A conjunction is a word that shows a relationship between two different words, phrases, sentences, or even entire paragraphs. In other words, conjunctions are grammatical connectors. The most common conjunctions in English are “and,” “or,” “but,” and “for.” Conjunctions are closely related to both sentential adverbs and particles.


Koiné Greek contains many conjunctions, but the two most common conjunctions in the New Testament are και (“and, also”) and δε (“but, and”). Sometimes in Koiné Greek conjunctions are combined with other words (called “krasis”) to form compound terms. These are not the same as compound conjunctions. .. include:: includes/compound_terms.rst

There are eight major categories of conjunctions. There are others as well, but these are the main kinds of conjunctions: conjunctive (“and”); alternative (“or”); contrastive (“but”); explicative (“surely”); causal (“for”); conditional (“if”); concessive (“except”); restrictive (“only”).


Conjunctions in Koiné Greek can appear as stand-alone words or be combined with other words to form a compound term.

Compound conjunctions

A compound conjunction is formed from two separate conjunctions that appear together at the beginning of a sentence. .. include:: en_uhg/content/includes/compound_terms.rst .. include:: en_uhg/content/includes/notes/conjunction-compound.rst


Conjunctions can express any of the following connective relationships. This is not a complete list, but it represents the major categories of meaning for conjunctions in Koiné Greek.


A conjunctive conjunction simply joins two words/phrases/sentences together and is usually translated as “and” in English. This kind of conjunction can be used either comparatively (joining similar ideas) or contrastively (joining dissimilar ideas).

Matthew 16:5 Καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ [d]μαθηταὶ εἰς τὸ πέραν ἐπελάθοντο ἄρτους λαβεῖν.

Matthew 16:13 Ἐλθὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς τὰ μέρη Καισαρείας τῆς Φιλίππου


An alternative conjunction compares two words/phrases/sentences as alternates and is usually translated as “or” in English.

Matthew 5:35 ὅτι πόλις ἐστὶν τοῦ μεγάλου βασιλέως

Mark 12:14 ἔξεστιν [p]δοῦναι κῆνσον Καίσαρι ἢ οὔ; δῶμεν ἢ μὴ δῶμεν;

Mark 13:35 οὐκ οἴδατε γὰρ πότε ὁ κύριος τῆς οἰκίας ἔρχεται, [au]ἢ ὀψὲ ἢ [av]μεσονύκτιον ἢ ἀλεκτοροφωνίας ἢ πρωΐ


A contrastive conjunction contrasts two words/phrases/sentences as different in some way and is usually translated as “but” in English.

Matthew 6:6 σὺ δὲ ὅταν προσεύχῃ, εἴσελθε εἰς τὸ ταμεῖόν σου καὶ κλείσας τὴν θύραν σου

Acts 1:8 ἀλλὰ λήμψεσθε δύναμιν ἐπελθόντος τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς


A causal conjunction expresses a relationship of cause (of some kind) between two grammatical items. These can include a relationship of reason or result as well as a relationship of purpose or goal. However, sometimes it is extremely difficult to distinguish between a causal conjunction that expresses purpose/goal and one that expresses reason/result.

Romans 3:28 λογιζόμεθα [k]γὰρ [l]δικαιοῦσθαι πίστει ἄνθρωπον χωρὶς ἔργων νόμου.

Acts 1:5 ὅτι Ἰωάννης μὲν ἐβάπτισεν ὕδατι, ὑμεῖς δὲ [b]ἐν πνεύματι βαπτισθήσεσθε ἁγίῳ

expresses reason or result

This kind of causal conjunction expresses either the reason for or the result of an action/event. In English, it is usually translated as “for” or “because”.

Matthew 1:22 τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον γέγονεν ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν [k]ὑπὸ κυρίου διὰ τοῦ προφήτου

Romans 1:11 ἐπιποθῶ γὰρ ἰδεῖν ὑμᾶς, ἵνα τι μεταδῶ χάρισμα ὑμῖν πνευματικὸν

Luke 1:34 Πῶς ἔσται τοῦτο, ἐπεὶ ἄνδρα οὐ γινώσκω;

expresses purpose or goal

This kind of causal conjunction expresses the purpose for or intended outcome of an action/event. In English, it is usually translated as “for” or “so that”.

