In Koiné Greek, the case ending of a word indicates how that term functions within the sentence.


Koiné Greek uses various kinds of word endings. The term “case” in Koiné refers to one of these varieties of word endings. Case endings in Koiné Greek indicate the function of a word in a sentence. Nouns, adjectives, pronouns, participles, and definite articles all require a case ending. Verbs and adverbs do not require a case ending.

There are five different case endings in Koiné Greek: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and vocative.

Generally, the Nominative case indicates the subject of a sentence and other words that describe the subject, such as a predicate nominative or predicate adjective. It is also used for adjectives and participles modifying the subject of the sentence.

Generally, the Genitive case indicates possession. However, the genitive can also be used to indicate many other kinds of relationships between two entities in a sentence. separation or relation. In limited situations, it can also Some prepositions take their complement in the genitive case.

Generally, the Dative case indicates the indirect object of a verb. However, the dative case is also commonly used to express location, means, or agency. Some prepositions take their object in the dative case.

Generally, the Accusative case indicates the Direct Object of a verb. However, the accusative case is also commonly used to express the object of an infinitive. Some prepositions take their object in the accusative case.

The Vocative case indicates the addressee of a speech, that is, the person being spoken to.


The case of a noun, pronoun, adjective, article, or participle is indicated by the case ending (or suffix) attached to the end of the word. These changes follow three basic patterns called “First declension,” “Second declension,” and “Third declension.”

First declension nouns have a feminine gender for the most part and in the nominative singular end in an alpha or an eta. See First Declension . A few masculine nouns end in an -ας or –ης. These words also follow a first declension pattern.

Second declension nouns end in –ος or –ον in the nominative singular. Almost all words ending in –ος in the nominative singular are masculine gender. All words that end in –ον in the nominative singular are neuter gender. See Second Declension .

Third declension nouns have stems that end in a consonant or the vowels (ι, υ, ευ). They are made up of all three genders. See Third Declension .

Adjectives and pronouns agree in case and number with the noun they are modifying (or to which they are referring). Sometimes, the changes may be more significant. [for example the first person singular pronoun ἐγώ in the nominative case changes to μου when it is in the genitive case] See Adjective_paradigm or Pronoun_paradigm .

Order of Words

Because the Greek language has a case system, the order of the words in a sentence can be changed to place an emphasis on a particular word or clause. The normal word order is conjunction – verb – subject – object. When this order is changed there is probably a slight emphasis being made on the words that are moved forward.

Example: Satan tempting Jesus
Matthew 4:3                      
Εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ εἰπὲ ἵνα οἱ λίθοι οὗτοι ἄρτοι γένωνται.
Ei huios ei tou theou eipe hina hoi lithoi houtoi artoi genōntai.
If son you are of God order that the stones these bread they become.

If you are the son of God, order that these stones become bread.

Note: In this sentence the phrase “if you are the son of god” has been moved to the first position in the sentence. The movement of the phrase to the front of the sentence places a slight emphasis or stress on the condition.