Adjectives Review Sheet LG1200-50 | Spring 2009
An adjective modifies a noun or pronoun. Take this sentence, for instance: The ball is blue. Here “blue” (an adjective) is telling you something about the ball (a noun). The same is true here: The blue ball bounces better than the red brick. (Bricks so rarely bounce well.) Must-Know Factoids See Croy, § 30 for more information & samples. 1. Adjectives agree in case, number and gender with their antecedents (the nouns they “belong” to). 2. Case, number, and gender have nothing to do with whether an adjective is in attributive, predicate, or substantive position.
1. Attributive adjectives name an attribute of a noun or pronoun. They describe something: it is good, bad, ugly, earlier, better, holy, etc. 2. Attributive adjectives typically appear either: • • between a definite article and a noun that agree in case, number and gender (e.g. h` pisth. kardi,a = the faithful heart). following the noun they modify, with their own definite article (e.g. pisth. = the faithful heart ).
h` kardi,a h`
1. Predicate adjectives are used with a linking verb (“to be” or “to become”). The most common linking verbs in Greek are eivmi. and gi,nomai. 2. Predicate adjectives typically appear either: • preceding the noun and its definite article if there is one (e.g. pisth. h` kardi,a = the heart is faithful [it would be ok, but stilted English, to say “faithful is the heart”]). following the noun with no repetition of the article (e.g. heart is faithful).
h` kardi,a pisth. = the
1. Substantive adjectives function as nouns. There is no separate noun here. 2. Most of the time, but not always, a substantive adjective is preceded by a definite article that agrees with it in case, number, and gender (e.g. oi` pistoi, = the faithful people).
Being able to recognize these different positions matters a little in translating adjectives. However, it is a must-have skill for translating participles. Review it this week, and next week you will be like, “Hey, I know that already.”