Lesson 5: 1st Declension Nouns

As we begin this lesson the student needs to be reminded that learning Greek is like washing an elephant. We have washed a little, and we have a lot more to go. But don't get discouraged! Stick with it and the rewards will far outweigh the trouble.


a0gaph- love ei0rhnh- peace
a0lhqeia- truth e0kklhsia- church
a(martia- sin e0ntolh- commandment
basileia- kingdom h(mera- day
glwssa- tongue maqhthj- disciple
grafh- writing, Scripture messia- messiah
didach- teaching, instruction parabolh- parable
doca- glory profhthj- prophet

ASSIGNMENT: write and memorize this vocabulary list.

This lesson will help the student recognize and translate 1st declension nouns. The student is urged to review lesson 4 and its description of the various cases. They also apply here, as in 2nd declension nouns.

The following table must be memorized:

Singular PluralCase
- a -ai nominative
- aj -wn genitive
- a| -aij locative, instrumental, dative
- an -aj accusative

These endings are simply added to the stem of the feminine nouns of the 1st declension (masculine nouns of the 1st declension are different): for example:

Singular PluralCase
basilei + a basilei + ai nominative
basilei + aj basilei + wn genitive
basilei + a| basilei + aij locative, instrumental, dative
basilei + an basilei + aj accusative

Easy, right? Well it gets a little complicated now. For when the stem of a noun ends in j, ll or a double consonant (z, c, s, y) then the following table applies:

Singular Plural Case
- a -ai nominative
-hj -wn genitive
-h| -aij locative, instrumental, dative
-hn -aj accusative

As before, these endings are simply added to the stem of the noun. And, as before, these endings must be memorized.

Now, when a 1st declension noun is masculine in gender, then it has the following endings:

Singular PluralCase
-aj -ai nominative
-ou -wn genitive
-a| -aij locative, instrumental, dative
-an -aj accusative

ASSIGNMENT: Memorize the table above.

Now we can turn to our last item of business in this lesson; an examination of the definite article. Greek has no indefinite article (the english "a" or "an"). The definite article is declined like any other noun, in the following manner (in the masculine, feminine and neuter genders):


Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative o ( h ( to
Genitive tou thj tou
Loc., Ins., Dat. tw| th| tw|
Accusative ton thn to


Nominative oi( ai( ta
Genitive twn twn twn

Loc., Inst., Dat. toij taij toij

Accusative touj taj ta

ASSIGNMENT: Memorize the table above, and translate the following sentences:

1. o( a0postoloj didaskei parabolhn toij a0nqrwpoij

2. legomen logouj a0lhqeiaj o0xloij a0nqrwpwn kai maqhtwn