Luke 1:44 Μὴ φοβοῦ, Μαριάμ, εὗρες γὰρ χάριν παρὰ τῷ θεῷ·

Matthew 2:18 Ῥαχὴλ κλαίουσα τὰ τέκνα αὐτῆς, καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν παρακληθῆναι ὅτι οὐκ εἰσίν

Luke 1:13 Μὴ φοβοῦ, Ζαχαρία, διότι εἰσηκούσθη ἡ δέησίς σου


A conditional conjunction introduces either a hypothetical situation or an actual situation, as determined by the context.

Luke 16:31 Εἰ Μωϋσέως καὶ τῶν προφητῶν οὐκ ἀκούουσιν, οὐδ’ ἐάν τις ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ πεισθήσονται.



expresses a hypothetical condition

A hypothetical condition expresses an imaginary action or event that has not actually happened in reality. This kind of conditional conjunction is usually translated as “if” in English. Hypothetical conditions have potential to convey many different nuances of possibility and/or desirability.

Luke 17:2 λυσιτελεῖ αὐτῷ εἰ [d]λίθος μυλικὸς περίκειται περὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἔρριπται εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν ἢ ἵνα σκανδαλίσῃ [e]τῶν μικρῶν τούτων ἕνα.

Luke 17:6 Εἰ ἔχετε πίστιν ὡς κόκκον σινάπεως, ἐλέγετε ἂν τῇ συκαμίνῳ ταύτῃ·

Matthew 11:21 ὅτι εἰ ἐν Τύρῳ καὶ Σιδῶνι ἐγένοντο αἱ δυνάμεις αἱ γενόμεναι ἐν ὑμῖν, πάλαι ἂν ἐν σάκκῳ καὶ σποδῷ μετενόησαν.

expresses an actual condition

An actual condition expresses an action or event that has actually happened in reality, and is usually translated as “when” or “while” in English. Usually, this kind of condition indicates something that is happening concurrently with the main action/event being described, or something that has happened in the past in certain circumstances.

Matthew 4:3 Εἰ υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ θεοῦ, εἰπὲ ἵνα οἱ λίθοι οὗτοι ἄρτοι γένωνται.

Mark 11:25 ἀφίετε εἴ τι ἔχετε κατά τινος

Romans 2:25 ἐὰν δὲ παραβάτης νόμου ᾖς, ἡ περιτομή σου ἀκροβυστία γέγονεν

When a conjunctive conjunction connects two events that happen at the same time, it has a similar meaning to a conditional conjunction expressing an actual condition. In these cases, the conjunction can be translated as “while” or “when” in English.

Luke 1:32 οὗτος ἔσται μέγας καὶ υἱὸς Ὑψίστου κληθήσεται

Luke 1:41 καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤκουσεν [t]τὸν ἀσπασμὸν τῆς Μαρίας ἡ Ἐλισάβετ, ἐσκίρτησεν τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ αὐτῆς




A concessive conjunction expresses an exception or disclaimer to what has been stated immediately previous.




A restrictive conjunction sets apart a clause or phrase as unique within its context. Sometimes this restrictive function emphasizes a particular item as the most important or most prominent; in these cases, the conjunction is similar in meaning to an affirmative conjunction. At other times, however, this restrictive function introduces a particular limitation to something previously expressed; in these cases, this conjunction is similar in meaning to a concessive conjunction.




An asseverative conjunction expresses an affirmation in response to what was stated previously. It is very similar to an affirmative particle. An affirmative particle expresses a simple affirmation. An asseverative conjunction expresses an affirmation specifically in response to what was stated immediately previous. Asseverative conjunctions are often translated into English in various ways, such as “surely,” “but also,” “and even,” and others.

Example: ROM 15:25

νυνὶ δὲ πορεύομαι εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ

nyni de poreuomai eis Ierousalēm

now but I am going into Jerusalem

but now I am going to Jerusalem

Matthew 26:65

τότε ὁ ἀρχιερεὺς διέρρηξεν τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