Chapter Three in Duff introduces the more common reason for two more cases in Greek, the genitive and the dative.
The genitive most commonly shows possession. The person or thing which is the owner is put in the genitive case. When you see a genitive, you can provisionally think of it as of [noun] – eg
- ἄγγελου – of a messenger
- ἄνθρωπου – of a person
English retains the remnants of a genitive case, showing it with –’s. E.g. The teacher’s book = the book of the teacher – the teacher is the owner, therefore in the genitive case.
What words and phrases in these sentences could be shown by a single word in the genitive in Greek?
|This is the daughter of the messenger.||The son of the master is my friend.|
|I am texting my colleague’s friend.||I went to see the puppies of my neighbour’s dog.|
The dative case most commonly shows to or for - the indirect object. For instance, in the sentence, I gave an apple to the teacher, Greek can express to the teacher simply by putting the word for teacher into the dative case. In the sentence, I did it all for her, Greek could express for her by putting the word for her into the dative case. The dative in this sense shows who benefits by the action.
- δούλῳ – to or for a slave
- ἀδελφῷ – to or for a brother
You decide which meaning (to or for) is most appropriate by looking at the context as a whole: context is extremely important for meaning in language.
Which words or phrases in the following sentences could be expressed in Greek by a single word in the dative?
|I’m sending a text to my sister.||I gave ten pounds to my brother.|
|I announced the good news to them.||The message I sent him got a bit muddled.|
You now know (almost) the full paradigm for λόγος, together with the masculine form of the definite article. You should learn to recite the patterns by heart.