Module 5

Conjunctions and Accenting Verbs II

© 2021 Philip S. Peek, CC BY 4.0


Like adverbs, the Greek conjunction (σύνδεσμος) is the same as the English conjunction in definition and function. Conjunctions are of two kinds, coordinating and subordinating.

Coordinating conjunctions connect two words: our doubts and fears; crying and laughing. They connect two phrases: by ship and on foot. They connect clauses (words containing a subject and verb): a nation that was conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all are created equal.

Subordinating conjunctions connect a dependent clause to an independent clause. Clauses, both dependent and independent, contain a subject and a verb.

Consider these two sentences,

be mindful if you’re speaking,


be careful when you go along.

If you’re speaking and when you go along are the dependent clauses. Be mindful and be careful are the independent clauses. The subordinating conjunctions if and when connect the two clauses.

Practice Identifying Conjunctions. From this excerpt from Catch-22, practice picking out the coordinating and subordinating conjunctions in the passage below. Check your answers with those in the Answer Key.

Each morning when they came around, three brisk and serious men with efficient mouths and inefficient eyes, they were accompanied by brisk and serious Nurse Duckett, one of the ward nurses who didn’t like Yossarian. They read the chart at the foot of the bed and asked impatiently about the pain. They seemed irritated when he told them it was exactly the same. Nurse Duckett made a note to give Yossarian another pill, and the four of them moved along to the next bed. None of the nurses liked Yossarian. Actually, although the pain in his liver had gone away, Yossarian didn’t say anything and the doctors never suspected.

With this exercise your aim is a full understanding of what a conjunction is (its definition) and how it is used in a sentence (its function).

Greek Conjunctions

The below has a list of the most frequently occurring conjunctions. Memorize them. You will encounter them frequently in the rest of this book and they are not glossed.


Additional Information

English Equivalent


but, for





(postpositive; sometimes δέ just indicates change of subject)

and, but

or, than



καί . . . καί

both . . . and


and . . . not



μήτε . . . μήτε

neither . . .



and not, but not, not even


and not; neither;

οὔτε . . . οὔτε

neither . . . nor


(enclitic and postpositive)



Additional Information

English Equivalent







after, when, since


in order that, so that, where


so that, in order that; how; whenever

ὅταν (ὅτε + ἄν)





that, because





as, how, when, since


and so, such that, with the result that

  1. 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 this is covered in Part II of the 21st-Century series.
  2. Postpositive. Certain words like μέν and δέ cannot stand as the first word in a sentence.
  3. Proclitics. Proclitics are monosyllabic words, lacking an accent, and are pronounced closely with the word that follows them. Common proclitics are the adverb οὐ; the conjunctions ε and ὡς; the prepositions εἰς, ἐν, ἐκ; and these forms of the article: , , ο, αἱ.
  4. τε . . . τε. Note the post-positive placement after what it links, ὁ ἥλιός τε ἡ ἀγορά τε = καὶ ὁ ἥλιός καὶ ἡ ἀγορά both the sun and the marketplace.

Practice Translating Conjunctions and Adverbs. Translate the paragraph below, a translation of the beginning of Lucian’s The Ass, Ὄνος, paying attention to how the conjunctions and adverbs function. Often there is not an authentic connection between how ancient Greek expresses the meaning of a sentence and how English does. The main takeaway from exercises like these is a greater understanding of how each part of speech functions, not a greater understanding of ancient Greek idiom. Check your answers with those in the Answer Key.

I ποτε went to Thessaly. I had some family business there with a man from that region. My horse carried me καὶ my possessions καὶ one slave attended me. I was travelling the dirt road ἐπεὶ along came some travellers headed for Hypata, a city of Thessaly καὶ their hometown. We shared bread ὡς we approached the end of our journey καὶ the city. I asked them εἰ they knew about a man living in Hypata. His name was Hipparkhos καὶ I carried for him a letter from home, requesting a stay at his house. They replied ὅτι they knew Hipparkhos, ἵνα in the city he lived, ὅτι he had sufficient silver, and ὅτι he kept only one slave and a wife, ἐπεὶ money was his true love.

ὡς we neared the city, we saw an orchard καὶ on the grounds a small but tolerable cottage ἵνα Hipparkhos lived. Bidding me farewell my companions left. I approached the door and knocked. After a long wait a woman answered, stepping outside.

Accenting Verbs II

Remember that there are three accent marks:


Acute (ὀξύς) accent: marking a raising of the musical pitch


Grave (βαρύς) accent: marking a neutral musical pitch

Circumflex (περισπώμενος) accent: marking a raising and lowering of pitch

Since English speakers accent words by stress not pitch, for the purpose of this course, simply stress the accented syllable as you would in English, ignoring the type of accent. If you wish to hear what a pitch accent in Greek may have sounded like, follow the Stefan Hagel links throughout this text.

Vowel Length

In the paradigms and accenting practice of this text, macrons mark alpha, iota, and upsilon if long. Short vowels and diphthongs are not marked. In authentic texts and in the Practice Translating sections of this text, macrons do not occur. Diphthongs are by definition long with this exception: final -αι and -οι are short for purposes of accentuation except in the optative, a mood learned in Part II of the 21st-Century series. -αι and -οι are final when they appear as the last two letters of a word, λῦσαι but not λύσαις.

Recessive and Persistent Accent

In recessive accent, the accent occurs as far from the ultima as the possibilities of accent allow. Most verb forms have recessive accent. Nouns and other parts of speech have persistent accent. In persistent accent, the accent stays on the same vowel or diphthong it is on in the nominative singular form and does not change unless it has to in accordance with the possibilities of where accents can occur.

Review Possibilities of Accent I

Review these two possibilities, rememorizing them if you need to.

