Lesson 17: Adjectives/Groups III-V


III. Adjectives of the Third-First Declensions

230. Adjectives in this group have three endings: masc. and neut. follow the third declension, the fem. follows the first (nouns of class I.1) as does the fem. of group II adjectives. The masc. and neut. will therefore utilize the endings of the model, τίς, τί. This class is divided into two subgroups: stems in -αντ- (III.1) and stems in υ/ε (III.2).

2300. While the endings attached to the fem. forms in group III adjectives are perfectly regular, the fem. stem is strikingly dissimilar to the masc. and neut. stems. This difference is accounted for by the addition of -ι̯α (consonantal ι, §932) to form the fem. stem.

2300.1 Stems in -αντ-: -αντι̯α (τι̯ becomes σ, §932.5) > -ανσα (ν is lost before σ, and the preceding vowel lengthened to compensate for the loss, §929.8) > -ᾱσα. Cf. the fem. act. participle λυοντ-ι̯α (§2470.1): > λυονσα > λύουσα.

2300.2 Stems in υ/ε: the fem. form derives from a stem in -ευ̯ι̯α, from which υ̯ was lost (-ει̯α) , and the ε and ι̯ then contracted to -εῖα. Cf. the perfect act. participle λελυκυυσ-ι̯α > λελυκυ-ι̯α (the σ is lost) > λελυκυῖα (§2490) .

231. Group III.1. πᾶς, πᾶσα, πᾶν every, each, all [cf. pandora], together with compounds with πᾶς as the second element (ἅπας, ἅπασα, ἅπαν; σύμπας, σύμπασα, σύμπαν), is the only example in this category. However, πᾶς itself is of very high frequency, and it serves as the immediate model for the declension of all active participles (except the perfect active) and the aorist passive participle. It should therefore be committed carefully to memory along with the other models, ὁ, ἡ, τό and τίς, τί. Knowledge of these three models make it easily possible to identify any form in the entire Greek nominal system (personal pronouns excepted).

                πᾶς, πᾶσα, πᾶν every, each, all
  M F N
N πᾶς πᾶσα πᾶν            
G παντός πάσης παντός
D παντί πάση παντί
A πάντα πᾶσαν πᾶν
N πάντες πᾶσαι πάντα
G πάντων πασῶν πάντων
D πᾶσι (ν) πάσαις πᾶσι (ν)
A πάντας πάσας πάντα

2310. Mnemonic hints:

2310.1 The first thing to note is that the masc. and neut. are declined like τίς, τί the fem, like the fem. art. (i.e. there are no new endings involved). There is an α/η shift in the singular (α in nom. and acc., η in gen. and dat.), as in the case of nouns of class 1.2. (§132.2).

2310.2 Other hints, already familiar, may be repeated:

a) the middle cases of masc. and neut. are identical for each number;
b) the neut. nom. and acc. sing. are identical, as are the neut. nom. and acc. plur. (along with the masc. acc. sing.).

2310.3 The neut. nom. and acc. sing., having no ending, loses τ: παντ < πᾶν (τ cannot stand at the end of a word, §923).

2310.4 The masc. nom. sing. loses -αν- before σ: παντς < πᾶς (§929.9); the masc. and neut. dat. plur. likewise: παντσι < πᾶσι.

232. Group III.2. Adjectives with stems in υ/ε are not common (a complete catalogue from Bauer may be found in Appendix II). For the formation of the fem. stem see §2300.2.

                ταχύς, ταχεῖα, ταχύ quick, swift
N ταχύς ταχεῖα           ταχύ                 
G ταχέως ταχεῖας ταχέως
D ταχεῖ ταχείᾳ ταχεῖ
A ταχύν ταχεῖαν ταχύ
N ταχεῖς ταχεῖαι ταχέα
G ταχέων ταχειῶν ταχέων
D ταχέσι (ν) ταχείαις ταχέσι (ν)
A ταχεῖς ταχείας ταχέα

2320. Mnemonic hints:

2320.1 The general hints apply here also: the middle cases masc. and neut. are identical for each number; the nom. and acc. singulars and plurals are identical, respectively.

2320.2 The masc. is declined like πόλις (§200) or, more precisely, like πῆχυς (§2003): note the -ν in the acc. sing. (cf. §§1540.2, 1630.3, 199, 200, 202 [third declension nouns, III.1.c, III.7.a, b, d]), and the identity of the nom. and acc. plur. (§§ 2000.3, 2010.3 [nouns of III.7.b and c]).

