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The Adjective and Adverb

Adjective: Synopsis

kalo&j Dual Termination
polu&j and me/gaj Vocabulary Feminine in -a
[Adjectival Pronouns] Examples Reading
Exercises ******** ********

Adverb: Synopsis

Vocabulary a)gaqo&j
Negatives Examples Exercises






The Greek Adjective agrees with the noun it describes in


GENDER: masculine, feminine, or neuter
NUMBER: singular, plural or the rare dual
CASE: nominative, accusative, genitive or dative



Adjectives divide into two groups


(a) those like first and second declension nouns

(b) those like third declension nouns



In group (a):



kal-o&j (masculine) is declined like lo&g-oj word
kal-h& (feminine) is declined like a)rx-h& beginning
kal-o&n (neuter) is declined like e1rg-on deed


Following the pattern of 2nd declension nouns (for masculine and neuter) and 1st declension (for feminine)


the regular declension of kalo&j  -h&  -o&n


kalo&j kalh& kalo&n
kalo&n kalh&n kalo&n
kalou~ kalh~j kalou~
kalw~| kalh~| kalw~|
kaloi/ kalai/ kala&
kalou&j kala&j kala&
kalw~n kalw~n kalw~n
kaloi=j kalai=j kaloi=j



In the feminine singular,
those with the stem ending in a consonant decline in -h like a)rxh&
those with the stem ending in a vowel or -r decline in -a like xw&ra


i.e. kal-o&j beautiful kal-h& kal-o&n
a)ndrei=-oj brave a)ndrei=-a a)ndrei=-on
ai0sxr-o&j ugly ai0sxr-a& ai0sxr-o&n




4. A few adjectives (adjectives of two terminations) have no feminine form distinct from the masculine:


e.g. qeo_j a)qa&natoj deathless god
yuxh_ a)qa&natoj


deathless soul


Most of these are adjectives where the basic meaning is negated by an initial a)-


(a)n- before a vowel)

e.g. dunato&j -h& -o&n possible a)du&natoj -on impossible
a!cioj -a -on worthy a)na&cioj -on unworthy



5. a) Two contracted adjectives follow the pattern of the noun nou~j

(i.e. nou~j, nou~n, nou~, nw~| )

a)rgurou~j -a~ -ou~n silver
xrusou~j -a~ -ou~n golden


b) polu&j much, many and me/gaj great have the short forms pol-, me/g-
in the nominative and accusative singular of the masculine and neuter


All other cases of polu&j and me/gaj are declined regularly on the long stems:
  • poll-
  • mega&l-
polu&j pollh& polu&
polu&n pollh&n polu&
pollou~ pollh~j pollou~
pollw~| pollh~| pollw~|
*** polloi/ pollai/ polla&
me/gaj mega&lh me/ga
me/gan mega&lhn me/ga
mega&lou mega&lhj mega&lou
mega&lw| mega&lw| mega&lw|
*** mega&loi mega&loi mega&la


*** The plural endings continue as with:
  • kaloi/   -ai/   -a/ 



The Adjective: Vocabulary


kalo&j kalh&  kalo&n beautiful, fine






good, brave


Of the same pattern are:
i9kano&j sufficient
kaino&j new
kako&j bad, base
o)rqo&j right, straight
pisto&j reliable
r(a|&qumoj lazy





Feminine in -a after a stem ending in a vowel:








brave (from stem a)ndr- masculine)


Of the same pattern are:


a0rxai=oj old   (from stem a)rxh&- beginning)
dikai=oj just
qei=oj divine
me/trioj moderate
ne/oj new, young
o(moi=oj similar (to)
o#sioj holy
plou&sioj wealthy
r(a|&dioj easy

Feminine in -a after a stem ending in -r:


ai0sxro&j ai0sxra&  ai0sxro&n ugly, shameful (opp. of kalo&j)





top (of)

e)leu&qeroj free
e)xqro&j hostile
i)sxuro&j strong
makro&j long, large (cf. the contrast macrocosm / microcosm)
mikro&j short, little

Note also:


e3kastoj each, every
o)li/goj small
o)li/goi few
prw~toj first


Adjectives of two terminations (masc. / fem. and neut.):


a!dik-oj -on unjust
a)du&natoj -on impossible
a)qa&natoj -on immortal
fro&nimoj -on thoughtful
w)feli/moj -on useful




The following are used as adjectives or pronouns:
  • the neuter ends in -o  (not -on)
a!lloj a!llh a!llo another


These also have the article (o(, h(, to& ) before a following noun:


au)to&j au)th&  au)to&  self, same,
  • (also for him, her, it, them)
ou{toj au#th tou~to this
  • (man / woman / thing)
e0kei=noj e0kei/nh e0kei=no that
  • (man / woman / thing)


