New Testament Greek Syntax

Grammatical Notes

Absolute. A noun, verb, participle .... standing alone in a sentence.

    Genitive absolute. Formed by a genitive noun or pronoun + a genitive participle.

    Nominative absolute Formed by an independent substantive.

Abstract Nouns: In Greek they often carry an article which is not translated into English:

hJ doxa kai hJ sofia

"Glory and wisdom", not "the glory and the wisdom."

Accusative: The undefined / default case for the New Testament

Adverbial uses of the accusative:

i] Manner.

ii] Measure - "for the extent of ..."; of time, "for the duration of ..."

iii] Reference / respect - "with respect to ..."

Adjective: Primarily serves to limit a noun:

Attributive: limits by modifying the noun.

Predicate; Limits by asserting something about the noun.

First position - adj. + art. + noun

Second position - art. + noun + adj.

Lead position determines emphasis.

Adjectivizer. The use of an article with a phrase or clause to make it an adjectival phrase or clause in order to modify / limit a noun, or substantive infinitive or participle.

Adnominal. Something related to a noun.

Advancement. Where a dative indirect object takes the place of an accusative direct object and adopts the accusative case.

Adversative. Expressing opposition, or at least a contrast, "but", "rather than"

alla is the most common adversative; Note:

i] An accessory idea for "an additional point in an emphatic way", BDF 448.6; "furthermore / not only that, but .."

ii] It may introduce the apodosis of a conditional clause to emphasize the "then" clause.

iii] With ge for emphasis

iv] After a negative "rather, on the contrary"

v] ou / ouc ...... alla .. "not ...... but ...." Used as a strong adversative in a counterpoint construction.

de may also function as an adversative / contrastive, but primarily it is transitional, a marker of narrative transition, indicating a step in the argument, narrative or dialogue, ie., a paragraph marker. Sometimes translated "Now ...." Other usages include:

i] Coordinative: "and"

ii] Copulative: "having the force of concluding something", Betz.

iii] Epexegetic: introducing an explanation or parenthesis; "that is ....."

iv] Inferential: "then ...", although usually not translated when introducing a new literary unit.

v] Emphatic: de kai

mallon de. "but rather" - Introducing an alternative that is preferred.

nun de. Adversative statement of fact, "but now in fact ....."

palin, "again", on rare occasion serves as an adversative / contrastive, "nevertheless", "on the other hand."

Agent. The person or thing performing the action

Anacoluthon. A broken or irregular syntactical construction where the author looses track of the syntax.

Anaphoric. Particularly of an article or demonstrative pronoun referring back. cf. 2Cor.5:4

      in THIS tent

      en tw/ skhnei

Anarthrous. Without an article

Antecedent. A word (the previous referent) referred to later in the sentence

Aorist. A verb with punctiliar action, having perfective verbal aspect:

    i] Constative = the point of action;

    ii] Ingressive = the point at which the action begins

    iii] Culminative = the point at which the action ends

    iv] Gnomic = expressing a universal truth

    v] Epistolary = the action is expressed in the time-frame of the reader.

    vi] Dramatic = used to express dramatic effect

    vii] Futuristic = an action in the future that is certain to occur = a prophetic perfect - a prophetic idea that a future event is already realized with God

Apodosis. The "then" clause that corresponds to the "if" clause, the protasis, in a conditional sentence.

Aposiopesis. A conditional clause / sentence which omits the apodosis.

Apposition. Two nouns, side by side, where the second further defines the first. Usually in the same case, sometimes the second is genitive.

Articular. With an article

Ascensive. Climactic.

Aspect. Verbal aspect defines the action of the verb:

    Perfective where the action is viewed by the author as a whole, complete - aorist tense

    Imperfective where the action is viewed by the author as in progress, unfolding developing - present, imperfect tense

    Stative where the action is viewed by the author as a complex state of affairs, eg., past action extending into the present - perfect, pluperfect tense (Campbell, Verbal Aspect, classifies it as a prominent imperfective)

Asyndeton. The omission of a conjunction, both coordinating or adversative, where it would have been grammatically correct to have had one.