  1. An acute accent can appear on the antepenult, penult, or ultima.
  2. An acute accent can only appear on the antepenult if the ultima is short.

Additional Possibilities of Accent

Memorize these four possibilities.

  1. An acute accent can appear on the antepenult, penult, or ultima.
  2. An acute accent can only appear on the antepenult if the ultima is short.
  3. A circumflex accent can appear only on long vowels and never accents the antepenult.
  4. A circumflex accent can appear on the penult if the penult is long and the ultima is short, abbreviated PLUS: PENULT LONG ULTIMA SHORT.

Review Accenting Verbs of Three Syllables or More

Remember that long vowels are marked with a macron and that short vowels are not marked. Read from top to bottom and apply the first line that meets the criteria:


If the ultima is short, put an acute on the antepenult. Stop!



If the ultima is long, put an acute on the penult. Stop!


Accenting Verbs of Two Syllables

Νote that there are no verbs of only one syllable unless contraction, like cannot to can’t, has occurred. Contract verbs are introduced in Modules 10, 17, 19, and 24.


If the penult is long AND the ultima is short, put a circumflex on the penult. Stop!


A helpful acronym is PLUS: Penult Long; Ultima Short.


In all other cases (there are three), put an acute on the penult. Stop!

a. Short penult, short ultima


b. Short penult, long ultima


c. Long penult, long ultima


Practice Accenting Verbs of Two Syllables or More. Check your answers with those in the Answer Key. Remember that final -αι and -οι are short for purposes of accentuation, except in the optative, a mood learned in Part II of the 21st-Century series. There are no optative forms in the below.

  1. λαμβανει, ληψει, ἐλαβε, ἐλαμβανε, ἐληφθη, ληψεσθε, λαμβανεται, λαμβανεσθαι
  2. βουλει, βουλῃ, βουλησομεθα, ἐβουλου, ἐβουλετο, ἐβουληθησαν, βουλεται, βουλονται
  3. ρχεσθε, ἐλευσει, ἠλθον, ἠλθε, ἠλθομεν, ἠλθες, ἐρχονται, ἐρχεσθαι
  4. καλεω, ἐκαλεον, καλεειν, ἐκαλεσα, κεκληκα, ἐκληθη, καλεεται, καλεονται
  5. πρᾱττον, ἐπρᾱττον, πρᾱττε, πρᾱξεις, πρᾱξω, πρᾱξει, πραττεται, πραττεσθαι
  6. ἀρχεις, ἠρχον, ἠρχες, ἠρχου, ἠρξε, ἠρχθη, ἀρχεται, ἀρχονται
  7. ἀκουει, ἀκουσει, ἠκουσα, ἀκουειν, ἀκουομεθα, ἀκουομεν, ἀκουεται, ἀκουονται
  8. φερεις, φερει, φερον, οἰσον, φερε, οἰσει, οἰσεται, οἰσεσθαι
  9. ἀγομεν, ἀγειν, ἠγε, ἠγου, ἠχθη, ἀξει, ἀγεται, ἀξονται
  10. φαινεις, φαινον, ἐφαινον, φανεειν, ἐφανθη, φαινε, φαινεται, φανεεσθαι

There is additional accent practice in Appendix X.

Greek Lyric Poetry

Greek lyric poetry refers to poetry composed between the 600s to about 350 BCE, which is not epic, didactic, verse in hexameters, or dramatic (comedy, satyr, and tragedy). Lyric poetry has its roots in folk songs and its subject matter is as varied as the subject matter of song is today. Poets sung about friendships, funerals, harvests, hatreds, love, philosophy, war, and weddings, to name a few topics. Lyric poems ranged in length from a few lines to several hundred. Most of this poetry was sung to the accompaniment of a lyre or an aulos, a double-reed wind instrument, commonly but mistakenly referred to as a flute. Sometimes a harp was used instead of a lyre. Some lyric poets are Arkhilokhos, Kallinos, Mimnermos, Semonides, and Tyrtaios, who lived in the 600s BCE; Alkaios, Sappho, Solon, and Theognis, alive in the 600s and 500s BCE; Anakreon in the 500s; and Bakkhylides, Pindar, Praxilla, and Simonides in the 400s. In this text you have already read poems by Anakreon, Arkhilokhos, and Mimnermos. You will also read poems by Sappho, hailed by her contemporaries as the tenth muse, and by Praxilla, a poetess also of high repute.

Module 5 Practice Reading Aloud. Practice reading this poem by Anakreon. Read the poem out loud a few times, paying attention to the sound each syllable makes and trying to hear the rhythm of the words.

Anakreon 395

πολιο μὲν ἡμὶν ἤδη

κρόταφοι κάρη τε λευκόν,

χαρίεσσα δοὐκέτἥβη

πάρα, γηραλέοι δὀδόντες,


γλυκεροῦ δοὐκέτι πολλὸς

βιότου χρόνος λέλειπται·

διὰ ταῦτἀνασταλύζω

θαμὰ Τάρταρον δεδοικώς·

Ἄιδεω γάρ ἐστι δεινὸς


μυχός, ἀργαλῆ δἐς αὐτὸν

κάτοδος· καὶ γὰρ ἑτοῖμον

καταβάντι μὴ ἀναβῆναι.

Verse Translation

Mine temples are gray

My pate gleams bright

Gone’s youth’s delight.

My teeth rot away

Not much remains

Of my cherished life.

And so I wail,

In dread of Hell,

And Hades’ fright-

Ful gloom. A steep

Step down, a grim

Descent, from which

We won’t return.

To hear me read, followed by Stefan Hagel’s expert reading with a pitch accent, follow the link below:

Anakreon 395.1

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