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Lesson Ten - Yuk! Noun Declensions, and more 'the' forms. Yum! The verb 'to be'!

Part A: Yuk! Noun Declensions.

Those noun endings you have learnt - 8 in all for different noun uses and singular/plural endings fall into one set of endings. This set of endings is the Second 'declension' - the neuter.

AS if that wsan't enough There are more whole sets of endings! The details for attatching them is taught in a college level course, so I'm told. I'm going to provide tables of the noun endings - it will help you at least understand the Greek New Testament better than if I left you in the dark!

Naturally there are exceptions (No languages are as neat as mathematics, I'm afraid), but I'm not going to write about them here either. It Is easier to see all these endings in 2 charts rather than in one long scary one:

NOUN DECLENSION CHART - Singular Endings:

  First Declension Second Declension Third Declension
Subject aor h or hj or aj oj or on no particular endings
Possessive ajor hj or ou ou ojor wj or ouj
Dative a or h J i
Direct Object an or hn on a or n or oj (or like subject endings).

NOUN DECLENSION CHART - Plural Endings:

  First Declension Second Declension Third Declension
Subject ai oi or a ej or eij or a
Possessive wn wn wn
Dative aij oij si
Direct Object aj ouj or a aj or eij or h or in or a


Part B: Yuk! More 'the' forms.'

There are less exercises to do in this lesson - but there is a lot to learn. In this section, I'm throwing another chart at you - this time with all the forms of the word 'the.' Unfortunately you've only learnt the masculin forms. There are feminine and neuter ones here too. You should be able to connect these to the noun endings above when you encounter them in translation (save for exceptional uses, etc).

A good idea in learning the charts is to look for similarities between types to cut down on the amount of new learning. For example, notice which neuter forms are like the masculin forms? Which are different?

Notice - there are different names for the type of nouns (nominative, genitive, etc.) - these you might find in another text book or language course so it's a good idea to know them.

Singular Forms

  Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative (subject) o h to
Genitive (possessive) toutou thjthj toutou
Dative tJ tJ tJ
Accusative (object) ton thn to

Plural Forms

  Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative oi ai ta
Genitive twn twn twn
Dative toij taij toij
Accusative touj taj ta


Part C: Yum! The verb 'to be'

Ane one last table. You may be wondering why I am so excited about this little verb. It is because in learning this verb, and recognizing it in a Greek New Testament in John 8:58, where Jesus says "I am" to the pharisees - it is clear from the Greek that the Jehovah Witness' Bible transalation has a sectarian bias by clearly translating the Greek into a completely different tense. While enough scholars would already say as much, I had to see for myself. And it was partly the claim of Jehovah Witnesses that their Bible was based on the original Greek that got me started learning for myself.

When Jesus says "I am" in the NIV, KJV and the original Greek, he means he is God - it is, in context, such a clear allusion to the name which the God of the Old Testament used (The pharisees clearly understood this - and it made them angry). Now you too can identify those words by learning the present tense of the verb 'to be.'

I will summarize the forms in yet another table so you can complete the exercises below:

To be! = infinitive: einai

  Singular Plural
first person ((I) am/(we) are) eimi esmen
second person ((you) are) eij or ei este
third person ((he) is/(they) are) esti eisi

(n is sometimes added to the third person because it makes the connections between words run more smoothly.

Again, the different forms of the verb 'to be' indicate whether it is first, second, third person, singular or plural. 'I am' can be written egw eimi or simply eimi. Since eimi is 1st person singular, it is clearly 'I am' not 'you are,' etc.

egw can be used for emphasis. And in John 8:58, this emphasis is present where it reads: egw eimi, rendering : "I am."

Match the following:

1. einai.................a. you are Peter
2. egw eimi.............b. (I) am
3. eisin................c. (you) are (singular)
4. este.................d. stone is
5. esti................e. (they) are
6. eij..................f. (you) are (plural)
7. su ei Petproj........g. to be
8. liqoj estin..........h. (he) is

IN conclusion:

For now, from here on, you're on your own. I hope this has helped get you off to a good start. If you want to review this and go further, but don't wish to study Greek in college, a good layman's book is Jim Found's Basic Greek in 30 minutes a Day, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1983. He has an awesome approach to making something that looks really hard very accessible. He also gives you tons more scripture translation as you go along, and the book uses accents.

You can't say "It's all Greek to me" anymore! You'll need to find a replacement phrase!

Check your answers with the answer page.

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