Attraction. The case of a relative pronoun that has improperly taken on the case of (has been "attracted" to) its antecedent or predicate

a man whom we appointed

en andri wJ/ (oJn) wJrisen

Where the relative pronoun and its antecedent is governed by the same preposition (eg., en), the preposition is omitted in the relative clause, cf., Matt.24:50. This looks like attraction, but isn't.

Attributive adjective. One that directly modifies a substantive, as opposed to a predicative adjective which modifies a substantive indirectly.

A repeated article marks the attributive position

hJ pistiV uJmwn hJ proV ton qeon

your faith toward God

Augment. The prefix e

Brachylogy. An overly concise expression

Canon of Apollonius. With two nouns, where one is depending on the other, either both have an article or both lack it. This rule is not always evident in the NT especially when the first noun follows a preposition.

in the Spirit of God

en tw/ pneumati tou qeou

Casus Pendens. (Hanging case). Referring to a noun phrase standing outside a clause and replaced in the clause by a resumptive pronoun.

eg. "The God of the Hebrews, HE has created the world."

Catachresis. A word or phrase that is alien to the context

      put to death therefore, [your] LIMBS on the earth = whatever in you is earthly, NRSV

      nekrwsate oun ta melh ta epi thV ghV

Cataphoric. Particularly of a demonstrative pronoun pointing forward

"In THIS is love, namely that ...."

Causal. A clause expressing cause, causative; "because, so ...."

Prepositions sometimes expressing cause: apo, dia + acc., eiV (rare), ek, en, epi

gar is primarily causal, answering the question "Why?", but sometimes it is:

i] Explanatory, answering the question "How?", providing a reason, "FOR ....."

ii] Emphatic: emphasizing a point: just gar by itself, or kai gar, "and indeed / indeed"

iii] Transitional; a stitching device, connective, resumptive.

iv] Inferential: establishing a logical connection.

v] Conclusive: Used in questions, "what THEN I pray ..."

vi] Ground / Basis: "on the ground that ...."

oJti is also primarily causal, often used to introduce an adverbial clause of cause / reason, but it also has other functions:

i] Introducing an object clause / dependent statement in place of an accusative infinitive construction

ii] Epexegetic: serving to introduce a explanatory clause in place of iJna + subj.

iii] Interrogative: ti oJti, "what is that?" After 2nd. person verbs.

Why did you go up to Jerusalem?

dia ti, "because why? / why?" - A causal interrogative.

Causative. A verb expressing cause

Chiasmus. A Chiastic construction is one where the word order is inverted. Possibly Semitic in origin. eg Matt.9:17.

Colwell's Rule.

Definite predicate nouns that follow the verb usually take the article.

Definite predicate nouns that precede the verb usually lack the article.

Comparative. A clause expressing comparison

An adversative comparative construction: men ......... de ..... "on the one hand ........ but on the other hand ......." The construction separates one thought from another in a series, without emphasizing contrast, BAGD 504.1c.

wJV will often introduce a comparative clause, "like, as, even as, as if, as it were, similar to that of", but has other functions

i] Adverbial:

Modal, introducing an adverbial clause of manner; "in the manner of, is that of"

Temporal; "while"

Causal: Used instead of oJti or epei; "because"

Consecutive: "so that"

Final: "in order that"

ii] Like eJwV, used to introduce a dependent statement. Used instead of oJti.

iii] Used with numerals to express approximation, "about"

iv] Exclamation. "How!"

v] Used with a participle to express "with the assertion that, on the pretext that, with the thought that", cf., BDF 425[3]

vi] Introducing a concrete example: wJV Sarra, "Sarah, for example."

vii] Indicating a characteristic quality or standard, "exactly as / in accordance with":

Why am I still considered wJV, "AS", a sinner (not LIKE a sinner)

Why am I still considered a sinner

ie., used instead of the Hebrew predicate accusative.

kaqwV will often introduce a comparative clause, "as, just as, evan as", but has other functions

i] Used to establish basis, cause, reason, cf., BDF 236

ii] As a loose connective. Sometimes used this way in Paul's letters.

iii] Used to introduce a conditional clause

iv] Indicating a characteristic quality, or standard, "exactly as / in accordance with"

v] Temporal (rare)

ouJtwV can make a comparison with what precedes, "in the same way";

kaqaper ..... ouJtwV ...., "just as ....... so ......"

