Vasile Stancu

New Testament Greek for Beginners

(Based on the book with the same title by Gresham Machen, The MacMillan Company, 1923)


Interrogative, Indefinite, and Relative Pronouns
Deliberative Questions
Conditional Relative Clauses

384. Vocabulary

αἰτεω I ask, I request
εἰadv., whether (in indirect questions); the common meaning, if, has already been given.
ἐπερωτάω I ask a question of, I question
ἐρωτάω I ask a question, I ask a question of, I question, I ask. (Originally, ἐρωτάω meant to ask , in the sense of to question, and αἰτέω meant to ask in the sense of to request . But in New Testament Greek ἐρωτάω is frequently used in the latter sense as well as in the former).
καρπός, ὁ a fruit
κρίσις, κρίσεως, ἡ a judgment
ὅπουadv., where (relative)
ὅς, ἥ, ὅpron., who,which
ὅταν for ὅτε ἄν, whenever (with subjunctive)
ὅτε adv., when (relative)
οὖν conj., accordingly, therefore, then (postpozitive, like δέ and γάρ. See §91)
πίνω, πίομαι, ἔπιον(very irregular future) I drink
ποῦadv., where? (interrogative)
πῶςadv., how? (interrogative)
τίς, τί interrog. pron., who? which? what?
τις, τι indefinite pron., someone, something, a certain one, a certain thing
φάγομαιfut. (very irregular), 2nd aor., ἔφαγον of ἐσθίω, I eat

Interrogative and Indefinite Pronouns

385. The declension of the interrogative pronoun, τίς, τί, who? which? what?, is as follows:

sg pl
m,f n m,f n
N τίς τί τίνες τίνα
G τίνος τίνος τίνων τίνων
D τίνι τίνι τίσι(ν) τίσι(ν)
A τίνα τί τίνας τίνα

386. The declension is according to the third declension in all three genders, the masculine and feminine being alike throughout, and the neuter differing from the masculine and feminine only in the nominative and accusative.

387. The acute accent in the interrogative pronoun is never changed to the grave.

Example: τί λέγει; what does he say?

388. The declension of the indefinite pronoun, τις, τι, some one, something, a certain one, a certain thing, is as follows:

sg pl
m,f n m,f n
N τις τι τινές τινά
G τινός τινός τινῶν τινῶν
D τινί τινί τισί(ν) τισί(ν)
A τινά τι τινάς τινά

389. The indefinite pronoun is declined like the interrogative pronoun except that all the forms of the indefinite pronoun are enclitic and receive an accent only when the rules in §92 so prescribe.

390. Both the interrogative and the indefinite pronouns can be used either with a noun or separately.

Examples: (1) τίνα καρπὸν ἔχετε; what fruit have ye? (2) τί λέγεις; , what dost thou say? (3) ἄνθρωπός τις, a certain man; (4) εἶπέν τις, a certain man said.

391. The accusative singular neuter, τί, of the interrogative pronoun is often used adverbially to mean why.

Example: τί ποιεῖτε ταῦτα; why do ye do these things?

Indirect Questions

392. Indirect questions, like the ordinary form of indirect discourse (see §308), retain the same mood and tense as those which would have been found in the direct discourse lying back of the indirect.

393. The same interrogative words are commonly used in indirect questions as those which are used in direct questions.

Examples: ἠρώτησεν αὐτὸν τίς ἐστιν. , he asked him who he was. The direct question lying back of the indirect was, τίς εἶ; who art thou? (2) εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ποῦ μένει, he told them where he was abiding. The direct question which he was answering was ποῦ μένεις; where art thou abiding?

394. Deliberative Questions

The subjunctive is used in deliberative questions. A deliberative question is a question that expects an answer in the imperative mood.

Examples: (1) ποιήσωμεν τοῦτο ἢ μὴ ποιήσωμεν; shall we do this or shall we not do it? The answer expected is in the imperative — do it or do not do it. (2) τί ποιήσωμεν; what shall we do? The natural answer is do this or do that, or the like.

