lead

*θνῄσκω die, perish

ἀναγκάζω compel, force ‘x’ in acc. + inf.

κατοικίζω settle; establish; colonize

ἀνάγω lead or bring up; (mid.) set sail

κτείνω kill

βλάστω bud, sprout, grow

λείπω leave

*γίγνομαι be, be born

*παθεῖν to suffer

δαμάζω overpower, tame, conquer

οἰκέω inhabit, settle; manage, dwell, live

*δίδωμι give; δίκην δίδωμι I pay the penalty; δίδωμι χάριν I give thanks

ὀρέγομαι yearn, desire

ἐκμοχθέω work, toil, struggle; achieve

οὗ where

ἔνθα where

παθεῖν to suffer

ἔνθεν whence, thence; then

συναλαλάζω cry aloud together; greet loudly

ἐξευμαρίζω make light, lighten

σῴζω save

ἐξημερόω tame, reclaim, free

τεκνόω furnish with children, populate, procreate

*ἔρχομαι come, go

*τυγχάνω obtain, meet + gen.

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

*φεύγω flee

*θέλω wish, be willing

Adjectives, Nouns, Pronouns

Νοminative

Genitive

Dative

Accusative

English Equivalent

*ἄλλοι

ἄλλων

ἄλλοις

ἄλλους

others

Ἀμφιτρύων

μφιτρύωνος

Ἀμφιτρύωνι

Ἀμφιτρύωνα

Amphitryon

ἄναξ

ἄνακτος

ἄνακτι

ἄνακτα

prince, lord, king

Ἀργεῖα

Ἀργείων

Ἀργείοις

Ἀργεῖα

Argive

Ἄρης

Ἄρεως

Ἄρει

Ἄρεα (Ἄρη)

Ares

*ἀριθμός

ἀριθμοῦ

ἀριθμῷ

ἀριθμόν

number

*αὐτή

αὐτῆς

αὐτῇ

αὐτήν

she, her, hers

*αὐτός

αὐτοῦ

αὐτῷ

αὐτόν

he, him, his

γαῖα

γαίας

γαίᾳ

γαῖαν

earth, land

γηγενής

γηγενέος (-οῦς)

γηγενεῖ

γηγενέα (-)