It's other syntactical functions are mostly adverbial:

i] As an absolute; "simply, without further ado."

ii] Manner; "for in this way."

iii] Referring to what follows, "thus" (not in the sense of "therefore")

ouJtwV ...... wJV ...

"thus ....... as ...."

iv] Interrogative; "How?"

v] Degree; "an earthquake SO great"

mallon can serve as a comparative, "rather than", but has other functions as well:

i] Intensive / elative, "by all means, certainly"

ii] Adversative, "instead, preferably"

Complement. A word or phrase that adds to the sense of another word in the sentence - see Object Complement.

A word or phrase used after a verb to complete predication.

Conative. Action that is attempted

Concessive. Concedes a point. "although", "though"

kaiper, "although", is always followed by a participle.

Concomitant. An action occurring at the same time

Concord. Where words in a sentence agree in number etc.

Conditional. A clause expressing a supposition

ei (also an, ean) usually indicates a conditional clause, but it has other functions:

i] Adverbial: Introducing an indefinite clause.

ii] Interrogative: Introducing a noun clause, direct or indirect question.

iii] Used to form particular constructions

ei de mhge, ei de mh, ei mh Hypothetical result, "but if indeed not - otherwise"

ei + ind., + ou/ouk, BDF 428i. Introducing a rhetorical question expecting a negative answer

ei mh "except". Introducing an exceptive clause expressing a contrast by designating an exception

After a negative joined to a noun it may just be adversative, "but"

eiper, ei Adverbial:

Concessive "although ..... yet ..."

Causal "since .... then ..."


ei kai Introducing a concessive clause.

epei "for otherwise". Forming a condensed elliptical protasis for a conditional clause.

As a question epei ..... ti = "given ......... why ...."

Sometimes causal or temporal.

ei ara Used instead of oJti to introduce an object clause / dependent statement of doubtful expectation

ei kai Used to express concessive force, "although ..... yet ...."

Conditional clause. Made up of an "if" clause, the protasis, and a "then" clause, the apodosis:

i] 1st. class = the condition is assumed to be a reality:

ei + ind. in the protasis; "if, as is the case, ..... then ...."

ii] 2nd. class = the condition is assumed to be contrary to fact:

ei + past tense ind. in the protasis and a[n + past tense ind. in the apodosis; "if, as is not the case, ..... then ....."

iii] 3rd. class = the condition is assumed to be a future possibility:

ean or a[n + subj. in the protasis; "if, as may be the case, ..... then ......"

iv] 4th. class = the condition is assumed to be a remote future possibility:

ei + opt. in the protasis, and a[n + opt. in the apodosis; "if, as should possibly happen to be the case, .... then ....."

In the NT only incomplete examples exist.

ei kai or ean kai, "if even", gives a conditional clause concessive force: "although .......... yet ......"

ean mh + subj. - Introducing a subordinate clause of negated condition.

oJtan + imperf. is used in a temporal conditional clause, but sometimes only an or ean + subj. is used for a temporal conditional clause.

ei + ind. without the apodosis / "then" clause = an unfulfilled condition. "That which is anticipated by the "if" clause is expressed as a hope, desire, even purpose", Burton. cf., Rom.11:14.

Connective. Used to join together two words, phrases, clauses, sentences, eg. de, kai, gar

te is often used to join two clauses in a close relationship

te ..... te. "as .... so", "not only .... but also"

te kai. "and" - a close connection of concepts; "both Jews and Greeks."

Constructio ad sensum. Where a clause etc. follows good sense rather than good grammar.

Content Clause. See Object Clause.

Contrastive. Establishing a contrast or comparison. eg.

de sometimes introduces a contrastive clause, at other times adversative, or simply connective.

