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Prepositions

Synopsis Table Compound Verbs
Preposition & Pronoun Exercises Further examples

 

Synopsis

 

Prepositions belong with nouns. They show position and the direction of movement in relation to the accompanying noun as well as more general relationships and connections. The case of the noun indicates the place or connection and the preposition reinforces it.
In Greek some prepositions are followed by a noun in the accusative, which basically gives the sense of movement towards, the genitive movement from and the dative position.

 

So:
ei0j to_n potamo&n towards the river
a)po_ tou~ potamou~ away from the river
e0n tw~| potamw~| in the river

 

But prepositions can express other connections such as with, before, after, around, until, through, beyond, near, and concerning and take corresponding cases. Some change the meaning according to the case following.

 

Those with the accusative only:

 

a)na& up
ei0j into

 

Those with genitive only:
a)nti/ instead of
a!neu without
a)po& away from
e0k out of
e3neka on account of
me/xri until
metacu& between
plh&n except
pro& before

 

This is a table of prepositions with more than one case:
(the most common ones are highlighted)

 

1. with Accusative
(to a certain direction)
2. with Genitive
(from a certain direction)
3. with Dative
(in/at a place or time)
 

(movement)

(rest)

a)mfi/
e0pi/
para&
peri/
pro&j
u(po/
about, near
to, towards, against
near, contrary to
around, about, near
towards
under
about
on, at time of
away from
about, concerning
in front of
by (agency of)
about, on account of
at
beside, near
around
at
under, beneath
dia&
kata&
meta&
u(pe/r
on account of, through
according to
after
over, beyond
through
down from
with
on behalf of
 

 

Prepositions ending with a vowel (except peri/ and  pro&) drop it before a word beginning with a vowel. With a following rough breathing the consonant of the preposition adapts accordingly:

 

a)nti/, kata&, meta& > a)nq', kaq', meq'
a)po&, e0pi/, u(po& > a)f', e)f', u(f'
e0k before any vowel > e0c

A preposition may combine with a verb to form an obvious compound verb:

 

bai/nw I go
ei)sbai/nw I enter
e0kbai/nw I leave
prosbai/nw I approach
fe/rw I bring
ei0sfe/rw I bring in
e0kfe/rw I bring out
prosfe/rw

 

I bring to

 


The Preposition and the Pronoun

 

Examples:

 

pro_j e0me/  towards me
pro_j h(ma~j towards us
pro_j au)tou&j

 

towards them

 

meta_ se/  after you
meta_ tau~ta after this
met' e0kei/nouj

 

after them

 

met' e0mou~  with me
meq' h(mw~n with us
met' au)tou~ 

 

with him

 

di' e0me/  through me
dia_ tou~to because of this
dia_ th~j qala&sshj

 

over the sea

 

u(po_ sou~  by you
u(p' au)tw~n by them
u(f' h(mw~n

 

by us

 

 

 


8(i) Exercise:

Translate:

 

  met' e0mou
  met' au)tou&j
  met' au)tw~n
 
for her sake  
because of you  
towards you  
 
  a)f'  h(mw~n
  e0pi\ tou_j polemi/ouj
  e0f'  i3ppou

Now check your ANSWERS here.


Further Examples:

 

e0kei=noi oi9 nau~tai those sailors
au)toi\ oi9 nau~tai

 

the sailors themselves

 

the god himself au)to_j o( qeo&j
the goddess herself au)th_ h( qea&
the same goddess

 

h( au)th_ qea&

 

the form of the good

 

au)to_ to_ a)gaqo&n

 


 

oi9 au)toi\ poli/tai a)ei\ tau)ta\ le/gousin.

The same citizens always say the same things.

 

o#de o( a!ggeloj le/gei h(mi=n kaka&.
this messenger gives us bad news.

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