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Getting started on ancient Greek
Getting started on ancient Greek

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1 Subject and object: recap

Before introducing complements, let us review subjects and objects.

Activity 1 Complete the sentence

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Which word or phrase could complete the following sentence?

ἡ Ἀφροδίτη φιλεῖ __________

  • Vocabulary
  • Ἀφροδίτη, -ης, ἡ      Aphrodite
  • φιλεῖ            loves (from φιλέω, I love)
  • κόρη, -ης, ἡ        girl
  • Ξάνθιππος, -ου, ὁ   Xanthippos

a. 

τὴν κόρην


b. 

ἡ κόρη


c. 

τὸν Ξανθίππον


d. 

[a noun in the accusative case]


e. 

[a noun in the nominative case]


The correct answers are a, c and d.

Discussion

The sentence starts with a noun in the nominative case, ἡ Ἀφροδίτη. The nominative case ending shows that Aphrodite is the subject. The sentence continues with a verb (φιλεῖ), showing what Aphrodite is doing. The meaning of the verb prompts a question: ‘who or what does Aphrodite love?’, which raises the expectation of an object. A noun in the accusative case would satisfy this expectation and complete the sentence.