Coordinative. Two clauses of similar weight, joined by a coordinating conjunction

kai is the most common coordinative conjunction, but it can have a range of other functions:

i] Adjunctive: "also"

ii] Ascensive: "even"

iii] Adversative, contrastive: "but"

iv] Concessive, "and yet"

v] Emphatic; "indeed, in fact"

vi] Epexegetic: explaining, specifying, "that is, namely"

vii] Transitional: indicating a step in the argument, or narrative (used instead of de)

viii] Final: wJste kai = "so then"

ix] Consecutive, often after an imperative: "so that, with the result that, and as a consequence"

x] Additive. Introducing a clause which provides more information.

xi] Inferential: establishing a logical connection, "and so."

xii] Sequential: introducing an important point, or concluding an argument; "and so"

kai nun. "And now"

te ..... kai .... Forming a coordinate series.

Copulative. An intensive verb that connects the subject and the predicate.

      The main linking verbs

      eimi, ginomai, uJparcw, kalew

Correlative. Words, phrases and clauses that correspond to each other. Correlative constructions:

kai ... kai .., "both ..... and ....."

eite ..... eite ...., "either ...... or ....."

oute ...... oute .... "neither ..... nor ....." A negated correlative construction.

kaqwV ....... ouJtwV, "just as ........ so also ......."

Crasis. The joining of two words with the loss of a vowel from the first

      kai + moi = kamoi

Dative: The case of personal interest indicating advantage or disadvantage: see The Dative Case.

Note: the dative of that which is followed: pro. = "which you have followed"

Dative of direct object: Normally the direct object stands in the accusative case, but some verbs, particularly verbs with a prepositional prefix, eg., sun, will take a dative.

Dative complement: Some nouns, adjectives or pronouns, take a dative complement, eg.,

oJmoiV, "like, similar", although sometimes classified as a dative of the thing compared.

tini eisin oJmoioi;

"they are like WHAT?" = "what are they like?"

gar is usually followed by an accusative, but in Matthew it often takes a dative personal pronoun.

Deliberative. Asks a question

Dependent statement. An object clause of direct or indirect speech, or perception, expressing the content of what was said, seen or thought of a verb of saying, or thinking. Such a clause is formed by oJti + ind., iJna + subj., oJpwV + subj., rarely an optative verb, but commonly an infinitive. A participle may also be used to form a dependent statement of perception. See The Infinitive, Dependent Statements [vi].

oida + inf. Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing manner rather than content, so Robinson; so not "know THAT", but "know HOW."

Deponent verb. Defined by older Grammars as verbs that have only middle / passive ending, but are active in meaning. This definition is no longer widely held; see Middle Voice

Disjunctive. Indicating a choice between two mutually exclusive possibilities.

h[, "or", primarily serves as a disjunctive, but can also indicate a comparison.

Double Accusative Construction: A clause where the verb takes an accusative direct object + an accusative complement

There are two forms:

i] Person and thing: both objects limit the verb and are unrelated to each other:

"I will teach you (accusative direct object of didaxai) all things (accusative complement)

ii] Primary and secondary: both objects are related, with the secondary / predicate object standing in apposition to the primary object, ie., the secondary object predicates something about the primary object.

The secondary object may be a noun, an adjective, an infinitive, or a participle

Sometimes wJV is supplied, but translated anyway with "as, to be, that is, namely"

If you have me (accusative direct object of ecw) a partner (accusative complement)

It you consider me as a partner.

Dialogue. In a dialogue between two parties, the dialogue shift is often indicated by the use of de

Ecbatic. Expressing result.

Elative superlative. The absolute use of the superlative where there is no comparison

      very/extremely small


Elision. The dropping of the final vowel of a word. Identified by an apostrophe.


      di'... dia

Ellipsis. The omission of words from a sentence that are significant, but can still be determined from the context.

      the [LETTER] from laodicea

      thn ek LaodikeiaV

Emphatic. Emphasizing a point

Usually achieved by the placement of the word at the beginning of a sentence or by the use of an unnecessary personal pronoun

Epexegetic. Explanatory, explaining the meaning of - reason rather than cause

Epidiorthosis. A correction of a previous statement or impression

Epistolary plural. A singular writer refers to himself using a plural number

Final / Telic. Expressing purpose - an intended result

iJna + subj. commonly introduces a purpose clause expressing end-view, sometimes result, or hypothetical result.

mhpote +subj. expresses negated purpose, hesitation, a hoped for outcome; "lest, perhaps."

wJste can be used to introduce a final clause expressing purpose, but can also be:

i] Consecutive, expressing result.

ii] Inferential, when used at the beginning of a new sentence.