The Relative Pronoun

395. The declension of the relative pronoun, ὅς, ἥ, ὅ, who, which, is as follows:

sg pl
m f n m f n
N ὅς οἵ αἵ
G οὗ ἧς οὗ ᾧν ᾧν ᾧν
D οἷς αἷς οἷς
A ὅν ᾗν οὕς ἅς

396. It will be observed that except for instead of ὅν in the nominative and accusative singular neuter (compare αὐτός and ἐκεῖνος) the declension of the relative pronoun is like that of a regular adjective of the second and first declension. The nominative singular feminine and the nominative plural masculine and feminine are like the corresponding forms of the article except that the article in those forms is proclitic.

397. Like other pronouns, the relative pronoun agrees with its antecedent in gender and number but has its own case in its own clause.


(1) ὁ ἀπόστολος ὃν εἶδες ἀπῆλθεν, the apostle whom you saw went away;

(2) ἀληθῆ ἦν πάντα ἃ εἶπεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς, all things which Jesus said were true;

(3) ὁ μαθητὴς ὃν ἠγάπησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἦν ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ, the disciple whom Jesus loved was in the house.

398. But where the antecedent of the relative pronoun is in the genitive or dative case and the relative pronoun itself would naturally be in the accusative case as the object of the verb in the relative clause, it is regularly attracted to the case of its antecedent.

Example: πάντων δὲ θαυμαζόντων ἐπὶ πᾶσιν οἷς ἐποίει εἶπεν πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ... , but when all were wondering at all the things which He was doing, He said to his disciples...
Here οἷς would have been accusative if it had retained the case which it would have had in its own clause. But it is attracted to the case of πᾶσιν.

399. The antecedent of the relative pronoun is frequently left unexpressed. Thus ὅς can mean he who; , she who; , that which, what; οἵ, the men who, or they who; αἵ, the women who; , the things which.


(1) οὐκ ἔξεστίν μοι ὃ θέλω ποιήσαι, it is not lawful for me to do that which I wish (or to do what I wish).

(2) ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν καθ' ὑμῶν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐστιν, for he who is not against you is for you.
In such a case essentially the same thought is expressed as by the article with participle - ὃς οὐκ ἔστιν is almost like ὁ μὴ ὤν. But in many cases only the article with participle could be used. For example in the one who has could hardly be expressed in any way but by ἐν τῷ ἔχοντι.

(3) ἔχω ὃ θέλω, I have what I wish.
Here the English word what is a short way of saying the thing which or that which and so is correctly translated by . Compare λέγω αὐτῷ τί ἔχω, I tell him what I have. Here the English word what is an interrogative word in an indirect question, and so is correctly translated by τί.

Conditional Relative Clauses

400. The indefinite relative clauses which in English are marked by the suffix -ever added to the relative word (e. g., whoever, whichever, whatever, wherever, whenever), have in Greek ordinarily the subjunctive with the particle ἄν or ἐάν. This is one of the commonest uses of the subjunctive.


(1) ὃς γὰρ ἐὰν θέλῃ τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ σῶσαι οὐ σώζει αὐτήν, for whoever wishes to save his life shall not save it;

(2) ὃς ἂν πιστεύσῃ σωθήσεται, whoever believes [or shall believe] shall he saved;

(3) εἰς ἣν δ' ἂν πόλιν εἰσέλθητε ὄψεσθε ἐν αὐτῇ μαθητάς, and into whatever city ye enter [or shall enter] ye shall see disciples in it;

(4) ὅπου ἐὰν ᾖ ὁ διδάσκαλος ἐκεῖ ἔσονται καὶ οἱ διδασκόμενοι ὑπ' αὐτου, wherever the teacher is there will he also those who are being taught by him.

401. It will be observed that the verb in the English translation of these conditional relative clauses can be either future indicative or present indicative. It often makes little difference which is used. In such clauses the present indicative in English frequently refers to future time.

