Greek nouns come in three main declensions:

  • The first declension is mainly feminine nouns with some variation in the singular
  • The second declension is mainly masculine nouns with the few feminine ones declining in exactly the same way
  • The third declension comprises of many other nouns with a large amount of variation

First Declension[edit | edit source]

First declension nouns have two possible sets of singular endings:

nom: η  or  α      (adds ς if masculine)
acc: ην     αν
gen: ης     ας     (changes to ου if masculine)
dat: ῃ      ᾳ
  • The endings can be mixed so that nouns such as θαλασσα (sea) have the endings α αν ης ῃ in the singular

Whilst in the plural, all First Declension nouns follow the same pattern

nom: αι
acc: ας
gen: ων
dat: αις
  • Note that the genitive plural ending is the same for all nouns

Second Declension[edit | edit source]

The second declension has two possible sets of endings, one for the masc. and fem. and one for the neuter nouns.

  nom: oς   or for neuter nouns  oν
S acc: oν                        oν
  gen: ου                        ου
  dat: ῳ                         ῳ
  nom: oι   or for neuter nouns  α
P acc: ους                       α
  gen: ων                        ων
  dat: oις                       oις
  • Second declension feminine nouns are exactly the same as their masculine counterparts, the way to identify them is by looking at the gender of the article used

Third Declension[edit | edit source]

The third declension, nicknamed the Dustbin Declension, contains many varied and irregular nouns however a general pattern can be observed:

  nom: (wide range of possibilities)
S acc: α                        if neuter, the accusative is the same as the nominative
  gen: oς                        
  dat: ι                         
  
  nom: ες  or for neuter nouns  α
P acc: ας                       α
  gen: ων                       ων
  dat: σι                       σι
  • The nominative may have a different stem to the other forms, i.e. ὀ γιγας (giant) has the stem γιγαντ-

Categories:Greek

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