A future tense can sometimes express purpose, so Moule.

Future tense. Action in the future relative to the writer:

    i] Predictive. The action will take place, either:

progressively (linear), repeatedly (iterative), or in a single action (punctiliar).

    ii] Imperatival. Used for a command

    iii] Deliberative. Asking a question or implying doubt.

    iv] Gnomic. Referring to an action that will always happen within certain parameters.

Generalizing plural. A plural used for a singular example of the same.


      oiJ zhtounteV

Generic singular. A singular noun that refers to multiple examples of the same

Gnomic. Expressing a general truth.

Granville Sharp's Rule (modified). Where there are two coordinated nouns, the repetition of the article distinguishes them, while a single article associates them.

Hapax Legomenon. A once only use in the New Testament

Hendiadys. A single idea expressed through two separate words joined by "and", kai:

      rejoicing and seeing = rejoice to see

      cairwn kai blepwn

Historic / Narrative Present Tense: A present tense verb which is logically translated in English into the past tense. They are mainly found in the Gospels (not many in Luke) and the Revelation. Most introduce speech, and some 25% introduce verbs of motion. They seem primarily to function as paragraph markers; indicating a step in the narrative. The default tense in narrative is aorist, with the present tense indicating a change in speaker, a new scene, etc., ie., they indicate narrative transition. The particle de (or oun in John's gospel) can perform a similar function.

Hortatory. An exhortation

      eg. a subjunctive, or afeV + subj. = "Let us ....."

Hyperbaton. An inversion of the normal word order. Often where the subject or object of a subordinate clause is displaced such that it becomes the subject or object of another clause, usually, the main clause.

Hysteron-proteron. "Last first". The reversal of a natural order to give emphasis to the first item.

threi kai metanohson

"hold fast (keep) and repent."

The natural order would be "repent" and then "hold fast."

Imperfect tense. Expressing linear action, usually in the past, a past/remote process, in indicative mood only:

    i] Descriptive. Progressive action that took place at some point of time in the past.

    ii] Durative. Progressive action that took place over a long period of time, but is now complete.

    iii] Iterative. Repeated action in the past, "they used to do ...."

    iv] Tendential. Unrealized attempted action.

    v] Voluntative. A desire to attempt a certain action

        I could wish that I myself were present with you right now

        hqelon pareinai proV uJmaV arti

Imperative. A command or instruction. Normally expressed by an imperative verb:

Perfective aspect (aor. imperative) urges activity as a whole action

Imperfective aspect (pres., imperf. imperative) urges activity as an ongoing progress

Some linguists still argue that:

A perfective imperative prohibits the commencement of activity

An imperfective imperative prohibits action in progress

Future imperative: A future indicative is often used as an emphatic command

ou mh + fut. = "he must never .....", cf., Burton.

It is very easy to mistakenly ascribe a future imperative

ouk ep artw monw zhsetai oJ anqrwpoV

not by bread alone will man live

Man shall not live by bread alone, AV. (as an imperative)

Man does not live by bread alone, NET. (as a statement - more in line with Deut.8:3.)

Imperfective. The verbal aspect of action in progress, usually represented by the present and imperfect tense.

Inceptive. Denoting the beginning of an action; "began to".

Indefinite. Not referring to a specific person or thing

ti will often introduce an indefinite expression, "a certain one, anyone" / "any, anything."

an, or ean, is often used to shape an indefinite expression, often + subj.

A relative pronoun + an, or ean; "an independent relative clause which makes a general assertion or assumption", BDF 380.1

oJstiV, "whoever"

o}V an + ind., "whoever" - the an is an unnecessary addition.

o}V an, ean + subj. = "whoever / whosoever". Neut. "wherever / whenever"

oJsoi an + subj. = "whoever" - Used to form an indefinite relative clause (+ imperf. = durative action)

aiJtineV serves as an indefinite pronoun with some particular functions:

Simple: "who, what"

Generic: "whoever, whichever"

Qualitative: "the very one who, the very thing that"

kan = kai ean, "if only, even just"

oJpou an + subj., "wherever". Used to form an indefinite local adverbial clause.


oun is primarily inferential / sequential

Inferential: drawing a logical conclusion - "therefore, so";

Sequential: establishing a logical connection - "so, then, consequently, accordingly."

men oun, "so then ..."