The Adjective: Examples


o( pisto_j dou~loj the reliable slave
i9kanh_ xw&ra sufficient land
to_ xalepo_n e1rgon the difficult task


o( dikai=oj krith&j the just judge
h( a)ndrei/a  0Antigo&nh brave Antigone
to_ qei=on dw~ron the divine gift


e9ka&sth (h( ) h(me/ra each day
oi9 o)li/goi kai\ oi9 polloi/  the few and the many
(esp. as the upper and lower classes)
oi9 prw~toi a!nqrwpoi the first humans


Zeu_j a!lloi te qeoi/  Zeus and the other gods
a!llo kai\ a!llo one thing after another
kai\ ta_ a!lla  (ta}lla) and the rest (cf. Latin et cetera)


au#th h( qea&  this goddess
e0kei=noj o( nau&thj that sailor


au)to_j o( strathgo&j the general himself
o( strathgo_j au)to&j

o( au)to_j strathgo&j


the same general

tau)ta&  (= ta_ au)ta_ ) the same things


a)qa&natoj h( yuxh&  immortal (is) the soul


o)li/goi oi9 sofoi/  few the wise


a)ndrei=oi oi9 stratiw~tai brave (are) the soldiers


makra_ me\n h( te/xnh, mikro_j de\ o( bi/oj
long is the art (of medicine), but short is life
(cf. Latin ars longa, vita brevis)


The Adjective: Reading


me/ga bibli/on, me/ga kako&n.

A big book is a big, bad thing.



kako_n fe/rousi karpo_n oi9 kakoi\ fi/loi.

Bad friends bear bad fruit.



dw~ron o)li/gon te fi/lon te.

A gift small but with love.



kai\ ei]don ou)rano_n kaino_n kai\ gh~n kainh&n,

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth,

o( ga_r prw~toj ou)rano_j kai\ h( prw&th gh~ parh~lqe,

for the first heaven and the first earth passed away,

kai\ h( qa&lassa ou)k e1stin e1ti.

and the sea is there no longer.

Rev. 21. 1-2.


The Adjective: Exercises


Give the dative singular and plural of:


dative singular dative plural
o( sofo_j i0atro&j  
h( kalh_ qea&   
o( dikai=oj krith&j  
o( strathgo_j o( a)ndrei=oj  
polu_j po&noj  
to_ me/ga dw~ron  

Now check your ANSWERS here.





We are going into the beautiful house.
Few run away from the evil war.
Many slaves work in the big fields.

Now check your ANSWERS here.



The Adverb




An adjective belongs with a noun, describes it and agrees with it in gender, number and case:


o( sofo_j krith&j

the wise judge

th~j kalh~j qea~j

of the beautiful goddess



An adverb belongs with a verb, says how or when it takes place, and never changes.
An adverb can be formed from a corresponding adjective of the first form by changing
  • -oj to -wj,

comparable in English to adding -ly to the adjective:



o( krith&j kri/nei sofw~j.

The judge judges wisely.

h( qea_ a!|dei kalw~j. The goddess sings beautifully.


The Adverb: Vocabulary


a)ndrei=oj brave a)ndrei/wj bravely
ai1sxroj shameful ai1sxrwj shamefully
r(a|&dioj easy r(a|di/wj easily


The exception (also an exception in English) is:






(= in a good way)


o( a)gaqo_j dou~loj ponei= eu}.


the good slave works well.


From this adverb linked with good are derived such English words as:


euphony from eu} fwnh& : good sound
eulogy from eu} lo&goj : spoken well of
eugenics from eu} ge/noj  : good family



Common adverbs with no corresponding adjective:


a)ei/ (or ai0ei/ ) always e1ti still, further
h!dh already nu~n now
pa&lai long ago to&te then
i1swj perhaps math&n in vain
o#mwj nonetheless ou#twj in this way

Negative adverbs:


ou)de/n not at all
ou)ke/ti no longer
ou)de/pote never
ou)damw~j in no way




The Adverb: Example


bai/nousin a)ndrei/wj ei0j ki/ndunon.

They go bravely into danger.

6(iii) Exercise:



froni/mwj le/gei o( Swkra&thj.



o( i0sxuro_j dou~loj r(adi/wj fe/rei to_ a!rotron.



ou{toj o( strathgo_j ou)de/pote a)di/kwj pe/mpei tou_j poli/taj ei0j po&lemon.



eu} ponei=n a)ei\ a!meinon e0sti\n h@ ploutei=n kakw~j.



Now check your ANSWERS here.


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