Greek Adjectives: Formation, Uses and Translation

Adjectives   are   declined   in   all   three   declensions.  With   the exception  of   certain   3rd   Declension   adjectives   (like πᾶς,  πᾶσα,   πᾶν   –   all,   each,   every),   the   Masculine   adjective   forms   like   the   2nd   Declension   noun,   λόγος,   ὁ.  Τhe Feminine   adjective   normally   forms   like   1st   Declension   Feminines   whose   nominative   singular   case   ends   in   “η.” Finally,   the   Neuter  adjective  forms  like  2nd  Declension Neuter  nouns  (e.g.,  τέκνον,  τὸ). The  Definite   Article   also   displays   these   forms,   with   the   exception   of   the   Neuter   Nominative   and   Accusative  singular  forms,  which  do  not retain  the  final  ν.

Formation of Greek Adjectives 1st, 2nd, 3rd Decl Chart

Frequently  Used  3rd  Declension  and  Irregular Adjectives:     

There   are   several   frequently   occurring   Greek   adjectives   which,   although   “irregular,”   are   formed   using   all   three   Greek   declensions. The   declensions   of   ἀληθής,   -­ες   (true),   πολύς,  πολλή,  πολύ  (much,  many),  and  µέγας,  µεγάλη,  μέγα (great)  can  be  observed   in  the  following  paradigm:

Frequently Used 3rd Decl. and Irreg. Greek Adjectives Chart

Uses  and  Translation  

Adjectives  will always agree in  gender,  case,  and  number  with the  substantives  (nouns,   pronouns,  or  other  adjectives) they modify. Hence,  τοῦ  πιστοῦ  δοῦλου  =  of  the  faithful   servant   (all   masculine,   genitive,   singular),   or   τῇ   πρωτῇ   ἡµέρ   =   on   the   first   day   (all   feminine,  locative,  singular). Based  on its  position  in  the  Greek  sentence,  an  adjective will  always modify  a  substantive  in  one  of  two  ways:

(1)  Attributively   as   an   adherent   description.  The   attributive position   of   the   Greek   adjective   is   always   immediately   following   a   definite   article,   regardless   of   whether   the   adjective  precedes  or  follows  the  substantive  it  modifies.


ὁ  πίστος δοῦλος
                                 =    the  faithful  servant

ὁ  δοῦλος  ὁ  πίστος

(2) As  a  Predicate  adjective,  presenting  an  additional statement.  The  predicate  position     of   the   Greek   adjective   occurs   wherever   the   adjective   does   not   immediately   follow a   definite  article.    In  these  instances,  the  predicate  (is,  are) should  be  supplied. 


ὁ  δοῦλος πίστος 
                                 =    the servant is faithful  

πίστος ὁ  δοῦλος

Published in: on May 31, 2013 at 4:59 pm  Comments (1)  
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