Sometimes oun is:

i] Resumptive, transitional; "now ....". Common in John's gospel;

ii] Responsive: Especially after a verb of exhortation.

iii] Adversative; "however"

wJste is primarily inferential, "thus", but can also express:

i] Purpose - final, "in order that"

ii] Result - consecutive, "with the result that", hypothetical result, "so that".

iii] Comparison / likeness (wJV + te = "and so"), "likewise"

dia touto. Rather than causal, "because of this", the phrase is inferential, "therefore". See Discourse Grammar, Runge.

Ingressive. Expressing the beginning of an action

Intensive. Indicating that the word has a heightened force, emphatic

Interjection. An exclamation

Interrogative. A word or phrase used to ask a direct or indirect question.

Formed by an interrogative pronoun, eg. tiV posoV poiV

Formed by an interrogative adverb, eg. pote, e{wV o{pwV pwV o{pou poqen

pwV. Introducing a direct, indirect, or rhetorical question (+ subj. where deliberation is implied, ie., an unstated interrogative clause), but also:

i] Modal expressing manner, "somehow, in some way, perhaps", also eipwV, and mhpwV, "lest somehow"

ii] Exclamation

iii] Introducing an object clause / dependent statement expressing something ABOUT what is said.

mh or ara are used with a question expecting a negative answer

ou is used with a question expecting a positive answer

dia ti. Introducing a question asking the reason for an action; "why"

iJna ti. Introducing a question asking the purpose for an action.

Intransitive. A verb whose action ends with the subject and does not "go over" (transeo) to a direct object. It makes complete sense in itself. eg. "I run".

Iterative. Repeated or habitual action

Linear. Action that is continuous or durative

Litotes. (Meiosis) A negated understatement used to state the opposite

      a debate [of] no little [proportion] = a whopping big argument

      zhthsewV ouk olighV

Locative. Expressing location, place

Local. A clause expressing place, "where"

Metonym. The substitution of one term for another for which it is associated

Middle voice. Used when the subject is intimately affected by it's own action. Deponent verbs, such as decomai, were once viewed as middle in form, but active in meaning, but this is not how the Greeks viewed the action of such verbs. There are three ways to define the action of a middle verb: i] The subject is acting in relation to itself, or for itself, or by itself - ergazomai, "I work [for myself]", cf., 1Thess.2:9. ii] The subject is affected by the verbal action (see Rutger Allan) - ercomai "I go", the subject acts for itself. iii] The subject is internal to the verbal activity, eg., arguing, cf, Mark 9:33. So, middle form indicates middle function. In the middle voice there is an overlap of the active and the passive voice. It is like "the active voice in that the subject performs the action, but it is also like the passive in that the subject is affected by, or is the focus of the action", Sue Kmetko.

Modal. Expressing manner.

Modifier. A word or phrase that qualifies or restricts another word

Negations. With the indicative: ou - before a rough breathing ouc and before a smooth breathing ouk. With other moods: mh. "If ou denies the face, mh denies the idea", BAGD.

Neuter gender. The gender things.

Note that a neuter plural subject will often take a singular verb.

Nominalizer. The use of an article with a phrase or clause to make it a noun phrase or clause to serve as the subject or object of a verb. An article is similarly used to make an adjective or a participle a noun.

Object. A substantive that receives or is affected by the action of a verb.

Object / content clause. A noun clause standing as the object of a verb of saying, thinking, effecting, striving, caring, fearing; usually introduced by an infinitive, or iJna + subj., sometimes oJpwV + subj. or oJti. See Dependent Statements in the notes on The Infinitive.

Object Complement. The complement to the object in a sentence completes the verbal idea and so forms a double accusative construction, eg. "I named my son John." "John" is the complement of the direct object "son".

