Lesson 8 — Alpha With Angela (Video #2)

Let's do another one of the delightful videos that Angela Taylor has produced.  In this lesson, she introduces the masculine and feminine definite article.  You have already seen both of these in print.  Now is your chance to being recognizing them by ear.


Click here to go to the video now.

A Head's-Up on the Video

Here is one Greek word you will hear a lot in the video: 


Bob's Exploration of Sentence Analysis → Sentence Diagramming

I have a vague memory from back in the 1960s of an English class where we diagrammed English sentences, to understand how all the pieces worked together.

However, since we all had a pretty sound intuitive grasp of the English language, trying to diagram sentences was a waste of time as far as learning was concerned.  The diagrams told us nothing more about meaning than what we already knew.

The situation is different with Greek.  It is not our native language...and teasing out the difference between the subject and the predicate of the sentence is something we have to apply ourselves to.

I am reading some material that suggests that sentence diagramming might be helpful to us all.  I am going to let you look over my shoulder as I try to figure out the mechanics of diagramming, and (eventually) to decide if it is worthwhile doing this.

Subject and Predicate

The kernel of every sentence is made up of a:

So the core of our diagram will always be:

The simplest sentence in the NT would be John 11:35 — ἐδάκρυσεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς Jesus wept.

The subject is a noun, and the predicate is simply a verb with nothing else.  So we can modify our diagram to be:

But since we are learning Greek, we need to do this in Greek.  And since we are thinking about grammar, we won't worry about preserving the Greek word order.


Subject, Verb, and Direct Object

Most often, there is more to the predicate than just a verb. There is often a direct object.  We will put the direct object on the predicate-side of the vertical line, and use a shorter vertical line to separate it from the verb.

Of course, there are other sorts of grammatical "things" that could connect to the verb in addition to direct objects.  Speaking broadly, we will call all these other things "complements" of the verb.

Let's start to use this on a fairly complicated sentence in Acts 1:18.  Οὗτος μὲν οὖν ἐκτήσατο χωρίον.  He purchased a field.

The first thing to do is to look for the verb...the verb that is NOT a participle.  It is ἐκτήσατο purchased .

We find the subject by asking "Who or what purchased?"  The answer is "He" (i.e. Judas).  The word used for "He" in this sentence is Οὗτος.  So let's enhance our diagram.

To find the complement, we ask "He bought whom or what?"  The answer is "a field", our complement (in this case, a direct object — so we will find it is in the accusative case).  Here are four ways of looking at the same thing.


Wow.... This may turn out to be helpful in the end, but I have definitely had enough of this for one day.  I'll pick this up in the next lesson.