2320.3 The neut. nom. and acc. sing. have no ending (like all third declension neuters); the nom. and acc. plur. have the regular (τιν-α) ending in -α (uncontracted).

2320.4 The gen. sing., masc. and neut., is by analogy with nouns of III.7.b (πόλις, πόλεως) ; the Attic form, -έος, is occasionally found as a variant (Bl-D §46(3)).

2320.5 The masc. and neut. stem varies between υ and ε (cf. πόλις, πῆχυς); the fem. stem has -ει- throughout.

IV. Adjectives of the Third Declension

233. Group IV adjectives belong wholly to the third declension. The masc. and fem. forms are therefore identical (as in third declension nouns, §150). Adjectives will then have only two endings (like group I adjectives). They are divided into two subgroups: stems in -εσ- (cf. nouns in III.6, §§195ff.), and stems in -ον- (cf. nouns in III.5.b, §§188f).

234. Group IV.1. Adjectives with stems in -εσ- are fairly numerous (112 examples in Bauer), but none is of high frequency. A complete catalogue will be found in Appendix II.

             ἀληθής, ἀληθές true

    M-F   N
N   ἀληθής   ἀληθές                     
G     ἀληθοῦς (< -εσος)
D     ἀληθεῖ (< -εσι)
A   ἀληθῆ (< -εσα)   ἀληθές
N   ἀληθεῖς (< -εσες)   ἀληθῆ (< -εσα)
G     ἀληθῶν (< εσων)
D     ἀληθέσι (ν) (< εσσι)
A   ἀληθεῖς   ἀληθῆ

2340. Mnemonic hints:

2340.1 The middle cases are identical for both numbers, are contracted from the full forms given in parenthesis, and are identical with the corresponding forms of neuter nouns in class III.6 (neuter stems in -οσ, -εσ §196).

2340.2 The neut. nom. and acc. singulars and plurals are identical for each number (as always): the sing. shows the bare stem, the plur. the regular neuter ending (a) contracted with ε (σ is lost between two vowels, §930.2) and is therefore identical with nom. and acc. plur. of III.6 nouns (§196).

2340.3 The masc. nom. sing. has a lengthened stem vowel (-ες < -ης).

2340.4 The masc. nom. and acc. plural are identical (see §2320.2).

2340.5 Note that the masc. acc. sing. is identical in this case with the neut. nom. and acc. plur. (a confusion that is also possible between many third declension masc. and fem. acc. singulars in -α and the neut. nom. and acc. plur. in -α of nouns of class III.3, §§170ff.).

235. Group IV.2. Adjectives in this class include a number of comparatives in -(ι)ων (§262). Neither number or frequency are high. A complete catalogue will be found in Appendix II.

               ἄφρων, ἄφρον foolish  
  M-F   N
N ἄφρων   ἄφρον           
G   ἄφρονος
D   ἄφρονι
A ἄφρονες   ἄφρονα
    M-F N
N ἄφρονες   ἄφρονα
G   ἀφρόνων
D   ἄφροσι (ν)
A ἄφρονας   ἄφρονα

2350. Mnemonic hints:

2350.1 The masc.-fem. is declined exactly like εἰκών, εἰκόνος (III.5.b, §188): -ων in nom. masc.-fem. sing., -ον- elsewhere; loss of ν in dat. plur. without apparent trace (-οσι).

2350.2 The neut. conforms to the neut. pattern: no ending in nom. and acc. sing.; -α in nom. and acc. plur.

↓ 2351.1 Comparatives in -(ι)ων (§245) follow the pattern of ἄφρων, ἄφρον . They exhibit an occasional by-form, however, as a result of contraction (loss of σ between vowels [§930.2], based on a different stem in -οσ- [Smyth §293.d]): μείζων, μεῖζον (comparative of μέγας, great, large) has masc.-fem. acc. sing. in μείζονα or μείζω (< -οσα); the neut. nom. and acc. plur. present the same options. The masc.-fem. nom. and acc. plur. are μείζονες and μείζονας respectively, with a by-form μείζους (< -οσες); for both (the by-form is identical for both cases). πλείων (or πλέων), πλεῖον (or πλέον) (comparative of πολύς, much, many) exhibits some of the same by-forms.