402. Exercises


1. ὃς ἐὰν μὴ δέξηται ὑμᾶς τοῦτον οὐ δέξεται ὁ βασιλεύς.
2. ἃ ἐὰν ποιήσωμεν ὑμῖν, ποιήσετε καὶ ὑμεῖς ἡμῖν.
3. ἐρωτήσαντός τινος αὐτοὺς τὶ φάγῃ ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ λέγοντες ὅτι δεῖ αὐτὸν φαγεῖν τὸν ἄρτον τὸν ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ.
4. τίνος (*1) ἔσται ταῦτα πάντα ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ;

(*1) Α noun or pronoun in the genitive case may stand in the predicate with the verb to be. Thus ἡ βασιλεία ἐστὶ τοῦ θεοῦ or θεοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία means the kingdom is God’s or the kingdom belongs to God.

5. ὅταν ἔλθῃ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τίνες ἔσονται οἱ πιστεύοντες;
6. ὃς ἂν λύσῃ μίαν τῶν ἐντολῶν ποιεῖ ὃ οὐκ ἔξεστιν ποιεῖν.
7. ἃ εἶπεν ὑμῖν ὁ προφήτης ἔτι ὢν μεθ' ὑμῶν ταῦτα ἐροῦσι καὶ οἱ εὐαγγελισάμενοι ἡμᾶς.
8. ἐάν τις ἀπὸ νεκρῶν πορευθῇ πρὸς αὐτούς, μετανοήσουσιν.
9. ὃς ἐὰν μὴ ἀκούσῃ τῶν προφητῶν οὐδὲ μετανοήσει ἐάν τινα ἴδῃ τῶν νεκρῶν.
10. οἳ ἂν εἴπωσιν ἃ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀληθῆ οὐ λήμψονται καρπόν τινα τοῦ ἔργου αὐτῶν.
11. ἔλεγεν ὅτι ἐάν τις ἐγερθῇ ἐκ νεκρῶν μετανοήσουσιν.
12. ἠρώτησαν τὸν προφήτην οἱ ἐν τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ εἰ οἱ νεκροὶ ἀκούσουσι τῆς φωνῆς τοῦ κυρίου.
13. εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς ὅτι ἐν τῇ κρίσει ἀκούσουσιν πάντες τοῦ κυρίου.
14. ἐλθόντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι εἴς τινα κώμην ἐπηρώτησαν τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ λέγοντες Ποῦ εἰσιν οἱ τοῦ προφήτου· ἃ γὰρ λέγουσι περὶ αὐτῶν οἱ ἐν τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀληθῇ.
15. ἔλεγε δὲ ὁ ἐπερωτηθείς Τί ἐπερωτᾷς με; οὐ γὰρ θέλω ἀποκρίνεσθαί σοι οὐδέν. (*2)

(*2) The Greek language frequently uses a double negative where it is not allowable in English. Thus οὐ λέγω οὐδέν means I do not say anything, or I say nothing.

16. ἔλεγεν οὖν τῶν μαθητῶν τις τῷ ἀποστόλῳ Τί ποιήσει οὗτος; ὁ δὲ ἀπόστολος εὐθὺς ἀπεκρίθη αὐτῷ λέγων Ποιήσει ὁ θεὸς ἃ θέλει καὶ πάντα ἃ θέλει ἐστὶν ἀγαθά.
17. ἃ ἔβλεπε τὸν κύριον ποιοῦντα ταῦτα ἤθελε καὶ αὐτὸς ποιεῖν.


1. We did what those who were in the same city asked.
2. The priests whom we saw while they were still there asked us who those disciples were.
3. Whoever does not do what I say shall not receive from me what he asks.
4. A certain scribe went into the city in order that he might take the books which the prophets had written.
5. Into whatever nation we go, let us seek the disciples who are in it.
6. What shall we say concerning all these things?
7. They asked us what they should say concerning those in the city.
8. A certain man having come to Jesus said that he wished to be healed.
9. Whoever shall ask anything shall receive what he asks.
10. They asked Jesus what the will of God was.
11. Whoever kills his brother will come into the judgment.
12. Why then do you eat what it is not lawful to eat?
13. Whoever is not taught by the Lord will not know Him.
14. When the chief priests had seen what Jesus was doing they sent a certain messenger to the Pharisees.
15. Where shall we abide? For the night is coming and no one has said to us what we shall do.