greek preposition

Just like English prepositional phrases, Greek prepositional phrases begin with a preposition and end with that preposition’s object.  Prepositional phrases can function adverbially or adjectivally.   video

NOTE: Unlike English prepositions, the meaning of Greek prepositions changes based on the case of the OP as in the example of δια below (cf. BBG 8.3).

ανα

OP always Accusative

  • Distributive: in the midst of; each, apiece (with numbers)
  • Spatial (in composition with verbs): up, motion upwards

αντι

OP always Genitive

  • Substitution: instead of, in place of
  • Exchange/Equivalence: for, as, in the place of

The notions of exchange and substitution are quite similar, often blending into each other.

Cause (debatable): because of

απο

OP always Genitive

  • Separation (from place or person): away from
  • Source: from, out of
  • Cause: because of
  • Partitive (i.e., substituting for a partitive gen.): of
  • Agency (rare): by, from

δια

With Genitive OP

  • Agency: by, through
  • Means: through
  • Spatial: through
  • Temporal: through(out), during

With Accusative OP

  • Cause: because of, on account of, for the sake of
  • Spatial (rare): through

εις

OP is always accusative

  • Spatial: into, toward, in
  • Temporal: for, throughout
  • Purpose: for, in order to, to
  • Result: so that, with the result that
  • Reference/Respect: with respect to, with reference to
  • Advantage: for
  • Disadvantage: against
  • in the place of εν (with its various nuances)

εκ

OP always genitive

  • Source: out of, from
  • Separation: away from, from
  • Temporal: from, from this point…on
  • Cause: because of
  • Partitive (i.e., substituting for a partitive gen.): of
  • Means: by, from

εν

OP always dative

  • Spatial/Sphere: in (and various other translations)
  • Temporal: in, within, when, while, during
  • Association (often close personal relationship): with
  • Cause: because of
  • Instrumental: by, with
  • Reference/Respect: with respect to/with reference to
  • Manner: with
  • Thing Possessed: with (in the sense of which possesses)
  • Standard (=Dative of Rule): according to the standard of
  • As an equivalent for εις (with verbs of notion)

επι

With Genitive OP

  • Spatial: on, upon, at near
  • Temporal: in the time of, during
  • Cause: on the basis of

With Dative OP

  • Spatial: on, upon, against, at, near
  • Temporal: at, at the time of, during
  • Cause: on the basis of

With Accusative OP

  • Spatial: on, upon, to, up to, against
  • Temporal: for, over a period of

κατα

With Genitive OP

  • Spatial: down from, throughout
  • Opposition: against
  • Source: from

With Accusative OP

  • Standard: in accordance with, corresponding to
  • Spatial: along, through (extension); toward, up to (direction)
  • Temporal: at, during
  • Distributive: “indicating the division of a greater whole into individual parts”
  • Purpose: for the purpose of
  • Reference/Respect: with respect to, with reference to

μετα

With Genitive OP

  • Association/Accompaniment: with, in company with
  • Spatial: with, among
  • Manner (Attendant Circumstance): with

With Accusative OP

  • Temporal: after, behind
  • Spatial (rare): after, behind

παρα

With Genitive OP

  • Source/Spatial: from
  • Agency: from, by

With Dative OP

  • Spatial: near, beside
  • Sphere: in the sight of, before (someone)
  • Association: with (someone/something)
  • Virtually equivalent to simple dative

With Accusative OP

  • Spatial: by, alongside of, near, on
  • Comparison: in comparison to, more than
  • Opposition: against, contrary to

περι

With Genitive OP

  • Reference: concerning
  • Advantange/Representation: on behalf of, for (= υπερ)

With Accusative OP

  • Spatial: around, near
  • Temporal: about, near
  • Reference/Respect: with regard/reference to

προ

OP always genitive

  • Spatial: before, in front of, at
  • Temporal: before
  • Rank/Priority: before

προς

OP is always accusative

  • Purpose: for, for the purpose of
  • Spatial: toward
  • Temporal: toward, for (duration)
  • Result: so that, with the result that
  • Opposition: against
  • Association: with, in company with (with stative verbs)

συν

OP always dative

  • Expresses accompaniment/association: with, in association (company) with

υπερ

With Genitive OP

  • Representation/Advantage: on behalf of, for the sake of
  • Reference/Respect: concerning, with reference to (= περι)
  • Substitution: in the place of, instead of (= αντι) (such instances also involve representation)

With Accusative OP

  • Spatial: over, above
  • Comparison: more than, beyond

υπο

With Genitive OP

  • (Ultimate) Agency: by
  • Intermediate Agency (with active verbs): through
  • Means: by (rare)

With Accusative OP

  • Spatial: under, below
  • Subordination: under (the rule of)
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