2351.2 One adjective, ἄρσην, ἄρσεν, male, has a stem in -ην, -εν rather than -ων, -ον. η appears in the masc.-fem. nom. sing., ε elsewhere.

↑ V. Adjectives of Mixed Patterns

236. Two adjectives with mixed patterns are very common; a third is less so.

                          πολύς, πολλή, πολύ much, many
    Singular       Plural
  M F N   M F N
N πολύς πολλή πολύ       πολλοί πολλαί πολλά      
G πολλοῦ πολλῆς πολλοῦ   πολλῶν πολλῶν πολλῶν
D πολλῷ πολλῇ πολλῷ   πολλοῖς πολλαῖς πολλοῖς
A πολλύν πολλήν πολύ   πολλύς πολλάς πολλά
                     μέγας, μεγάλη, μέγα great
    Singular     Plural
  M F N   M F N
N μέγας μεγάλη μέγα   μεγάλοι μεγάλαι μεγάλα       
G μεγάλου μεγάλης μεγάλου   μεγάλων μεγάλων μεγάλων
D μεγάλων μεγάλῃ μεγάλῳ   μεγάλοις μεγάλαις μεγάλοις
A μέγαν μεγάλην μέγα   μεγάλους μεγάλας μεγάλα

2360. Mnemonic hints:

2360.1 The pattern is regular second and first declension (like adjectives in group II.1, §224) except for the four underlined forms in each case, which appear to be third declension.

2360.2 The masc. and neut. nom. and acc. singulars have abbreviated stems; the endings are like those on ταχύς (III.2, §232, i.e. -ς in masc. nom. sing., -ν in acc., nothing for the neuter forms).

↓ 2361. μέλας, μέλαινα, μέλαν black, has a stem μελαν-. The feminine is formed by adding   ι̯ (§2300) , which is transposed to the preceding vowel (§932.6). The masc. nom. sing., μέλας, shows the loss of ν before σ (§929.8), as do the masc. and neut. dat. plurals (cf. nouns of III.5.b, §1880.2).

                      μέλας, μέλαινα, μέλαν black  
    Singular       Plural  
  M F N   M F N
N μέλας μέλαινα μέλαν   μέλανες μέλαιναι μέλανα            
G μέλανος μελαίνης μέλανος   μελάνων μελαινῶν μελάνων
D μέλανι μελαίνῃ μέλανι (ν)   μέλασι (ν) μελαίναις μέλασι (ν)
A μέλανα μέλαιναν μέλαν   μέλανας μελαίνας μέλανα

237. Summary of Adjectives. A few observations may be made with respect to adjectives overall.

237.1 Wherever there is a separate fem. form, it is always first declension (II.1, II.2, III.1, III.2, V).

a) The fem. pattern has consistent α or η in the sing. everywhere except for πᾶς (III.1) and μέλας (V).

237.2 The masc. form of adjectives in III.2 is declined like nouns in III.7.b (πόλις, πῆχυς) ; the neut. declension of adjectives in IV.1 is very nearly identical with the declension of nouns in III.6 (only the stem of the neut. nom. and acc. sing. is different); the masc.-fem, declension of adjectives in IV.2 is identical with nouns in III.5.b.

↓ 2370. Remnants. A few isolated remnants of other adjective patterns appear in the literature covered by Bauer.

2370.1 Declined like active participles (§2470.1) are ἄκων, ἄκουσα, ἄκον and ἐκῶν, ἐκοῦσα, ἐκόν (Smyth §305.b).

2370.2 ἵλεως -ων, ἀνίλεως -ων are adjectives of two endings following the pattern of the Attic second declension (§138; cf. Smyth §289, Bl-D §44(1)).

2370.3 A contract adjective, τετράπους -ουν is declined like other contract adjectives of group II.2 (§§225f.), except that it is an adjective of two endings (i.e. masc.-fem. = masc. pattern). Smyth §290.a.

2370.4 ἀμήτωρ, -ορ, gen. -ορος and ἀπάτωρ, -ορ, gen. -ορος belong to group IV (adjectives of the third declension). These and others of the same group were never common. Smyth §291.a.

2370.5 The verbal adjective, βλητέος, -α, -ον, is the only one of its type in the New Testament (Bl-D §65(3)). The declension pattern is regular (group II.1, §224).