earth-born

δόμοι

δόμων

δόμοις

δόμους

house, houses

*ἐγώ

ἐμοῦ

μοί

ἐμέ

I, me, mine

Εὐρυσθεύς

Εὐρυσθέως

Εὐρυσθεῖ

Εὐρυσθέα

Eurystheus

*Ζεύς

Διός

Διί

Δία

Zeus

Ἠλεκτρύων

Ἠλεκτρύωνος

Ἠλεκτρύωνι

Ἠλεκτρύωνα

Εlektryon

Ἥρα

Ἥρας

Ἥρᾳ

Ἥραν

Hera

Ἡρακλῆς

Ἡρακλέους

Ἡρακλεῖ

Ἡρακλέα

Herakles

Θῆβαι

Θηβῶν

Θήβαις

Θήβας

Thebes

Καδμεῖοι

Καδμείων

Καδμείοις

Καδμείους

Kadmean

Κάδμος

Κάδμου

Κάδμῳ

Κάδμον

Kadmos

καθόδος

καθόδου

καθόδῳ

καθόδον

return

κέντρα

κέντρων

κέντροις

κέντρα

goad, sting

κλεινός

κλεινοῦ

κλεινῷ

κλεινόν

famous

Κρέων

Κρέοντος

Κρέοντι

Κρέοντα

Kreon

Κυκλωπία

Κυκλωπίας

Κυκλωπίᾳ

Κυκλωπίαν

Kyklopean

κύων

κυνός

κυνί

κύνα

dog

λοίσθιον

λοισθίου

λοισθίῳ

λοίσθιον

last

λωτός

λωτοῦ

λωτῷ

λωτόν

pipe

Μεγάρα

Μεγάρας

Μεγάρᾳ

Μεγάραν

Megara

*μέγας

μεγάλου

μεγάλῳ

μέγαν

big

Μενοικεύς

Μενοικέως

Μενοικεῖ

Μενοικέα

Menoikeus

μισθός

μισθοῦ

μισθῷ

μισθόν

hire; pay, wages

μοῖρα

μοίρας

μοίρᾳ

μοῖραν

fate

*ὀλίγος

ὀλίγου

ὀλίγῳ

ὀλίγον

little, few, small

*ὄνομα

ὀνόματος

νόματι

ὄνομα

name

*παῖς

παιδός

παιδί

παῖδα

child

*πατήρ

πατρός

πατρί

πατέρα

father

πάτρα

πάτρας

πάτρᾳ

πάτραν

fatherland

πενθεροί

πενθερῶν

πενθεροῖς

πενθερούς

marriage-connexion

*πόλις

πόλεως

πόλει

πόλιν

city

πόνοι

πόνων

πόνοις

πόνους

work, toil, suffering

σπαρτοί

σπαρτῶν

σπαρτοῖς

σπαρτούς

sown-men

στάχυς

στάχυος

στάχυι

στάχυν

ear of corn or grain

σύλλεκτρος

συλλέκτρου

συλλέκτρῳ

σύλλεκτρον

partner of the bed

συμφοραί

συμφορῶν

συμφοραῖς

συμφοράς

misfortunes

*ταῦτα

τούτων

τούτοις

ταῦτα

these things

*τείχη

τείχων

τείχεσι (ν)

τείχη

walls

Τίρυνς

Τίρυνθος

Τίρυνθι

Τίρυνθα

Tiryns

τρισώματος

τρισωμάτου

τρισωμάτῳ

τρισώματον

three-bodied

ὑμέναιοι

ὑμεναίων

μεναίοις

ὑμεναίους

wedding-songs

φάος (φῶς)

φάεος (φωτός)

φάει (φωτί)

φάος (φῶς)

light, daylight

χθών

χθονός

χθονί

χθόνα

earth, ground

  1. The asterisk indicates the top 250 most frequently occurring vocabulary, which you are to memorize.
  2. For φάος the contracted forms in parentheses are of the Attic dialect.

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.

εἴθʼ (εἴτε) Ἥρα αὐτὸν δαμάζει κέντροις εἴτε αὐτὸν μοῖρα ἀναγκάζει παθεῖν.

Check your answers with those in the Answer Key.

Classics and Our Modern World: The Warrior Chorus

The Warrior Chorus trains veterans to offer public programming based on classical literature and its connections to the experiences of people who have served in the military. It uses classical texts to inspire people to reflect on the connections between the works of the ancient Greeks and the issues they reflect in their own lives, bringing members of the public together with the American veteran community to experience live stagings, readings, workshops, lectures, and discussions. The Warrior Chorus provides a rich contextual frame for ancient literature to inspire in-depth public discussions about war, conflict, comradeship, country, home, family, injuries, work, politics—themes every American should have the opportunity to reflect upon as informed citizens in a vibrant democracy. For more information on The Warrior Chorus, follow this link:

The Warrior Chorus.1

Module 14 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 words, the greater mastery of the language you will have.

Adjectives, Nouns, and Pronouns

Ζεύς, Διός Zeus

μήτηρ, μητέρος (μητρός) mother

μέρος, μέρεος (μέρους) τό share, portion, part; limb; one’s turn

ὄνομα, ὀνόματος τό name

πρᾶγμα, πράγματος τό matter, thing, affair; problem

πλῆθος, πλήθεος (πλήθους) τό great number, multitude; sum

τις, τι (pronoun) anyone, anything; someone, something; (adjective) some, any, a, a certain

τίς, τί (adjective or pronoun) who, what, which, why

χρῆμα, χρήματος τό thing; (pl.) goods, money, property

  1. The noun Ζεύς is similar to the third declension noun βασιλεύς.

    N

    Ζεύς

    (Δεύς < Δηύς)

    A

    Δία, ζῆνα

    (Δίϝα)

    G

    Διός

    (Διϝός)

    D

    Διΐ

    (Διϝί)

    V

    Ζεῦ

N

Ζεύς

(Δεύς < Δηύς)

G

Διός

(Διϝός)

D

Διΐ

(Διϝί)

A

Δία, ζῆνα

(Δίϝα)

V

Ζεῦ


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