Prepositions and Personal Pronouns

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David Ting
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Joined: July 9th, 2011, 9:32 am

Prepositions and Personal Pronouns

Post by David Ting » August 6th, 2011, 1:12 pm

Hi,

I am confused on the use of prepositions and personal pronouns in a situation such as the following:

"We are saying a parable to you."

ἐσμεν λεγομεν παραβολην ἐπι σε. (using preposition and personal pronouns)
ἐσμεν λεγομεν παραβολην σοι. (without preposition as σοι means "to you")

Which one is the correct one?

Thank you.
David
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Stephen Carlson
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Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
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Re: Prepositions and Personal Pronouns

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 6th, 2011, 2:09 pm

The short answer is that both a dative personal pronoun and a preposition are used in Koine, though the preposition is usually πρός, not ἐπί. Both forms are in use at this time, but eventually the prepositional form will win out in modern Greek.

For example, Matt 11:7 has λέγειν τοῖς ὄχλοις while the parallel Luke 7:24 has λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς ὄχλους. They both mean "to tell the crowds."

Thus, you can render "we are saying a parable to you" either as: λέγομεν πρὸς σὲ παραβολήν or as: λέγομέν σοι παραβολήν.

Other comments about your proposed translations:

(1) The English progressive form "are saying" corresponds to the Greek present; there is no need to include ἐσμεν.
(2) The dative pronoun σοι is usually enclitic and, when it is, it is very often placed after the verb or in "second position."

Stephen
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

David Ting
Posts: 24
Joined: July 9th, 2011, 9:32 am

Re: Prepositions and Personal Pronouns

Post by David Ting » August 6th, 2011, 7:53 pm

Stephen,

I appreciate very much your clear explanation. It is very helpful.

David
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Stephen Carlson
Posts: 3008
Joined: May 11th, 2011, 10:51 am
Location: Melbourne
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Re: Prepositions and Personal Pronouns

Post by Stephen Carlson » August 7th, 2011, 8:14 am

I split the discussion about the present tense into its thread.

Stephen Carlson
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Stephen C. Carlson, Ph.D.
Melbourne, Australia

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