Lesson 12: Conjunctions, Relative Pronouns & Subordinate Sentences

In this lesson we will enter a new, exciting area of Greek language: we will learn how to join sentences and create more complex meaning, denoting purpose, doubt, conclusion, etc.

We will learn the special words (conjunctions and pronouns) that we must use in order to accomplish this, grouped according to their function/role, and we will practice in the formation of various complex phrases.

 

1. Conjunctions

Conjunctions are the non-declinable words that unite words or sentences.

In Greek, there are various types of conjunctions, depending on the function they fulfil:

a. Coordinating Conjunctions: they correlate words, phrases or senteces. As a general rule, these conjunctions join elements having equal relationships, i.e. objects to objects, qualitative adjectives to qualitative adjectives, principal sentence to principal sentence, etc.

The most usual coordinating conjunctions are:

και* (and),
ούτε (nor, neither)

ή (or),
είτε (or, either),

αλλά, μα, όμως (all three meaning but)
ωστόσο (nevertheless)
ενώ (whereas),
αν και (although)

* in front of a word beginning with a vowel, και can take the form of κι for euphony reasons (e.g. εκείνος κι εκείνος, έχω μία αδελφή κι έναν αδελφό)

 

b. Subordinating Conjunctions: This type is used to join a subordinate sentence to a principal one. There are various types of subordinating conjunctions, depending on the function they are supposed to fulfil:

  • Final: να (to), για να (in order to)
  • Causal: γιατί, διότι, επειδή (all three meaning because), αφού (since, now that)
  • Suppositive: εάν, αν, άμα (if)
  • Conclusive: άρα, λοιπόν, επομένως, ώστε (therefore)
  • Explanatory: δηλαδή (namely, that is)
  • “Specific”: ότι, πως (that)
  • Temporal: όταν (when), ενώ (while), αφού (after), καθώς (while), προτού (before), πριν / πριν να (before), μόλις (as soon as), ώσπου (until), ωσότου (until), όποτε (whenever, any time that)
  • Tentative: μη(ν), μήπως (lest)
  • Comparative: παρά (than)

 

2. Relative Pronouns

Relative pronouns introduce a subordinate sentence which refers to a particular word (usually a noun) of another (principal or subordinate) sentence. These are:

  • ο οποίος, η οποία, το οποίο (who, whose, whom, which)
  • όποιος, όποια, όποιο (whoever, …, whichever)
  • όσος, όση, όσο (as many/much as)
  • που (who, …, which)
  • ό,τι* (what, whatever)

*notice the comma which differentiates the relative pronoun ό,τι from the final conjunction ότι

The pronouns που and ό,τι are non-declinable.
The pronouns ο οποίος…, όποιος…, όσος… are declined normally as adjectives without a vocative case.
The pronouns όποιος…, όσος… can take on the suffix -δήποτε which enhances the value of -ever.
The non-declinable pronoun ό,τι can also take on the suffix -δήποτε, but in this case it loses the comma (οτιδήποτε)

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Exercise:

A. Translate the following sentences in Greek:

  1. I want you to help me.
  2. Whatever you see here is his.
  3. We go to the movie theater in order to watch a movie.
  4. I hear that Maria will be absent tomorrow.
  5. When she finishes her book, she will go to her mother’s house in order to eat.

Key to the exercise:

  1. Θέλω να με βοηθήσεις.
  2. Ό,τι βλέπεις εδώ είναι δικό του.
  3. Πηγαίνουμε στον κινηματογράφο για να δούμε μία ταινία.
  4. Ακούω ότι η Μαρία θα λείψει αύριο.
  5. Όταν τελειώσει το βιβλίο της, θα πάει στο σπίτι της μητέρας της για να φάει.
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One Response to Lesson 12: Conjunctions, Relative Pronouns & Subordinate Sentences

  1. Stavro says:

    Eleni: Is Greek On Line in book form also??? Or in a Nook version.This is a greaat instructional masterpiece.

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