It all relates somehow (Greek:Prepositions)


Unlike most classes in seminary there is no “off” week in Greek. Everything builds upon the prior week and the pace of the class is very quick. One topic this week is the prepositional phrase. Like most topics this requires understanding the English so that a student can understand the Greek.

School House Rock never disappoints:

Here is the lyric which says it all:

Nine or ten of them
Do most all of the work
Of, on, to, with, in, from
By, for, at, over, across
And many others do their jobs,
Which is simply to connect
Their noun or pronoun object
To some other word in the sentence.

The prepositional phrase contains the preposition and the object of the preposition (a noun or pronoun).

into the house

This phrase contains the preposition “into” and “house” functions as the object of the preposition.

In Greek this would be:

εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν

There are two keys to the Greek preposition:

  • the meaning of the preposition depends on the case of the prepositional object
  • the preposition is not inflected

In the phrase above the word for house (οἰκία) is in the accusative case and the preposition (εἰς) means in, into with the accusative case. Actually in this case the preposition only takes an accusative case.

A more interesting example would be using a preposition that takes different cases.

παρά τὴν οἰκίαν

Here the preposition (παρά) with a noun in the accusative case means “alongside the house”.

However if it was written like this (with house in the genitive case)

παρά τὴς οἰκίας

it means “from the house”. Notice that in these last two examples the prepositional object (house) changed cases but the preposition did not. However, how the preposition was translated depended on the case of the noun.

This worksheet can be used to practice learning the pronouns (at least those covered in BBG2 chapters 1-8).

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