In grammar, the case of a noun or pronoun indicates its function in a phrase or clause; such as the role of subject, object, or of possessor.  video  In English, we refer to three cases:

  1. Subjects are always in the nominative case.
  2. Any kind of an object will be in the objective (or accusative) case.
  3. Possessive nouns are typically spelled with an apostrophe “s”; e.g. dog’s, student’s, wife’s, etc.



In Greek, there are four main cases  (BBG chp. 6 video & chp. 7 video):

  • Any noun that is a subject will be in the nominative case.
  • Use the key word “of” when translating a noun in the genitive case.
  • Use the key word “to” when translating a noun in the dative case.
  • The object of a verb (or verbal) will always be in the accusative case.

In Greek, you can tell what case a word is by its spelling. Let’s use an English example. Consider these sentences:

The man bit the dog.

The dog bit the man.

These are very different sentences in English with a very different meaning. In the first sentence, “man” is the subject and is therefore in the nominative case. “dog” is the object of the verb “bit” and is therefore in the accusative case. We discern this by the order of the words in the sentence. In the second sentence, this is completely reversed because the order of the words is reversed. In Greek, however, the word’s spelling tells you its case, not the order of the words. So it might look something like this (again, using an English example):

The manos bit the dogon.

The dogon bit the manos.

Now if we understand that words ending in -os are in the nominative case and words ending in -on are in the accusative case, then we can understand that both of these sentences mean exactly the same thing. The word order no longer matters. “manos” is going to be the subject regardless of where it is in the sentence, and dogon is going to be the object no matter where it sits. This is how Greek works.



Hebrew doesn’t use case although if you are really interested you can watch this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top