Parataxis. Placed side by side

Paronomasia. The placement of words together that sound alike

      that in everything always all = so that by always [having] enough [of everything]

      iJna en panti pantote pasan

Pendent Nominative. Similar to a Nominative Absolute, but, standing at the beginning of a sentence, it is taken up again in the sentence by a resumptive pronoun.

eg. "The one who overcomes, I will make HIM a pillar"

The pronoun takes on the syntax demanded of the sentence rather than that of the Pendent Nominative.

Perfect tense. Expressing a completed action that has abiding results:

    i] Intensive. Emphasizing the present results or state of a past action.

    ii] Extensive (Consummative). Emphasizing a past completed action from which has come abiding results.

    iii] Iterative. An extensive perfect where the past event was repeated.

    iv] Dramatic. The action is vividly portrayed in the present.

    v] Aoristic. Where resulted action is not present.

Periphrastic construction. A roundabout way of expressing a simple verbal idea, possibly used to emphasize verbal aspect - the verb to-be + a participle. On many occasions a participle will serve as a finite verb. Technically it should be classified as part of a periphrastic construction which is missing the verb to-be. See Participles.

Perfective. The verbal aspect of a completed action, mainly represented by the aorist tense. The verb may be weak or strong.

Periphrasis. A roundabout way of speaking

Permissive. A word or phrase that gives permission

Pleonasm. The use of a redundant word

Pluperfect tense. Expressing a past state which issued from a previous action.

    i] Intensive. Emphasizing the abiding results.

    ii] Extensive. Emphasis is placed on the completed action.

Polysyndton. The piling up of connectives for emphatic effect.

Postpositive. A word that never leads a clause or sentence, eg. "for", gar

Potential optative: Expressing a modest assertion; to tiV, "who .."

Predicate. The verb plus its complements or modifiers

Pregnant construction. A clause that carries an implied expression, eg. Lk.6:8

      Stand into the center = COME into the center and stand here

      sthqi eiV to meson

Present Tense. Expressing linear action, not necessarily in the present.

i] Descriptive / Progressive. Action taking place at the stated moment.

ii] Durative. Action commenced in the past and continuing into the present.

iii] Iterative. Repeated action.

iv] Tendential / Conative. Action being contemplated.

v] Gnomic. Action that always exists.

vi] Historical. Past action graphically described.

vii] Futuristic. Future action confidently expected.

viii] Aoristic. Undefined action.

ix] Perfective. Action in the present which commenced in the past.

Preterit. Expresses action that occurred in the past

Privative. A word with the prefix a serving to negate the word. Before a vowel = an

Proclitic. A word that has no accent of its own, eg:

      eiV, wJV, ou

Prodiorthosis. An anticipatory correction of an expression or impression.

      I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness

      ofelon aneicesqe mou mikron ti afrosunhV


mh + present imperative = stop an action already in progress

mh + aorist subjunctive = stop the beginning of an action

Proleptic. Where a future event is spoken of as having already occurred because of the certainty of its occurrence.

      lit. unless someone remains in me he WAS CAST OUT

      whoever does not abide in me will be thrown away.

      ean mh tiV menh/ en moi eblhqh

Pronoun: A word which stands for, or in the place of, or instead of a noun. It refers to either the participants in the discourse or to someone or something mentioned elsewhere in the discourse - personal, "he, she"; impersonal, "it"; indefinite, "who, whoever."

Note the personal pronoun autoV and the sense of the genitive by position:

tou stomatoV autou = "the mouth OF HIM" = "his mouth"

tou autou stomatoV = "the SAME mouth"

outou tou stomatoV = "the mouth ITSELF

Prospective. Pointing toward the future

Punctiliar. Instantaneous or momentary action

Purpose. See Final.

Questions. A question is indicated in the text by a semicolon, ;

Interrogatives will often introduce a question: tiV, ei, poioV, pote, pwV

The negation ou in a question implies an affirmative answer, "Yes".

The negation mh in a question implies a negative answer, "No".

The negation mh in a question may imply a cautious and tentative suggestion, "Maybe".

oJpwV This adverb of manner, "how", can sometimes be used to indicate an indirect question asking the manner in which the action may be played out, or + iJna to indicate the purpose of the request, but it also has other functions:

i] oJpwV + subj. , an oJpwV + subj. serving to introduce a purpose clauses.

ii] Used to introduce a dependent statement instead of an infinitive.

