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Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin
Discovering Ancient Greek and Latin

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7.4 Word order

You have seen the first difficulty in relying entirely upon a translation and a dictionary. Some English words are not represented by Greek words at all. Now consider a second problem, the difference in the order of words.

Activity 36

What do you notice about the position of the verb (in bold) when compared with English.

... ὃν τίκτει ποθ᾽ ἡ Κάδμου κόρη

... hon tiktei poth' hē Kadmou korē

... whom once the daughter of Kadmos bore.


The verb appears before the subject. This is result of the greater flexibility of Greek word order, in contrast to the more rigid order of English.