Recitative oJti. Used to introduce direct speech. Redundant and not translated

Reflective. Where the action of the subject comes back on itself

eJautouV "yourselves". But not it can be reciprocal, "one another"

Relative Pronoun. Used to relate one substantive to another

It is often attracted to the case of its antecedent although treated as retaining its own case function

The antecedent is often not expressed

o}V ouk estin kaq uJmwn

He WHO is not against you

A neuter relative pronoun is sometimes used in place of a masc/fem where it is obvious that it is not neuter

o} gar apeqanen th/ aJmartia/

for HE died to sin

Semantic density: Often associated with a genitive where a semitic influence promotes an adjectival, or ablative sense.

Semitism. A Greek linguistic feature that demonstrates a Hebrew or Aramaic influence

Solecism. A grammatical mistake

Stative. The verbal aspect of a previous action with repeated or ongoing action, usually represented by the perfect and pluperfect tenses. The verb may be weak or strong.

Subjunctive: The subjunctive is the mood of doubtful assertions

Subjunctive constructions:

Hortatory subjunctive: Used to urge, encourage, ... an action

Subjunctive of prohibition: Used to forbid an action

Deliberative subjunctive: Used to ask a question - interrogative

Subjunctive of emphatic negation: used to strongly negate an action; ou mh + subj.

The subjunctive is commonly used in a full range of adverbial clauses:

iJna + subj. = Purpose, or result, "in order that, so that", "with the result that"

an, ean + subj. = Condition

ean + subj. Concessive, "although"

oJpou an + subj = Indefinite local, "wherever"

eJwV, acri, ewV oJtou, ...... + subj. Indefinite temporal clause, "whenever"

Relative clauses

pronoun + subj.; "you SHOULD do ....."

Noun clauses, as a subject or object clause / dependent statement

iJna + subj.

mh + subj. after a verb of warning or fear, eg., "watch out", is not a subjunctive of prohibition, but a dependent statement of perception:

"watch out THAT no one leads you astray.

Subordination. Where one clause is subordinate to another. Often a hina clause

Substantive. A noun or anything that functions as a noun

A relative neuter pronoun is often used for an obvious substantive in a clause

Superlative. The third degree of comparison - positive, comparative and superlative.

Synecdoche. Designating the whole by reference to a part of the whole

      in the heart of you = in your HEART = in your WHOLE BEING

      en taiV kardiaiV uJmwn

Tautology. Repetition of words and ideas that adds nothing to the sense.

Telic. Expressing purpose.

Temporal. A clause expressing time, "when"

eJwV is a common temporal conjunction, preposition + gen, or adverb

In the NT it was beginning to replace oJti, cf., 1Thess.1:9 to introduce a dependent statement.

eJwV proV, "as far as / to the neighborhood of"

Theological Passive. A use of the passive voice when God is the implied agent.

Time: Time can sometimes be deduced from the use of a perfective (punctiliar - aorist tense), or imperfective (durative - present tense) tense, but is more likely to be expressed by a dative, accusative or genitive:

Dative = punctiliar, a point in time.

Accusative = a period of time.

Genitive = durative, ongoing time.

Transitional. The conjunction de is primarily used to indicate transition in an argument, narrative or dialogue / a step in the argument or narrative, ie., for the English reader it serves as a paragraph marker. Sometimes kai serves this function, especially in Revelation, as do temporal constructions such as meta tauta, "after these things." It seems likely that in the gospels the narrative / historic present tense serves to indicate narrative transition.

Transitive. A verb whose action does not end with the subject, but "goes over" to a direct object. It requires an object to make sense of it. eg, "I buy" = "I buy my vegetables".

Volitive Future. A future tense used to express a command. "You shall ....."

Voluntative. Expressing a wish or a prayer

Zeugma. Two nouns or clauses joined by a single verb that only suits one of them

      milk I gave you TO DRINK not solid food (can't drink solid food!)

      gala uJmaV epotisa ou brwma


A Syntax of New Testament Greek

[Pumpkin Cottage]